Will Vinegar Keep Raccoons Away?

If you’re wondering whether vinegar will keep raccoons away, then you’ve found the right article. In this article, not only will you find out how effective vinegar is at keeping raccoons away, but you’ll also learn which vinegar is best and other scents you can use to get rid of raccoons as well!

So keep reading to find out everything you want to know!

Will Vinegar Keep Raccoons Away?

Vinegar can be an effective deterrent for keeping raccoons away because they absolutely hate the smell of it. However, if you’re not taking other steps to deter raccoons, then the chances are vinegar alone won’t be enough to keep them away forever.

What Vinegar Is Best For Deterring Raccoons?

Apple cider vinegar is definitely the best choice when you plan on deterring raccoons. The smell is so overbearing that it’s extremely unpleasant for raccoons who have a very keen sense of smell.

Will White Vinegar Keep Raccoons Away?

White vinegar can also keep raccoons away, especially if you apply it to areas you know they’re frequenting. However, when compared to apple cider vinegar (which has a much stronger scent), it isn’t going to be nearly as effective.

Four cute baby raccoon sitting on a deck at night

Why Is Vinegar So Good At Keeping Raccoons Away

There are actually three reasons that vinegar is so good at keeping raccoons away! And here they are.

The Strong Scent

When looking for a great deterrent to repel raccoons, then the number one thing to look for is something with a strong, unpleasant odor. If you’ve really taken a good sniff of vinegar before, then you know how overbearing it can be!

Acetic Acid

One of the ingredients in vinegar is acetic acid. This is actually the part of vinegar that raccoons hate the smell of.

It Affects Their Sense Of Smell

And lastly, smelling vinegar is going to affect a raccoon’s sense of smell as well. In fact, after smelling vinegar, raccoons find it hard to smell other things. So they won’t be able to find what attracted them in the first place. In turn, making the area you’ve placed the vinegar a lot more unappealing to them.

How To Use Vinegar To Get Rid Of Raccoons

Now you know why vinegar is good at removing raccoons; the next step is knowing how to use it to get rid of them in the future. This is a two-step process.

Locate The Raccoons

The first thing you’ll need to do is find out where the raccoons are coming from in the first place. Normally, there will be holes or somewhere left open that the raccoons have been using.

But if you can’t find these areas, then you can use vinegar on areas where you’ve physically seen raccoons.

Applying The Vinegar

Now the next step is applying the vinegar to the areas where you want to deter the raccoons. The easiest way to do this is to soak a piece of cloth in apple cider vinegar and then place it in the area you think the raccoons are. When you’re doing this, make sure you keep the cloth in an open container.

Or you can try spraying vinegar in certain areas or wiping it on areas you think the raccoons are interested in. While this may not be effective as the first way, it can still help!

Why Vinegar May Not Be Enough

Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, while vinegar can be a temporary deterrent, it’s not going to be a permanent way to remove raccoons for good. If you want to stop raccoons, then the best thing you can do is remove the source that is attracting them in the first place.

Raccoons are attracted to food in your home or campsite, so if you want to make sure they don’t keep bothering you, ensure that your food is contained securely and no smell can leak out.

But it’s not just the food you need to think about. You should also make sure that you’re washing up anything you’ve used to prepare food, as well as securing your bins and making sure that any other waste isn’t attracting them too.

And remember, raccoons are actually quite intelligent. In fact, they often score as intelligently as monkeys on IQ tests. And when tested on picking locks, it was found they could do it within 10 tries! So you need to make sure whatever you’re using to keep raccoons out is effective!

What Other Smells Do Raccoons Hate?

Fortunately, if you don’t have apple cider vinegar handy, there are plenty of other things that raccoons hate the smell of as well! Here are other things to try.

Onion And Pepper

If you combine onion and pepper together in some water, then you’re going to create a concoction that raccoons absolutely can’t stand! The smell from this combination is going to irritate all the receptors in their nose and repel them from the areas it’s sprayed.

Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is another great deterrent, and it’s actually perfect for keeping raccoons out of your garden. Because not only is Epsom salt a deterrent for raccoons, but it’s also a great fertilizer for your garden as well!


While you may not like the smell of Garlic, raccoons are going to hate it even more! For the best results, you should use garlic juice as the smell is going to be even more potent.

Peppermint Essential Oil

It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to smells that will keep raccoons away. If you don’t want your home to stink, then you can also use peppermint essential oil to keep raccoons away too!

Hot Pepper

Lastly, hot pepper is one of the more powerful scents that raccoons absolutely detest, so it’s worth giving this a shot as well. Once again, hot pepper is going to directly affect the receptors in a raccoon’s nose, disorienting them and making it hard to navigate for the food they actually want!


As you can see, using vinegar can be an effective start to getting rid of raccoons; however, for the best success, you’ll also need to make sure that you’re correctly storing anything that is attracting them in the first place.

You should also remember that there are other great deterrents as well! Such as onion, pepper, peppermint, Epsom salt, and Garlic!

If you liked this article, check out the rest of the website! Otherwise, have a great day!

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