There’s nothing worse than getting into your car on a hot day and being greeted with a nasty odor. While riding with the windows down can help you to get home, that’s not going to take care of the odor. Rather, you’ll want to utilize some of the tips below to remove those nasty odors for your car.


Charcoal is widely known as nature’s toxin absorber. This is the compound that you’ll find in filters of all kinds. To remove nasty odors from your car, you’ll want to leave an open bag of charcoal in your car overnight. Active charcoal has an extremely porous attribute that allows it to absorb floating odors.

Baking Soda

Another great remedy for removing odors from your car is to use baking soda. Known chemically as sodium carbonate, this is an abrasive and alkaline powder that works to blanch stains and remove odors. To make it work, you’ll want to slightly wet down the stinky area. Sprinkle the baking soda in a generous amount over the area. Then, just let it dry for a few hours. Once it’s dry, you can simply vacuum up the baking soda.

Distilled White Vinegar

White vinegar is a well-known product for household cleaning. This is because it can easily remove overpowering smells. You’ll want to avoid putting distilled white vinegar directly on any area of your car. Instead, pour the vinegar into a cup or bowl and leave it inside of your car overnight.

Clean the Engine

Sometimes, the source of the odor inside of your vehicle’s cabin can be due to excessive grime and dirt debris on your engine. If left to continue, this grime will migrate through your vents and into your vehicle’s cabin. To remedy this situation, it’s best to use a degreaser alongside a steam cleaner on your engine. You’ll want to finish with a water rinse to get rid of that grime build-up. If you’re not comfortable steam cleaning your own engine, you can hire a professional to do it for you.

Ozone Generator

If the smell that you have coming from your vehicle is of a chemical nature, you’ll want to use an ozone generator. This product can be easily purchased at your local auto parts store or online. You’ll set up the ozone generator to treat the interior of your car, which will take about 30 minutes. Then, you’ll let your car air out for the recommended period after the generator is done, and the interior will be free of odors.

Essential Oil

If you’ve tried other odor treatment methods to no avail, you may want to consider using essential oil. You don’t need a lot of these solutions as they go very far. Use a few drops of your favorite essential oil on a handkerchief or a car diffuser. This oil will work to mask unpleasant odors for a very long time. And they’re great for letting off a fresh smell every time you open your doors. Some common suggestions include rosemary, clove, peppermint, lemongrass, tea tree oil, lavender, and eucalyptus.

Coffee Grounds

If you don’t want to have to go to the store to get specialized odor cleaners, you likely can use this trick. You’ll want to dump some fresh coffee grounds into a paper bag or other container. Let the coffee grounds sit in your car for a 24-hour period. Make sure that you don’t open your doors while this is working. The coffee grounds will actually suck in the nasty odors and leave off that of coffee.

Kitty Litter

In the event that the odor in your vehicle is due to a liquid spill, kitty litter is going to be one of your best options. If you can get the kind with odor-absorbing crystals, you’ll be set. Generously cover the wet area with kitty litter and leave it on there for at least a few hours. All you’ll need to do is vacuum up the kitty litter, and the odor should be gone.

Orange Peels

If you love the fresh scent of orange, then you may want to use orange peels to remove stubborn odors from your car. This method is best used after you’ve removed the source of the smell, cleaned the area, and are still dealing with a lingering scent. You’ll want to put some orange peels into your car. Avoid putting them directly onto the seat or dash. Instead, place them in a plastic bag or bowl.

Odor Eliminator Bucket

A very simple way to remove unpleasant odors from your vehicle is to use an odor eliminator bucket. These products go by many different names. However, they all work the same. You purchase a small bucket that has an odor-absorbing solution inside of it. You’ll turn the lid open and let the odor eliminator bucket sit for the recommended period of time. Once the time is up, you’ll put the lid back on the bucket and throw it in the trash. These odor eliminator buckets can be found at your local hardware or auto parts store.

Try Vacuuming

It may come as a big surprise that most of the odors in your car can be attributed to the fabric over your seats and on your carpet. To get rid of these odors, you can likely use a vacuum cleaner. You’ll want to invest in a specialized upholstery attachment for your vacuum cleaner so that you can get into all those small crevices.

Use a Steam Cleaner

If regular vacuuming doesn’t seem to get the job done, you may want to upgrade to a steam cleaner. Make sure that you use one that is approved for vehicle upholstery. In addition, make sure that the cleaning solution that you use is safe for the type of upholstery that you have.

Air Fresheners

Using fragranced air fresheners can help to mask some of the worst smells in your car. Some of these air fresheners even work to deodorize the air inside of your car. This is a great solution for when you don’t have the time to implement another tactic. However, this isn’t going to be a long-term solution.

Carpet Cleaner

When you can locate the source of the smell as your carpet, it’s time to take action with a specialized cleaner. You can find a carpet cleaning product at your local hardware store that is specifically designed for vehicle carpeting. This will work great to remove odors inside of your carpet as long as you use it according to its directions.

Hire a Professional

If you don’t have any luck with the methods above, it could be time to hand the job over to an expert for professional odor removal process. Some overly pungent odors require specialized cleaning solutions and the right scrubbing care using tools that are only available to professionals.

Reliable Odor Removal Services

Pur360 is your reliable odor removal service provider. We’re also here for all of your mold testing, mold eradication, ultraviolet sanitation, attic stain removal, painting, fan and dehumidifier rental, drywall removal and repair, and carpet removal and disposal needs. Call us today to get the help that you need!