Skunks are from the Mephitidae family of animals, best known for their ability to spray strong, unpleasant liquids from their anal glands. The skunk’s spray is an organic compound high in sulfur, which gives it a rotten egg odor.
Besides the unpleasant odor, skunk spray can cause nausea and vomiting in humans and animals, and if the spray accidentally enters your mouth, you may vomit or experience diarrhea.
The fragrance is so potent that it can linger for days or weeks on your clothes. This article is for you if you find yourself in this situation. We have presented five methods that have been tested and proven to be extremely effective in removing skunk smells from clothing.
5 Ways to Get Skunk Smell Out of Clothes
There are several tried-and-true methods for removing skunk odor from clothing. It is important to note that skunk attacks are not limited to humans; pets, properties, and personal belongings can all be sprayed. However, in this article, we will only discuss how to remove skunk odor from clothes.
1. Hot Water and Baking Soda to Get Skunk Smell Out of Clothes
Baking soda dissolved in hot water is extremely effective in removing unpleasant odors from fabrics, including skunk odors. The odor on our clothes is caused by bacterial cells, and detergents are used to break up the molecules of the bacteria cells on the fabrics to be washed.
However, not all detergents contain hard-working enzymes that can combat bacteria, necessitating the use of baking soda to enhance these detergents effectively.
Baking soda balances the pH of water by keeping it from becoming too acidic or alkaline. The steps below show how to use hot water and baking soda to remove skunk odor from clothing.
- Fill the washing machine with extremely hot water, likely around 100 degrees Celsius.
- Pour in your regular detergents.
- To the hot water, add a half-cup of baking soda.
- Soak your clothes in the solution for 30 minutes to allow the molecules of the bacterial cell to be properly broken down from the fabric.
- Run your regular washing machine cycle and rinse the cloth.
- Smell the cloth thoroughly to determine whether you will repeat the process or air dry the clothes.
Baking soda can be used as a pre-treatment agent; in this case, the clothes should be soaked overnight to allow the bacterial stain molecules to be properly broken down from the fabrics. This is usually used when the staining is tough, and the odor is strong, as in the case of the skunk smell.
2. Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide to Get Skunk Smell Out of Clothes
Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent oxidizer that breaks down odor molecules in fabrics; it is especially effective when combined with baking soda to remove tough, unpleasant odors, in this case, skunk odor.
Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are completely safe to use because they cause no skin irritation and do not discolor clothing when tested for colorfastness. This combination is extremely effective in removing clothing odor, brightening colored clothing, and whitening white clothing.
This combination is also used for teeth whitening, hair bleaching, and various other things; however, for this study, we will present steps to use this combination to remove skunk odor from your clothes.
- Fill the washer with warm water.
- To the warm water, add one quart of hydrogen peroxide.
- Mix in one-quarter cup of baking soda.
- Then, add a teaspoon or two of your regular dish soap and detergent.
- Put your stinky skunk clothes in the solution.
- Allow for some time before starting the normal wash cycle.
- Rinse, and air dry your clothes.
NOTE: The above combination must be performed in an open container and used almost immediately because oxygen is released during the process, and storage for later use can result in the closed container exploding.
Aside from removing skunk odor from fabrics, this solution can also be used to remove skunk odor from people or pets; however, care must be taken not to get the product in the eyes or mouth.
Allow the solution to sit for 5 minutes before washing and rinsing with water. Repeat the process if necessary, and always air dry your clothes.
3. Skunk-Off to Get Skunk Smell Out of Clothes
Skunk-Off is one of Thornell’s products designed to combat tough skunk odors on clothes, pets, humans, furniture, and just about any surface.
Skunk attacks and other smells from animals happen daily, and dealing with them safely and effectively is a big part of keeping your workplace clean and free of bad smells. Skunk-Off removes all traces of skunk spray from dogs, other pets, people, clothes, cars, or anything sprayed by a skunk or rubbed by a skunk-sprayed animal.
Skunk-Off doesn’t work like an enzyme or cover up the smell. Instead, it removes malodors, complex blends, and other bad smells through counteraction, absorption, molecular bonding, inhibitors, and residual actions.
- Arrange the skunk-scented clothes so that you can see the stained area.
- Wipe off any excessive skunk spray from the clothes with a paper towel.
- To remove the stain, apply Skunk-Off to the direct contact area.
- After some time, thoroughly wash the cloth.
- Rinse and hang the cloth to dry after the regular washing cycle.
- Investigate further; if the odor persists, repeat the process as necessary.
This product is a very effective odor remover; it removes skunk odor from homes, cars, pets, and so on. It is safe to use on almost any surface; however, caution must be exercised to avoid getting it into the mouth or eyes. It should also be kept out of the reach of children.
4. Odormute to Get Skunk Smell Out of Clothes
Odor Mute is a non-poisonous enzyme that removes organic odors by chemically altering the odor source, such as urine, feces, and skunk. It is a non-caustic chemical that is very safe for humans, plants, and pets; however, prolonged skin exposure can cause dead skin removal and irritation.
To be effective, Odormute must come into contact with the source of the odor. Odormute powder is easy to store and handle and keeps its full strength for up to 5 years.
- Set up a basin or bucket for the solution’s preparation.
- Measure and dissolve 1 tablespoon of odormute in 1 quart of warm water.
- Allow 5 to 10 minutes, mixing every now and then, to ensure that all the powder has dissolved.
- Then, combine this solution with the remaining water in the washing machine.
- Put your skunk-affected clothes in the washing machine and make sure to wash them within four hours of making the solution because the enzymes can only work for that long.
- Rinse, and air dry your clothes after washing.
Note that hot water should be avoided because water above 60 degrees celsius will kill the enzymes formed and make the solution useless. If you encounter a very tough stain that didn’t come off after the first wash, try repeating the procedure.
5. Epoleon N-100 to Get Skunk Smell Out of Clothes
Aside from skunk spray, pet urine odor and other animal odor problems are caused by alkali odors (ammonia, trimethylamine) and acidic odors (hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan) emitted by urine and feces.
When your pet pees, the pH of his urine is alkaline; however, when exposed to air, the pH changes to acidic. Epoleon N-100 is a highly effective odor control agent for various applications, including pet urine and musty odors in bathrooms, laundry rooms, cabinets, and basements.
Epoleon N-100 was designed primarily for extra-strong deodorization or odor neutralization in wastewater treatment and scrubbers.
It completely dissolves and neutralizes acidic and alkaline odors such as skunk odor, hydrogen sulfide, and ammonia. N-100 is not only powerful but also environmentally friendly and USDA-approved.
- First, dilute the Epoleon N-100 in water, ensuring that the dilution measurement is recommended by the manufacturer and is also dependent on the clothing needs.
- Following the dilution, spray the diluted chemical onto the stained area.
- As the water evaporates, the product will leave a slight residue.
- Allow some time to pass before washing.
- Rinse and hang your clothes to dry.
Epoleon N-100 is a concentrated product that must be diluted before use. Because of its ability to react with both acidic and alkaline gasses, it is one of the best ways to remove unpleasant odors from clothing. Epoleon N-100 is an excellent neutralizer due to its ability to react with and dissolve toxic and poisonous gasses.
There are several precautions to take when dealing with skunk odors;
When it Comes to Removing Skunk Spray from Clothes, Time is of the Essence:
The sooner you wash the clothes, the better your chances of completely removing the odor. The skunk smell can linger for several days, if not weeks. Therefore, it is critical to avoid allowing the spray from the skunk to dry into the fabrics of the clothes; otherwise, it will be extremely difficult to remove.
Method Repetition is Permitted:
All the methods presented above are repeatable. If you can no longer detect the skunk smell from the clothes after the first wash, that’s fine. If you can, repeat the process until the clothes are completely free of the skunk smell.
Exercise Extreme Caution:
When working with the chemicals described in this study, exercise extreme caution. The chemicals present in this study are safe to use; however, they should not be allowed to enter the eyes or mouth, and they should be kept out of reach of children at all times. Furthermore, the methods presented here are only for removing skunk odor from clothing, not from the body or pets.
Do Not Use the Dryer:
Removing the skunk smell is a delicate process; if the unremoved skunk smell enters the dryer, it will be even more difficult to remove. As a result, it is always best to air dry your clothes after washing them to avoid skunk particles entering the dryer.
Do Not Use Two Methods Simultaneously:
If you want to use a different method after using one, please let the cloth air dry before using the second. When chemicals are mixed incorrectly, they can produce highly toxic gasses that can cause air poisoning or cause a reaction that can harm your skin.
Frequently asked questions
Where Does the Skunk Odor Come from?
Skunks, as previously stated, are a type of animal found primarily in American and Mexican regions. When threatened, they are well-known for releasing a pungent substance called thiol as a defense mechanism. This thiol is produced by two glands under their tail; the thiol produced has a very strong odor due to its high sulfur content, and a human can perceive its smell from one kilometer away.
How Do You Avoid Being Attacked by a Skunk?
When you see a skunk, stay still or slowly move away from it so it doesn’t feel like you are a threat. If there is nowhere to go and the skunk has raised its legs as a warning, it means it is going to attack. You need to leave as soon as possible because the smell of skunk thiol is very dangerous. It can make you sick, make it hard to breathe, and even make you temporarily blind if it hits your face.
Is Skunk Spray Harmful to One’s Clothing?
Skunk spray is very oily and persistent and can leave a noticeable stain on any cloth it comes in contact with. To remove the stains, bleach can be used. However, care must be taken to ensure that the bleach does not remove the fabric’s color in the case of non-white clothing. Before using chemicals to treat stains on a fabric, it is always important to check for colorfastness.
We were able to establish five different methods that are tested and proven to be very effective in removing skunk odor from clothes. We have also outlined the precautions that must be taken to achieve the best possible result.
It is also important to emphasize that the best way to eliminate skunk odor is to avoid being attacked by a skunk.
If you used any method presented in this article and got the results you wanted, or if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please use the comments section below.