Ways to Make Your Car Smell Better
Missing that new car smell? It’s what most people look forward to when buying a new car. For as much time as you spend in your car, there’s no reason you should deal with a less than pleasant smelling interior. We can’t promise new car smell but follow these simple recommendations to combat the bad odors and improve the scent of your vehicle.
Remove Existing Odors
Let’s start with eliminating existing odors. There are a few things you can try to clear out nasty odors:
- Keep your windows down for a significant amount of time. This would include driving with the windows open and letting the car sit in the driveway or garage with the windows down. This sometimes will clear out odors.
- Just like in your refrigerator, baking soda can draw out and neutralize odors. Sprinkle baking soda throughout the car and let it sit for 3 to 4 hours, then vacuum it up. Make sure the area is dry before putting the baking soda down. Moisture will cause the baking soda to clump up and make a mess.
- White vinegar is another household item that neutralizes odors. There are two different ways to try vinegar in your car. You can put a bowl of white vinegar in your vehicle and let it sit overnight, remove the bowl the next day. Another option is mixing 50% white vinegar with 50% water in a spray bottle. Wipe down the interior of the car with the solution. Vinegar has been known to remove tough odors including cigarette smoke.
- Shampoo your carpets and floor mats. It’s easy for odors to get deep down in carpets. A thorough shampooing not only results in revived, clean carpets but can eliminate odors as well.
Add a Fresh Scent
Once you’ve eliminated the odor, you can add a fresh scent:
- There are many air fresheners for cars on the market, find a scent you like and give it a try. Dashboard and vent air fresheners are meant to be used on the vents, which help circulate the scent. Hanging air fresheners can be hung anywhere in the car. Most people hang them on the rear view mirror or under the dash. Make sure wherever you choose gets good airflow to disperse the scent throughout the vehicle.
- Air freshener sprays can cover up existing odors and/or neutralize odors. There are household sprays, such as Febreze and Lysol, and sprays specifically made for cars. Refer to the product directions and spray accordingly, either into the air or onto the seats and floor.
- Keep that fresh laundry scent with you all day with dryer sheets. Open a new box of fabric softener sheets and put them under your front seat. The scent from one box can last up to three months.
To prevent odors in the first place:
- Don’t leave garbage, food, or drinks in your car. Leaving trash in your car for just one night can leave an unwanted smell. Every time you exit the vehicle, take all trash with you.
- Liquids and spills soak into the upholstery and carpet quickly and can leave a bad scent especially something like milk or vomit. As soon as possible, soak up all the liquid and clean the area with the appropriate cleaner.
- Newer cars come with cabin air filters that help to prevent bad odors from coming into the car. If your car is equipped with a cabin air filter, replace it per the directions in your owner’s manual.