Skip to Content

Does Vinegar Repel Skunks? (Answered)

If you live somewhere where skunks are often seen, we know you’re in great trouble. Skunks might look interesting with their white-black stripe fur and that long tail, but they are one of those creatures that will make you cry with their acts. 

Skunks have a habit of throwing a foul odor toward their enemy as a defense. This smell is unbearable and can cause harm if inhaled or comes in contact with the skin of a pet or human. 

Not only this, skunks destroy soils, grounds, and gardens by making holes, eating vegetables, and fruits, and hurting your pets. So you must stop them to live peacefully. 

To repel many other harmful animals and insects we use vinegar. It’s a good natural repellent. But does vinegar repel skunks? Let’s find out!

Vinegar to repel skunks

Vinegar can repel skunks. Skunks are sensitive to smells and they don’t like the strong pungent smell of vinegar. It irritates their sinus space and thus makes them leave that vinegar-scented area. Vinegar can be used in many ways as an effective skunk repellent.  

Vinegar is a known name in our houses. This product is mainly acetic acid and water combined in a certain percentage. 

Vinegar has many uses. It is used to add flavors and taste to cooking, for sanitizing even for cleaning or removing spots. But it can also help you to get rid of skunks.

Skunks are a destroyer. They use a weird and foul smell as a shield that can be harmful. Also, they love to damage grains, and plants, and mess up gardens, and soil whenever they enter an area. But they have a weak point, that is they are not okay with every type of smell. 

There are a few scents that trigger skunks’ sinuses and drive them away. Such as vinegar. Let’s see what vinegar can repel skunks. 

White vinegar: 

White vinegar is basically 5% acetic acid with 95% water. The percentages of acetic acid in white vinegar can be up to 10% sometimes, depending on the purpose it’s made for. 

White vinegar is less strong than regular vinegar but has a strong acidic scent. The smell of vinegar is kinda sour and pungent thus skunks don’t like it at all. 

It can make skunks feel uncomfortable in their sinus cavities and avoid the area. So white vinegar can repel skunks.

Apple cider vinegar: 

Apple cider vinegar is made of apples. It’s acidic too as it contains 5% to 6% of acetic acid in the solution. The scent of apple cider vinegar is sharp and pungent but it has a sweet note at the end.

Apple cider vinegar has an acute scent but it’s not what we want for repelling those naught skunks.

Though many of us dislike the scent of apple cider vinegar it’s not that unpleasant to skunks. Because of the sweet note apple leaves in the vinegar. 

Skunks find it attractive often because of the sweetness of the apple in this vinegar. That means it will not repel skunks most likely.  

Distilled vinegar:  

Distilled vinegar is the one that’s more purified and can be made of many things apart from alcohol. Distilled vinegar can be made of malt, Wine, and acidic fruits such as apple, kiwis, coconut, beer, palm, etc. It’s known as virgin vinegar too.

The percentage of acetic acid in distilled vinegar is around 5-8%. Often lower than white vinegar. Because of the making procedure, the structure of this vinegar isn’t as effective as white vinegar. 

Skunks are scared off by an unpleasant smell. The scent of distilled vinegar is quite similar to white vinegar. It’s pungent, sour, and acute. But still, lighter compared to white vinegar because of purifying and flavors.

Since vinegar is used to deter skunks by the strong smell, distilled vinegar cannot successfully deter skunks. 

How effective is vinegar in repelling skunks?

Vinegar is very effective against skunks. It might not take a skunk’s life but the strong smell of vinegar can keep skunks away.

We all know how vinegar smells. A lot of us don’t like its smell, so do skunks. Though it’s tough to stop those furry long-tailed animals from messing up, with vinegar it’s possible to repel them.

Skunks have a sensitivity towards certain fragrances. Their smelling sense is sharp but weak as they can’t stand a lot of smells. Vinegar is one of those scents skunks can’t tolerate. 

Skunks when smelling the scent of vinegar, it strikes their sinus cavities. The sharp, pungent, sour smell of vinegar hits skunks’ smelling sense and makes them very uncomfortable. 

Vinegar is not toxic for skunks to smell or inhale but it makes them confused and irritated. Not being able to tolerate skunks leaving the area.

How much vinegar to use to repel skunks?

There is no specific amount of vinegar to use as skunk repellent. You can take as much as you think is needed depending on the places you’re going to use vinegar. But it’s suggested by the expert users to keep the portion of vinegar larger in a solution.

Vinegar is a solution of acetic acid and water. In any vinegar, the percentage of acetic acid is higher than in water so there is a strong smell in vinegar. Especially white vinegar especially has a sharp, acidic scent that skunks don’t really like to tolerate. 

However, to prepare a deterrent with vinegar you need to use at least 2 parts of vinegar with one part of another solvent. You can even use only vinegar to keep the pungent smell strong. But it’s always suggested to use vinegar according to your need and area range. 

How to get rid of skunks with vinegar?

Skunks are disliked not only for their foul smells but also for their destructive behavior. They will get into your garden or yard whenever they get a chance and mess it up. Moreover, the odor they release can be harmful to humans.

If you are irritated with the presence of skunks around you and want to get rid of them quickly you can use an available product as a repellent. That’s vinegar. 

Here we have shared two ways to use vinegar to repel skunks:

Place vinegar-soaked absorbents: 

It is an easy and effective way to keep skunks away. To try this method, take a few cotton balls and soak them in pure vinegar. We prefer using white vinegar as it has a strong smell. Then place one or two bales in the places skunks frequently visit. 

Vinegar-soaked cotton balls can hold and spread the smell of vinegar for a long time. Skunks don’t like the smell of vinegar so they will stop going to the areas the balls are placed. And after some time getting annoyed with the strong acidic scent of vinegar skunks will avoid your house. 

You can use rags or a smell-absorbing sponge instead of cotton balls in the same way. 

Spray Vinegar solution: 

It’s the easiest and quick way to keep skunks from coming near to your place. Simply pour white vinegar into a spray bottle. It’s better if you can avoid apple cider vinegar while doing this as it’s sweeter at the end. Don’t mix any water to keep the strong high and powerful. 

Then spray the vinegar solution whenever you find traces of skunks usually. 

The fresh and sharp scent of vinegar will make the skunks uncomfortable to be in that area. Thus they will be driven away. 

What is the best deterrent for skunks?

Skunks are sensitive to scents. Using this specific tendency of skunks’ hating a few smells, you can keep them out of your area. Here is a list of the best deterrents for skunks:

Citrus scent: 

Skunks can’t stand The scent of citrus fruits. The pungent, acidic, and fruity smell of orange, mandarin, or lemon can be utilized as skunk repellent. 

Black Pepper: 

Freshly ground black paper can be so effective against skunks. The strong and spicy scent of black pepper is enough to make skunks leave the area as soon as possible. 

Chili, Capsaicin, and Cayenne: 

All these are of spicy and strong scent. The blend of these three or separate scents of capsaicin, cayenne, and chili is a powerful skunk deterrent. 

Lavender and Peppermint oil: 

Lavender and peppermint oil smells pungent and sharp. Skunks can’t tolerate it so plants or the essential oils of these can be used as skunks’ deterrent. 


Skunks don’t like the aroma of coffee grounds. You can sprinkle it as an effective skunk repellent powder.

Fox urine: 

The smell of fox urine can deter skunks. It makes them afraid of their predators present in the area so skunks avoid the place. 

Final Thoughts

Vinegar is an effective skunk repellent. Vinegar deters skunks with its strong scent. Skunks cannot tolerate the sharp strong acidic smell of vinegar. It makes them irritated and hits their sinus. Due to discomfort in the smelling sensory, skunks maintain a distance finding the scent of vinegar.