How To Get Rid Of Bad Car Interior Odors

It’s unpleasant and unhealthy to sit in a car that stinks!
Clean your car (outside and inside)

1.Apply baking soda:

You can sprinkle baking soda all over the surfaces, especially the sources of the smell. Try to cover as many surfaces as possible: the carpets, the mats, the seats, under the seats and even the roof.
Smear it on the fabric, use a cloth, a brush, anything even your hands.

Wait for while until it has absorbed all the unpleasant odor, it could be 30 minutes or a day, it’s up to you, then vacuum up thoroughly.

2. Clear out all trash


Remove all trash, check under the seats, back pockets, the trunk … and see if there is trash: leftovers, stuff…

3. With the surfaces:

There are plastic, wood, glass, leather, metallic surfaces.

Wipe every surfaces inside your car by soft materials such as cloth or a rag …

Wipe away every piece of trash left. Use with warm water or mild detergent – remember to read the car’s manual for which type of cleaning products are safe to use in the surfaces.

4. Use a specialized cleaner for your leather surfaces.



Brush away all the dirt on the carpet and stuff then start vacuuming.

Vacuum the carpet, the seats, under the seats, inside all the cracks… and vacuum the trunk too.

The vacuuming should be on a regular basis.


Wash inside your car by clean water and use interior car shampoo and extracting machine such as steam clean or hot water extraction…

Try as much as possible to remove all the stains, they could be the sources of the unpleasant smell in your car. It’s good for appearance too.

Don’t for get to wring out all the excess fluid or else it would take forever to dry especially in moist cold weather. If there is any, use the extracting machine until

5. Solution to each particular odor


This might be rotten food or any natural item, smelly socks … that you forgot leaving them in the car. In this situation, the solution is to get rid of whatever it is, and clean the stain it left behind. You can purchase some kinds of bacteria digester which you can find in cleaning supplies stores or Amazon or somewhere on the internet. Apply it on the areas.

Pet odors:


If you are a pet owner, the most important thing is to always keep your pets clean. Vacuum your pets and the interior of your car often to eliminate the pet hairs which also contribute to the odor.

Pets, particularly dogs can emit distinctive odors which will cause you car to smell. Dogs sweat through their paws and other areas of hairless skin such as the nose and the tongue. They also emit oils from their hair follicles and have anal sacs that emit smell.

To deal with this, get your car some kind of pet odor eliminator, which is used to remove pet odors and urine stains. You can purchase it at local stores or online.

Urine and Vomit

Clean the urine or vomit from your car and try your best to eliminate the stains. In case the stains are too stubborn, try using a stain remover. To vomit stains, after removing it, cover the patch with baking soda or cornstarch and wait for about 15 minutes or longer.

It should be ready until you can see there are many thick chunks, it might take a little longer or even over night. Continue when it’s all ready, vacuum it with a tube vacuum.

After you have gotten rid of the chunks, continue to work with the stain by spraying/pouring onto the area using club soda and clean it up with a rag.

You can use dry cleaning solvent, hydrogen peroxide, fabric cleaner, carpet cleaning machine, or even ammonia …

To get rid of the remaining odors, spray some air deodorizer to freshen the air. Remember to leave the doors open for the patch to dry and for the smell to go away.

Cigarette smoke


Worst thing about cigarette smoke is it is very lingering. It can get everywhere in your car even the heater and air conditioner and trap in the upholstery and every other fabric surfaces.

Open the car door and the hood, put the heater and air conditioner into recirculation for a while. Spray a highly diluted cleaner through the ducts for the maximum effect.

If you are a smoker, the first thing to do is to clean out the ashtray (if you have one on your car). Spray some air deodorizer in it to freshen the air around that area. You can also consider purchasing a new air filter for your car which should be changed at least once a year.

Place some bowls of distilled vinegar to absorb all the smell and leave it over night. Open the car windows to get rid of the smell before you need to use the car.

Dangerous smells

There are some smells can be extremely dangerous hazardous such as gas which can be a leak. Immediately find out what it is so you can have it fixed as soon as possible.

6. The last resort


If you have tried every single method mentioned above and still failed, consider hiring cleaning professionals and have your car serviced. You might have to spend more but you can make sure they are capable of getting rid of the odor thoroughly.

7. Tips

  • Always have an air deodorizer spray or hang an air freshener in your car!
  • Put roasted coffee beans into a capsule and keep it in the car’s cabin, it does not only absorb the odor but also emit the pleasant and refreshing smell.
  • Next time when you spill , clean it up immediately. It is easier to remove when it’s fresh and helps reduce the possible odor that might develop in the future
  • Try not smoke in the car.
  • If you have pets, use water-repellent containers for cats and make the dogs toilet before getting in the car.

About the Author Leroy Simmons

My name is Leroy L.Simmons. I create this blog as the way to find out my excitement and also a way to remember my father. I always love writing, I embarked on this adventure of the blog, to tell you all that I want to share about my hobby, my dream of auto, truck and journey. At MRVEHICLE.NET, I hope to tell you great stories and especially to answer some questions you might ask. And there are also many interesting and up-to-date stories of drivers on their journey everywhere in the world.

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