There is nothing like the smell of a new car. The smell of leather and the fresh upholstery reminds us of good times. Sadly, this odor does not last long. Due to usage and bad habits, our cars will smell bad after some time. It doesn’t feel good to get in your vehicle that has a bad odor whether you’re about to go home or just about to head out.
However, do not despair as there are many ways we can keep our car smelling great. Simple household items and good habits will maintain good odor inside our vehicles. Here are some simple tips that you can follow to keep your car smelling good.
One of the most common causes of a bad smell in the car is the condition of the air vents. When they accumulate dirt and germs, the air that gets into the car will smell. To begin, clean out the air vents inside the car. You can use a small, thin sponge or cotton swabs for this.
Clean out the upper vents and the lower vents as well. While you’re at it, check the cabin air filter. This has to be changed regularly to keep a fresh smell in your car. Lastly, the drain the A/C overflow. Squeeze the tube of the drain to clean out accumulated dirt and debris.
Our laundry friends will help us keep our car smelling good. Hang some dryer sheets on the air conditioning vents for a quick freshener. The fabric sheets will act as a deodorizer for the car. A box of dryer sheets with small punctures in the corner will also last longer than your usual car fresheners. Put this under the seat for long-lasting fragrance. You can also make your own fresheners using household fresheners like Downy Unstoppables or Gain Fireworks. You can opt to put them in small mason jars with holes in the cover or in small mesh bags. Put these under the seats, on the console or the cup holder for an instant fresh smell.
Coffee beans are one of the most energizing smells that you can have as a car freshener. Put some beans in a small mesh bag, socks or even a small paper bag. They are great deodorizers, and they can absorb bad smells in the car. Leave them under the seats as an affordable deodorizer and freshener. Don’t forget to change the beans every few days or so to keep them fresh. You can also opt to use ground coffee but put them in small steady containers like a salt shaker. Make sure that it’s in a stable place like the cup holder so you won’t need additional cleaning in case they spill.
Essential oils will not only keep your car smelling great. Some may think that essential oils are expensive but you never need more than a drop or two. If you already have a diffuser, simply put this on the console for instant car aromatherapy. You can also use cotton balls dabbed with a few drops of essential oil. Put them on the vents or side pockets for instant freshening. You can also put a few drops mixed with water in a spray bottle and spritz some inside the car. You can also use variants like peppermint to help avoid nausea or car sickness when you have sensitive passengers. Not only will they be free from dizziness, but your car will also smell fresh.
Another easy and affordable way to keep your car smelling great is to use scented candles. There are many options to buy in terms of fragrance but if you are not picky, you can even use the leftover ones you have at home.
Put the wax in a small mason jar that has holes in the cover or a pepper shaker. Leave them under the seats or on the console. When the car is exposed under the sun, the wax will melt inside the container but the aroma will be diffused in the car. You will be welcomed by a fresh scent without the added hassle on your part.
Baking soda is one of the most useful items at home. It is a great deodorizer for cars as well. Sprinkle some baking soda on the car seats, mats and floor of the car. Leave them for some time, ideally for a few hours, then vacuum. This will remove the bad odor as well as dirt that is stuck on the upholstery. Similarly, you can also put baking soda in a small container and add a few drops of essential oil. You will have instant deodorizer and air freshener for your car. Just make sure that the surface you put the baking soda on is dry so that no unnecessary mess will need cleaning up later.
Aside from regularly cleaning your cars, it is important that we follow good habits to ensure that your vehicle will remain smelling good for a long time. Avoid smoking in the car because the smell will stick to the upholstery even if you leave the window open. Make sure that you throw out trash properly especially if it’s food and drink items. Leaving trash inside the car especially overnight or under heat will give it a rotten smell that will be difficult to remove. If spills do happen, wipe it up right away and thoroughly clean as soon as you can. The residue from the spills can accumulate over time, making it tougher to clean and more difficult to combat the smell.
Car mats protect the carpeting of the car as they collect the dirt that we bring in every time we get into our vehicles. We might notice that even with all the fresheners we have and vacuuming we do, there is still a bad smell that lingers in the car. Check the floor and trunk mats as it may be time to give them a thorough cleaning. Whether you have carpet-style or rubber mats, it is essential that you clean them regularly. Take them off the car and clean the surface from visible dirt and dust. You can use dishwashing detergent mixed with water and a scrub brush for cleaning. Hang them somewhere to dry before putting in the car. While you’re doing this, clean the carpet as well using a vacuum and lint roller so your car will be spotless and fresher.
While regular vacuuming helps in keeping away dirt and dust, stains can happen. For cloth seats, you can use club soda, baking soda mixed with water, white vinegar mixed with water and dishwashing soap, or even laundry detergent. Dab your mixture of choice on the stain and use a toothbrush or scrub to clean the stain. For leather seats, you can use the same vinegar mixture, lemon juice with cream of tartar paste, nail polish remover, or even reliable rubbing alcohol. Use these with cotton balls or soft sponge to remove stains from leather seats. After stain removal, let the seats dry, wipe with laundry sheets, and your car will be smelling good in no time.
To make sure that no bad odor and no germs are stuck in your car, give it a detailed cleaning. While you can have the local carwash do it, you can do this yourself and save money. Get a good vacuum cleaner that has a hose and attachments that fit hard-to-reach places inside the car. Get your choice of cleaner, deodorizer, wiping materials, brushes, and sponges and you will be on your way to a great-smelling car. Clean the vents, and wipe down everything. Remove the mats and clean them thoroughly. Don’t forget to wipe the windows as well. Clean the cup holder and pockets for stray french fries. Once you are done with the cleaning, put in your choice of freshener to keep your car smelling great.