Can You Really Use A Can Of Coca-Cola To Get Rid Of Skunk Smells?

Though cute and seemingly cuddly from afar, nobody wants to get up close and personal with a skunk. The nauseating odor they omit when they experience threats is extremely difficult to remove from skin, pets, and clothing. People have passed down remedies to remove the odor from generation to generation, like using tomato juice to remove skunk odor and employing plain old dish soap. Some believe that applying Coca-Cola to the affected area is one of the best methods — perhaps even the best method — to remove skunk odors. We are happy to report that this generational piece of advice holds validity.

If your pets or you spend a good amount of time outdoors, there is a chance that you will come in contact with, and likely be the target of a skunk's defensive spray. A defensive skunk releases the odor stored in glands on its backside by lifting its tail and aiming at its suspected predator. The rotten egg-like odor is caused by the sulfur-based compounds in the chemical N-butyl mercaptan and can linger for up to a month. Fortunately, one of Coca-Cola's ingredients is capable of breaking down and eliminating these compounds, making it the ideal do-it-yourself skunk odor remover.

The science behind the hack

Using Coca-Cola to remove the abhorrent scent of a skunk spray is highly effective, but how? Many articles credit the acidity of the beverage, specifically caused by phosphoric acid, for its ability to break down and eliminate the odor. Phosphoric acid is often found in household cleaning products to assist in removing mineral deposits. Therefore, it makes sense that phosphoric acid breaks down the sulfur-based compounds found in skunk spray. One 12-fluid ounce can of Coca-Cola can consist of between 50 and 60 milligrams of phosphoric acid. That acid can break down 70 different minerals including carbonates and sulfides, two of the major components in N-butyl mercaptan.

Now that you understand the science behind the hack, you should also know that there is no time to waste when it comes to initiating it. Whether you're trying to remove the odor from your pet or yourself, you must initiate the hack as soon as possible. The longer you allow it to stick around, the more difficult it will be to remove.

How it works

Coca-Cola is the star of many different and extremely effective do-it-yourself hacks as it often works with other household items. This skunk odor-removing hack is no different. To remove the pungent scent a skunk can leave behind on your pet, you will need a bottle of Coca-Cola, water, latex gloves, and pet shampoo. Once you realize your pet has had an unfortunate encounter with a skunk, keep it in a safe and secure place outside while you fetch the items. Wear disposable gloves to pour the Coca-Cola on your pet and lather it into the fur and skin. Let the soda sit for five to 10 minutes, rinse, shampoo, rinse, and repeat as necessary until the scent subsides.

To remove the scent from your skin and clothing, you will need a few large bottles of Coca-Cola and a container. Go into your bathroom, remove your clothing, and put that clothing in the container. Then, pour a bottle of soda into the container and allow your clothes to soak. Step into your bathtub and carefully pour the remaining Coca-Cola bottles onto the affected areas of your body. Allow the soda to sit on your skin for about 10 minutes, rinse, wash with soap, rinse again, and repeat as needed. From now on, keep a few bottles of Coca-Cola in your fridge. Whether you end up enjoying it as a refreshing beverage or dousing in it after a stinky skunk encounter, you'll be glad you had it on hand.