The Great Stink: Removing Skunk Smell from Your Home

How is it that dogs – who can learn tricks, rescue the lost, and protect the injured – do not seem capable of learning that those funny black-and-white cats do not want to play? Most dogs will, at some point in their lives, encounter a skunk. And then there are those who encounter skunk after skunk after skunk. The smell is unmistakable, and it is so potent that humans can detect it from as far as a mile away. Imagine that smell sitting right next to you on the sofa! How can you remove the odor without removing the dog?

Beware the Skunk

Bears, badgers, wolves, coyotes, foxes, and other fierce predators rarely attack skunks. Why? Because they know that their teeth and claws are no match for a skunk’s highly-accurate spray. Dogs, well, dogs are different, as you know if your pet has met the business end of a polecat.

Dogs bring the odor home, and then spread it to everything with which they come into contact. Your furniture, your carpets, your clothing, your hands! Skunk spray contains chemical compounds called thiols and thioacetates, which degenerate into yet more thiols. Our noses are incredibly sensitive to these compounds, especially the strong sulfur scents. They also stick tenaciously to hair, cloth, and other surfaces. This is why eau de skunk lingers so long and is so difficult to remove.

Don’t Mask: Remove

Many owners try an old DIY remedy: a tomato juice bath. After a treatment, though, your dog ends up smelling like tomato juice and skunk. When exposed to the smell for long enough, our noses begin to suffer from “olfactory fatigue.” We simply can’t smell the skunk odor anymore because our noses are exhausted. Maybe we can’t smell it – but our houseguests can, as can our coworkers, friends, neighbors, and others who detect the aroma on our clothing, hair, and belongings.

You have to remove that odor, not just mask it. How? Unleash the power of enzymatic cleaners. Look for a non-toxic, biodegradable product that has ordenone, which captures odors in the air, carpeting, clothing, flooring, and other surfaces, and isolates them. From there enzymes go to work degrading the malodors, breaking them down until they are gone. With this dual-combination of ordenone or enzymes, the skunk odor is eliminated.

Why is it important to choose an enzymatic cleaner? Because there are no harsh and potentially hazardous ingredients, you can feel safe spraying your product on your carpeting, furniture, clothing, and even directly on your dog.

Getting skunked may well be a dog rite of passage!  A good enzymatic cleaner can have your pet smelling his best in no time – at least until his next encounter with Pepe le Pew.