4 Ways that Work to Remove Car Odors

remove car odors

You have just 7 seconds that make a good first impression. If your car stinks, you’re sending the wrong message.

It may be the result of leaving your gym bag in the car. It could be too much takeout. Or maybe you like to take your big fuzzy dog for rides on the weekend.

You don’t even smell it anymore. But everyone who rides with you can.

Whatever it is, there are some simple tricks to remove car odors. Let’s check them out.

1) Get to the Source

You’ll not be able to get rid of those odors if you don’t remove as many sources as possible.

Take everything out of your car. Give it a good vacuum at the local car wash. Then go on the hunt for anything that may be hiding.


  • Under seats
  • Between console and seatbelt/seat
  • In side compartments
  • On the floorboards
  • Anywhere else something might be hiding

If you eat in your car, chances are that you’ve dropped food somewhere and it’s been rotting there for weeks. Or maybe someone tracked some doggie doo into the car.

If you find anything sticky or otherwise nasty, clean it up. Something very small could contribute to car odors.

Remove car odors by cleaning everything.

2) Clean the Car Seats

Imagine if you never changed your clothes. What would you smell like?

Your car seats are fabric too. They absorb sweat and bacteria. It doesn’t take long for them to really stink.

Depending on the material, it may be time to scrub them with upholstery soap. Or get them steam-cleaned or professionally detailed.

3) Get the Smoke Out

To get the smoke smell out, empty your ashtray frequently. Spray a deodorizer into the intake valve and vents.

Remove sticky tar from your dash and interior with a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar. This solution also works well to remove bad smells caused by:

  • Someone getting sick
  • Dog accident
  • Sweat
  • Urine

4) Use Baking Soda

It’s not just for baking. Baking soda absorbs odors. That’s why many people keep an open box in the refrigerator or cabinets.

You can buy a box that has a vent on it. Or, carefully open a small box and put it somewhere where it won’t get spilled.

Baking soda also works great for removing odors from fabric. Rehydrate an old stain with the vinegar-water mix. Put baking soda on top. Let it dry. Vacuum it up and much of the odor with it.

If this doesn’t work, it may be time for a full detail like those provided by https://www.cardetailperth.com.au.

5) Realize It May Be a Car Problem

Some odors aren’t harmless. They signal a problem with your car. Get someone to check it out. Here’s a quick smell run-down to spot a potential problem.

Rotten eggs = catalytic converter

Gas = fuel leak

Maple syrup = radiator

Burning fabric = brakes

Deep fried oil = leaky oil seals

Gym locker = air conditioner

Don’t wait to get these car issues checked out. A trouble-shooting meter may help you spot the source of the smell.

Remove Car Odors Now

Even if you can’t smell them, they’re there if you haven’t gotten your interior cleaned in a while. Follow these quick tips to get rid of odors fast.

For more great tips on maintaining your car, check out our blog.