Skunks are famous for their potently bad odor, and you’ve likely already experienced the all-encompassing, noxious fumes of skunk spray if you’re reading this article.
These smelly fumes have often been compared to tear gas because they quite literally make you tear up and produce mucus.
Luckily, getting rid of skunk smell can be done with completely products (and with quick action).
As insinuated by the title, the natural products are the amazingly versatile essential oils. Yes, essential oils can help get rid of skunk smell, as well as do the following (don’t worry, these will open in a new tab):
What Is Skunk Smell? Scientifically Speaking
Skunk smell, or skunk spray, is a sulfur-based spray that can permeate clothing and the environment for days on end.
It contains smelly compounds called thiols that are noxious and are often compared to rotten eggs.
And if the thiols weren’t enough, skunk spray also contains thioacetic acid. Though this acid remains dormant and non-smelly at first, it can morph into thiols when it comes into contact with water or humidity.
And this process is ongoing, often occurring days after the skunking, making skunk spray long-lasting and hard to get rid of.
That’s Awful, Why Would Skunks Do This To Us?
Skunks are nocturnal animals, constantly on-guard for predators that hunt in the dark and rely heavily on smell. To protect themselves, skunks evolved to produce a foul spray that knocks out their predators senses.
The sulfur-containing thiols also act as anesthetics and antispasmodics, which initiates a slowed physical reaction in the predators, allowing the skunk extra time to escape.
Though skunk spray is not permanently harmful, it can cause severe irritation and temporary blindness if sprayed in the eyes.
Can Essential Oils Get Rid Of Skunk Smell?
Essential oils are powerful natural tools that can be effectively used to help rid the scent of skunk smell from your home, clothing, skin, and even your pets. They help by cleaning, deodorizing, and purifying the air.
Certain essential oils are also known for neutralizing odors and getting rid of even the worst smells (hello, skunk spray!) while dispersing their pleasant scent.
Possibly, even more effectively than synthetic deodorizers.
When teamed with other natural substances such as white vinegar, essential oils can be extremely helpful in getting rid of skunk smell.
Best Essential Oils For Getting Rid Of Skunk Smell
Lemon is one of the most popular essential oils for eradicating smells. It has shown great promise in controlling amines or strong, foul-smelling odors like raw fish or dirty diapers.
How To Use
To use lemon essential oil, place a few drops into a diffuser to spread the scent around your home.
Lemon oil may also be diffused with white vinegar or dropped into a bowl of white vinegar to catch and remove the skunk smell.
Lime essential oil is known for its purifying properties and refreshing scent. Citrus oils like lime are also said to control protein degradation, a significant factor in sulfur-based odors like skunk smell.
How To Use
Diffusing a few drops of lime essential oil can cleanse the air of noxious fumes, bacteria, allergens, and fungal spores. Lime essential oil also pairs well with other oils such as lemon and orange in DIY room sprays or oil blends.
Like other citrus oils, orange essential oil contains a high percentage of limonene, which, alongside other compounds, gives it strong deodorizing abilities.
Thus, it can be useful for masking any unpleasant smells, such as skunk spray, or simply for adding a refreshing scent to the room.
How To Use
Orange essential oil can be diffused and spread throughout a room or added to a deodorizing spray.
Clove and Cinnamon
Clove and cinnamon essential oils, known for their warm and spicy scents, show promise in reducing sulfide-based odors and other strong smells.
When diffused or sprayed into the air, these essential oils will form a thin layer of film around the odorous molecules, capturing them and neutralizing their odor.
How To Use
Both clove and cinnamon essential oils can be diffused or added to a deodorizing spray.
How To Make A Natural Deodorizing Room Spray
One way to mask and deodorize your space after a run-in with a skunk is to create a natural air-freshening spray.
All you need is 1.5 tablespoons of baking soda, three cups of water, 30-40 drops of essential oils, and a misting spray bottle:
- Mix together the essential oils and the baking soda before adding them to the bottle.
- Pour in the three cups of water and shake to mix up the solution.
- Spray in the places where you need to get rid of the smell.
Why the baking soda? Baking soda has become a tried and true way of deodorizing and destroying skunk smell.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does Skunk Odor Last?
Skunk spray is oily and pungent and becomes harder to neutralize the longer you wait. Depending on the amount of spray released, the odor can last for up to a month. Though it typically lasts from two to three weeks.
How Do Skunks Spray?
Surprisingly, a skunk’s first line of defense is not to spray. Its first line of support is to stomp, hiss, and puff, doing a little dance that warns predators to stay back.
If this fails, the skunk will turn around, bend into a horseshoe shape, lift its tail, and release its fumes. This oil-based spray comes from the skunk’s anal glands and can shoot from ten to up to 22 feet away.
So these are the best essential oils for getting rid of skunk smell, we hope you found this useful and that it will help you, well, get rid of skunk smell!
Check out yet another essential oil that might help, amber essential oil.