First, what exactly do skunks spray? A skunk sprays a sulfur-based compound called thiol from two glands that anatomically lay around its anus. Since thiol is a sulfur-based compound it needs to be neutrally broken down to dissipate. In other words, it can’t simply be rinsed off with soap and water. In fact, thiol acts like oil and will spread when it comes in contact with water, setting in the odor even more into the coat.