How to Get Smells Out of Car Seats

by Mel Frank

There's nothing worse than getting in a vehicle, only to be surrounded by a foul, unpleasant odor. A small spill on a car seat can leave behind an odor that quickly overtakes the entire vehicle, making it important to maintain the seats properly, and get rid of bad smells as then develop. The best way to get rid of smells, and keep them gone, is to incorporate a regular cleaning and deodorizing routine, plus collecting spills as they occur.


Vacuum the car seats regularly to collect dirt, food crumbs, and other residue that can lead to odor development.


Clean the car seats with a car shampoo designed for the type of upholstery your car seats are made of. The cleaner will typically come in a foam or spray-on form.


Scrub the shampoo into the seats with a soft scrub brush.


Vacuum the seats once more, then wipe with a damp cloth afterward to remove any lifted residue along with any shampoo.


Sprinkle the seats with baking soda if any odor remains. Baking soda is a natural odor absorber, and will also absorb any moisture in the seats that can potentially lead to mildew development and odor. Allow the baking soda to work for 30 minutes, then vacuum the seats to collect the baking soda.


Spray the seats with an odor neutralizer every one to two weeks, or as needed to both get rid of and to prevent odor.

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About the Author

Mel Frank is a professional freelance writer with over 15 years of writing experience. She has completed a wide variety of writing assignments for a number of publications that include CNN and various websites. Frank received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from a prestigious university in Pennsylvania.

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