How To Remove Smells From Car Interiors The Right Way

In this article, you will learn:



  • Why air fresheners for your car are a waste of money

  • How to remove smells from a car in minutes

  • How dog owners can keep their cars smelling great

Sometimes, life stinks. . .literally. And because we spend so much of our lives locked in our cars, unpleasant odors tend to follow us there. A bad smell could come from something as simple as road trip trash, the bag leftover from a drive-thru breakfast, the bite of food that fell under the seat three weeks ago or the remnants of the last trip to the local dog park. To make matters worse, when we get out of our cars, we seal the windows and close the doors, trapping the foul odors inside, where they can linger and penetrate virtually every surface inside our cars. This is one of the most common issues drivers face.

In fact, this problem is so pervasive, it birthed an entire industry of fake cherry and pine-tree-scented, rear-view-mirror-dangling, paper air fresheners. But no matter whether you use one of those dangly things or a spray bottle or any other kind of air freshener, the smells always come back. In fact, with air fresheners, the bad smells never really go away. You're just masking the unpleasant smells with another smell until that masking odor wears away. Then, you're back where you started.

To fix the issue, you need to deodorize your car, not freshen the air, and we're going to tell you how. So let's take a deep breath and dive in. Together, we'll correct this problem once and for all.

Deodorizing your car in 4 easy steps

  1. Find and remove the source of the odor, whether it be an object or a spill. You may need to use a flashlight to see under your seats, and don't forget to check your cargo area or trunk. If you find any smelly objects or spills, remove and discard them.
  2. Clean the area. If it's hard plastic, use an interior detailer or all-purpose automotive interior cleaner as directed. If it's a seat or in the carpet, use an automotive upholstery or carpet cleaner as directed, or, even better, use a steam cleaner or extraction cleaner.
  3. Perform a general car cleaning throughout the interior. Once you've gotten rid of the main offender, clean the other high-touch surfaces of your car where you may have transmitted many other, smaller odors. Using an automotive interior cleaner like Dash & Glass or Hybrid Solutions Streak Free Mist Interior Detailer, wipe down the steering wheel, shift levers, buttons and controls, arm rest and any other areas you touch frequently. You can clean and deodorize high-traffic floor mats and carpet in one step with our POWER OUT! Carpet & Mats Cleaner and Odor Eliminator.
  4. Deodorize. If the odor is new, and you've caught it before it has spread throughout the interior, use our Odor-X Fresh Blast Car Freshener Spray to treat the isolated area. If, like most odors do, it has already penetrated the surfaces throughout your interior, or if it's a smoke odor, you'll need to deodorize your entire car interior. But don't sweat it - we make that easy.

Just use our POWER OUT! Odor-X Whole Car Blast. In minutes, it will deodorize your entire car interior, cabin filter and even the air conditioning duct work and vents. Park your car outside, leave the motor running and turn on the air conditioner, using the recirculating mode and the highest setting.

Place the deodorizer in one of the front cupholders. To help air flow throughout the cabin, open one of the rear windows about a half-inch. Remove the cap on the product and depress the actuator button to release the deodorizing spray. Exit the car and close the door. Allow a few minutes for the can to empty. Once it does, you may turn off the ignition but close the driver's door again when you exit. Let the car sit for 15 minutes as the deodorizer mist takes effect. After 15 minutes, open all the windows and allow your car to air out.

Just one treatment with Odor-X Whole Car Blast is enough for most odors, even smoke smell, but you can treat the car as many times as you wish if you have an extremely terrible problem on your hands. And one other important note - the Odor-X technology continues to deodorize for up to 30 days to keep your car smelling good, even when new odors may be brought into the car.

But what if you chauffer a canine kiddo?

All the above steps apply for deodorizing pet odors, but, if you regularly drive your dog(s) to fun adventures away from home, we recommend you adopt another practice as well. Get a removable, washable seat cover or blanket for your furry best friend or friends. Most people find laundering some sort of cover to be an easier solution than deodorizing their cars frequently.

The wash frequency will depend on how much and how far you drive your pets, but, ultimately, you may be able to save yourself from a complete car deodorization until your normal, seasonal detailing. Or mist your seats and carpet with our Odor-X Fresh Blast Car Freshener Spray after every trip with your doggo.

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