Once you have gotten a good whiff of the spray from a skunk, you will never have a problem identifying the odor again.
If you walk into your garage and you recognize that smell the first thing you are going to ask yourself is how did a skunk get in the garage and is it still running around in there.
There is something else you should consider and that is if the appliances in your home run on gas you may need to call the gas company to make sure you do not have a gas leak anywhere.
Once that has been checked out, you can safely assume a skunk has left its scent in your garage.
Why Does a Skunk Leave His Scent?
There are a number of reasons why a skunk might leave his scent somewhere. It is mainly something they use as a defense if they feel trapped or in danger.
The odor is emitted from a set of glands that are located on each side of the skunk’s anus. The spray contains chemicals that are made up of sulfur causing it to smell just like eggs that are rotten. Natural gas contains the same chemicals known as thiols.
The skunk is able to control exactly where it wants to spew its odiferous scent. What the skunk does when it decides it is in danger and is ready to spray is raise its back into an arched position and turn around so it can release the spray in its chosen direction.
Other reasons that a skunk may release its scent is if it is sick or if it is trying to protect its babies. Once a skunk releases its spray it takes about 10 days to build back up in its system.
This is good news for you but it leaves the skunk defenseless.
How Can You Get Rid of this Skunk Smell?
Once you definitely identify the smell, you should check to make sure the animal is not still in your garage. Skunks are nocturnal animals so if you think one has been frequenting your garage you might want to leave the door open until it gets dark giving it a chance to get back outside.
Make sure to check where the scent is the strongest to make sure the skunk is not ill, hasn’t given birth, or has died in your garage. If you do find the animal and it needs to be removed, call your local animal control office and see if they can send someone out to take it safely off the premises.
There are several ways to get rid of the skunk smell in your garage. If you find that the skunk scent is on clothing that was stored in the garage, you can remove the odor by washing the clothes in hot water using your laundry detergent with a half cup of baking soda.
To make sure all of the odor has been removed it is best to let the clothing air dry naturally.
Here are some ways you can get the skunk scent out of your garage:
1 – Vinegar
You can either use a mixture of 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water that you can put into a spray bottle or you can put small bowls of vinegar around your garage to absorb the odor. You can use regular white vinegar or apple cider vinegar for either usage.
2 – Peroxide mixture
This is a very effective way of getting rid of the nasty skunk smell right away. Mix together a quart of hydrogen peroxide (3-percent) with 1/4 cup of baking soda along with a teaspoon of liquid soap used for dishwashing.
You can put this mixture in a spray bottle and use it in the most pungent areas. Keep it on hand so you can reach for it at a moment’s notice if you ever need it again.
3 – Baking soda
If after cleaning your garage you find that you are carrying the scent around with you add a good amount of baking soda – about four cups should work – into a hot bath and soak in it for 20 minutes.
Rinse thoroughly and you should be free of the odor completely.
4 – Bleach
Combine one cup of bleach with nine cups of water (or you can make larger amounts in the 9 to 1 ratio) to clean skunk odors from the garage floor.
5 – Activated charcoal
Charcoal is another item that is effective in absorbing strong odors. You can find bags of activated charcoal or you can even just use some briquettes if you have some already. Place the charcoal in some bowls the same way you use vinegar.
6 – Products made specifically for skunk scent removal
One product you can try is Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover. If you want to speed things along you can order this product online and start breathing freely again. It is a neutralizing formula and not just something to cover over the smell.
It actually breaks it down and it is safe to use around pets and children.
Additional Things You Should Do to Eliminate the Skunk Smell
- If your dog was the recipient of a skunk spray rinse him or her off immediately with water. In addition, one suggestion was to spread vanilla extract on the dog’s fur to help get rid of the strong scent. Rinse your dog thoroughly with water after letting the vanilla seep in for about 15 minutes.
- Open up the garage door and any windows that are in it to completely air out the place.
- If the garage is attached to your home you should take a minute and change out your air filters. This will keep the odor from making its way into your house.
- If your dog did get sprayed make sure you clean your pet’s bed and any toys he may have already been in contact with.
Can You Do Anything to Prevent the Skunk from Returning?
There are some steps you can take to make sure you don’t get a return visit from a skunk checking out your garage.
- Skunks are always on the lookout for food so make sure your trash cans are tightly secured and there are no bowls of dog or cat food lying around the garage.
- Make sure you close and lock your garage so skunks can’t get in.
- Secure and seal windows so skunks can’t find another way into your garage.
- There are some scents that skunks cannot tolerate. Keep small bowls of mothballs, orange peels, and/or cotton balls soaked in ammonia to deter them from entering or staying in your garage.
- Finally, after you have your cup of coffee in the morning put the coffee grounds in a bowl and place around your garage. This is another smell that skunks are not fond of.
A valuable suggestion by someone who had experience dealing with skunk odors was to apply Vicks Vaporub inside the base of your nostrils. This will help you avoid inhaling the pungent skunk smell. It is definitely an odor you will never forget!
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.