How to Get Rid of Fish Smells in the Car

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Fish smells can be some of the hardest odors to eliminate, especially once they have attached themselves to the upholstery of your car. Quick action is the best thing you can do to ensure your car is not permanently tainted with the smell of rotting fish. Follow the steps listed in this article to learn how to get rid of fish smells in the car.

Things You'll Need

  • Old towels or rags
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Newspapers
  • Ammonia
  • Fabric refresher spray
  • Quickly cover the spill or cause of the fish smell in your car with old rags or newspaper. Newspaper is preferred if you have any because it absorbs substances much quicker than other items. The sooner you can get the spill covered and clean up started the better.

  • Mix together 2 quarts of water and one cup of vinegar and use and old rag to scrub it into the area where the fish smell is coming from. Vinegar is a natural cleaner and odor absorber, that will help get deep down into the fibers of the car's upholstery.

  • Sprinkle baking soda over the fishy smelling area. Just like baking soda works to eliminate bad smells in your refrigerator, it will work to eliminate the odors in your car.

  • Leave your car window rolled down so the smell can escape, especially in hot weather. Drive without the air on, as that will just recycle the fish smell throughout the car, drive with the windows down and a vent open to the outside. This will allow plenty of fresh air to enter the car, and the contaminated air has a way out.

  • Spray some fabric refresher spray such as Febreeze onto the effected area if the smell as not dissipated after a day or two. The smell may be diluted enough at this point for the fabric refresher to work its magic.

  • Take your vehicle to a car detailing shop where the upholstery can be shampooed and vacuumed if the problem persists. Sometimes you can't get rid of the smell on your own, and if that is the case a professional will need to do the work.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use some elbow grease when applying the vinegar solution to the upholstery of your car.
  • Act quickly by putting down rags or newspaper when a fish spill occurs in your car.
  • Leave your car windows open and do not use the air conditioner until the smell goes away.

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  • Photo Credit http://www.sxc.hu
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