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How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell on Humans

When skunks are trapped or frightened, they emit a powerful spray from the anal glands that can hit a target more than 15 feet away. A skunk's spray features a distinct and pungent odor that is difficult to remove from humans and animals 1. Traditional treatments, such as tomato juice baths, usually only mask the smell. But products that you may already have in your home can effectively neutralize the odor.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Stay outdoors and get help from someone else, if possible. The smell may linger in your home if you bring it indoors with you.

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Put on rubber gloves. Pour 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid or laundry soap into a large container, then mix with a spoon. Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda convert the skunk musk into an odorless chemical, and the soap in the mixture breaks down the oily residue so the other chemicals can work.

Remove any jewelry, then use a sponge or washcloth to apply the mixture to your skin. Work the liquid into a lather. If you are cleaning your skin indoors, stand in the shower to minimize the mess.

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Leave the mixture on your skin for at least five minutes, until it stops bubbling.

Shower or wash your skin with water after five minutes, and repeat the process if necessary.

Dilute any leftover mixture with water and pour it down the drain. The mixture cannot be covered or stored because it can explode.

Tips

Use fresh hydrogen peroxide in the mixture; old hydrogen peroxide turns to water.

You may also purchase a skunk odor-removal product and apply it to your skin as directed on the package.

You may have to throw away clothes that were sprayed.

Warnings

Avoid getting the cleaning mixture into your eyes, mouth or nose.

Protect your hair and clothing from the mixture. The chemicals can discolor clothing and bleach hair.

If the skunk spray gets in your eyes, flush your eyes with water and see a doctor if irritation persists.

The Wrap Up

When skunks are trapped or frightened, they emit a powerful spray from the anal glands that can hit a target more than 15 feet away. Traditional treatments, such as tomato juice baths, usually only mask the smell. But products that you may already have in your home can effectively neutralize the odor. Leave the mixture on your skin for at least five minutes, until it stops bubbling.

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