How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell on Car Tires Quickly

June 16, 2024

Running over a skunk can leave a dreadful and persistent smell in and on your car. The skunk odor is notorious for lingering, sometimes for months if not tackled properly. Here's a comprehensive guide on how to get rid of skunk smell on car tires and the vehicle's interior.

Initial Steps to Control the Skunk Odor

Quick action is crucial. First, park your car in a well-ventilated area to help dissipate some of the odor. Wearing gloves and protective gear, remove any loose debris from the affected areas. However, avoid touching the sprayed surface directly to prevent spreading the smell further.

how to get rid of skunk smell on car tires
"If you need me today, I'll be trying to rid myself, my dogs and my house of the skunk smell after Ollie and I were sprayed last night. Hopefully I won't have to use this de-skunk kit. 🙂 - Dan" by polleydan is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell on Car Tires

Skunk smell can cling stubbornly to tire rubber. Start by gently cleaning the tires with mild soap and water. Next, apply a mix of distilled vinegar and water to further neutralize the odor. For better results, sprinkle some baking soda over the tires, let it sit for a few minutes, and rinse it off with water.

If the initial cleaning doesn't work, use specialized skunk odor removers designed for car exteriors. Ensure you follow the manufacturer's guidelines for the best results. Pressure washing the tires is another option if the smell lingers.

Addressing the Smell Inside the Car

The skunk smell can easily permeate the car's interior, making it almost unbearable. To combat this, ventilate the cabin by opening the doors and windows. Clean hard surfaces with a mixture of vinegar and water. For cloth interiors, use a solution of water, vinegar, and a mild detergent. For leather interiors, choose a leather-safe cleaner combined with vinegar.

You can also use activated charcoal bags or baking soda to help absorb the smell inside the vehicle. Place these in strategic locations like the footwells and under the seats. Air fresheners and odor eliminators can provide temporary relief, but ensure you target the skunk smell at its source for lasting results.

Professional Help and Preventive Measures

If your efforts haven't been successful, consider seeking help from a professional car detailer who has specialized tools and products to remove persistent odors. For the future, you can take preventive measures such as parking away from skunk-prone areas and investing in protective tire covers.

Remember, prompt action and the right methods are key to effectively removing the skunk smell from your car. Don't despair if the odor doesn't dissipate immediately; sometimes it may take repeated cleaning cycles to fully eradicate the smell.

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