Cleaning your Car’s Interior Roof

By | Automotive Detailing

When it’s time to detail your car’s interior, one place that’s overlooked is the headliner. We can’t answer how those foot prints ended up on your interiors roof – but we can tell you how to clean them up.


Spot Clean

You’ll Need:

  • Microfibre Cloth
  • Interior Cleaner

Sometimes only a small section is stained, therefore you only need a microfiber cloth and a small amount of cleaner.

Step 1: Use your microfiber cloth to wipe the area, removing any loose particulate that’s stuck to your headliner. Aim to remove any loose bits without rubbing deeper into the fabric.

Sometimes this is all it takes, however continue to step 2 if you’re unsuccessful.

Step 2: Apply a small amount of cleaner to a microfiber cloth, and rub with the grain (if visible). During this step you want to apply light pressure, enough to work the solution into the headliner surface but not deep into the underlying foam.

Step 3: Blot the area with a dry section of your microfiber cloth, removing excess moisture.

Step 4: Check once the area has dried if the stain has been successfully removed.


Full Surface Clean

You’ll Need:

  • Soft bristled brush
  • Interior Cleaner

If you want to clean the whole headliner instead of a small section, a light surface clean will give you excellent results.

Step 1: Apply a light coating of interior cleaner to the headliner. Read the instructions that are provided with your specific brand.

Cleaners that create a foaming action work best to loosen up trapped dirt, helping to remove stains.

Step 2: Allow the solution to work its magic, a general rule of thumb is the longer it’s left – the better results you will see. Read the bottle for specific advice.

Step 3: Brush the mixture into the material, working with the grain if visible. Ensure you reach every part of the material, if you miss a section it may be evident after cleaning!

Step 4: Let it dry out completely – depending on how heavily saturated the material is it may take several hours. You can re-apply this cleaner as many times as needed, if it’s been neglected for a while it may require multiple treatments.


Deep Cleaning

Some stains just won’t budge, specifically nicotine residue from smokers or greasy stains. Fortunately there are solutions, but the heat and moisture from deep cleaning can wet glue that holds your headliner together. This can cause it to sag in places, causing permanent damage that requires a replacement.

For this reason it should be a last resort, and shouldn’t be exercised too regularly. You have been warned!

You’ll Need:

  • A portable carpet cleaner
  • Hot Water
  • Cleaning Solution

Step 1: Fill the portable cleaner with a mixture of hot water and product.

Your product should provide the correct ratio of water to concentrate.

Step 2: Turn on the machine, allow extra time for preheating. Always use according to manufacturer instructions!

Use a narrow upholstery attachment if supplied, this helps to remove the most moisture from the material to leave it as clean as possible.

Step 3: Start in a corner, working your way to the other side of the car. Move at a steady rate to ensure even coverage without saturating the material too deeply.

Step 4: Ensure even coverage by overlapping each stroke by half an inch. Getting an even clean is important, especially on lighter materials.

Note – don’t forget the release the trigger between strokes, otherwise water will spray everywhere (ask me how I know…).

Step 5: After covering the whole headliner, allow to dry. Ideally windows down on a hot day.

Step 6: Once dried, lines from the cleaning attachment can persist. Running your hand over the material will agitate the fibres, removing these residual lines.


As you can see the cleaning process doesn’t need to be difficult. But due to the nature of your interior headliner it’s important to take care. In older cars the fabric can hold a considerable amount of dirt, causing unpleasant smells.

Best Way to Clean Car Seats

By | Automotive Detailing

Spills and stains are inevitable, fortunately with proper care and cleaning you can minimize the damage.

Depending on the material of seat you have in your vehicle, will dictate how they should be properly cared and cleaned.


How to Clean Leather Car Seats

Keeping your leather healthy and crack free, whilst removing stubborn stains can be difficult. If improperly cared for, leather will dry out resulting in cracked and perforated surface over time. This is because some household methods can be harsh on the material without proper care.

For deep cleaning and conditioning I use Meguiars Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. It cleans and conditions making it easier to clean, whilst providing a supple feel.

You don’t need to spend vast amounts of money or time to keep your interior gleaming. It won’t leave white residue either, handy if you have a black interior!

To use, simply squirt one pump onto a microfiber cloth and apply directly to leather in circular motions. Keep applying the product until fully absorbed – you may find folding your cloth into sections helps greatly.

How to Clean White Leather Car Seats

White or cream leather requires a bit more care to keep spotless. It’s not ideal at hiding stains, however with preventative maintenance you can keep your light leather looking fresh.

If your seats are in bad condition, or you want to be extra thorough, Leatherique Rejuvenator Oil is what you should be looking for.

It’s an oil based product that provides a nice deep clean. Its instructions are to apply a generous amount of the product, and leave in the sun for 24 hours – baking the product into the material.

After the 24 hours are up, go ahead and wipe down your seats with a wet cloth, and use Pristine Clean to finish off the job.

The result will be more supple leather, which has been properly treated and sealed. You’ll find any stains are easy to wipe off after proper treatment.


Clean Leather Car Seats Using a Home Remedy

If you’re in a rush and need to use products from around the house, read below!

A vinegar-water solution is a fantastic cleaner. You should treat your interior with a suitable conditioner after cleaning, it will ensure your leather stays supple and makes staining less likely by sealing the material.

Fill a spray bottle with 75% white vinegar, and 25% warm water.

Proceed to spray the seats, not soaking wet but ensuring all areas receive a light coating of the solution.

Using a microfibre cloth, rub the mix in a circular motion ensuring you cover all areas.

Then using pure water, re-spray the seats and wipe them down again using a seperate cloth. At this stage ensure you apply a leather conditioner to maintain the leather and prevent it from drying out and cracking.


How to Clean Cloth Car Seats

Firstly ensure you vacuum or brush to remove loose particulate. It’s important to get into all possible crevices, as once you wet the seat it may stain or get ingrained into the fabric.

Then use a spray cleaner suitable for fabric, I’ve always had great results using CarGuys Super Cleaner – however there are hundreds of choices on the market.

Simply spray the cleaner on the seats, and using a detailing brush scrub the product into the fabric.

Next let the product work it’s magic, then vacuum up and dry using a microfiber cloth. It’s really as simple as that!

If your interior has suffered spills or severe stains, you may need to repeat the above multiple times.

The advantage of Super Cleaner is its not limited to just car seats, you can use this product on all fabrics including your interior carpets, headliners and floor mats. It doesn’t have any harsh chemicals and won’t leave oily residues.


How to Clean Suede Car Seats

Firstly you should understand no manufacturer is using real suede interiors. Instead synthetic suede’s, such as alcantara or micro-suede are used. The main difference is cost effectiveness and durability, whilst retaining suede’s look and feel.

Whilst these synthetic alternatives are more durable than natural suede, it’s still susceptible to wear from improper maintenance and moisture.

Cleaning Alcantara

To clean ensure the material has been vacuumed or swept to remove loose debris.

Proceed to spray a small amount of suede cleaner onto a microfiber towel, I have consistently great results with Adams Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner.

Blot the material, then wipe. Do not ever rub! Most serious contamination will be on arm rests, and 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions on the steering wheel – depending on your driving style.

Blot any excess moisture with a separate microfiber towel.

Stubborn Staining

No matter how cautious you and your passengers may be, stains are inevitable. It’s important to remember:

  • Treat spills as quickly as possible. The longer suede is exposed to the stain, the more difficult it will be to remove.
  • Don’t press heavily when blotting, instead rest your cloth onto the material until the excess is removed. If you press forcefully, you’ll push the spill into the material further.
  • For thicker substances like ice cream or jelly, use a spatula or a credit card to scoop the excess off to prevent a bigger spill – then proceed to clean.

After the bulk of a spillage has been removed, see specific solutions to different types of stains below:

Protein Based Stains (Blood, Excrement, and Urine): Use cold water as warm water will coagulate these substances making them bind to the material. Rinse by blotting clean water over the spill, wring the towel out and repeat.

Alcohol: Use lukewarm water to blot, rinse the towel regularly to maximise cleaning effect. If the stain does remain, you can use lemon juice on a towel to blot – ensure you rinse thoroughly!

Ground in mud, general dirt, non-permanent ink: Use lukewarm water in a towel whilst rinsing regularly.

Dried on Stains

If the stain dries before you get a chance to rectify it, isopropyl alcohol is excellent in lifting off dried material from suede.

Dilute the alcohol in a 1:1 ratio with distilled water. Spray onto a lint free microfiber towel and gently blot the stain. Once the stain has been removed, ensure you blot again with a damp towel using water only.

It’s common for the stain to be faint, but not completely removed once the material has dried. Repeat as many times as necessary, although it’s important to ensure all of the isopropyl alcohol has been removed.


Maintaining Suede

Prevention is better than a cure, especially when it comes to suede. The amount of maintenance correlates directly to the amount of usage your interior should see. The first piece of maintenance you should regularly take part in is regular brushing. This will prevent the fibres becoming matted whilst removing trapped particulate from the material.

If you can’t use a brush, a short fibre microfiber towel will work as well.

For average usage (daily driver), once a week between brushing is sufficient. Be sure to pay special attention to high wear areas like seats, steering wheels and arm rests.

Why does my Car Smell like Rotten Eggs?

By |

Unusual smells and sounds from your vehicle shouldn’t be ignored, especially a pungent odor like rotten eggs. There are only a handful of reasons why your car will smell like eggs, fortunately this issue is easy to diagnose.


Cracked or Clogged Catalytic Converter

By far the most common reason for this smell is a malfunctioning catalytic converter. The odour is caused by Hydrogen Sulfide, which is a byproduct of combustion. This gas is converted inside the exhaust, to produce sulphur dioxide an odourless (and much less harmful to the environment) gas.


If your catalytic converter begins to malfunction or leak combustion gases, you will begin to smell this mainly at the rear of the car – specifically from the exhaust. (Note: Please don’t inhale your cars exhaust!).

Another symptom is rattling from the converter itself. Inside is a honeycomb like structure which can work loose or disintegrate. If you can remove this from your vehicle, try shaking or hitting with a rubber mallet to see if you can hear movement inside.

You may also see a check engine light on your dashboard, indicating a lack of efficiency from your catalyst. A code reader is a handy tool, which will tell you the corresponding tool – pinpointing the exact


A major reason for your catalytic converter becoming clogged is due to an improperly functioning engine. Excess fuel being introduced into your exhaust can destroy the catalyst inside, resulting in foul smells.

If your engine burns oil, this can cool the catalyst preventing soot from being burned off. Generally these problems can be caused by a wide range of issues from faulty sensors, aging rubber parts or a failing engine – consider consulting a trusted mechanic to inspect your vehicle, or read our troubleshooting guides.


Battery Leaking Acid

A battery being overcharged will produce hydrogen sulphide, causing a rotten egg smell. This is due to the acid inside each cell escaping the casing, as most car batteries are sealed.

It’s easy to identify, as you will see a white crystal substance, typically seen around the terminals of the battery. You may also notice your battery swelling at the sides, due to increased internal pressure.

If your battery is leaking or appears to be swelling, immediately stop using your vehicle and get a replacement is installed.

You shouldn’t touch the battery without wearing proper protection, because the internal acid can cause serious injury to skin, even if it’s dried.


Transmission or Differential Fluid

Petroleum based oils can cause an unpleasant smell once aged or heated outside of the operating temperature range. In older vehicles it’s possible the transmission or differential is slowly leaking fluid, causing a bad odour once up to temperature.

A tell-tale sign of an oil leak is a small puddle in the morning, most commonly the drain/fill plug crush washers – fortunately an easy fix (and excuse to change your fluid!).

Another possibility is a crack in the metal casing causing the leak, carefully inspecting the trail of oil will quickly reveal whether you have a crack in the casing, or simply a leaking crush washer.


In this instance, changing the fluid will cure the odours source. Oil does eventually go bad with age and use, and is easy enough to change with simple tools.

Make sure you inspect the transmission and differential for leaks, to solve the underlying problem of smelling the oil. The leak will most commonly be from the drain and fill plugs, if this does turn out to be the source of the leak your local dealership can provide the correct parts extremely quickly!

A Haynes manual for your vehicle will show you the correct procedure to replace the fill plugs, as well as changing the oil itself. The manuals include pictures and manufacturer torque specs, and are easy to follow.

AC in car smells bad

Why does my car AC Smell?

By |

When you turn on your AC, does it produce a weird odour? If this is the case, there definitely is a problem.

Fortunately it’s fairly common and is caused by a variety of issues, which we will address in our guide to bad air conditioning smells.


Mold and Bacteria Growth

The most common reason for foul smells produced by your cars AC is mold/bacteria growth. Air conditioning works by removing heat and moisture out of the air that’s already in your car, resulting in a nice cold breeze.

The side effect of this moisture removal is an ideal place for mold to grow, causing bad smells and potential health implications.

How to get rid of mold

Fortunately getting rid of the mold is straightforward. There are several methods of treatment, fortunately they aren’t too expensive.

Filter Change

Sometimes a dirty air filter can trap bad smells, pushing them back through your vents. Fortunately it’s a straightforward change, and cheap too. Using a Haynes Manual ( will show you how to change your filter easily.

This filter should be changed according to your maintenance schedule, which you’ll find in the service book supplied with your vehicle or applicable Haynes Manual.

Anti-bacterial cleaning

Killing bacteria that’s grown in the intake ducting, or the condenser will eliminate bad smells. Condensation that builds up from cooling air is usually drained away, however if the system doesn’t get a chance to dry out, mildew can grow throughout the system causing unpleasant odours.

Turtle Wax Whole Car Blast is the product I’ve used to get results, which is an easy and cheap way to de-smell your cars HVAC system.

Step 1: First place the canister into the passenger’s foot well, nozzle facing upright.

Step 2: Next turn the car and air conditioning on, with the fan speed on full in recirculation mode.

Step 3: Depress the button on the can, which will release a continuous stream of spray. Shut the doors and windows on the vehicle and let the spray circulate around the HVAC system. This should take between 10-20 minutes.

Step 4: Keep the fans blowing full speed with the AC now switched off, for five minutes. Ensure the doors/windows are open – this is to dry out the whole system, preventing odours from re-establishing themselves.


Ozone Generator

An alternative to anti-bacterial spray is an ozone generator, which will kill all odours in the AC system. If all else fails this is one of the most effective way to eliminate the source of bad odours, and can get in every crevice ensuring complete cleaning.

Ozone isn’t safe to breathe in, therefore precautions should be taken to avoid contact with the produced gas.

To get started:

Step 1: Turn the car on, and ensure the air conditioning is set to full fan speed and recirculation mode, with the temperature as low as possible.

Step 2: Set the Ozone generator to work for 20 minutes, our generator outputs 5g/hr – if your machine outputs more, adjust the time accordingly. Overexposure can cause damage to interior rubber!

Step 3: Turn the vehicle off and allow it to ventilate for an hour or two. Be careful not to breathe any of the ozone gas in, as it can cause respiratory irritation.


Burning Rubber

Due to the complexity of a car’s HVAC system, there are multiple reasons why you may smell burning rubber.

Burning off Dust

If you haven’t used your AC in a while, dust and other debris can build up all over the system. When your HVAC system gets up to temperature, this debris will be burnt off releasing a burning odour.

If you still notice the smell after a few minutes, it may be a different problem and should be investigated immediately.

Clogged Air Filter

Despite being a maintenance item sometimes an excessive amount of particulate can build up in your filter, severely reducing airflow. This will put extra strain on the rest of the components, commonly producing a burning rubber smell.

To rectify this issue, changing your filter will immediately get rid of any unpleasant smells. In all cars they’re accessible and can be changed using tools you have around the house! I recommend using a Haynes Manual if you’re unsure how to get started.

How to Remove Gum From a Car

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Chewing gum can be a nightmare to remove, especially from the pristine interior of your car. Here’s a few tips I’ve used to successfully remove gum from a variety of materials, without causing damage or lasting stains.

How to Get Gum off of a Car Seat


Care needs to be taken when dealing with leather, as it’s a soft material susceptible to staining and discolouration from cleaning products. It’s important to test all methods in our article on a hidden section of the leather, just in case any discolouration or change in appearance occurs.

Dish Soap

  1. Firstly scrape off as much of the chewing gum as possible, using a plastic scraper or a credit card. A metal blade may cut the material, for this reason we recommend not using a metal blade.
  2. Mix dish soap and water together, using enough dish soap to create a lot of suds.
  3. Using this mixture, soak for a few minutes.
  4. Using a lint free towel, dampen slightly then proceed to wipe away. It should wipe away easily, without leaving residue.

Peanut Butter

The oily properties of peanut butter allow the gum to become less sticky, making removal much easier without the mess. For this to work ensure you’re using creamy peanut butter.

Before proceeding, attempt to scrape away as much material as you can. This is so the oils in the peanut butter can penetrate all the way to the base, making removal much less messier!

Some peanut butter will stain leather or leave lasting marks – test on a section of your seat that won’t be seen just to be sure!

  1. Firstly cover the area completely with the peanut butter, either using your fingers or an old toothbrush.
  2. Wait a few minutes for the oils to get to work, therefore soaking into the gum. Try to avoid covering the leather if possible.
  3. Using a damp towel, wipe away the peanut butter. It should be easy to wipe away, but if there are any remnants, applying saddle soap and rubbing in a circular motion will remove the leftover deposits.


After successful removal from your leather upholstery, I strongly recommend using leather conditioner to ensure the material remains supple and prevents staining.



Preventing the staining from working further into the fabric when dealing with cloth is crucial – the last situation you want to be in is pushing stains further into the fabric. Fortunately our tips below make removal a breeze, and can be easily found around the house.


Taking a few ices cubes, putting them in a bag then freezing the area is a mess free way to remove gum from cloth seats. This method also prevents you from pushing any stains further into the cloth, providing you freeze the area fully.

  1. Start by putting a couple of ice cubes in a plastic bag, then pressing on the affected area.
  2. Ensure you fully freeze the area by applying ice for several minutes.
  3. Once frozen, use a plastic scraper or a credit card to remove the gum. If completely frozen it will remove from the cloth without leaving any residue. If remnants remain, simply re-freeze the area and scrape it again.

White Vinegar

A great multi-purpose cleaner, and readily available – perfect for some DIY gum removal! The vinegar will break down the synthetic rubber, reducing stickiness for an easy cleanup.

  1. Scrape as much of the residue as you can, using a plastic scraper or a credit card.
  2. Dip an old toothbrush into the white vinegar – without diluting.
  3. Rub in circular motions on and around the stain, and leave the vinegar to settle.
  4. Begin to scrape again with a credit card, it will come off in one large lump if the vinegar had enough time to work its magic.


Any household penetrating oil will work – ensure it won’t stain the cloth and isn’t naturally dyed.

  1. To begin, soak the affected area trying not to cover the fabric too much.
  2. Leave it to settle for a minute or two – not long enough for the penetrating oil to dry up.
  3. Wipe away with a paper towel. It’s really that easy!



Ethyl Alcohol

Alcantara which is used in cars interior (commonly referred to as suede) is a soft and durable alternative to natural suede. Unfortunately moisture, and more importantly staining can become difficult to remove.

Ethyl Alcohol and Ice will remove the stains without damaging the alcantara interior.

  1. Put a plastic bag of ice over the stain, and wait until the material has become fully frozen.
  2. Remove the pieces carefully with a plastic scraper or credit card. Be extremely careful to not damage the alcantara, as it’s a soft material.
  3. Treat the area with ethyl alcohol, and use a dry microfiber towel to blot dry.


If any staining has occurred, it’s better to remove it sooner rather than later. Read our full guide on cleaning car seats.


How to Get Gum off of Car Paint

Removing any sticky substances from car paint can be tricky, as you don’t want to risk scratching your gleaming bodywork. Below are a few methods that have worked perfectly, and are easily found around the house.

Bug and Tar Remover

Effective at removing many different contaminants that find their way onto your vehicles paint, it’s also perfect for removing chewing gum.

  1. Spray the staining with bug and tar remover, ensuring the area around the gum is fully covered.
  2. Allow the solution to soak for a few minutes.
  3. Gently scrape the base with a plastic scraper, or a credit card.

It helps to spray as you work under the stuck on gum, as it will lubricate the surface between the scraper and paint.

Don’t use a metal scraper! This will damage your vehicles paint.


Can of compressed air

Gum becomes brittle when frozen, reducing its sticky properties. Therefore makes for a mess-free removal, perfect for car paint.

This method works best for a clump, it’s not so effective when it’s spread out and become streaky.

  1. To get started, turn a can of compressed air upside down, and begin spraying the gum directly.
  2. Keep spraying until it becomes visibly frozen.
  3. You can now begin scraping with a plastic scraper, it will break off into chunks cleanly from the cars paint.

If the area begins to thaw, you can always re-apply compressed air.


Peanut butter

Another great alternative is using peanut butter. The oils in the peanut butter reduce the stickiness allowing for clean removal.

  1. First start by applying a thick layer of creamy peanut butter to the gum.
  2. Leave the peanut butter for around 10 minutes, the longer you leave it the further the oils can penetrate and work their magic.
  3. Using a damp lint-free towel, rub the affected area which will remove all staining cleanly.


If there is remnants, re-apply some peanut butter and leave for another 10 minutes. Sometimes the oil in the peanut butter can’t work in deep enough to be effective the first time.


Remove Gum from Seat Belt

Seatbelts are webbed to provide strength, ensuring your safety. However not ideal if the chewing gum manages to work its way into the weave of the seatbelt. Follow our tips below to avoid pushing any staining further into the webbing:


Freezing gum to remove it cleanly can work on multiple materials, seatbelts included. To get started:

  1. Get a can of compressed air, turn upside down and spray directly onto the suck on gum.
  2. Keep spraying until it’s visibly frozen.
  3. Try and pick off using your fingers, or a plastic scraper.

Sometimes there will be some residue left over, you can keep freezing the area until all residue is removed.


How to Remove Gum from Carpet in Car

Like most staining it’s crucial to remove it from carpet as soon as possible. The longer the gum remains on the carpet, the likelihood of being worked deeper into the pile increases.

Hair Dryer

As soon as you discover the staining, using your hair dryer makes removal simple. Perfect if you’re caught in a pinch and don’t have other tools used in this guide.

  1. Turn the hair dryer up to full heat, and aim directly on the stain.
  2. Watch carefully, as you want to heat up the gum without melting it further into the carpet pile.
  3. Once you see it beginning to melt, grab a plastic bag and begin to pick it up off the carpet.
  4. Continue until the stain disappears – remember to be cautious not to use too much heat.

How to get Cigarette Smell out of a Car

By |
Remove Smoke Odor from Car

Credit to Tina Franklin

Not only is cigarette smoke an unpleasant odor, it’s difficult to remove from your car – however not impossible.
Here’s what’s worked for us:

1. Dispose all cigarette butts and ash from the car
2. Clean the ash tray and every other surface that’s come into contact with cigarettes
3. Deodorize all fabric surfaces
4. Clean all glass
5. Treat the HVAC ducts
6. Soak up the scent using household products


It makes sense to start with the source of the smell, therefore helping to rid the odor as quickly as possible.

Remove all Cigarettes from your Car

Cigarette butts and ash will keep your interior lingering of smoke, despite any effort you make to mask the odor. Start by cleaning out your ash tray and vacuuming the whole car, removing the source of the smell.

Vacuuming and shampooing all Fabrics

All soft fabrics in your vehicle need to be vacuumed, as odor particulate will accumulate into the material. If you hire a professional to tackle the job, they will perform a complete shampoo of seats, carpets, door panels, headliner and Air Conditioning vents. Read our full guide explaining how to clean car seats.
Consider performing the same thorough cleaning to completely eliminate the scent from returning, expect to shampoo the interior multiple times if smoking heavily.

Glass Cleaning

Nicotine will cling to all surfaces relentlessly, including glass. Not a place you may expect to be causing bad smells, but it’s something that can be quickly remedied using a white vinegar in a spray bottle.

Spray the white vinegar on the glass avoiding any interior trim around the glass, and wipe away with a damp cloth. If this solution doesn’t work, you can mix ammonia and water in a 1:16 solution of ammonia to water. Spray onto glass and use a lint free cloth or newspaper to wipe the surface dry.


Your cabin filter which filters air before entering the cabin will need to be replaced. The filter will trap the odor and keep the smell lingering when you use your vents. Each manufacturer has a different procedure to replacing cabin filters, however it’s a common service item and should be easy to find online or in your vehicle handbook.


Absorbing the smell

Using Everyday Objects:

Ground Coffee

For decades ground aromatic coffee has sparingly been used to absorb smells by truck drivers in their trailers. Due to its absorbent properties it’s perfect for removing remove smoke odor from your interior.
Simply fill up bowl or two and fill with coffee. Leave in the vehicle with the windows and doors closed for 24-48 hours to absorb the odor. Depending on the cars exposure to smoke, this treatment may be more than enough to completely clear the smell, however it’s easy enough to repeat should your car require multiple treatments.
It’s not a good idea to drive with open bowls of coffee in your car, however you could fill up a few pairs of tights and tie the end to keep it secure.


Similar to coffee charcoal is excellent at absorbing bad odors, which you can use instead of coffee if you don’t like the scent. Simply leave charcoal or charcoal briquettes in a container and close all openings of your vehicle.
When you return 24-48 hours later your car will no longer smell, just simply dispose of the used charcoal.


Newsprint is another great way to absorb potent smells. Roll up a few newspapers and place them under your seats. Within a few days you will notice the smells fading away, and you can periodically change out the newspapers to maintain the absorbing process.

Cat Litter

Extremely absorbent and easily available, cat litter is very porous and will soak up bad smells quickly. A great alternative to the above method if you already have cats, and has the added benefit of absorbing moisture within your car too.

White Vinegar Spray

Not a personal favourite of my own, however white vinegar sprayed onto fabric surfaces will get rid of the source of odours. Mix a 50:50 spray bottle of water and white vinegar, then spray onto your interior fabric.
Be sure not to spray onto any electrical devices or suede interior. I personally can’t stand the smell of vinegar, you have been warned!

Baking Soda

Among bicarbonate of sodas many uses, a natural deodorant is one of them. Firstly sprinkle the baking soda over as many porous surfaces as possible (Floor Mats, carpeting, seats) and work in using a brush.
Then go ahead and wait between 30 minutes to a whole day before vacuuming up the baking powder. The longer you leave it resting in the fabric, the more likely it will deodorize your interior.
When vacuuming, take at least two passes to ensure all residue has been removed.

Commercial Products:

If using our household solutions haven’t killed the smell, turning to purpose made products will rid that odor once and for all!

Ozone Generator

A machine that creates ozone gas from carbon dioxide. Ozone will react with particulate and bacteria, therefore neutralizing the source of bad smells. These machines are available to buy or rent, and are used in many different applications to remove bad odours.
It should be noted that caution should be exercised when using an ozone generator, as they’re harmful to health. By breathing in ozone it can cause respiratory issues, and should only be used in uninhabited areas that are sealed off.

Dakota Odor Bomb

There are many products available that you can use to deodorize your vehicle. Press the button onto the can until it locks fully, put it on a flat surface in the car and shut all openings.
After 2 hours, ventilate the vehicle to allow the product to escape. There may be a chemical odor that lingers for a few days, however this is a great alternative to an ozone generator and easier too.