Diane asked: A skunk sprayed our vinyl siding, and I can’t get it off. It looks terrible. Help!
Skunk spray consists of a yellow, oily, musky liquid that can reach as far as 20 feet. The oily aspect of the spray allows it to attach to surfaces and not be removed with water alone. IN order to remove this smelly substance, it will require something to cut through the oil and allow the musk to release from the surface. If your home has been attacked by this nauseating substance, here are some methods that can be used to remove it.
You Will Need:
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Baking soda
- Liquid soap
- Soft cloths
- Scrub brush (optional)
- Water (outdoor hose works well)
Steps to Remove the Spray:
- Make your own “home remedy” by mixing the following items in a large container or bucket:
- 4 cups hydrogen peroxide
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 1 tablespoon of liquid soap (dish or laundry soap can be used)
- Moisten a soft cloth with the solution and generously apply it to the area that was sprayed.
- Allow it to set for at least 20 minutes. Reapply as necessary to keep the area moist with the solution.
- Scrub with a scrub brush or wipe away with the soft cloth.
- Rinse thoroughly with water. An outdoor hose will add additional pressure and allow for the easiest rinsing method.
- Repeat if necessary.
- Dispose of all remaining cleaning liquids. Do NOT store them in a sealed container. The mixture of these items releases a gas, and the container will rupture if sealed.
Additional Tips and Advice
- The cleaning solution above is only “active” for one hour. After that, the solution becomes neutral and will no longer be effective.
- Protect your hands and eyes with protective gloves and goggles.
- This is not a method to deodorize the air. Apply the solution directly to the surface of the spray.
- If the smell has entered the house, check the air filters and replace them if needed.
- Skunk spray is nature’s version of tear gas and prolonged exposure can be irritating to the eyes and skin as well as nauseating. Take breaks from cleaning as needed to avoid discomfort.
- Chlorine bleach (diluted with water) can also be used to remove the skunk spray. Test a small area first, especially if the siding is colored to ensure it does not cause discoloration.
- If there is a stain that remains, that is an oil stain. Use the oil instructions in the guide How to Remove Stains from Vinyl Siding.