No one enjoys driving around in a stinky car. Bad odors can come from a variety of sources, such as mildew from wet winter or spring weather, spilled food or beverages, or just the collected fragrances of age. The following tips can help you remove the odors and replace them with much more pleasant scents.
1. Schedule a Deep Shampoo
Odors can get deep into the upholstery and carpeting of your vehicle. Fortunately, shampooing with a quality upholstery shampoo can remove many of these deeply embedded smells. You can have the car professionally shampooed or you can do it yourself. Many self-serve car washes have shampoo stations you can use, or you can use a handheld carpet shampooer to do the job.
2. Increase the Vacuum Frequency
Vacuuming helps remove mold and mildew spores, which are often the culprit behind a smelly car. If you transport multiple passengers daily or have young kids that are often in the car, then a quick weekly vacuum may be necessary. This is especially true in the wet season, when mold and mildew are most likely to grow. Otherwise, plan to vacuum at least once a month.
3. Neutralize and Absorb Bad Odors
Foul odors may not go away on their own or even after shampooing if they are deeply embedded in the upholstery or carpet. You may need to neutralize the odors. Activated charcoal is a common way to achieve this. You can simply place a bowl of the charcoal beneath a car seat. There are also mesh containers filled with charcoal that are designed to be placed under the seats of a car. Baking soda can also be used, although it will need to be replaced more often than the charcoal.
4. Invest in New Mats
Car mats are designed to protect the carpet, so bad odors often get deeply embedded inside. Replace old mats, especially carpeted ones that absorb more odors, with new rubber mats. These mats will protect the carpet without becoming smelly.
5. Use a Scented Spray
A scented spray, such as an apple-scented air freshener spray, can provide your car with a signature fragrance. Choose a fragrance you enjoy, and stick to it -- switching fragrances often can lead to mixed scents that aren't as pleasant. An apple-scented air freshener spray is a good choice for a car because most people find the fragrance of apples refreshing. Further, the smell is sweet enough to overcome sour mildew odors without becoming overpowering or cloying.
With perseverance, your car odor problem will soon be an issue of the past.
As a teenager, I joined my local swim team and soon became a champion swimmer. I have been swimming my entire life, and my love for water pushed me to purchase a home with a large in-ground pool. Strangely enough, after years of swimming I had no idea how to take care of the pool. I knew that I needed to add chemicals to get rid of potentially dangerous bacteria, and I also knew that chemicals kept algae at bay. I didn't know how to choose from hydrogen peroxide, salt, or chlorine additives. I definitely had no idea about shock, and I didn't know how many chemicals to add. After some trial and error, a very green pool, and a necessary draining, I figured it out. I have compiled for you a number of blogs and resources so you do not have to make costly mistakes like me.