How to Get Rid of Smells in a Used Car

September 20th, 2014 by

When you buy a used car, you are buying its history, as well. Unfortunately, that can include a history of owners who were smokers, pet owners or just not very good at keeping their car clean. When you shop at quality local used car dealerships, like McCluskey Automotive, you’ll have your choice of cars that have been carefully pre-screened and then thoroughly detailed. You shouldn’t have to deal with any unsavory smells when you buy from local used car dealerships like these.

However, if you buy a used car from a less reputable dealership or from a private owner, you may have to deal with lingering odors. Here are a few things you can do to neutralize those smells and make your car smell fresh:

Look for Sources of Odors

We assume that when you buy a used car, even a lower quality dealership or a private owner would have taken the time to clean all the trash out of it. However, they may have missed something that is still causing unpleasant smells. Do a thorough search of the car to find the source of the odors. You may discover rotting food under one of the seats or a smelly gym sock stuck between the upholstery. Once you remove these odor-causers, you may tackle the problem.

Thoroughly Clean the Car

Once you are sure the car is clean of debris, thoroughly clean it. Wipe down all surfaces, vacuum every nook and cranny, then shampoo the upholster and the carpets. Use small brushes and wipes to get inside all the surface cracks, like around the drink containers and the windows. Clean the car so that it looks as good as new (or as close to it as possible).

Neutralize Odors

Even with a thorough cleaning, odors can still persist. They can get deep in the fibers of the carpets and the upholstery. Lingering bacteria can also produce odors. You can neutralize the odors by using a couple of methods. You can sprinkle baking soda into the carpets or the cloth upholstery, or you can place a couple of bowls of vinegar in the car for a few hours. These will draw out odors and neutralize bacteria. You can also spray Lysol and other specialty cleaners.

Of course, the best way to ensure you are buying an odor free car is to shop at a place like McCluskey Automotive, one of the best local used car dealerships in the area. We ensure that all our cars are in top shape before putting them on our lot. Of course, we can’t do anything about the condition of the car after you drive it away, so if you experience any nasty spills or other odor-causing problems, these tips can help you keep your car maintained.