7 Ways to Eliminate Odors in Your Vehicle
My Car Stinks! How to Fix It
When you get into your new vehicle, you take a deep breath. It’s delightful, isn’t it? That new car smell appeals to us on a few different levels. The materials haven’t broken down yet, so they smell the way they should. The vehicle isn’t dirty, so no off-scents are wafting about. And a new car smells new, so we associate that smell with something nice, clean, fresh, and new.
A couple months later, however, your vehicle isn’t quite so fresh. The new car smell has largely gone, and it’s replaced by other smells. Some aren’t really bad; stale fries don’t smell bad, but they’re far from good. Some are gross; socks that got kicked off and shoved under a seat. And some are disgusting; we’ll let you use your imagination on those.
So now your vehicle stinks. Here are our recommendations to restore that clean car smell.
First; Remove the Odor Causers
Before you can restore a nice clean smell, you have to get rid of what’s causing the bad smell in the first place.
Keep the “Trash” to a Minimum – With a new vehicle you’re very careful not to let anyone eat in it, or dirty it at all. But over time little bits of dirt add up. Eventually it’s not such a big deal, and you’ll pick up those Taco Bell wrappers “at some point.” Soon your vehicle looks like Richard’s from the movie Tommy Boy. Keep the “stuff” picked up, so problems don’t grow too big.
Vacuum Regularly – An easy way to care for your vehicle at home is to vacuum it. You can use a high powered shop vac, a house vacuum with a hose attachment, a dust buster style handheld, or swing by the car wash with the vacuum station. Remove dirt to remove smells.
Make use of Baking Soda – Baking soda isn’t just for baking cookies. Although, fresh baked cookie smell would be delightful in the vehicle. Instead of mixing with flour, sugar, and chocolate, sprinkle it liberally on the upholstery. Get it all over the carpets, seats, and headrests, and then close up the vehicle for a couple of hours. When the baking soda has had time to soak up all of the smells, use a high powered vacuum to suck it all up; the smells will go with it.
Second; Create Odor Enhancers
Once the odor causers are gone, it’s time to put back in the good smells.
Provide the Scent of Coffee – If you’re a coffee lover, then you’ll love this idea. Take a small jar, fill it with coffee grounds, and poke a few holes in the lid. The coffee will help to soak up bad smells, and in turn your vehicle will be bathed in coffee smells. Just don’t tip it over and make a big coffee grounds mess.
Use a Pine Scent Air Freshener – The classic pine tree air freshener is still around for one reason: it works. But they’re not always the best option. They can be too strong, too chemically smelling, and if they fall on the upholstery they can end up staining. There are dozens of options out there, including those that smell like new cars; many are able to be tucked under the seat and out of sight.
Dryer Sheets for a Laundered Smell – If you are a fan of the fresh laundry smell, here’s a great option. Take a new box of laundry sheets, poke some holes in it, and put the entire thing under your seat. The holes will minimize the airflow, the sheets will help keep odors down, and you have a handy box full of dryer sheets if for some reason you need to un-static or eliminate steak house smells from your extended lunch that you claimed you were at the dentist and your boss will know if you don’t somehow mask the steak house smell quickly.
DIY Air Fresheners with Essential Oils – Don’t like laundry sheets or air fresheners? You can make your own air fresheners with natural herbs, oils, and other items. There are a lot of methods to do so with a quick Google search. Maybe mix a few herbs like oregano, garlic, and cumin and make your car smell like a pizzeria?
Have Your Vehicle Detailed Regularly
Keeping your car smelling great can be a lot of work; especially if you have children who love to get crumbs everywhere. For those who don’t have the time to craft up their own air fresheners, and barely have time to get the dirty socks out of the map pocket behind the seat, there’s another option. Pay someone else to clean it!
If you’ve got dings, dents, hail damage or any other broke pieces on your car, give us a call at 406-586-7791 to schedule a free estimate to repair the damage.