Top 5 Best Skunk Smell Removers (2021 Review)

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Home > Product Reviews > Skunk Products > Top 5 Best Skunk Smell Removers (2021 Review)

Looking for the best skunk smell removers for dogs and humans?

Perfect, you’re in the right spot! In this Pest Strategies guide you’ll learn:

  • What skunk smell removers are and how they work
  • If they’re effective at killing the skunk odor on dogs or people
  • How to use a skunk smell remover properly
  • If they’re safe around children and pets
  • And our recommended picks!

When you, or more likely, your pet (probably dog!) gets sprayed by a skunk, the horrendous smell and linger for weeks afterward.

People have reported their dog getting wet five or six weeks after being sprayed and suddenly smelling the skunk odor on them again. If you’ve ever gone through this ordeal, you know it’s not fun.

So, what can be done? Anything?

The only honest answer is a definite maybe. Skunk odors are incredibly tenacious and every situation is different. What works in one instance won’t necessarily work in another which is why there are tons of products to help keep skunks away. We’ll tell you what we found and let you make your own decision.

Ready to get started? Below is a list of our top products, continue on to learn more about skunk spray and how to get rid of the potent odor!

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Van Den Heuvel’s R86 Industrial Odor Eliminator

  • Environmental odor eliminator intended for industrial usages
  • It’s non-toxic and bio-degradable odors
  • Works on many different odors

Our top pick is Van Den Heuvel’s R86 Industrial Odor Eliminator

Why?

Because it eliminates more than just skunk odors. It combines over 30 different essential oils, natural ingredients, and salt.

If you follow the directions, it can be applied to almost any wet or dry surface. It is biodegradable and non-toxic, it’s made of the natural ingredients, and it is safe to use around children and pets. Further, it’s non-flammable and can be used in ashtrays to eliminate cigarette odors.

It works very quickly on most odors but on dogs with thick fur, it may take several applications on successive days to eliminate the skunk smell.

Keep reading to learn more!

Reviewed By:
Ed Spicer

Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!

Best Overall
Overall Rating
4.8
Best Service
Overall Rating
4

Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover

Features
  • Liquid enzymes chemically neutralizes odor
  • Good results
  • Works better on short-haired pet

Skunk Away

Features
  • Safe for dogs and other pets
  • Convenient spray bottle
  • Veterinarian approved

Skunk-Off Liquid Soaker

Features
  • It works on hard surfaces
  • No chemicals or enzymes
  • Works very fast

De-Skunk Odor Destroying Shampoo

Features
  • Works fairly well
  • Bio-degradable
  • Completely remove smell

Van Den Heuvel’s R86 Industrial Odor Eliminator

Features
  • Industrial strength
  • Works on many different odors
  • Non-toxic and bio-degradable

Table Of Contents

    What Are Skunk Smell Removers?

    Skunk spray is an oily, yellow-tinted liquid that will penetrate hair, clothing, fabric, wood, and any porous material. It will continue to smell for day and weeks after the skunk is long gone or dead. A skunk smell remover is any substance that will remove the smell as opposed to merely masking it with another odor.

    This can be difficult. Oils aren’t easy to remove from any surface and the oil in skunk spray is particularly difficult to get out. This is why researchers at universities such as Penn State recommend using a mixture of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup (70 g) baking sodium bicarbonate, and 1-2 teaspoon (5-10 ml) liquid dish soap to treat sprayed surfaces.

    Read Also: What are the best traps to catch a skunk?

    It chemically neutralizes the skunk odor. The instructions for it say to combine the ingredients in an open container and use it immediately. After washing the area (or your dog) with it, let it soak in for five minutes then rinse it off.

    Depending on how strong of a shot of skunk odor the area was doused with, you might have to repeat it several times.

    How Do Skunk Smell Removers Work?

    The first two ingredients in the above solution work together to form what is called an alkaline peroxide. It chemically alters the musk into an odorless chemical called sulfonic acid.

    The soap merely acts to facilitate the process by breaking down the skunk oil just like it removes grease and oil from dirty dishes. This makes the musk more susceptible to chemical alteration by the first two ingredients.

    The other odor removers on our list each have their own chemical mode of action, which the manufacturers apparently prefer to keep to themselves.

    Are Skunk Smell Removers Effective?

    Yes and no. For instance, many people swear that tomato juice gets rid of the skunk smell.

    No, it doesn’t.

    What it does is mask the skunk smell with its own stronger smell. You could get the same result from using a strong smelling perfume, although that costs a lot more than tomato juice.

    There is a chemical in skunk spray called thiols, which contains sulfur and produces the distinctive smell of skunks. Their spray also contains a precursor chemical called thioacetates. It slowly degrades into the smelly thiols.

    That slow, but continual degradation process is what makes the skunk smell so persistent. Chemicals such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide work to neutralize thiols and thioacetates.

    Any skunk remover that doesn’t contain either bleach or hydrogen peroxide isn’t going to be completely effective at eliminating the odor.

    Compare Pest Control Companies Near You

    How To Use A Skunk Smell Remover

    Follow. The. Directions. To. The. Letter.

    Far too often people try to cut corners with skunk removal treatments then wonder why it didn’t work. Remember, you’re talking about a real-life chemistry experiment in your home.

    Think of it as a super-sensitive soufflé. If you don’t follow the directions exactly right when you’re making a soufflé it won’t rise, or it will fall too quickly when you take it out of the oven. Chemistry experiments are even more exacting.

    Read Also: What are good repellents for skunks?

    Remember also, removing skunk spray from a pair of blue jeans is easier than removing it from your dog’s fur.

    Short-haired dogs will be easier to treat than long-haired ones, and treating any dog around their face will be difficult at best. God help you if it was your cat that got sprayed in the face. You’re on your own with that one.

    Are Skunk Smell Removers Safe Around My Pets and Children?

    Yes. The usual cautions apply about not getting it in their eyes, nose, ears, and throat but other than that, there shouldn’t be any danger.

    Products Reviewed

    When you’re reading these reviews, keep in mind that although we’re reviewing skunk smell removers, we’re listing them by order of their effectiveness at odor removal in general.

    Some of them explicitly advertise themselves as being a shampoo or treatment for pets, while others are broad-spectrum odor removers that can be used on a wide variety of fabrics and surfaces.

    Related Articles

    Van Den Heuvel’s R86 Industrial Odor Eliminator

    This is an environmental odor eliminator intended for industrial usages. It’s non-toxic and bio-degradable. It works mechanically instead of chemically so its suitability for skunk odor removal is questionable. It uses salt and essential oils to cover and absorb odors. In other words, it works in much the same fashion as tomato juice to mask skunk odors rather than extinguishing them.

    The Good And The Bad

    • Industrial strength
    • Works on many different odors
    • Non-toxic and bio-degradable
    • Masks skunk smell instead of eliminating it
    Overall Rating
    4.8

    Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover

    This is the first product in our list that is explicitly intended to remove skunk odors. It uses liquid enzymes that neutralize odor-causing organic material in the skunk spray. You have to wash your dog with a skunk shampoo then apply this odor remover. Let the dog’s coat air dry.

    There have been fairly good results with this product. As always, it works better on short-haired cats and dogs than on long-haired ones. It will get most of the odor but unless you’re willing to shave your pet bald and let them grow new hair, you’ll have to put up with a faint skunk odor from their undercoat for quite some time.

    The Good And The Bad

    • Liquid enzymes chemically neutralizes odor
    • Good results
    • Works better on short-hair
    • Requires use of skunk shampoo
    • Doesn’t remove all smell from long hair

    Skunk Away

    Skunk Away is specially formulated for dogs. It uses combined ingredients to react to skunk odors by neutralizing them through a chemical reaction.

    Although it is strong, it can be used for most dogs, big and small. It is also safe to apply on most fabrics. Use for carpets, clothing, and camping gear.

    The spray solution should be left on the surface for at least 60 minutes. A follow-up treatment may be needed for stubborn odors. Also, be sure to cover the dog’s eyes during spraying.

    To activate the dry powdered pet odor remove, fill the spray bottle with water. Shake the bottle to mix thoroughly. The solution is good for up to 30 days.

    The Good And The Bad

    • Safe for dogs and other pets
    • Convenient spray bottle
    • Veterinarian approved
    • Safe for use on most fabrics
    • Takes over an hour to work
    • Have to use almost immediately when mixed
    • The sprayer can sometimes break

    Skunk-Off Liquid Soaker

    This shampoo contains water, and what it calls a proprietary blend of essential oils and preservatives. There are no chemicals or enzymes in it. Proprietary, in this case, means the manufacturer wants to keep it a secret.

    This is another masking agent. As a mask, it is no better and no worse than any other product. The stronger the essential oils used in it, the better it will work.

    The Good And The Bad

    • It works on hard surfaces
    • No chemicals or enzymes
    • Works very fast
    • Masks odors but doesn’t remove them

    De-Skunk Odor Destroying Shampoo

    The list of ingredients on this product is impressive: deionized water, nonionic emulsifiers, citric acid, propylene glycol, pine oil extract, isoparaffinic solvent, polyquaternium 10, and a fragrance. It is basically a de-greaser that attacks the oil in the skunk musk and washes it away.

    It is shampoo so wash your dog or cat with it as soon as they come in with skunk odor on them. Leave it on their fur for three to five minutes then rinse them off. Repeat the process at least once, and as many more times as necessary until the smell is gone. Be prepared to use the whole bottle if your pet has long hair.

    The Good And The Bad

    • Works fairly well
    • Bio-degradable
    • Completely remove smell
    • May have to use all of it at once
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