Most Common Car Smells and How to Get Rid of Them

During the winter season, cleaning your car can seem that much more tedious to do than in the warmer seasons of the year. However, routine car washes are crucial in order to keep your car looking and smelling good. In fact, cleaning out the inside of your car should be done on a monthly cadence. The longer a driver goes without having done so, the more likely their car will begin to smell.  Although the winter climate can make routine tasks like cleaning your car seem ineffective, it’s crucial in order to keep your vehicle in good condition from the inside out.

Let’s say you’re like the rest of us, and it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your car. You realize this, but with the winter forecast, the motivation to clean it goes out the window. Another month passes you by, and suddenly you start detecting a foul smell that’s begun to spread throughout your vehicle. You start questioning what could be causing that smell, and most importantly, how can you get rid of it?

There are many reasons why your vehicle can start to smell foul, the most common being smoke, mold or mildew. If you’re asking yourself how to get rid of a bad smell in your car, you’re in luck. Your friends and family at SafeAuto have a step-by-step list to eliminate it for good.

How to remove odors from car

How to remove odors from a car

Step 1: Perform the ‘smell test’.

You’ve already determined that there is a foul smell circulating throughout your vehicle. You’ve been able to determine that it isn’t a mechanical issue and is instead the result of forgotten trash. However, you’re unsure where it’s coming from. So, what can you do to find it?

First things first – take that nose of yours and start sniffing around the interior of your vehicle to locate the source of the smell. Look under the seats, dig through pockets, on and under the floor mats, the glove compartment, and between the seats. Play detective, and don’t leave any stone unturned.

Step 2: Clean out the trash.

While you’re on your quest to find the source of the odor, clean out every morsel of trash your car collected along the way. Clean out food wrappers, gum, forgotten food, baby bottles, and the other miscellaneous items that have accumulated inside your car. Once those items have been discarded, it’s time to take a closer look at the floor mats, carpets, and seats.

Step 3: Bath time.

Once you’ve discarded the trash, it’s time to take that smell test to the floor mats, carpets, and seats of your car. Depending on what the source of the odor was and how long it’s been there, the smell may not just simply go away by discarding the evidence. If it’s been there a long time, the smell could’ve seeped into the seats, the floor mats, or the carpet.

If that’s the case, the next step would be to vacuum and shampoo the carpet, floormats, and wipe down the seats. This will help you distinguish the root cause of the smell, and what you need to do next to be rid of the odor once and for all.

How to remove stains in the carpet.

After the bad odor in your car has been discovered and your car has been cleaned, you may want to leave your car with a refreshing scent to come back to. There’s no shortage of air fresheners or diffusers that you can select from at your nearest gas station or convenience store.

The bottom line.

There’s no need to let bad smells ruin your experience with your car. By adding car maintenance to your monthly routine, you now know how to remove odors from your car. After all, a fresh car makes it that much easier to better enjoy the road ahead.

By understanding how to get rid of bad smells in your car and what caused them to occur is crucial for your preventative maintenance. We know that winter can seem like a vicious cycle for car cleaning. Even so, it’s still important to do once a month.

It’s no secret that wintry conditions can lead to more frequent visits to the car wash, but it’s a necessary evil to keep your car feeling fresh from the inside out. During these trying months on the road, please drive safe and stay warm!