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Why Does My Garage Smell Like Skunk? (Quick Answers)

One day you wake up and find something smelling like a skunk in your garage. What should you do? A skunk may enter your garage at night, but other things can cause a skunk-like smell.

This article will describe possible things that can cause a skunk-like smell, ways to get rid of the smell and other essential facts you need to know.

Why does my garage smell like skunk?

Obviously, a skunk can cause a sulfur smell in your garage, but things can get more complicated. HVAC gas leaks can cause a similar smell to the skunk. It is a highly harmful gas. Sewer gas and decomposing animals can also cause a pungent smell like skunk.

Skunks are found in almost all the states of America. So, it is not impossible to find a skunk smell in your garage that is causing a skunk. However, other reasons can also be responsible for a skunk smell in your garage.

HVAC gas smells a lot like a skunk spray, and if that happens, you should take care of the issue carefully. The gas is flammable, and a tiny spark can cause disaster. Moreover, inhaling HVAC gas can cause respiratory problems, dryness, runny nose and other health issues.

If you find out that there is a skunk smell in your garage, the first thing you should look for is if there is any Air Conditioner or ventilator line near the garage that can leak HVAC gas. If there is nothing near your garage, you can look for other reasons.

Sewer gas can also cause an unbearable smell, which you may think is like a skunk. Sewer gas contains methane primarily. As we all know, methane is smell-less and highly flammable. Sewer gas also contains hydrogen sulfide, which smells like skunk spray.

Are there rats in your house? A decomposing body of a rat or other animal can cause a foul smell. The smell of decomposing animals also contains methane and sulfur dioxide.

We will discuss more on this topic and solutions, but first, let’s list all possible things that can cause smell like skunk.

A skunk:

Skunks are nocturnal animals, and they release pungent odor from the glands located on their backside. A skunk can enter your garage and spray the smelly liquid. But remember that skunks don’t use their smelly weapon randomly.

They even need ten days to produce the stinking liquid. But a scared or ill skunk can spray in your garage.

HVAC gas:

HVAC gas means heating, ventilation and air conditioning gas. If there is any ventilator or air conditioner near your garage, you should check that first. If you see any sign of leaking, move your family away from the spot and call a professional for help.

Sewer gas:

Sometimes sewer gas can also smell like skunk spray if there is a high sulfur level. However, it is relatively easy to spot a sewer gas leak.

Follow the smell, and if you find a broken sewer pipe or utility hole, that can be the reason for the skunk-like smell in your garage.

Decomposing animal:

A decomposing animal’s body can also cause an irritating smell, and you should take care of the animal as soon as possible. To deal with a decomposing animal body, you will have to get protective equipment first as it can spread disease to humans.

Wear musk, gloves and protective eyeglass before handling the animal. Burry the animal, clean the spot with bleach and take a bath before touching anything.

Can a gas leak in the garage smell like a skunk?

HVAC gas can leak in your garage if there is any ventilator, heater or air conditioner near your garage. It can be dangerous for human health, so you should keep your distance from the spot and call an expert to handle the situation.

Natural gas contains methane which is smell-less, but producers add some smell to the gas so people can spot leakage. However, that does not smell like stunk spray. But natural gas leaks should be taken seriously and called for help as soon as possible.

Sewage gas sometimes can cause a smell like a skunk. Swage gas can also be dangerous as it is flammable and cause a massive blowoff.

How can you tell if you have a gas leak or a skunk?

At first, think of your location and if there are wild skunks in your locality. The southwest part of America does not have wild skunks. If there is no skunk in your locality, you can start looking for other reasons that can cause a skunk smell.

Check air conditioners, ventilators or heaters near the garage. Those machines can leak HVAC gas which can cause skunk-like smells.

If there is no skunk in your locality and there is no HAVC source near your garage, you should look for decomposing animals in your garage, or some broken sewage line can also release irritating gas.

Will the skunk smell in my garage go away on its own?

The skunk smell in the garage will go away, but it takes significant time. Stunk smell will go away within 21 to 30 days if left untreated. Some peoples are more sensitive to foul odors. If you are among those people, you may think of leaving the smell untreated.

But with proper knowledge and a bit of patience, it is possible to get rid of the smell within a day. We will discuss the solutions in the following parts of the article.

Remember, bad smells tend to stay longer in a closed place and often leave a mark. Even after the smell goes away, you may smell some mild unpleasant smell from the area.

That’s why it’s always better to treat a problem ASAP. Another thing to remember is that the skunk smell becomes hard to deal with if you don’t take steps early.

How long does skunk smell last in the garage?

It takes 21 days to 30 days if you leave the smell untreated. The skunk sprays an oil-like liquid that does not go away soon. But if you take the proper steps, you can quickly get rid of the smell entirely within one or two days.

Keep your dog away from any skunk. If a skunk sprays on your dog, which skunks often do for self-defense, you and your dog will have to go through a lot to get rid of the smell. Vanilla extract helps eliminate the skunk smell from a dog’s body.

How do you get rid of the skunk smell in the garage?

There are several effective ways to get rid of the skunk smell in your garage. Choose the way that seems easier to you. Here is a list of ways to get rid of the skunk smell in your garage. Follow the instructions carefully to get an effective result.

Hydrogen peroxide:

Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most efficient ways to remove stunk smell. To make hydrogen peroxide more effective, you can add baking soda and liquid soap.

Add ¼ cup of baking soda and two spoons of liquid soap with 3% hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle and apply the spray to the source of the smell. After spraying, leave that for a few minutes and clean the area with water afterward.

Commercial skunk smell remover:

There are commercial skunk smell remover products available online in different shops. You can choose them to get rid of the skunk smell. Follow the provided instruction to use those commercial products.


Vinegar is an excellent smell absorber agent. Mix one cup of vinegar with two cups of water in a spray bottle and directly spray the vinegar in your garage where the smell is coming from.

After spraying, wait 10 minutes and then wash the place with soap and water. Vinegar may not instantly remove the smell in some situations. But it will make the situation a lot better.


Bleach also works actively to cancel skunk smells. Mix water and bleach in a 9:1 ratio and spray it over the smell source. The bleach reacts with the smell particles and removes the foul odor.

Activated charcoal:

Activated charcoal is known for its ability to neutralize various chemicals. It can also be used to remove a skunk smell from your garage.

What smells like skunk but isn’t skunk?

As we mentioned earlier, gas leakage can sometimes smell like skunk. Other animals can also release pungent smells like skunks. Here is a list of things that may smell like skunk.

  • Skunk Cabbage Plant
  • HVAC gas
  • Sewer gas
  • Badgers
  • Wolverines
  • Marmot

Final Thoughts

A skunk smell in your garage is not always an indication of skunk appearance. It can be more severe, like SVAC gas leakage. Call your local wildlife center to rescue the animal if the skunk is still there. It’s too dangerous to go near skunks for you, your dog and your noses.