How To Get Skunk Smell Out Of Car – Easy Peasy Method For Home Users

Skunk smell has always been on the list of the smelliest odor in the world. This smell contains chemical substances causing nose and eye irritation, redness, tears, or even nausea. 

Luckily, skunks are nocturnal and tend to run away from humans and other animals. They don’t go around spraying you and your pets if they sense no danger. 

However, if the oily, yellow spray reaches you, your things, or your pets, they can quickly evaporate, penetrating your stuff. Therefore, to remove the skunk odor, you should take quick action and do it in the right ways. 

If you haven’t got to know any methods to help you eliminate that annoying smell, carry on reading this post on how to get skunk smell out of car now. 


Why is Skunk Smell in The List of Smelliest Odors? 

Skunk smell is the worst thing that you will never wish for it to happen to you. This smell can last for more than two weeks, and its left-over scent is super intense.

People often compare the skunk odor to the rotten eggs smell as they all make you spew up right away. And yes, the two smells are the same to each other because both of them contain thiols – sulfur-based organic compounds. 

Plus, the skunk smell also has thioacetate, which is known to be harmless at first. Yet, when the thioacetate gets a chance to be exposed to water or humidity, it will transform into thiols and produce a horrible smell.

One more reason that this smell can have such a strong impact on humans because our nose is very sensitive. It can pick up the smell in such small quantities, like 1 part per 10 billion.

How to Get Skunk Smell Out of Car – 9 Methods to Catch Up 

Liquid Dish Detergent And Distilled Vinegar

You will regularly find the skunk smell outside your car at all the exterior parts, especially the tires. We bet nearly 100% that regular soaps and water are the two things you will immediately grab to get rid of the smell. 

However, this combination won’t work in this case since it doesn’t have enough power to remove the smell fully. Instead, it would be best to use the mixture of distilled vinegar and liquid dish detergent to help pull this off.

All you need is:

  • Water
  • Liquid dish detergent 
  • Distilled vinegar
  • Towel
  • A bowl for mixing
  • A brush

Step 1: Pour the liquid dish detergent and distilled vinegar into a bowl with a ratio of 1:1. Then, you mix them until they blend well together. 

Step 2: Dip the brush into the mixture and rub it against the area you found it stinks. 

Step 3: Rinse the detergent off with water and dry it with a towel. Then, you check again to see if the smell has come off or not. If it doesn’t, repeat the process a few more times by adding more vinegar in the mixture. 

Murphy’s Oil Soap

If you own car seats made of leather, this method is the one for you. Murphy’s oil soap gives gentle care to your leather seat, yet it is still effective to pull off the stinky skunk odor. 

Murphy’s oil contains Lauramidopropylamine Oxide and Sodium Tallate, the two cleaning agents that can dismiss the oil from the skunk spray.

Materials you need:

  • Two clean cloth
  • 1 Bucket
  • One sponge
  • Murphy’s oil soap
  • Dish detergent

Step 1: Add dish detergent into the bucket with a generous amount. Then, pour hot water into that bucket and mix them. 

Step 2: Dip the sponge into that combination and pre-clean all the seats. Rinse off with water later and use the cloth to remove all the water.

Step 3: You empty the bucket again and add about four to five tablespoons of murphy’s oil. Then, pour enough water into the bucket to dilute the oil.

Step 4: Take another clean tablecloth and dip it into the mixture. Next, you use the cloth to wipe all your leather seats. You should do this step slowly to make sure that every corner of the seat is covered with the oil.

Step 5: Let it dry. You can consider redoing the process if you feel that the scent is still in your car.

Skunk Odor Remover

Skunk odor remover is also an option for getting skunk smell out of the car. You can use it to remove the awful scent from your car upholstery, carpets, and many more. 

There are many ingredients in this remover proved to remove the oil causing odor in the skunk spray. As you may not know, skunk odor remover is also an eco-friendly product. Plus, it is available in many stores, so you don’t have to worry about getting one. 

If you want to get the full power of this remover, don’t mix it with water or others but use it with its pureness. You can spray it directly onto the carpets or upholstery and spread it out with a cloth or towel.

After you have done spraying, leave all the windows and doors open to let the odor go out. Moreover, supposing you have accidentally sprayed the remover to the armrests or the consoles, make sure to wipe it off immediately to avoid damaging it. 

Air Deodorizer

Febreze Air Freshener

This method works the same as the skunk odor remover in eliminating bad scent out of your car. All you have to do is spray it into the car interior and leave it to dry. However, remember to let the doors and windows open while doing this and afterward. 

Odor Mute C

Odor Mute C is known to be one of the best options to remove skunk smell nowadays. You can get this product in any stores as it is widely available nowadays. 

Odor mute C appears in a powder form, convenient for later use as you can cut out a bit of it and save the rest for later. This product also has no smell, so you can immediately know whether it is effective or not when starting to use it. 

All you have to do is mix the powder with water and apply it to the area that needs cleaning by spraying or sponging. The enzymes in the odor mute C can eliminate the oil, causing the skin’s scent, not just masking them. 

Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

You can find these two items available in any local store, so why don’t you try and apply it in your work of removing the skunk smell? 

What you need is: 

  • One quart of hydrogen peroxide
  • One teaspoon of liquid dish soap
  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • A bowl
  • A cloth

Step 1: Mix all the ingredients into a bowl.

Step 2: Do a small test before applying the whole thing to your seats, carpets, or upholstery to ensure that the mixture is not too powerful and ruin your stuff.

Step 3: Grab a clean cloth and dip it into the mixture. Then, you gently scrub the wet cloth onto the interior surfaces of your car. Work it all around until you have reached all the corners.

Step 4: Rinse all the interior off with water. You can push a fresh cloth under the upholstery and carpet to help dry them.


Charcoal is another possible option in getting rid of the awful smell in the car, including the skunk smell. 

Usually, charcoal is used in water filters to absorb all the dirt and give back clear water. However, you can also use it in filtering the air as its role is a nature’s toxin absorber. 

With this method, you only need to leave a bag of charcoal in your car overnight. Note, the bag has to be open to let the coal do its duties. Activated charcoal is porous, and it can absorb anything that floats around in the air. 


You may think that vinegar can hardly cure these problems as it has such a harsh smell too. It sounds skeptical at first, but we guarantee you that it will work perfectly. 

There are two ways for you to apply this method in use:

  • Place a bowl or a cup of vinegar inside your car and leave it there overnight so that the vinegar’s evaporation process can eliminate bad odor.
  • You can use the mixture of vinegar and water to spray or rub against the stinky area to remove the skunk smell out of your car. Remember not to pour pure vinegar anywhere in the car as it will damage the interior and leave a harsh smell.


Suppose you have tried all the methods listed above and received no good results. In that case, it is time you should consider the help of a professional. They will know what to do and how to help you get rid of the horrible smell in your car in a quick amount of time. 

In Short

After reading, we hope you find this post on How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell From Your Car helpful to be your guidance. These methods are very easy to do, and the ingredients are all the things you can find at home or local stores. Therefore, don’t hesitate to try it out. 

Good luck with your work. Thank you for reading.

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