How Does Tomato Juice Remove Skunk Smell

Tomato juice is renowned for its effectiveness in eliminating skunk odor. When faced with the unpleasant stench left behind by a skunk, many turn to tomato juice as a solution. This versatile red liquid acts as a powerful deodorizer, breaking down the compounds responsible for the foul smell.

While the exact science behind tomato juice’s effectiveness remains somewhat of a mystery, its acidic properties are believed to neutralize and eradicate the malodorous scent. Additionally, the natural enzymes present in tomato juice aid in eliminating the skunk odor, leaving behind a more tolerable aroma.


To remove skunk smell with tomato juice, follow these steps in detail:

1. Gather the necessary supplies:
You will need a bottle or can of tomato juice, disposable gloves, a basin or bucket large enough to hold your affected clothing or pet, a sponge or cloth, and a mild pet shampoo (if treating a pet).

2. Put on disposable gloves:
Before you begin the process, put on a pair of disposable gloves to protect your hands from the skunk odor and to prevent the tomato juice from staining your skin.

3. Prepare the basin or bucket:
Fill the basin or bucket with enough tomato juice to completely submerge the affected clothing or to generously coat your pet’s fur. Make sure the container is large enough to hold the item or pet comfortably.

4. Immerse the clothing or pet:
If treating clothing, place the affected items into the basin or bucket filled with tomato juice. Submerge them completely and ensure that the tomato juice covers the entire skunk-sprayed area. If treating a pet, generously pour tomato juice over its fur, making sure to cover all areas that have been sprayed.

5. Soak or apply the tomato juice:
Allow the clothing to soak in the tomato juice for at least 30 minutes. If treating a pet, gently massage the tomato juice into its fur, working it through the strands. Ensure that the tomato juice reaches the skin as much as possible.

6. Rinse or bathe:
After the clothing has soaked for the recommended time, remove them from the tomato juice and proceed to wash them in a regular laundry cycle using a laundry detergent. If treating a pet, rinse off the tomato juice using lukewarm water or give your pet a bath using a mild pet shampoo. Thoroughly rinse the fur to remove any remaining tomato juice.

7. Dispose of the gloves and clean the area:
Carefully remove the disposable gloves and dispose of them properly. Clean any surfaces that came into contact with the skunk-sprayed clothing or pet, using a household cleaner or detergent.

8. Check for lingering odor:
After washing the clothing or bathing your pet, check for any residual skunk odor. Repeat the tomato juice treatment if necessary, or consider using a specialized skunk odor removal product if the smell persists. Remember, tomato juice is known to help neutralize skunk odor, but it may not completely eliminate it in all cases. It’s always advisable to consult a professional for further assistance if the smell persists or if you are dealing with a large-scale skunk odor problem.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How does tomato juice effectively remove skunk smell from surfaces?

Tomato juice effectively removes skunk smell from surfaces due to its acidity and strong odor. The acid in tomato juice neutralizes the skunk’s musk, while its pungent aroma helps mask the stench.

What properties of tomato juice make it an effective odor neutralizer for skunk spray?

Tomato juice is effective at neutralizing skunk odor due to its acidic nature. The high acidity helps break down and eliminate the foul-smelling skunk compounds, reducing the odor. The enzymes present in tomato juice also help to remove the odor-causing molecules, providing relief from skunk spray.

Can you explain the chemical reaction that occurs when tomato juice is applied to skunk odor?

When tomato juice is applied to skunk odor, the main chemical reaction occurring is the break down of the smelly compounds called thiols in the skunk spray. The acid present in tomatoes helps neutralize the odor, making it less prominent or eliminating it altogether.

Are there any specific tips or techniques for using tomato juice to remove skunk smell effectively?

To effectively remove skunk smell using tomato juice, follow these tips: first, rinse off excess skunk spray with water; then, saturate the affected area with tomato juice and massage it into the fur; let it sit for at least 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Repeat if necessary.


In conclusion, tomato juice is an effective remedy for removing skunk smell due to its acidic properties. The acid in the juice helps neutralize the odor-causing molecules, breaking them down and reducing their intensity. However, it is important to note that other alternatives may provide similar or better results in odor removal.