hey! thanks for adding the info to that skunk post lmao. I definitely do not have a msc in chemistry lmao so I'm just wondering what your take on hydrogen peroxide and baking soda is for use on animals - I was taught absolutely not because it makes bleach and we don't bleach animals, but googling to confirm that was a nightmare (however I did find it routinely recommended for grout cleaner and bleaching hair, thus my emphasis on not doing it in the post)
Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda don’t combine to make bleach in the way that I guess you are thinking of. A bottle labelled bleach in the grocery store has sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) as the main component. However, hydrogen peroxide and bleach can both act as oxidizing agents.
Paul Krebaum is the chemist who developed the well-known skunk recipe of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap.
Very basically, in Paul Krebaum’s formula:
Skunk smell is a result of a mixture of thiol (R-SH, stinky!) and thioacetate (less smelly) compounds.To get rid of the smell, you want to oxidize the thiol compounds into sulfonicacids (RSO3H, no smell). Hydrogenperoxide is an unstable compound whose decomposition is promoted by increasingthe pH of the solution.
2H2O2 decomposes into 2H2O + O2.
This is why you add the baking soda, a weak base; other alkaline compounds would be too harshfor a dog’s skin. The addition of the baking soda also helps to neutralize thesulfonic acids that are produced from the oxidation of the thiols. The dish soap is just there to bring the oily skunk residue to the surface of the fur.