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Does bathing in tomato juice remove skunk smell?


My grandma always said to do this. Does it work?

1682 day(s) ago

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bjones
The smell caused by a skunk emitting its spray is one of the strongest and most putrid odors known in the natural world. It is also difficult to wash off – if you don’t know the secret. The secret is not tomato juice, and neither is it lemon juice, both of which are the most common remedies. Tomato juice seems to work well as long as you are alone. Once you get around other people, they will verify that it didn’t work well at all. The reason why people believe tomato juice works has to do with how our brain interprets smells. After we smell something for a long time, our nose gets used to it and treats it as a background odor. When you bathe in tomato juice, you add a new odor to your body that competes with the skunk odor. Since your nose has stopped paying attention to the skunk smell, you smell only the tomato juice. When someone else enters in on the scene, they will still smell the skunk quite strongly.

The secret to washing off skunk smell is in oxidation. The odor from skunk juice comes from chemicals called thiols. Thiols can be destroyed through the power of oxygen. The oxygen in the air is not strong enough, though. You need an oxidizing agent. Luckily, oxidizing agents are very common and easily obtainable. Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are both sufficient oxidizing agents. To clean skunk smell, simply mix a quart of hydrogen peroxide with a 1/4 cup of baking soda and a little dish detergent. Wash with this mixture as if it was soap and the smell will come right off.




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