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How to Get Bad Smell out of Car?

How to Get Bad Smell out of Car

How to Get Bad Smell out of Car?

We have some tips if you want to know how to get bad smell out of car. But first, find out what is causing the weird smell in car. For example, stains, mold, cigarette smoke, or a dirty AC system are often the source of the problem. Once you know what you’re dealing with, it makes it easier to take the appropriate steps.

For persistent odors, why not get your car professionally detailed? Our team will steam clean car interior to remove deeply embedded smells.

Download our Eco Wash Benefit Guide to find out more about our service:

Download Eco Wash Benefit Guide_Car Interior Detailing Kit

How to Get Rid of Bad Smell in Car: Step-By-Step Guide

Regular car interior detailing keeps your vehicle clean and smelling fresh. But if you’re behind with your car care, you may need to tackle a bad odor inside your car. Similarly, if you have bought a used car, you might be wondering how to make your car smell good again. Whatever your reason, follow our guide:

Gas Smell in Car

Car smells like gas? If you have a gas smell in your car, act straight away. Gasoline is highly flammable, and inhaling its fumes can harm your health. First, pinpoint the source of the smell. If you see any leaks around the fuel tank, contact a mechanic. Secondly, if there is gasoline on seats or carpets, do the following:

  • Clean the car interior. Remove any items from the car that may have gasoline stains, such as floor mats or clothing.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on the affected areas and let it sit for a few hours to absorb odors.
  • Vacuum to finish.
  • If the odor persists, apply baby oil to the gas stain. Then rinse. For more details, see how to get gas smell out of car.

How to Get Smoke Smell out of Car

You have several options if you need to know how to get rid of cigarette smell in car. For example:

  • Sprinkle baking soda over upholstery and carpets. Leave overnight. Then vacuum the next day. Pay special attention to cracks and crevices where ash and smoke residue can gather.
  • Place activated charcoal in a bowl and leave overnight in your car.
  • Use air fresheners specifically designed to neutralize odors. Avoid overpowering scents that may mask the smell.
  • If the smoke smell lingers, deep clean car interior.

Strong Perfume

If you’ve gone overboard with the air freshener, the strong scent can make car journeys smell sickly sweet. The good news is getting rid of perfume smell in your car isn’t too difficult. Start by rolling down all the windows on a dry day. Letting fresh air circulate through the car helps dispel the perfume odor from perfumes, cologne, or air fresheners. Then try these tips:

  • Place a bowl of activated charcoal or baking soda in the car. These substances can help absorb odors. Leave it in the car for a few hours or overnight, then remove it.
  • Try using an air freshener specifically designed to neutralize strong odors in cars.
  • If the strong perfume smell persists, thoroughly clean your interior. Start by vacuuming the carpets, upholstery, and mats. Then wipe down all the seats and surfaces with a mild interior cleaner to remove any perfume residue.

Rotten Egg Odor

What if your car smells like rotten eggs? It can happen! For instance, due to its sulfurous nature, a skunk smell can leave a nasty whiff like rotten eggs. And getting rid of this awful smell in car can take more time than removing other odors. However, give this a go:

  • Wash your car exterior to remove any skunk spray.
  • Follow our tips on how to detail a car interior.
  • Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray this solution lightly on the car’s interior surfaces, including seats, carpets, and headliner. Do a spot test in a hidden area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the upholstery or fabric. Allow the vinegar solution to air dry; it should help neutralize the odor. Remember that vinegar has a strong smell of its own, but it will fade as it dries.

Download Eco Wash Benefit Guide_Car Interior Detailing Kit

Mildew Smell

If your car carpets or upholstery get wet and are not properly dried, you’ll likely end up with mildew. This can happen from rainwater seeping into the car, spilled drinks, or wet shoes. It is a common problem during the wet and winter season. So, knowing how to remove a mildew smell in car is always helpful.

  • Identify the source of moisture or mildew growth and address it. Fix any leaks, dry out wet areas, and remove damp items from your car.
  • Check the AC. If you see signs of mold growth, read our post on how to clean your car AC vents.
  • Sprinkle generous amounts of soda on the mildew areas. Leave overnight, then vacuum the next day.
  • If you’re still getting a smell, clean the mildew with high-quality car interior detailing products, such as Dodo Juice All-Purpose Car Cleaner.

Car Smells Like Weed

Need to know how to get rid of weed smell in car? If you’ve bought a used car from a smoker, this could be a problem! You might need to repeat some of these steps a couple of times to completely remove smell from car:

  • Vacuum seats carpets and floor mats.
  • Deep clean car seats.
  • Clean the headliner (the fabric on the interior roof) using a fabric cleaner or a mixture of warm water and a mild detergent. Be gentle to avoid damaging the fabric.
  • Put odor-absorbing air fresheners in the car, such as activated charcoal or baking soda-based products. These items can help absorb lingering odors over time.
  • If you can still smell weed, experienced technicians can help. For example, DetailXPerts car interior detailing service can effectively remove stubborn odors using steam cleaning technology.

Vomit Smell Removal From Car

Children who are travel sick or unwell passengers can create a situation where you need to know how to get vomit smell out of car. It’s not a pleasant job but someone has to do it!

  • Ideally, give your car a deep clean. See our post on how to disinfect car interior. But if you’re short on time, mix a solution of warm water and mild dish soap. Use a clean cloth or sponge to clean the affected area.
  • Mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Apply this solution to the affected area, blotting with a clean cloth or sponge. The vinegar helps neutralize odors. Allow it to air dry.
  • Leave the car windows open whenever possible to allow fresh air to circulate and help remove any remaining odors.
  • If you can’t face tackling this awful smell in car, call the experts. How much does interior car detailing cost? It depends on your provider. So, ask for a quote first before you schedule an appointment.

How to Make Your Car Smell Good

Want to know how to keep your car smelling clean between detailing appointments? The “new car smell” is the combination of materials used in a new vehicle’s interior, such as fresh upholstery, carpets, and other components. While you can’t replicate this exact smell, you can maintain a clean and pleasant-smelling car interior. Here are some tips:

  • Regularly clean your car. Investing in a good car interior detailing kit makes this job easier.
  • Avoid smoking in the car because tobacco smoke can leave a persistent odor. Similarly, avoid eating inside your vehicle to prevent food odors and spills.
  • Remove damp items like wet umbrellas, towels, or coats from your car interior as soon as possible to prevent mold and mildew growth.
  • Tackle stains immediately. See our guide on how to remove stains from car seats.
  • Buy a “new car smell” air freshener.


To sum up, knowing how to get bad smell out of car depends on the type of odor in the first place. For example, there are different steps and home remedies for certain smells. And some odors are easier to get rid of than others. However, patience and persistence usually pay off.

Remember, prevention is better than the cure. So, keep your car interior dry and well-ventilated. Also, address spills and leaks promptly and maintain your vehicle’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Regular cleaning and maintenance can go a long way in preventing and eliminating unpleasant odors.

Finally, if you need the help of professional detailing services, download our Eco Wash Benefit Guide to find out how we clean the greener way:

Download Eco Wash Benefit Guide_Car Interior Detailing Kit


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