Struggling with a bad smell in your car? There are so many possible reasons why your car may be smelling so awful. It could be mold, mildew, smoke, or dog-related odors. No question, they all can have a very unpleasant odor! And it’s embarrassing when a friend hops into your car and they notice the bad smell, cover their noses, or make an embarrassing remark about the odor.

Rather than just dealing with and suffering the terrible smell, why not declare war on the bad smell in the car and get it out? It can be difficult due to the odors that have been absorbed by your car’s interior over time. But, hold on and don’t lose hope. There are ways to eliminate nasty smells.

But removing the offending bad smell in your car is just part of the battle. Once they’re gone, you need to know how to keep them away. We’ll examine that issue too. But for now, let’s find the stink and send it packing.

removing bad smell in car tips and tricks

removing bad smells from your car

Step One: Bad Smell in Car Removal

How about hiring a professional interior detailer? The fastest and easiest way to get rid of the bad smell in a car is to let a professional remove it. An automotive detailer can perform a complete, top to bottom cleaning of your car’s interior – and that would include removing the smell. Your only job would be to relax while he does the job for you.

A professional is going to know exactly what the smell is, where it’s coming from and exactly how to eliminate it. Whether it’s smoke, nasty mold, and mildew, or the always popular, because we love our pets, “wet dog” scent, the detailer will take care of it.

The other option, of course, is taking matters into your own hands. Sweat equity is certainly less expensive, but it’s also a lot of tiring work. But if tackling it yourself is the goal, here are a few tips on removal of that bad smell in car

Removing the Smoke Smell

You may be dealing with cigarette odor, not because you smoke, but because the previous owner did. It happens all the time when purchasing a used car.

To begin, make certain no smoke remains anywhere. Ashtrays and cup holders have to be cleaned. Hidden cigarette butts that have disappeared under the seats can cause a smell to linger too. Vacuum the seats thoroughly to eliminate smoke odors.

  1. Once all ashes and cigarette butts are gone, wipe all surfaces and crevices. Smoke will settle on everything. Cleaning every exposed surface in your car will help you to eliminate the bad smell in your car.
  2. Now it’s time to deal with the upholstery and carpet. Brush the carpeting. It will lift the cigarette particles, making it easier to vacuum. 
  3. Still noticing the smoke smell? Try using an odor elimination product. Spray the upholstery, vents, and carpeting. It takes time, but you will begin to notice a big difference.

Mildew and Mold

Mold and mildew are a health hazard along with creating that bad smell in car. Eliminating the mildew smell from your car will help your car smell better and eliminating both will help with respiratory issues

  1. Eliminating mildew from your car first requires locating the source. Once you find it, don’t be surprised if you get a little grossed out by it. Pull-on the rubber gloves and maybe even a mask for your mouth and nose. 
  2. It could take time to find it. Check under seats and floor mats. Use a flashlight if you have to. Once you find it, scrub the entire area thoroughly with a good carpet cleaner or upholstery shampoo that is good for mold and mildew.
  3. You might want to be sure the source isn’t dampness on the car seats. Check that the upholstery is dry. If you discover any dampness at all, then that is most likely the culprit.
  4. All moisture must be removed from the car. This is key. Air out the car in the garage with your windows cracked. Do it for several days. 

Dog Smell: Removing Dog Smell

how to remove bad smell in car from Splash and Go Express Car Wash

how to clean bad smells from your car

If your car is smelling exactly like your beloved dog, the best way to remove the odor is by trying the “baking soda and vacuum” technique. Try this before actually resorting to chemical cleaners. Chemicals are harsh on the car, you, and unhealthy for your pets.

  1. Give the upholstery a thorough brushing and vacuuming. Remember to get the carpet also. This will get the majority of the dog hair out of your car before spreading out the baking soda.
  2. Sprinkle the baking soda over the upholstery and car seats. Recline the seats and deodorize the backrests. If the baking soda tumbles away from the areas you want it to cling to, use a damp rag and press it in. Keep the baking soda on overnight, and vacuum it up the next day. Use a small brush to lift it up, if needed.

Step Two: Preventing Odors in the First Place

As we discussed, removing the smelly odors from your car is only half the equation. Cleaning and deodorizing your car, only for it to come right back, is aggravating. Who needs that hassle? A great way to avoid it is by purchasing seat covers designed for your car’s make and model. Once seat covers are installed, they will protect the seats and prevent odors from getting into the upholstery. There are custom seat covers that can be ordered and are easy to vacuum and wipe down. Installing them immediately after you’ve detailed the car’s interior will prove to be well worth the expense. 

Cleaning Products

The obvious solution for keeping nasty smells out of your car is to give it a good wipe down on a regular basis. What is the best odor remover? Make sure to use cleaning products that are safe for your car, your pets and of course yourself.  There are many good products to choose from in your local auto parts store. Call Splash and Go today for our recommendations or questions concerning products for removing that horrible, bad smell in car

Wet Wipes 

Some messes and spills are inevitable and unavoidable. The key is cleaning them up before they start to smell bad. Keep a container of wet wipes handy – in the glove box and in the garage. These little guys can keep you from costly detailing every month or two. A coffee spill left untreated can turn into a stain and the odor will be virtually impossible to get out. Wet wipes are your handy remedy.  

Garbage Bags

Aromatherapy essential oils can help remove bad smells in car.

Are you the kind that leaves fast food containers or empty soft drink cups in the car? Keep a small trash bag in the car and put your garbage there. When you exit the car each day, take the trash with you. Nothing is worse than the smell of day-old hamburger remains left in your car. 

Air Fresheners and Essential Oils

Keep your car smelling great with an automobile air freshener. They come in all sorts of scents. Pick your favorite. They are super inexpensive and come in very handy for odor elimination.

If you are more of an essential oils person, get a car diffuser. Bring your favorite indoor aromas on your next car trip. They are therapeutic and bring comfort and relaxation. Not a bad thing while in rush hour traffic, eh?  

Summing Up the Removal of a Bad Smell in Your Car

A smelly car is the worst, and it leads to less than enjoyable car rides. Stop suffering the stench and remove the offending bad smell in your car. No matter if you do it yourself or hire a professional, the important thing is getting into a nice smelling automobile and being proud to take along a few passengers. Gone will be the embarrassment of burger, mold, or wet dog aromas wafting through your car vents. By using a few simple removal techniques, you’ll get back to enjoying the pleasures of driving a clean (and odor-free) car. 

When the inside of your car is clean, make sure you give the exterior of your car the attention it needs from a Carwash that beats the rest! Splash and Go Express Car Wash provides dash wipes for a quick interior clean and air fresheners to help keep your car smelling fresh!  In addition, Splash and Go provides fantastic vacuums to help keep your car neat and tidy inside.  

For the best clean your car has seen, stop by Splash and Go Express Car Wash today!!