When someone comes in contact with a skunk, most have the same reaction. Get away from it as quickly and calmly as possible to avoid its famous stinky spray. Unfortunately, these tiny furry black and white animals pack quite a punch when they use their spray to defend themselves. It is an unpleasant experience, and when someone finds themselves in this situation, it is good to know what to do, whether it is a person or a pet.
Why Are They So Smelly?
A skunk’s long-lasting and overpowering smell comes from this special noxious odor produced in their scent glands. It has a sulfur-based organic compound known as thiols, and when these meet, there is a blast of acrid scent similar to rotten eggs.
There is also another compound in their spray called thioacetates that is dormant in the beginning but eventually morphs into a smell-producing thiol when exposed to water or humidity. This could potentially happen days after the initial spray from the skunk. The thioacetate is what makes a skunk spray last for so long.
Avoiding getting sprayed is what everyone wants, but when it becomes unavoidable, knowing the best way to reduce the longevity of the smell becomes the priority. Depending on the area the skunk is found, it would be a good idea to call wildlife removal services first to avoid others having the same fate. Once that is done, it is time to work on the smell.
Removing The Smell From Pets
Despite what the media has shown, tomato juice does not eliminate the smell when a pet gets sprayed. Instead, a homemade mixture a pet owner can make at home will help get rid of the stink quicker.
This mixture includes one quart of three percent hydrogen peroxide. Using this ingredient with caution is essential as it can cause a pet’s coat to lighten if left on for too long. The next ingredient is a teaspoon of baby shampoo or grease-removing dish detergent and then a fourth of a cup of baking soda. Once that is all mixed up, the pet owner will want to lather it through the pet’s fur. Once that is done, let the mixture sit for five minutes. It is crucial not to go over the five minutes to avoid the fur lightening. If the smell is still present, it is okay to repeat the process.
Removing The Smell From Humans
When a skunk sprays a human, the first instinct is to jump in the shower. This is the best thing to do because the shower will oxidize the thiols into sulfonic acid, which barely contains any smell.
It is vital to wash the entire body with deodorizing soap or use a grease-cutting dish detergent. When washing hair, the type used for oily hair is best to get the smell out. There is also the option to soak in a tub with two to four cups of baking soda for fifteen to twenty minutes. Make sure the water is hot, though, that with the help of the baking soda will remove the skunk residue from the skin.
Skunk smell is never pleasant, but following these processes will help remove the smell quickly and efficiently.