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Skunk Scent?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
A few minutes ago I was concluding my nightly walk with my dog when what should I see almost "dancing" in the street next to my house but a striped skunk? My dog--the great, foolish brute--was eager to "get" the skunk, but I kept him restrained on his sturdy leash. Fortunately, the skunk retreated under the neighbors' van on the other side of the street. This is the third close encounter with a skunk I've had in a little over a month. (Might've been the same skunk, the other two meetings being only about a quarter-mile away.)

I was wearing my W.W. Chan Harris tweed jacket, and this set me to worrying: What would happened if we rounded a corner, bumped into the skunk (this almost happened the first two times) and we ended up getting a full dose of the pungent fragrance of the "woods pussy"? I know that bathing a dog in tomato juice will get rid of most of the scent, but what about clothing? Is ordinary dry cleaning sufficient, or are other measures needed? Does anyone have first-hand experience with this or otherwise know what to do? If so, what do you recommend?
post #2 of 15
Don't know about skunk but hanging my jacket on my balcony above HK road traffic for a day gets rid of most odours. I had this jacket where I had failed to get rid of dog-pee smell after dry-cleaning it not once, twice, but three times. The traffic did the job in a day. (my fiance's toy poodle got too excited while standing ON my jacket)
post #3 of 15
can someone describe the smell of skunk for those of us fortuanate enough to have never encountered one?
post #4 of 15
It can smell like good weed.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salad View Post
It can smell like good weed.

No, good weed can smell like a skunk. We use to have a cat that got sprayed by a skunk. I wanted to puke after I smelled her. It is a very unpleasant smell. If I had clothes that got sprayed that cost less than 250, I'd just toss them. That shit lingers forever.
post #6 of 15
I don't think there is much you could do. Maybe laminate the jacket in plastic?
post #7 of 15
I rather fear that the fire would beckon...
post #8 of 15
Jan, I would donate the jacket to Cruiser with your compliments.
post #9 of 15
Burn it ! Also be aware skunks like racoons, are subject to having rabies.

Roger
post #10 of 15
Years ago I had a dog that got sprayed in our backyard. We let her in for a few minutes and she rubbed against all the furniture, and when the smell hit us she went right back outside. Just those few seconds of her being in the house had all our clothing smelling like skunk. It was kind of funny at work the next day hearing people ask if a skunk was killed by the office or something. It took about a week or so for the smell to fully dissipate. Our poor dog had so many baths it traumatized her for life!
post #11 of 15
I find the skunk scent oddly pleasant.
post #12 of 15
The problem with urine or skunk spray is 2 fold: (a) the stain on the garment, and (b) the odor in the garment. These are two separate issues. Urine and skunk spray are water-based stains. Dry cleaning will do next to nothing to remove water-based stains or the odor. Water-based stains (such as perspiration, juice, wine, beer, urine, etc.) must be removed by a skilled stain removal specialist BEFORE it ever reaches the inside of a dry cleaning machine. On the other hand, dry cleaning is an excellent degreaser so it's able to dissolve oil-based stains (such as body oils, creams, lotions, salad dressing, steak sauce, etc.) quite well. If the urine or skunk spray is confined to a very small area it may be possible for a dry cleaner to "flush out" both the stain as well as the odor with a steam gun. If the urine or skunk spray is distributed over a larger area, wet cleaning or soaking the entire garment may be the only solution (by the way, wet cleaning is not washing). This, of course, poses particular problems if the garment is "Dry Clean Only". But a true quality cleaner (as opposed to your neighborhood, same day service type cleaner) will have the necessary skills to wet clean most "Dry Clean Only" garments and then restore those garments to their original size, shape and hand/texture. Yes, there's an element of risk associated with wet cleaning but a true quality cleaner will have the necessary skills and judgement to minimize that risk.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by stubloom View Post
Urine and skunk spray are water-based stains.

I don't know what is meant by "water-based" stains, but it is basically false when it comes to the odor of a skunk, which stems from several -thiol (sulfur-containing organics--mercaptans) based compounds, which are hydrophobic.

Dry cleaning, and other use of organic solvents, will not likely do anything, as the odor is so potent it takes only a few parts-per-billion to be noticeable. Furthermore, overuse of powerful solvents will ruin any fabric. Steam will do nothing, it won't even phase the mercaptans. Strong peroxides, much stronger than topical hydrogen peroxide, can oxide, and thus eliminate, the mercaptans, but again at the risk of the fabric.

Basically, if you get directly sprayed, or even a glancing mist, the fabric is ruined forever. The wide area around a skunk-spray might smell like strong weed, but the direct area will smell like a horrible, putrid combination of rotten-egg, stale piss, and burnt rubber similar, but many orders of magnitude stronger, than the smell added to natural gas.
post #14 of 15
I suggest you shoot the Skunk before you encounter it again...preferably from range. I am sure you have the right weapon for the job.

Mike
post #15 of 15
We have quite few skunks in our neighborhood, and my dog, an airedale, is enthusiastic about going after them. I walk him on a long retractable leash and he's twice been sprayed. Unless you are very unlucky, the dog will get hit but you won't. At that point, do everything possible to keep your dog from rubbing up against you and don't let him in the house where even briefly rubbing against furniture will transfer the smell. I've found the dawn, peroxide, baking soda mixture to be far more effective than tomato juice in getting the smell off my dog.
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