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Wooden Decks

Helpful Hints for the Average Homeowner

Deodorizing the skunk smell on washable articles and pets

No, tomato juice just won't hack it - no matter what you've heard or read.  There is, however, something that you CAN do (yourself) without professional help or any expensive procedures.  And you can get all of the supplies you need in any grocery and drugstore!  It's not caustic, won't stain or hurt anything that can get wet with H2O. That includes you or perhaps your unlucky pet.

This procedure was tried on the lady with the skunk smell under her deck.  The area was sprayed three separate times with this solution, at which point it disappeared, and not detectable (by her) even after it rains.  I think two shots would have done it, but she insisted on a third treatment.

This technique will only work on items that can be washed or soaked in water.  It won't work successfully on leather items, and when unpainted (dead) wood is sprayed by a skunk, you should do this as soon as possible.  Our treatments to the deck of the above lady was complicated by minimal clearance underneath and the fact that it had been three years since the original event.

A skunk's smell is composed mainly of low molecular weight thiols.  Thiols are extremely odorous and difficult to remove.  However, many factories use alkaline hydrogen peroxide to remove hydrogen sulfide (a thiol) from the waste gas streams in many manufacturing process.  This same method will also work for destroying excess thiols in dilute aqueous solutions.

The formula for use on pets and clothing is as follows: one quart of 3 % hydrogen peroxide (from drugstore), a half cup of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and one teaspoon liquid (dish) soap.  After bathing it in this mixture, rinse pet or clothing with plain tap water.

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