Getting Rid of Interior Odor |
Vacuum Cleaning of Car Interior
Getting Rid of Interior Odor

You may notice a weird smell in your car, whether it’s from an old coffee cup you forgot to take out and throw away or a lingering smell from that dinner you picked up the other night. A weird smell in your vehicle can be persistent and hard to get rid of, not to mention unpleasant to constantly smell throughout your daily commutes. Depending on the cause of the odor, there are various ways that you can either cover them or get rid of them entirely without having to make the trip to a car wash or having the interior cleaned by a professional.

Tips to reduce and get rid of bad odors

  • Vacuum– Multiple odors can be trapped in the interior’s fabric over time, using a vacuum can easily eliminate odors, especially if your vacuum has the upholstery attachment. Be sure to vacuum in every area of the car as smells can be in a space of any size, even the smallest areas. If vacuuming alone doesn’t eliminate the odor completely, then steam cleaning will help completely get rid of odors in your interior’s fabric.
  • Deodorizer– One of the worst smells a car can be stuck with is cigarette smoke. Hard to remove, it can get everywhere, even places like the ducts for the heater and air conditioner. To get rid of that lingering smell of smoke, open your hood and spray an air deodorizer through the intake valve to try and get all of the smoke out of the system. Smoke can be extremely hard to get rid of so be sure to take more steps to clean the smell out than just cleaning the upholstery.
  • Baking Soda– Baking soda is great to remove odors. Sprinkling baking soda on an area where something was spilled and the smell still lingers will absorb these smells. Leave baking soda rubbed in for just a few hours will have a drastic effect and then after a few hours, simply vacuum up the baking soda.
  • Charcoal– One of the best substances to absorb smells is charcoal. It’s a key component in most air and water filters due to its’ abilities to absorb such a wide variety of smells. You can use a piece of charcoal, exactly like what Cleaning Car Seats you’d use to grill with, and leave it in the car for a few days. Within a few days you should find that the smells have disappeared by being absorbed into the charcoal.
  • Making Your Own Air Freshener– Choosing your favorite scent, you can try and put together your own air freshener to eliminate nasty smells and odors. Putting vanilla on a few cotton balls and leaving them in the car or keeping a container of ground coffee in your vehicle can help to get rid of those bad smells. Within a few days the car should begin to smell like the vanilla or the coffee, depending on your preference you can even also use mint extracts or citrus oils as well.
  • Recognizing Serious Smells– If you notice a smell like gasoline inside your vehicle then that can be the sign of a leak and this can be extremely dangerous. Finding the leak and having it fixed immediately will help prevent any ignitions of the gas inside the vehicle.
  • Take it to the Cleaners– In the event that absolutely nothing is working, you can go the more expensive route and take your vehicle to a professional cleaner that can eliminate pesky lingering smells completely.


A good smelling car goes a long way towards making drives and time spent behind the wheel more enjoyable. Finding and eliminating the sources of unpleasant odors doesn’t always mean that the smell will go away with it, lingering odors can often take a bit more work to completely get rid of. Using a variety of at home tricks and methods can help you get your car smelling fresh again while avoiding the costly trips to have professionals take care of it for you. However, whatever option you choose to go with, remember that there are some certain scents that you may not ever be able to get rid of such as a skunk spray and other strong, staining scents.