• February 16, 2016

Does your car smell?

Does your car smell?

Are your friends always refusing to ride in your car? Do the kids refer to a trip in the minivan as “doing time on the tuna boat.” If so, you may suffer from the embarrassing effects of a smelly car. Don’t despair; however, there is a cure for this condition. In this article, we will cover the techniques that you can follow to become a popular chauffeur once again.

Step One: Start by clearing everything out of the car and removing all trash. Be sure and reach under the seats and remove all the discarded and lost items. Then check the pockets in the back of the seats and on the doors; be sure and dig all the drink containers too. One last thing, probe between all the seat surfaces and dig out all the stuff that has fallen between the cracks.

Step Two: Wipe down every plastic, wood, glass, and metallic surface inside the car with warm water and a mild detergent. Take your time and get every surface. For leather seats, use a good leather cleaner. Be sure and wipe inside the glove compartment, too.

Step Three: Vacuum the car with a household vacuum, thoroughly. Remove any floor rugs that can be removed and vacuum the carpet and seat surfaces completely. Get out all the dirt. Make sure you have a narrow vacuum nozzle so you can get in between all the seats and cushions too. You will be amazed at the stuff that comes out of there.

Step Four: Steam-clean the inside of the car.  If you don’t have a steam cleaner with an “upholstery hose” then consider renting one. Most large supermarkets and hardware stores have steam cleaners that you can rent for $15-$20 per day. Spend some time and really clean the seats and carpets thoroughly.

After you have completed Steps One through Four, let your car dry thoroughly and see if you can detect any odors. If you do, you may need to go at the carpet, and perhaps headliner, once again with the steamcleaner and an aggressive cleaning solution.

Does it smell of cigarette smoke? Cigarette smoke can be the hardest smell to eradicate. A trick that professional detailers use is vinegar.  Here’s a technique to try: place two towels into two separate plastic bowls and fill with white distilled vinegar. If the car is really big, use additional bowls. Leave the bowls and vinegar in place for at least 24 hours. You can also try sprinkling baking soda and/or carpet deodorizer over the upholstery and carpet respectively, leave for a few hours, and then vacuum it up.  This will extract some of the smoke odors also.

In future, clean up all spills immediately. They are much easier to remove when they first occur and will leave the least odor behind when removed fast. Also, do a regular sweep to remove food scraps, empty drink bottles, and any organic materials that have been traipsed into the car on fee, clothing, and equipment.

Article Courtesy of: Holden Dodge

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