The smell in the car: reasons for the appearance, professional means, the use of home and improvised means, ordering a full cleaning of the car in a car wash

Bad smell in the car is always a big problem for motorists. Its reasons can be various. But in any case, the problem must be solved and not put off “for later”. Otherwise, the aromas will only intensify, and it will not be comfortable to drive such a car. How to eliminate odor in a car in various ways? Consider this issue in our article.

Reasons for the appearance

Bad smell may occur due to:

  • Air conditioner. Improper operation of the climate system leads to pollution. As a result, moisture and unpleasant odors are formed. In the air conditioner, fungus may start.
  • Cooling systems. If any of the pipes is leaky or there is a breakdown of the radiator of the stove (but this happens much less often), a sweet smell appears in the cabin.
  • Cabin filter. On many modern cars, a cabin filter is installed. It serves to trap particles of dust and dirt. Over time, the filter becomes dirty. If you do not change it for a long time, mold smell may appear.
  • Water entering the cabin. This may occur due to a loose seal or problems with the drainage system. This usually happens on older cars.
how to remove the smell from the car

How to remove odor from the car? Next, we will consider specialized dry cleaning products.


This is an Italian product. Sold in a 400 ml aerosol can. After applying to the surface of the upholstery, a dense foam is formed. After 15 minutes, according to the instructions, it can be removed. As noted in the reviews, this tool can remove the smell in the car. However, it is unlikely to be able to clean from stains.

smell in the car

STP Tuff Stuff

This product is made in Argentina. It is also available in an aerosol can, but the volume is slightly larger - 650 milliliters. According to users, this tool has a sharp and irritating aroma. But at the same time, the composition is able to remove old odors from the upholstery and at the same time corrodes stains. If your carpet is dirty or it starts to emit an unpleasant odor, this tool will return it to its former state.


This is a product from a Russian manufacturer. It is a foam spray. The amount of funds is 520 milliliters. It is sprayed evenly, but the chemistry emits a pungent odor. The product quickly reacts. Two minutes later, he rid the upholstery of the old smell and dirt. At the same time, the aroma of the cleaner itself is eroded.

how to eliminate the smell in the car

"Vanish" for carpets - a remedy for bad smell

There are also folk methods that allow you to remove the smell in the car. One of the most popular interior cleaning products in this case is Vanish for carpets. It is easy to apply:

  • It is necessary to dilute the composition in water, according to the instructions.
  • Shake until foam.
  • Apply the product to the brush.
  • Handle the car interior.
  • Wait for the active foam to dry completely.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the product from the coating.
bad smell

As practice shows, “Vanish” can effectively eliminate unpleasant odors from the car upholstery. The same applies to carpet. Over time, it can absorb moisture and emit a bad smell. "Vanish" eliminates not only pollution, but also unpleasant aromas.

How to eliminate odor with shampoo or washing powder?

There is one more method. We will need a shampoo. It must be diluted in water in a ratio of 1 to 20. If there is no shampoo, you can use washing powder. One liter of water requires a tablespoon of powder. The solution is shaken until a foam forms. Then the composition is applied with a brush to the surface of the cabin and rubbed.

how to get rid of the smell in the car

Folk chemistry

As folk chemistry, you can use:

  • Acetic essence. It is divorced in water (one teaspoon of this remedy falls on a glass). Vinegar fights the smell of alcohol.
  • Ethanol.
  • Ammonia.

How to deal with smoke without dry cleaning?

Smoke from cigarettes eats up significantly in the upholstery. No ventilation to remove this smell will not work. Yes, you can order a professional dry cleaning service. But many prefer to use less radical measures. So, you can put coffee grounds in a wide bowl, or pour vinegar. Next, this capacity is placed on the panel in the car and left overnight. Windows and doors remain closed. But the smell is not always removed the first time. If necessary, the procedure is repeated again.

Please note: if this operation will be performed in the winter, you need to remember that the freezing temperature of table vinegar is -2 degrees. Therefore, in the cold, such a tool will not be effective.

The next method of removing odor in a car is using vanilla extract. A few drops of the composition is applied to inconspicuous places in the interior of the car. For several days, vanilla can absorb the unpleasant smell of cigarette smoke.

Order a full car wash in a car wash

How to get rid of the smell in the car? If you do not have time for these works or you are afraid to damage the car interior, you can order a professional dry cleaning service. The cost of this work is different, but on average it is about 3 thousand rubles. In this case, not only the interior is dry cleaned, but also the trunk. By the way, such a service can be ordered separately. It costs about 1-1.5 thousand rubles.

there was a smell in the car

As a result, you get a clean interior without harmful odors. But you need to understand that if the cause of its occurrence is serious (clogged drainage channels, cabin filter and a malfunction of the air conditioner), then soon the problem will again remind of itself. Therefore, first you need to fix the problem, and only then send the car for chemical treatment.

If it's gas

The smell of gasoline is always sharp and unpleasant. What if these "aromas" penetrate the salon? First of all, you need to determine the cause of this phenomenon. It can be:

  • Exhaust fumes that erupt into the cabin.
  • Poor gas tank cap tightness.
  • Leak in the tank itself.
  • Fuel leak in the fuel line.
how to remove odor from a car

Often the smell of gasoline appears due to problems with the gas pump, namely with sealing elements. Over time, gaskets wear out and membranes break. And since the tank is under the passenger seat, as a result, gasoline vapors break into the cabin. How to remove odor in a car? First you need to eliminate the cause of the problem. And after that you can take measures to eliminate the smell. How can I overcome this fragrance? Usually, specialized dry cleaning products are used for this. This is the only way to get rid of the sharp smell of gasoline. Some use flavorings. Yes, they will add fresh air to the cabin. But you need to understand that fragrances only suppress the smell of gasoline, and do not completely eliminate it.


Sometimes during idle time in traffic jams an unpleasant burnt smell may appear. This happens on cars with a manual gearbox. Also, a burnt smell appears due to high loads on the car (sudden starts with slipping). In this case, it is enough to open the windows and wait until the fragrance disappears. But henceforth, try to prevent slippage of the clutch, as this is harmful to the car.

How to care for your skin?

Removing odors in a leather interior is more difficult. Specialized tools will be needed here (Leather Cleaner gets good reviews). At the end of the cleaning work, it is necessary to treat the skin with a special cream. It not only gives the coating a shine, but also protects it from cracking (the skin becomes not so dry).

Tips for the future

So that in future there is no unpleasant smell in a car, it is worth using rubber mats instead of velor. They will not only protect the carpet from pollution, but also from absorbing various odors. In the case of transportation of animals, special containers must be used for their transportation. This will protect not only from pollution, but also from an unpleasant odor. If you are carrying small children, it is recommended that you place a towel nearby that protects the interior from contamination (for example, spilled yogurt).


So, we figured out how to remove the smell from the car. There are several ways, and each car owner chooses the most suitable for himself. However, to prevent the smell from reappearing in the car, regularly change the cabin filter and keep the air conditioning system in good condition.


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