Stinky Car? How to Remove Any Odor in Less than a Day

 People spend a lot of time in their cars — going to work, school, shopping, etc. That’s why it’s not surprising that cars get funny smells from time to time. Take a look at these five common car odors and how to remove them in less than a day.

When Your Seats Smell Like Cigarette Smoke

Cigarette in Car

Image via Flickr by THEFunkyMan

If you smoke in your car, the upholstery is going to pick up the smell. It’s really hard to remove it once it happens, so the best thing to do is prevent it in the first place. Of course, if you do have to get rid of the smell, you should try airing out the car for a couple hours and then using a fabric freshener on the seats. Upholstery cleaning will also help, but you may never get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke without professional help because it buries itself deep into the cushions. Even car dealers have to deal with this issue, like

Getting Rid of Spilled/Rotten Milk Smells and Stains

Spilled Milk

Image via Flickr by radarxlove

The smell of rotten milk is pretty bad when it’s in your car, whether your kid spilled some milk in the back seat or you forgot to take the milk out of your trunk one day. It’s one of the hardest smells to get rid of, too. Try a mixture of baking soda and water and leave it on the stain overnight. If this doesn’t work, you can try using an odor eater and then a light fabric detergent on the surface of the stain.

Preventing and Removing Musty or Mildew Smells

Car Upholstery

Image via Flickr by readysubjects

If you’ve ever spilled a drink in your car or left the windows down while it was raining, you might be faced with the smell of mildew the next time you buckle up. This is a tricky smell to fix because mildew can cause permanent damage to the fabric if you don’t take care of it quickly. The best line of defense is to get your upholstery professionally cleaned. If you don’t want to fork over the money to do this, you can try shampooing the seats yourself with a fabric detergent that is made for mildew. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get rid of the smell.

Solving the Smell of the Gym Locker Room

Gym Clothes

Image via Flickr by The Hamster Factor

If your car smells like a gym locker room, the first thing you should do is make sure that you don’t have any dirty gym clothes in the trunk or the back seat. Then, you should air out the car to solve the problem. It doesn’t hurt to follow up by spraying the seats with a fabric freshener or installing an air freshener to keep your car smelling nice. Some air fresheners can even be attached to your air vents to spread the smell throughout your car.

What is that Random Funk Smell?

Messy Car

Image via Flickr by Red Sox Bat Girl

If your car has a funny smell and you can’t pinpoint what it is or where it is coming from, your first line of defense should be to spray the inside with a fabric freshener and just let the car air out. If that doesn’t work, you’ll have to do some searching to find out exactly where the bad smell is coming from.

Cleaning funky odors out of a car is not fun. What’s the worst smell you’ve had to deal with in your car?



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