Top 5 Tips to Help Remove Interior Odours




Introduction: Top 5 Tips to Help Remove Interior Odours

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Video tutorial on how to my top 5 tips to help eliminate odours in your vehicle. The tips certainly aren’t limited to what I’ve listed in this video, if you have a tip, please share it in the comments below. All of these tips I do have tutorials on, so be sure to check them out for future info. Odours can certainly be very uncomfortable to experience and even bad for resale value of a vehicle. Tackling this issue isn’t hard, but it does take patience and persistence which is well paid off in the end. Odours can come from a variety of sources such as spilled drinks, left over food, smoking, leaking fluids, mould, etc.

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Step 1: Tip #1

Clean your interior. This is probably the best base spot to start, giving your interior a full detail. This includes throwing out any garbage, vacuuming up debris especially under the seat and in those tight nooks, wiping down interior components which may have experienced spillage, and then shampooing the upholstery. Upholstery can really suck up those foul smells or soak up food and drinks which can even create mold.

Step 2: Tip #2

This is more specific to cars, but can apply to other vehicles with a similar design, remove your back seat and clean underneath it. These are sometimes bolted in, but for the most part they simply have clips upfront. Give them a pull to disengage the clips, then remove the seat base. Stuff manages fall between the seat back and base or though the seat belt pockets and has no where to go. I’ve found anything from food, to wrappers, money, pens, pencils, and drink spillage under the seat. It’s such an overlooked area which doesn’t take much work or time to clean.

Step 3: Tip #3

Fix any leaks in your vehicle, this can include anything from an oil leak, fuel, coolant, exhaust, or water. Depending on the location of a leak, it can be sucked up into the ventilation system and circulated through the interior of the vehicle. My past VW TDI had a cracked EGR pipe which would end up filled the car’s interior with diesel smoke. Sourcing out leaks will vary, depending on the source or what it may smell like.

Step 4:

Replace your cabin filter. Most new vehicles, but not all are equipped with a cabin filter to help filter exterior air for the occupants. These have suggested maintenance intervals where they need to be checked or replaced. As a generic interval, they should be replaced one a year or 20000 km or 12000 miles, but refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual first. To further help eliminate odours, specialty filters are available which are imbedded with a deodorizer or material such as charcoal.

Step 5:

Chemically deodorize your interior, a method that is used by mechanics and detailers. I just recently released an updated version of this video which involves spraying a chemical into the vehicle’s ventilation system that helps kill mildew and other foul smells. It’s known as an evaporator treatment as an evaporator can have mold or mildew build up. This method can also be used on vehicles without an air conditioner. This particular step should be left to the last, as it won’t solve an odour from left over food or dirty upholstery.

This isn’t an official tip, but other areas which can be a source of a smell maybe stains in the vehicle’s insulation or foam backing. It may even be a dead animal such as a mouse. Issues like this would involve stripping down the interior for extensive cleaning or replacement.

Do you have a method to help remove interior odours, please be sure to leave your tips in the comments below. Don't forget to FOLLOW my profile for more tutorials and be sure to check out my YOUTUBE page as well for all your DIY needs.

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    2 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Top tip: Don't have kids!

    Seriously, though, thanks for the great info.


    Reply 2 years ago


    Thank you :)