5 Quick Ways to Remove Bad Car Smell

Everyone goes through the same problem once in a while. This problem is losing your new car smell and facing lousy car smells. If you own a car, chances are you have run into this age-old problem. When you have a terrible car smell, it can be unpleasant. 

This is especially true if you use your car all the time. Or even if you plan on going for long road trips. Additionally, lousy car smells can lower your car’s value. It is essential to keep your car smelling fresh and clean. Not just for your sake, but for those who ride as well. 

What Causes Bad Car Smells?

Several reasons cause terrible car smells. It could be that you have not used the car in a while. Or maybe you use your vehicle as a place to store some of your unused items. Whatever the reason, it is very unpleasant to experience. You may experience some of these smells in your car. 

  • Musty due to mold or mildew build up in the air conditioning system
  • Burning due to oil leaking into hotter parts of the car
  • Rubber smell due to burning rubber 
  • Electrical smell due to overheating 
  • Rotting fruit smell due to food left in the car
  • Sweat smell left by used clothing

Usually, unpleasant smells in your car could indicate that something is wrong with its functions. Watching out for these smells is something you should do. This way, you can fix the problem straight away and ensure it does not get worse. Once you fix the problem, you will want to get rid of the smell it has left behind. 

Here are five quick ways in which you can do that.

1. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda has very many uses. It is sodium bicarbonate and can be used for cooking, hygiene, and in this case, getting rid of bad car smells. Baking soda is very useful in getting rid of bad odors by absorbing them. 

Moreover, it can help in lightening stains that have set. To use baking soda, all you have to do it apply it generously in the stinky area and scrub. Let it dry after and then clean up the remaining residue. 

You can also use baking soda as an air freshener by adding some to a pouch with holes in it. This will help absorb odors and keep your car smelling clean.

2. Try Charcoal

Charcoal is a natural item to absorb bad smell. To get rid of unwanted bad odors in your vehicle, take some charcoal briquettes and place it in a bag with holes. 

Leave this in your car overnight and let it absorb the bad smells. This is similar to how you used baking soda. This will not use up the charcoal in any way, and you can still use it for other purposes.

3. Vinegar

Vinegar is a harsh cleaning material that is used to overpower other smells. Use vinegar by leaving it in a small container (open) overnight in your car. By evaporation process, it will eliminate even the most stubborn odors. If you know exactly where the smell is coming from, mix some water with vinegar and spray the area before rubbing it clean. 

As a main tip, never pour pure vinegar in your car. This could damage the materials in the carpet or leather. Vinegar has its strong smell, so to mask it after, use an air freshener.

4. Carpet Cleaner

Many spills and accidents will most likely affect your carpets inside your car. If your problem lies in the carpeted area, then you can use a carpet cleaner. This specialized product can be found in auto shops and department stores. So, it is relatively easy to come by. 

Choosing the right one will be a bit tricky, so make sure you get the right one for your situation. Make sure to read the instructions before use as some could be stronger than vinegar. This means it may need to be diluted with water before use. Or else, this could also cause damage to the materials in your car.

5. Air Fresheners

Nothing works better than good old fashioned air fresheners. To finalize the process, try putting some good smelling air fresheners in your car. These air fresheners are usually made to absorb bad smells. 

Moreover, they emit an excellent smelling scent that is pleasant to the nose. Use this as the final step when the source smell doesn’t exist anymore. Do not use it to mask the smell and hope it will go away. Clean the source area first as much as you can. Using an air freshener to mask bad odors without cleaning it will make it ineffective. 

These active cleaning agents are best when the smell is still at a bearable level. If your car smell has become unbearable, you may want to find more reliable cleaning agents meant, especially for your situation. Cleaning your car does not have to be a hassle; you have to make sure you take the time to disinfect and scrub when you get the chance. This will keep your car neat and clean. 

Moreover, you can use some homemade freshener recipes that make use of citrus peels or dried flower petals. These quick fixes are a great way to customize the smell of your car. This way, you can have your particular scent that you find appealing and pleasant. 

A Quick Tip

Smells can also be due to smaller things such as spilled food or forgotten food. It may also be to the stuff that you leave in your car. Find out what is causing the smell before setting out to clean it. Once you know what is causing the smell, you can apply the right cleaning products. Just be careful as some cleaning products may be durable and could cause damage if not used properly.

Whatever the cause, you will want to get rid of these smells and replace it with something that smells much better. This way, you can drive in peace without being disturbed by bad smells.

The Bottom Line

Keeping a clean car is what will also keep its value up. It is easier to sell a vehicle that has no bad smell than one with it. Odors may also indicate that there is something wrong with the inner workings. Addressing these issues is essential so you can keep your car running smoothly. Additionally, it will ensure your safety as you drive.