Does Your Car Smell Funky? These 6 Tips Will Squash The Stench For Good

Driving a freshly cleaned car is almost as satisfying as getting a brand new one. The dash is clean and the seats are free of pretzels, dog hair, receipts, or gum wrappers. It’s also a rarity if you cart your kiddos around town, because, while we love ’em to death, kids can be so, so gross. 


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How To Clean And Refresh Your Stinky Car

Like anything we use every day, our cars accumulate dust, grime, and oils from our skin. All that accumulation can lead to an…ahem…stench problem. Let’s face it: your stinky car is probably due for a clean and a refresh, so here’s how to do it right.

1. Clean Your Interior With Vinegar & Water

Vinegar has been used as a household cleaner forever. It works great because vinegar is acidic, which helps break down dirt and oil while also being gentle enough not to harm most materials. (Spot check first to make doubly sure the solution won’t stain or remove finishes.)

2. Leave A Bar Of Soap In Your Car Overnight

Freshen up confined spaces with the scent of a bar of soap. To do so, select a bar of soap with a scent you like and fold it into a napkin or paper towel. Place the bundle in the cup holder of your car. That’s it!

After a few hours, the air in your car will be infused with the soap’s scent. Remove the little bundle, and live your best life.

Use caution when the temperatures soar…you don’t want to end up with a glob of soap stuck to your car’s interior. During the hotter days, you can leave Ozium’s gel in your car.

3. Try Activated Charcoal In The Front

This type of deodorizer and air purifier is one of the most effective. Place a small block of activated charcoal into a breathable container or baggie (or buy a sachet made for confined spaces).

4. Leave Baking Soda In The Trunk

The trunk area of your vehicle collects more than its fair share of funk. Sprinkle baking soda on the interior of the trunk, let sit for about 30 minutes, then use a vacuum to suck the stink away. Arm & Hammer’s baking soda sachets are also popular.

5. Clean Farty Seat Covers

Fabric and vinyl seats will absorb more than their fair share of stink. Use an upholstery cleaner to refresh the seats and remove all traces of gas. The Bad Air Sponge also works to remove odors from porous materials, like your seats.

6. Spray Air Freshener On The Floor Mats

If you want to freshen up the back row without overpowering the entire car, spritz a mini blast of air freshener directly onto the floor mats. Chemical Guys makes a spray that’s safe for spraying on car interiors, helping to remove odor rather than mask it.


We’d love to hear your tips for cleaning your stinky car. Please share your tips in the comments below. 

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