Neutralize skunk odor
Updated May 26, 2016
I found this article in the Denver Post and wanted to save it and have it available in case I needed it in the future. This seems to be the definitive solution to neutralizing the smell of skunk spray. The article was written by William F. Wood, Department of Chemistry at Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA. Link to the article. He goes into the chemistry of skunk spray which is interesting.
To neutralize or deodorize skunk spray, the chemicals in the secretion must be changed to a different type of molecule. Tomato juice does not work (see below for an explanation).
For pets that have been sprayed, bathe the animal in a mixture of:
1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide (from drug store)
1/4 cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
and a teaspoon of liquid detergent.
After 5 minutes rinse the animal with water. Repeat if necessary. The mixture must be used after mixing and will not work if it is stored for any length of time. DO NOT STORE IN A CLOSED CONTAINER - it releases oxygen gas so it could break the container. This mixture may bleach the pet's hair. I have heard of one black Labrador retriever that was chocolate colored after this treatment. (Paul Krebaum's Recipe from Chemical & Engineering News , October 18, 1993, p. 90).
Some additional tips. Do this outside so the volatile skunk spray does not contaminate your house. To remove residual skunk odor from your clothes and any towels or rags used in this clean up procedure, wash them with one cup of liquid laundry bleach per gallon of water. Of course the bleach might change the color of your clothes.
For buildings, decks, etc., a solution of liquid laundry (Chlorox®) bleach (1 cup per gallon) will work. CAUTION - THIS MAY BLEACH THE BUILDINGS, DECKS, ETC. Try it on a small area if bleaching may be a problem. The bleach must come in contact with the spot where the secretion was sprayed. Repeated applications may be necessary for large amounts of the skunk spray. Bleach will kill plants so keep it off of and away from the dirt on ajacent plants. DO NOT USE THIS ON PETS. It will not work for skunk spray that has drifted over a large area or is trapped in a house. Only time and adequate ventilation will help in this case.