800px-Striped_SkunkDogs love to explore. It’s in their blood to follow their nose and check out their surroundings. Occasionally they come across some wild critters who aren’t as interested in saying hello as they are. Skunks would be up there on the list of critters who may not want to say hi and will let your dog know by giving them a parting gift – a healthy dose of a pungent spray that is one of their main defense mechanisms. The odor resulting from this spray is very hard to remove once in contact with clothing, gear or fur. Skunk spray is composed of thiols, the same compounds that produce the unpleasant aroma of rotten eggs. Thiols are acidic and not water soluble, a combination that results in a substance that sticks to hair, fabric, skin, etc. and is difficult to wash off. For this reason, we wanted to share with your our Polecat Perfume recipe, which reacts and oxidizes the thiols in skunk spray. Oxygen is added to the sulfur atoms of thiols in a chemical process converting the thiol molecules into sulfones and sulfoxides. These converted compounds become odorless and water soluble making the skunk spray easier to wash off.

If you find yourself needing to wash away skunk smell, try out Polecat Perfume recipe below.

1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1 teaspoon dish-washing detergent
Mixing the three ingredients creates an effervescing action that oxidizes and allows skunk spray to be washed away. This process breaks down and neutralizes the oils that bind the skunk’s scent to pets. This recipe is safe for pets, humans and the Environment, however you do want to keep the wash out of the eyes and mouth.

Things you will need:
1) 1/2 Gallon or larger bucket to mix the Polecat Perfume in.
2) Access to plenty of rinse water.
3) The will and compassion to get beyond the skunk smell and to know that things will be better in a few minutes.

Wash Procedure
1) Prepare your pet or item to be de-skunked by having a bucket for mixing the Polecat Perfume recipe as well as access to plenty of warm rinse water. An exceptionally dirty dog (muddy, oily, or otherwise) will require more Polecat Perfume to overcome the excessive dirt. For best results wash your pet before application of the Polecat Perfume recipe. Following this simple step allows the active ingredients to break down and neutralize the skunk spray. Once the Polecat Perfume is thoroughly rinsed away, carrying the skunk odor with it, a good wash with dog shampoo and rinse will complete the task.
2) Mix the three components, the 3% hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish-washing detergent together in your bucket. Important: mixing must take place in an open container. Any attempt to contain the activation could cause the container to burst due to the effervescing action of the three ingredients.
3) Immediately apply and work the mixture into the pets fur and any other items that may have come into contact with the skunk spray, collars, leashes, etc. The reaction created by mixing the components together lasts about three minutes. Allow the mixture to set on the item being washed, working it constantly into the fur for 7-10 minutes. Once you are satisfied with the wash, you will need to rinse the pet well. As with any shampoo, we recommend flushing the eyes with plenty of water if the mixture comes into contact.

3 thoughts

  1. Dogs can be very adventurous like the German Shepherd for example. This breed moves a lot around the house and can be irritating when you start seeing things messed up. Hence, they must not be taken lightly and with extra patience. 🙂

  2. That recipe works well. Here are some tips that apply to using the recipe: “The recipe WORKS, just be sure of 2 things… #1 you must use Original DAWN Dish washing Soap, nothing else works as good at removing the oil! #2 You must use COLD WATER – warm/hot water ACTIVATES the skunk oil & will set it deeper. One other tip? Buy bucket at $1 Store to mix up (like science experiment & needs rm to bubble, fizz, expand), then when done, THROW AWAY. You may also wash dog bed covers, blankets, etc. in same recipe (if they were exposed to the oil, mix fresh batch), but air dry – DON’T PUT IN DRYER, even on low/cold.”

    1. Good tips. I second the Original DAWN formula. As for the cold water…When this first happened to us, it was both my dogs in the middle of winter at 3 in the morning. It was awful for all of us!

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