It can be challenging to eliminate bad odors from a vehicle once they set in, but with a bit of cleaning, you can make drastic improvements. When food, moisture, or other substances settle into the interior of a vehicle for too long, mold and foul odors can begin to develop. By following a few steps, you can completely remove bad odors and have your car smelling better than ever.
The first thing you should do before you begin is set up a light source inside the vehicle so you can see small debris better. Check under and beside all seat cushions for trapped debris and vacuum out what you can’t pick up. Most rear seats lift with a small lever or a built-in handle. Take all your floor mats out as well and vacuum the floors, so there are no more particles anywhere in the vehicle.
Focusing on one section at a time, spray a quality automotive cleaning solution directly on the area you want to clean and allow it to sit for at least a minute. After the solution has set, gently scrub the areas and blot out the solution with a dry absorbent towel until it’s completely dry. You may also suck the solution out of the fibers with a wet/dry shop vacuum.
A vehicle cabin filter can harbor bad odors and must be replaced to keep the air fresh inside. Check your owner’s manual for the location and how to access it.
You’ll typically find cabin air filters behind the glove box. If that’s the case, you can remove the contents from your vehicle’s glove box and remove the stop arm which holds the box open. Release the glove box fully by squeezing both the front and back ends together, so the side clamps pop free. Remove the glove box entirely and open the cabin filter faceplate to remove the old filter inside. Vacuum and wipe out the filter compartment area before you install a new filter.
While these steps eliminate most of the offensive odors from your vehicle, cleaning a spill as fast as possible is the best way to avoid any odors from settling. You can remove any lingering smells with one of our interior cleaning products, such as the Sprayway Interior Detailer or the Sprayway Glass Cleaner. Both solutions wipe away odor-causing grime from surfaces and leave your vehicle with a streak-free finish.