How to Get Rid of a Skunk Smell in Your Furnace

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Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar

  • Bucket

  • Sponge or rag

  • Spray bottle

  • Furnace filter

  • Dryer sheets

  • Liquid dish soap


If the odor persists, contact an HVAC specialist to inspect the furnace.

Open as many windows and doors as possible throughout your home and set up fans in front of them, if possible, to direct the smell outside.


Do not disassemble your furnace to clean it. Hire a professional if surface cleaning does not remove the skunk odor. It could take several days before the skunk odor is completely removed from the furnace and your home.

Removing skunk odor can be a challenge.
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If you turn on your furnace and are overpowered by a skunk odor, you could have a serious issue. If your furnace has been invaded by a skunk, it is important to break down the enzymes in the skunk oil in order to remove the odor. Another problem -- now that the furnace has emitted the odors into the air -- is the odor will settle into your furniture and carpets, adhere to your pet's fur and even your skin and clothes. You must work quickly to remove the odor from the furnace, the air and the surfaces in your home.


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Step 1

Inspect the furnace housing, duct work and vents to ensure the skunk is gone. Depending on your duct work, a professional might have to perform this task for you.

Step 2

Remove the furnace filters from the furnace. Discard the filters into an outside trash.


Step 3

Clean the furnace casing with a solution of detergent, vinegar and water. Combine 1 cup white vinegar, a gallon of water water and two to three squirts of dish soap in a bucket. Wipe down the entire surface of the furnace with a rag or sponge. Discard the water and rag or sponge after use.


Step 4

Mix a cup of white vinegar with a cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution around the furnace and into all of the furnace vents. Spray the mixture in the air throughout your home and on the furniture and carpets. This will help neutralize the odor in your home, as well as the duct work.


Step 5

Install a new filter in the furnace.

Step 6

Place dryer sheets in the furnace registers. The sheets will capture odors coming from the furnace and emit the smell of the dryer sheet instead.