How to Get a Bad Smell Out of a Car

by Danielle Dean

While you can easily get rid or bad smells on clothes by tossing them in the wash, getting a bad smell out of a car is not as simple. You don't have to endure a horrible scent because an animal died in the engine or a friend vomited after a wild night. While it is hard to get rid of bad smells in cars, there are some ways to do so.

Determine the source of the smell. It is much easier to eliminate a scent when you know the source or the smell. If there is still a visible area in the car, remove anything associated with the scent. Then clean it with a sponge. You may want to use some dishwashing soap to help get rid of the smell.

Clean the whole car. You will need to throw away trash and remove everything from the trunk, then vacuum the whole car. The best way to get rid of smells while vacuuming is to sprinkle baking soda on the car's carpet and seats. Shampoo the seats, and wipe down the doors and dashboards. You will want to make sure you are getting rid of anything that will harbor the scent.

Air the car out. Park the car in direct sunlight and roll the windows down. The fresh air will make the whole car smell cleaner.

Prepare a vinegar spray. Place several drops of essential oil in the bottle then fill the bottle up with vinegar. Shake the bottle up. Now spray this solution at the source of the bad smell in your car. Make sure to dry it with a towel.

Use a small container of cat litter in the car. If you place a bowl of cheap cat litter on the surrounding the bad scent, the cat litter will be able to get the bad smell out of your car. Take the car litter out before driving, so you do not have to vacuum up bits of cat litter.

Dip several cotton balls in sweet oil. Place these cotton balls all over in the car. The sweet oil will absorb all the bad smells in your car.

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About the Author

Danielle Dean is a 2003 Magna Cum Laude graduate from the University of West Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She expanded into freelance writing in 2005. Dean joined Ehow in 2006 and has been publishing since that time.