How to Get Back Your New Car Smell

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Unpleasant odors in your vehicle can make you and your passengers miserable, especially on long commutes. Auto detailing can be expensive, but it is not very difficult or time consuming to make your car smell like you just drove it off the lot.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • 409 or similar cleaner
  • Soft cloth
  • Carpet or fabric cleaner
  • Odor neutralizer
  • Scrub brush
  • Interior protectant
  • Vacuum the carpet and seats. Use a narrow attachment to clean door pockets and car vents.

  • Use the 409-type cleaner clean drink spills from cupholders, vinyl, leather, and plastic. Spray and wipe or scrub.

  • Spray fabric cleaner on cloth and rugs. Let it soak if necessary. Scrub your carpets with the brush and wipe your seats.

  • Spray odor neutralizer all over your vehicle and heavily on remaining odors.

  • Protect against future spills with rubber mats or chemical protectants.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may combine several of these steps if you go to a car wash that has carpet shampooers built into the vacuums. These are common at coin laundries, and often don't cost more than $3.00.

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