Ideally, you would want your car to smell new for the longest time possible. However, this does not usually happen since the car is involved in many activities that leave it with other odors. Despite cleaning regularly, this odor might not go away until specially cleaned. This article will discuss some of the most typical causes of car odors and the solutions to removing them.

Smoke smell

You ought to regularly clean the ashtrays if you or your passenger(s) are a smoker. Since the smoke gets in every part of the car’s interior, including the vents, consider spraying a professional car odor eliminator into the ducts and through the intake valve. Additionally, open the car windows and doors while cleaning to air the smells out.

Since smoking produces a sticky substance known as tar, consider wiping the interior with a water and vinegar solution. If the smell persists, add some dish soap to the water and vinegar solution. Remember to dry the interior surfaces once you are done.

Sickness smells

Sometimes, small children and pets may have had a carsick moment or an accident on the upholstery. Deeper cleaning is necessary to remove the ‘sick smells’ altogether, even after wiping out the mess right away. If the mess has dried up, a water and vinegar solution will rehydrate the spot. You can then remove it using a wet or dry vacuum. Sprinkling the area with baking soda will also help in absorbing the odor.

Mildew smell

Mildew is a common source of unwanted car odors. They are mostly experienced when rainstorms occur with your car’s windows partially open. Any moisture entering your vehicle will result in mildew, which comes along with disgusting solid odors.

Fortunately, getting rid of mildew smells in cars is not much challenging. A wet/dry vacuum or a hairdryer will assist you in removing any moisture from the carpets and the upholstery. If there is a small leak, check under the mats and the trunk for any condensation.

Car air-conditioner smells

The car’s air conditioning system is another cause of unwanted smells in a car. This can be detected by having damp floor mats around the air conditioner. If an odor is coming from the area around the air conditioner, consider opening the front cover and removing the filter. Using a nylon scrub pad, remove the mold growth and then dry the area using a cotton swab. You can turn on the car’s heater to dry the wet surfaces faster. When the area has completely dried up, apply an enzyme cleaner, anti-mildew solution, or odor absorber.

Also, it would help if you considered sprinkling the upholstery with baking soda and leaving it for at least a day before vacuuming away to dissipate the smell. Removing and drying the car mats in the open will also help in dissipating the scent. In addition, dust may build up inside the vents to produce a disgusting smell in the car. Consider vacuuming the vents and using a solution of water and vinegar to clean the interior.


Your car should have a great smell after you identify and treat the source of a disgusting odor. The vehicle can smell almost like a new one if you use the air fresheners well. Additionally, it would help if you considered checking out more information on car maintenance and cleaning tips.