How to Get Smells Out of Your Car: Dealing with Smoke, Mildew, and More

Share This Article:

Do you need to know how to get bad smells out of your car? Unpleasant odors can quickly turn any drive into an uncomfortable experience. Whether it’s caused by cigarette smoke, wet upholstery, food spills, or other sources, eliminating bad smells is essential for an enjoyable and fresh driving environment.

Today, we’ll explore effective strategies to eliminate stubborn odors from your vehicle. From simple solutions to clean-ups, Take 5 has you covered with practical solutions to help you breathe easy each time you step into your car. So say goodbye to unpleasant orders and hello to a fresh, odor-free car.

Remove Smells From Car

How to Remove Cigarette Smells from Your Car

Cigarette smoke can leave strong, persistent odors in your car, making it unpleasant for smokers and non-smokers alike. If you need to remove a smoke smell from your car, here are some practical steps you can take:

  • Ventilation: Open all windows and allow fresh air to circulate throughout the car for a few hours. Additionally, avoid smoking in a vehicle with the windows closed.
  • Deep Cleaning: One of the best ways to remove smoke smells from a car is to give everything in the interior a deep clean. Clean your upholstery and thoroughly vacuum it, paying particular attention to floor mats, carpets, and seats to remove dust, debris, and cigarette ash. If you don’t have a car vacuum, no worries! Take 5 offers free self-service, high-powered vacuum use after every car wash.
  • Surface Cleaning: Wipe down all hard surfaces inside your vehicle, including door panels, the console, and the dashboard, using a mild detergent mixed with water.

How to Get Mildew Smells Out of Your Car

Mildew smells can be challenging to eliminate, and severe cases may require professional detailing. However, there are several steps you can take to remove mildew and deodorize your car, including:

  • Attack at the Source: Look for the source of the mildew smell. Mildew thrives in dark, damp areas, so wet floor mats, upholstery, or spills are often the culprit. Remove any damp or moldy items, such as a floor mat, from your car. If the smell comes from your upholstery, do a thorough deep clean.
  • Air Out the Vehicle: Once you’ve removed the source of the smell, air out your vehicle by opening all your windows. This works best in a well-ventilated area or beneath direct sunlight.
  • Use Odor Eliminators: If the smell persists, use car-odor eliminators—like special products for vehicles or mild commercial cleaners—or sprinkle some baking soda on your floors and upholstery. Leave the baking soda for about 15 minutes before vacuuming.

How to Make Your Car Smell Good After Removing Smells

Now that you know how to get smells out of a car, here are some extra tips to make your car smell great afterward:

  • Sprinkle baking soda on your upholstery and let sit for about 15 minutes, then vacuum.
  • Open a citrus fruit, like oranges, grapefruit, limes, or lemons, and leave it in a bowl inside your car for a couple of hours.
  • Clean hard surfaces with a mixture of water and white vinegar.
  • Use an air freshener or your favorite essential oil.

Prevention Is the Best Policy

Here are some simple odor-prevention tips:

  • Vacuum regularly.
  • Immediately clean up any spills.
  • Keep your windows open on nicer days.
  • Avoid smoking inside your car.
  • Don’t leave trash in your car.
  • Avoid eating or drinking inside your vehicle.

Visit a Take 5 Location Near You

Take 5 helps you keep your car looking and smelling its best with convenient drive-thru locations, free self-service vacuums with every wash, and high-quality service. Plus, Take 5 saves you more on regular washes with our Take 5 Unlimited™ car wash club.

By signing up for our wash club, you’ll get unlimited washes and self-service vacuum use for one low monthly fee. And don’t forget to keep your car smelling fresh by taking advantage of our Pro5™ Detail Center!

Connect with us
Oil change association certification
Autocare association certification
Car care aware certification
Recycle certification

©2024 Take 5, All rights reserved.