How to Get Rid of Odor from Your Car: Easily Remove Bad Smell

Nobody enjoys sitting in or driving a smelly car. Whether it’s a lingering fast-food odor, or that strange “what’s that smell?” scenario, having a pleasant-smelling car is essential for a comfortable driving experience.

Over time, various odors can accumulate inside your vehicle, ranging from musty smells to lingering cigarette smoke. Fortunately, there are effective methods to eliminate these unpleasant odors and keep your car smelling fresh.

In this detailed guide, we’ll explore some effective methods to end those foul smells impairing your driving experience.

What are the Best Odor Eliminators or Cleaning Products

Here we will discuss some expert-proven approaches to removing smell from your car. But remember that it’s best to start with the simple and easy methods before applying some other intense methods.


1. Using Baking Soda to Eliminate Odors

As recommended by Matthew Hart, owner of AxleWise, one of the simplest and most effective ways to get rid of odors in your car is by using baking soda. Simply sprinkle baking soda on the carpets and upholstery, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up.

Baking soda works by absorbing and neutralizing bad smells, leaving your car smelling fresh.

2. Using Charcoal for Absorbing Bad Smells

Charcoal is another natural odor absorber that can help remove unpleasant smells from your car. Place charcoal briquettes in a container and leave it in your car overnight. The charcoal will absorb the odors, leaving your car smelling clean and fresh.

3. Utilizing an Ozone generator

An ozone generator works as an air purifier by minimizing airborne contaminants. This can be applied after opening the car’s windows to eliminate excess vapors.

4. Utilizing Air Fresheners to Mask Unpleasant Smells

Though this does not proffer a lasting solution, air fresheners can be a quick fix to mask unpleasant smells in your car. However, it’s important to choose a high-quality air freshener that effectively eliminates odors rather than just covering them up. Look for air fresheners specifically designed to neutralize bad odors.

5. Using a wet/dry vacuum

You may not have to use this unless the odor persists after some cleaning attempts. This works by deep cleaning and bringing up all the dirt that is responsible for the foul smell.

Read also: How to Register a Car Without a Title | A Comprehensive Guide


Effective Ways to Clean Your Car to Remove Odors

So what’s the best way to get rid of bad smell out of a car? Let’s find out below:

1. Vacuuming the Carpets and Upholstery

Regular vacuuming of the floor mats and upholstery is crucial in removing dirt and debris that can trap odors in your car. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to ensure a thorough cleaning.

2. Using Cleaner to Eliminate Lingering Odors

If the odors persist, consider using a specialized cleaner designed to target specific odors. Choose a cleaner that is safe for your car’s interior surfaces and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.

3. Steam Cleaning to Get Rid of Musty Smells

For musty odors caused by moisture or spills, steam cleaning can be highly effective. Steam cleaning penetrates deep into fabrics and carpets, removing stubborn odors and leaving your car smelling fresh.

4. Disassembling Car Parts

Some smell can result from deep-seated rotten substances or dead rodents in the car. To get to the source and deal with the smell, you may need to have a professional take out the respective car part for thorough clean up.

Read also: 7 Best Classic American Cars of All Time

Natural Remedies for Car Odors

1. Using White Vinegar to Neutralize Odors

White vinegar is a versatile natural remedy for neutralizing odors in your car. Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and mist the interior of your car. The vinegar will help eliminate odors without leaving a lingering vinegar smell.

2. Using Essential Oils for a Pleasant Scent

Essential oils not only add a pleasant scent to your car but also have natural antibacterial properties that can help eliminate odors. Mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil with water in a spray bottle and use it to freshen up the air inside your car.

3. Utilizing Charcoal to Absorb Unwanted Smells

Charcoal is a natural odor absorber that can effectively remove unwanted smells from your car. Place charcoal sachets under the seats or in the trunk to absorb odors and keep your car smelling clean.

Read also: How to Choose the Right Boogie Van for Your Needs

Dealing with Specific Odors like Cigarette Smoke or Mildew Smell

1. How to Remove Cigarette Smoke Odor from Your Car

To remove cigarette smoke odor from your car, start by airing out the vehicle by opening all windows and using fans to improve ventilation. Clean the interior surfaces with a specialized cleaner designed to eliminate smoke odors.

2. Getting Rid of Musty Smells Caused by Mildew

If your car has a musty smell due to mildew, address the source of moisture by fixing any leaks or spills. Use a combination of white vinegar and water to clean affected areas and prevent the growth of mildew.

Do you know mildew in a car could indicate it’s a flood-damaged car? If you’re buying a classic vehicle and perceive some foul smell, do well to VIN lookup classic car to verify it’s not as a result of flooding.
Flood can affect a car’s engine and promote rusting and part breakdown.

They are not usually reliable or safe to buy.

How to Get Rid Odor from Your Car

3. Using Ozone Treatment to Eliminate Lingering Odors

Ozone treatment is a powerful method to eliminate lingering odors in your car. Ozone generators release ozone molecules that neutralize odors by breaking down the compounds causing the smell. This can effectively remove stubborn odors from your car.

To remove food odors, sprinkle baking soda on spill, then wipe the area clean. You can also apply cotton balls soaked with essential oils like Vanilla in your car.

Read also: The Green Hornet’s Black Beauty: The Iconic Car

Professionally Removing Stubborn Car Odors

If you’ve tried all the DIY methods recommended, consider a professional car cleaning service that has the specialized tools and skill to handle any category of smell.

1. Hiring Odor Removal Services for Persistent Smells

If you have tried multiple methods and the odors in your car persist, consider hiring professional odor removal services. These professionals have the expertise and equipment to effectively remove stubborn odors from your car.

2. Understanding the Causes of Car Odors for Effective Removal

It’s important to identify the root cause of odors in your car to effectively remove them. Whether it’s a musty smell from moisture or a foul smell from spills, addressing the underlying issue is key to keeping your car smelling fresh.

3. When to Use Ozone Generators for Odor Elimination

Ozone generators can be particularly effective in eliminating stubborn odors in your car. However, it’s essential to follow safety precautions and use ozone generators in well-ventilated areas to ensure the effective removal of odors without posing health risks.

Useful tips for preventing car odors

  1. Regular Car Cleaning: Do not wait until you perceive foul smell, ensure you clean up your car after every excessive use.
  2. Minimize or say no to eating while in the car.
  3. Do not let open your car when not in use, to avoid rodent invasion.
  4. Ensure the windows or vents are opened to promote cross ventilation.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are several ways to remove odor from your car, such as using baking soda, vinegar, or specialized car air fresheners.

Yes, a dirty or moldy air conditioner can contribute to bad odors in your car. It is recommended to clean or replace the air filters regularly.

A: To remove the smell of mildew from your car, you can use a combination of baking soda, vinegar, and proper ventilation to eliminate the odor effectively.

To get rid of the smell inside your car, you can clean the interior thoroughly, use odor absorbers, and ensure proper ventilation to freshen up the air.

Common causes of bad smells in cars include mold, mildew, food spills, pet accidents, and dirty air conditioning systems. Identifying and addressing the source is essential for effective odor removal.

Picture of Adewale Peter

Adewale Peter

Peter, a versatile writer specializing in automotive content, has thrived as Classic Decodeer's brand journalist. With over 8 years of experience, he has excelled in creating engaging, reader-centric content, including book formatting and making slides. He is very passionate about researching and curating inspiring and informative blogs and articles. He enjoys meeting individuals who have what it takes to challenge him to continuously improve and give his best.

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