Let’s face it, a vehicle’s interior is subjected to a lot of everyday use. This can be especially true if you travel often with your pets or kids. Let’s discuss some reasons odors might be persistent in your car and some important tips to eliminate them.

Reasons you may be noticing an unpleasant odor include:

  • Spilled food or drinks that have soaked into the fabric. It’s always a good idea to clean up spills as soon as possible.
  • Cigarette smoking. When possible consider smoking outside rather than in the vehicle.
  • Dirty shoes and/or pet fur can result in smells. Floor mats and seat covers can help.
  • Vehicle is overdue for a detailed cleaning. It’s advisable to schedule time to clean the interior of cars on a steady basis.

1) Routine cleaning. Planning regular thorough cleanings of your vehicle will go a long way to keep odors away. Gradually smells will build up as you go about your daily travels and your vehicle can get surprisingly dirty inside and out. The longer you let that dirt sit on interior surfaces the more likely it is to be difficult to remove as it settles in and emits odors.

Vehicles are a closed in space that often sit in the heat or in humid conditions and this is a prime environment for odors to develop.

2) Make use of cup holders. This may seem like an obvious tip but you’d be surprised how much odor can come from just one spilled drink, especially if it sits in a hot car. Stains can become an issue and depending on what spilled, it can be difficult to remove.

Using cup holders and keeping beverages in spill proof containers will help to avoid that occasional spill which can lead to a smelly mess.

3) Keep it fresh with the right products. There’s an array of products to choose from to keep vehicles smelling fresh. Hanging air fresheners, deodorizing sprays, powders for carpets and fabric, the list goes on. So how do you decide which to use?

Most of these products will help with the odor but knowing which of these is going to work best really depends on the source of the odor. For instance, if it’s an odor from the carpet, a hanging freshener likely won’t solve the problem.

4) Identify the source. It’s easier to remove odors once you know the reason, otherwise you’re just using products to cover the smell. The source of the odor is possibly in a hidden spot.

To find the source of the smell, you may need to remove floor mats or even look under the seats. Feel around for any damp areas and don’t forget to check the trunk. It’s easy to sometimes forget items in there such as clothing or laundry that may be damp.

5) Check the vents and any air filters. The car’s cabin air filter may become an odor issue if it’s dirty. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to find out where yours is located.

Air vents in vehicles can get a build-up of dust and lead to a smelly interior. Sometimes they need to be cleaned. This is another good time to check your owner’s manual for guidance. You can try turning off the air conditioner and let the fans run for a few minutes. This will help clear out excess moisture that forms in the AC vents.

At Flagstop Car Wash we make keeping your vehicle clean a breeze. The exterior and interior of your car will benefit from our RVA Wash Club which offers unlimited washes for one monthly fee. Our vacuums and stocked kiosks provide you with all you’ll need to eliminate odors, and have your car looking and smelling good.

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