Have you ever gotten into your vehicle only to be taken aback by the smell that greeted you? Perhaps your son left his sweaty clothes from soccer practice in the back seat, or worse, stashed a bag of fast food under the seat, which has now molded. Whatever the root of the problem, you removed it, inserted an air freshener in your car and drove with the windows down for the next few days. If you were lucky, the odor subsided. If you weren’t, read on for information concerning what you might do to eliminate the persisting odor.

After removing the cause of the problem, you should clean your vehicle thoroughly. Wipe down all of the surfaces, using cotton swabs to get into tight spaces. Clean the windows. Spray down any rubber carpet mats. Next, turn your attention to the carpet and upholstery. You may clean these by hand or rent a steam cleaner. If the odor is pungent, you may want to do the latter.

If the odor persists, you might want to look for a product that will neutralize it. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the product. In most cases, you will probably spray the product onto the infected area and let it dry.

Even with a thorough cleaning and the use of a neutralizing product, the odor may remain. Hopefully, it has grown more faint. To get rid of it completely, you may have to take more drastic measures like having the carpet replaced.

Nothing beats regularly cleaning your vehicle to prevent and remove offensive odors. You might also want to be careful about topping off fluids. Many a mechanic has reported finding spilled fluids or the wrong fluids used entirely. Both of these can lead to odors, and in some cases, major damage.

Do your best to keep your vehicle free of odors. Remove trash daily, clean the interior weekly and work to eliminate odors the minute they occur.

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