How to Remove Skunk Smell from Car Tires (Fast Ways)

At first, we all thought well it is just the tires, with a lot of driving it should just wear off right? Wrong!

It is a skunk smell, it won’t go off that easily and your car will reek. Besides, if you leave the stench to wear off on its own, it can become a permanent smell on the tires and it will be impossible to get it out.

You can also try buying new tires, only, they are so expensive. Here are some solutions you can try.

How To Get Skunk Smell Off Car Tires

Let us quickly look at 2 different ways to remove skunk smell from car tires:

  • Removal of skunk smell with Vinegar and detergent solution
  • Removal with Oxidation solution

Vinegar and detergent solution

This process is simple and effective. You just need a hose, detergent, and distilled vinegar. If you don’t have a hose, you can go for a garden hose.

Don’t have a hose yet? Get on one here.

For the detergent, please don’t use any household detergents. Hand soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, and even hair shampoo are all bad.

They contain some chemicals that are harmful to your car’s protective layer. Over time, the effects will begin to show and it will ruin your car.

You should get detergents that are meant for cars like Armor All Ultra Shine Car Wash and Wax or Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash.

Besides, your household detergent will not be effective enough to combat the smell.

Okay, so we have got our hose and detergent ready.

All you have to do is fill your hose with equal amounts of distilled vinegar, I will recommend Lucy’s Family Owned – Natural Distilled White Vinegar and detergent.

Use this solution to wash the tires thoroughly. You may also want to consider the undercarriage. Make sure you get everywhere as you wash.

Then rinse off with just water and dry. Please be careful while washing because vinegar is acidic and will not be good on your car’s paint.

If there is any contact just rinse off immediately. If the smell is so bad that after two hours the stench is there, repeat the vinegar and detergent wash.

If after that the smell persists after this you can try layering a tarp with charcoal and covering your tires with it. That will get the smell out.

Oxidation solution

Why does a skunk smell bad? Is it bad that the smell needs this much attention? What even makes it this bad? Allow me to explain.

Skunk juice contains two chemicals called thiols and thioacetates. Thiols are the cause of the immediate smell because it contains sulfur while thioacetates are the reason it lasts so long.

The juice is also kind of greasy and you how hard it is to get grease off. One way to combat thiols is through oxidation, which is basically the use of oxygen.

So, why won’t the smell just go if you need oxygen and it is all around us? Well, it’s not enough.

What you will have to do is find oxidizing agents and they are really common and easy to obtain like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

With these two you can get rid of the smell. If you are wondering about the thioacetates, it is activated by water or air so the cleaning with the liquid will deactivate it. Let’s go to how.

I will recommend Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. For your hydrogen peroxide, you should give able to get it at any convenience store.

Then again, you can just get Hydrogen Peroxide online. Now all you have to do is mix a quarter of baking soda into a quart of the hydrogen peroxide.

You can throw in some car wash detergent too. Mix thoroughly and then use as a detergent to wash your tires.

This is effective because according to experts this solution will neutralize the Thiols. So you are not getting a new smell.

Just a neutralized one. After that rinse and dry your car as you normally would. The smell should come right off.

How long does a skunk smell last on a car?

If your car has been infiltrated by a skunk whether inside or outside or even the undercarriage you want to attend it quickly.

Sometimes you don’t have to even run over one or have one smell around your car. When they release that oily yellow spray, it spreads up to three feet and affects everything it touches.

It may have been just a few minutes after the spray or even a whole day and you happen to drive your car along that road, you, my friend have become a victim and are now looking at 15 to 22 days of dealing with skunk smell.

Yes. That’s three weeks.

Think of all the dates you can’t go on or the parties you will miss out on because of that nasty smell. That sucks! Just in case you are still procrastinating cleaning it, the methods above are simple and effective.

Also the longer you leave it, the harder it will be to get it off. With time it would be like the car’s permanent smell no matter the number of air fresheners you use, especially if you had a direct experience.

Maybe then you would really have to get new tires and a few spare parts. Or have your car be condemned and just get a brand new one.

Essential oils for skunk smell in cars

We have been talking about the exterior so let’s talk about the interior. So you have the worst luck and a skunk hitched a ride in your car and then it got scared and sprayed.

What do you do? You can start by kicking the skunk out and telling it to buy its own car. Then you can cry while looking for solutions.

The thing is you can wash the foot’s mats but what of the seats made of fabric? First, you can open yo the car to the sun because the sun is a natural deodorizer. Then you can try these essential oils:

Mandarin Essential Oil

From the citrus family, the smell is a sedative that eases tension and anxiety. The sweet strong smell will override the skunk smell.

You can also mix it with other air fresheners and use it as a scent. It also mixes well with other essential oils. Gya Labs Mandarin Essential Oil (CHECK IT OUT ONLINE) is a good option if you will go for the mandarin scent.

It has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties.

A medical benefit is that it will protect your wounds from microbial infections.

Spearmint Essential Oil

Similar to peppermint, this essential oil will not only kick out the skunk smell but will help you breathe better and soothe you if you are carsick.

They are not as intense as peppermint oil, and the menthol in spearmint helps to alleviate nausea. When using this oil, it is best mixed with water and dispensed with a diffuser.

As good as this is, it is not advised to use it if there is any pregnant person in the car.

Tea tree essential oil

Not only is it an essential oil but a shampoo and it is added to many other skin products. This oil can combat the skunk smell on almost any surface or object.

Aside from this, tea tree oil also heals wounds and some skin problems. When inhaled they also treat cough and nausea. Ethereal Nature 100% Pure Oil is available online.

If you don’t know how to dispense these oils, you can get a spray bottle and mix the oil with water.

If you however want something automatic that will do it for you at intervals then get a car diffuser.


And that’s it for today. I hope all the solutions and oils will help your car both inside and out. Be sure to follow the steps to the latter.

If you have any questions or comments, you can drop them in the comment section below and I will see you in the next article.

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