Removing Odours From Your Car - Stinky Cars Be Gone!

Removing Odours From Your Car – Stinky Cars Be Gone!
August 22, 2021 markofferdahl

“Phew! Your car smells weird.”

Sick of hearing this when guests hop in your passenger seat? Scents can sneak up on us, and they’re out of our control a lot of the time. As much as we’d love to live squeaky clean lives, that’s not always the case.

A lot of things can cause weird smells. Spilled coffee, a gym bag that lives on the car seats, or maybe a secret mould colony growing in your aircon vents. Even after you wiped away what you thought caused the problem, smells seem to linger for ages!

You don’t have to “get used” to unwanted smells. These six items can help you in removing odours from your car.


A bag of odour absorbing charcoal

Charcoal is great at absorbing odours. You’d be amazed at how much stink one piece of burnt wood can remove. Charcoal has been widely used to absorb toxins, which is why it’s used in water filters and other purification devices. All you need to do is leave a bag of charcoal beads or a small tray of activated charcoal open in your car, and it will suck up the yuck smells from your vehicle.

Just like how a vacuum sucks up dust, charcoal absorbs and filters odours in the air. Those smells get sucked into the coal pores and become stuck. This also doesn’t have any negative effect on the charcoal, so you can use it as you intended. You can even buy small, handy bags to hold purifying charcoal dust for 24/7 smell absorption with no chance of spilling in your car.

Great for:
Body odour
Lingering smells
Weird air conditioner smells


Woman spraying a clear liquid on the steering wheel

If you asked your mum about cleaning tips before you read this article, chances are vinegar was the ‘magic formula’ she told you to try. The crazy thing is, it’s not an old wives tale; it works wonders!

Just add one part white vinegar to two parts of water and combine in a spray bottle. Spray a fine mist onto your seats and carpet and let it settle. Repeat this process until you no longer notice the odour (it may need to be done for multiple days). On most materials, you can leave this solution to dry, except if you have leather seats. In this case, wipe it over with a damp water cloth and then again with a dry cloth.

Vinegar is a natural antibacterial and anti-fungal agent, so it kills any odour-causing pathogens that may be living in your upholstery. What’s better is this solution is chemical-free, so you’re not breathing in any chemicals when you use your car.

Vinegar is a harsh smelling liquid on its own, but if you leave it in an open cup or bowl overnight, the evaporation process can combat more stubborn odours. Don’t worry about the smell of vinegar; this will quickly dissipate if you leave the windows open and air the car out for a moment. Still, be cautious with pure vinegar as it can damage materials if spilled. When it comes to removing odours from your car, vinegar is your super-weapon.

Great for:
Overall unwanted smells
Smoke smells
Mould smells


Man vacuuming the car seat

Your upholstery holds a lot of weird smells and can trap things deep inside even after you think the problem is gone. Going over your car regularly with a high-quality industrial vacuum will remove any pathogens and smells that may be trapped deeper in the fabric. Using a carpet shampoo beforehand will kill hidden bacteria and give you the best results.

Great for:
Persistent smells
Long-lasting smells
Dry stains

Baking Soda

Eco friendly cleaning supplies

Similarly to charcoal, this powder is excellent at absorbing odours, and it also can sap moisture from deep within your upholstery and carpets. It’s a perfect all-rounder for spills, smells and stain removal.

If a liquid is the cause of your smelly area, sprinkle baking soda over it and leave it to dry. Go over it with the vacuum to get rid of the powder and then tada; your area should be stain and odour free! If not completely, then much better than it was.

You can keep baking soda in a somewhat opened container for ongoing deodorising. Kitty litter is also a great substitute.

Great for:
Wet stains
Food spills

Carpet Cleaner

Car getting a deep clean after carpet shampoo and a vacuum

Your carpet has to deal with some of the worst conditions. Feet bring in a lot of nasties! While carpet mats are a good barrier, it’s only a matter of time until a spill makes its way to the carpet. When you have a problem, it’s best to find a solution made to solve that issue. Specialised chemicals do the job! When all else fails, bring in the big guns.

Great for:
Dirt and grime buildup

Air Fresheners

Liquid air fresheners

Bring in some smells that you love! There’s no limit on air fresheners around. The only issue with air fresheners is you’re not really solving the problem; you’re just masking bad smells with nicer ones.

Great for:
Adding a nice touch to a clean car
Covering existing smells
Overpowering persistent scents

At Spin Car Wash, our Self-Service bays are fitted with an industrial vacuum station because the inside of your car is just as important as the outside. Removing odours from your car should be a breeze if you follow these tips and bring it in to us for a professional vacuum.

If you’ve just spent the better part of an afternoon battling odours in your car, bring it to Spin for a comprehensive clean in under 5-minutes, so the outside matches the cabin. We’re conveniently located on Gympie road Chermside, just north of the shopping centre.