Spring is finally making its appearance across the country, and everyone is eager to get outside and enjoy the ideal weather. But no one wants to be planning a road trip or cruising around town in a car with a funky odor. Having the windows up for the winter, not keeping up on regular cleaning, and the shorter daylight hours all contribute to the neglect that your vehicle might have suffered. But now it is time to eliminate those nasty smells and get ready for a great summer.


The night before you are ready to undertake deep cleaning of your vehicle’s interior, get a head start on the odor problem. Sprinkle a good amount of fresh baking soda on a plate or in a large pan and place it in your car. It will absorb some of the rank smell. If you know that part of the offending odor is due to floor mats that have seen some moisture and abuse, sprinkle a light coating of baking soda over them and leave them in the car overnight as well. Vacuum the mats thoroughly the following day. If you don’t have baking soda, a few pieces of charcoal on a plate will work as a complete space deodorizer, but it will need 24-48 hours to do the job.


The carpets and fabrics in your vehicle absorb odors quickly. A good vacuuming will remove any odor-causing particles that have settled into the material or carpet. And it will pull a substantial amount of air through fabrics to rid them of odors. If the floor mats still have a tinge of smell, think about steam cleaning them for a deep, deep cleaning.

Surface Cleaning

Many surface wipes and liquids claim to clean and rejuvenate your dash and other surfaces in your vehicle. But when you are trying to clean and eliminate odor, an old favorite is always the best choice. Mix up a spray bottle of vinegar and water at a 50/50 rate. Spray each hard surface and quickly wipe it down with a lint-free cloth or micro-fiber towel. The vinegar will neutralize odors and leave your entire car smelling fresh and clean. Repeat this cleaning process monthly to eliminate dust, dander, and other particles that can cause allergies to act up and add to your car’s unpleasant smell.

More About The Floor

The floor mats in your vehicle protect the carpet from all of the moisture and debris tracked in on your shoes. But they are not always enough to protect all of the floor space. So in the springtime, it is good to invest some extra time in a good carpet vacuum and cleaning if necessary.

Remove the floor mats and vacuum away the baking soda if you have used it for deodorizing. If the mats still look a little rough, you can clean them with a scrub brush and soap or vehicle carpet cleaning products from your local auto parts store. Ideally, you might only need to spot clean your car’s carpet if the floor mats were doing their job. For all rubber replacement floor mats, try scrubbing them with dish detergent to remove any oil or gasoline odor and discoloration before leaving them in the shade to dry.

If you can’t seem to find the time that your car deserves this spring, call (818) 643-6971 to schedule a deep cleaning and professional detail at Master Craft Auto Body Shop. Our pros can make any repairs needed and have your car, truck, or SUV looking fantastic while you take care of other tasks.

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