How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell

published on July 20, 2020

With summer on the horizon, many of us will soon be hitting the trails to enjoy all that nature has to offer But sometimes, we might get a little more than we bargained for Skunks are an ever present, lurking critter of biochemical warfare, and their horrendously odorous sprays can leave both you and your dog smelling pretty foul Let’s take a look at what gives these souped-up relatives of the weasel their potent stench, as well as some chemical tips for what to do if you’re so unlucky to be accidentally sprayed by one Skunks are nocturnal animals that prefer to keep to themselves, but when they sense danger,

Their primary defense mechanism is to spray a nasty smelling cocktail of chemicals out of their butts These chemicals, when at high enough concentrations, can do a number on more than just your nose They act as a lachrymator similar to tear gas, and cause your eyes and nose to start dripping The smell is so strong it can make you throw up, and it’s been shown that the human nose can detect this stuff in quantities as low as 1 part per 10 billion, and to put it into context, that would equivalent to 1 pinch of salt on 100

Tons of potato chips Before they rely on their revolting last resort, they put work into letting you know that it’s coming They stamp their feet, raise their tails, hiss, and even show you their rear ends – if you don’t get this message, then get ready for the stench To spray you, the skunk uses two anal glands that can ferociously blast an oily yellow liquid up to three meters out For the most part, skunks try their best to not have to use the stuff because once

Their supply is depleted, it takes them over a week to produce enough of it again, which leaves them pretty helpless against predators There are many species of skunks in North America, and each one has their own cacophony of horrendously smelling chemicals, but there are some molecules that make a statement louder than others The chemicals that give the spray its initial musky, rotten eggs kind of stench are sulfur containing organic compounds called thiols These three are the most common among

Skunk species and they are highly volatile, which means they make their way into the air as vapor quite easily, and therefore, into our noses It’s obvious when you’ve been skunked by thiols, but it’s the next group of molecules that will really have you thinking twice about running into a skunk again Thioacetates are also present in the oil, but don’t make themselves known right up front The structure of these compounds is quite similar to the thiols, except instead

Of having a hydrogen bonded to a sulfur, they have an acetyl group When they come in contact with water, they react to form the thiols that initially made you want puke This feature can allow the stench to last for days, kind of like an extended release thiol It’s the gift that keeps on punishing! So what do you do if you or your dog accidentally get sprayed? Many claim that that tomato juice, oatmeal, or beer baths can squash the odor Chemically speaking, that’s a waste of marinara,

Breakfast, and bev What’s really going on is that after a long period of smelling skunk, your nose will begin to fatigue and become numb to the aroma So after covering yourself in foodstuffs, that smell begins to overpower the skunk volatiles that are still holding on, but does nothing to mute them The real ticket is oxidation When you oxidize the skunky thiols, the reaction changes them into chemicals called sulfonic acids which have little to no odor The most tried-and-true

Way to eliminate the stench of skunk from your dog’s fur is to mix ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of baby shampoo into one quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide Lather that on, and let it set in for five minutes, then rinse it off Repeat if necessary, but be wary because this stuff could possibly lighten your dogs fur Now, we wouldn’t suggest using this on yourself, but rather, just hop into a hot shower and lather yourself up with soap and shampoo until the smell is gone

Happy hiking folks We really hope that if you do have a run in with a skunk, that you keep this knowledge handy After all a bottle of tomato juice saved, is a bottle of tomato juice earned Anyone out there ever been directly sprayed by a skunk? Be honest , how bad was it exactly? Let us know down in the comments, and as always, thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you again very soon

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