How to Get A Bad Smell Out of A Car

How to Get A Bad Smell Out of A Car

Is there anything worse than having stubborn bad smells in your car? Does your car smell like rotten eggs? Spilled coffee, soda, french fries, or a forgotten bag of groceries are common culprits of bad odors in a car. Some smelly situations can be a bit more stubborn, such as lingering cigarette smoke and mildew. Follow these tips to keep your car odor-free.

Identify The Source

Bad odors typically originate from food or liquid that has been spilled or left in the car. Inspect the trunk, underneath seats, in the glove compartment, drink holders, and any other pockets or nooks and crannies where perishable items or bacteria-loving environments may be hiding.

Clean It Up

Remove the source of the bad smell and clean the car as best you can. Clean all upholstered, leather, and other surfaces of the car well. Moisture of any kind will harbor bacteria and mildew that can result in a very unpleasant odor. Odors are easily absorbed into porous surfaces such as upholstery, fabric, and carpet. The sooner the source of the smell is removed and cleaned, the smaller the chance the odor will linger.

Air it Out

Open the windows of your car and let the smell air out. The small, enclosed space of a car doesn’t allow strong odors to dissipate. The smell is kept contained and never seems to leave. Roll down the windows of your car slightly anytime you aren’t driving to help the odor to escape.

How to Remove Smoke or Mold Smell From Car

Stubborn odors from cigarette smoke, weed smoke, mold, and mildew are extremely difficult to get rid of. The following is a list of effective cleaners and odor eliminators.

  • Vinegar Solution Mix a solution of one part vinegar and one part water. Use this gentle cleaner in a spray bottle to wipe surfaces clean.
  • Baking Soda Sprinkle baking soda over upholstery and carpet after cleaning and let it sit for two hours. During this time the baking soda will absorb odors. After the two hours are up, vacuum the baking soda out completely.
  • Kitty Litter This may seem surprising, but kitty litter is an excellent substance for absorbing moisture out of carpet or upholstery after it’s been cleaned. Sprinkle a bit of kitty litter over the affected moist area and let it sit for two hours, then vacuum clean.
  • Air Freshener Spray and odor neutralizer spray or air freshener. Do not saturate any upholstery or carpet with sprays.

Care For Curbing Bad Smells

Keep your car clean on a regular basis to prevent bad smells from occurring in the first place.

  • Don’t eat in the car
  • Throw away trash daily
  • Do not allow moisture collect anywhere in your car
  • Wipe spills immediately
  • Shampoo soiled upholstery, carpet, and floor mats

Prevent Smell With New Floor Mats!

Spills can easily become a source of foul odors in a car. Over time, spilled milk, soda, and even water attract dirt and bacteria, leading to bad smells that never seem to go away. Upholstered mats absorb liquids and odors like magnets. One very simple solution is to replace the floor mats in your car. New floormats are a relatively low-expense solution to upgrade the interior of your car and eliminate the source of bad smells in your car.

We all spend a significant amount of time in our cars, and life can occasionally get messy. Make the time spent in your car more enjoyable—use the tips above to keep your car fresh and clean. For more car cleaning and care tips, visit our blog. 

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