How to Freshen Up Your Car

Some Helpful Tips on How to Freshen Up Your Car

Perhaps you've noticed that your friends are less willing to ride to lunch with you lately. Or maybe your kids have stopped asking you to drive them to school, preferring to walk the 2 miles instead. Or it could just be that you've finally gotten tired of wearing that respirator-mask everywhere you drive. Whatever the reason, it's finally time to remove the odors and freshen up your car. But what's the best way?

There are essentially two choices you have when we're talking about freshening up your car. You can choose to go natural, or you can pick from a wide variety of commercial products, sprays or gadgets. A factor in your decision might be just how bad the odors in your vehicle are, and whether you think the natural odor removal path will do the trick. One advantage of choosing some of these natural methods first is cost-it's a whole lot cheaper to try products you may have around the house before you plunk down twenty or thirty dollars on an "advanced" odor remover.

So, let's take a look at some of the recommended DIY ways to remove odors and freshen up your car naturally. What do you have to lose, right? Except the smell.

Natural (and Surprising) Odor Removal Tips

  • Baking soda. This is probably the most often recommended odor remover, and likely is one you've thought of using. However, there is a right and a wrong way to use baking soda in ridding your car of smells. First, take out all of the mats, and vacuum the carpet and seats. Next, feel around for any moisture on the carpets. If any spot feels damp, don't put baking soda on it, or it will turn to rock (and it won't work). Once dry, sprinkle the baking soda all around and leave it overnight. The next morning, vacuum it up and check for odors. You can also leave a little bit under the seat, where it won't be seen, but will still be working for you.
  • Activated charcoal. In the same way that baking soda works to absorb odors, activated charcoal will too. Only with charcoal, the odor-absorbing properties are much stronger. It works better because there are millions of pores in each piece of charcoal that attract moisture and odors in the air, and trap them. Afterward, you can simply vacuum them out with a shop-vac or at the car wash.
  • Orange peels. The natural oils in orange peels are not only pleasant to our sense of smell, but can also mask a variety of smells lingering in our cars. Try this in conjunction with the previous two techniques if you want to both absorb odors and introduce a better-and more natural-scent into your vehicle.
  • Coffee grounds. Ok, so this one may sound a bit strange. Why would you want to replace one strong odor with another one? Especially if you aren't a fan of coffee. Well, as strange as it may sound, coffee can both absorb odors and it won't leave behind a coffee smell. Try putting some fresh coffee grounds into a paper bag and leave it open inside your car overnight. In the morning, take out the bag and give your car the sniff test. If any odor remains, do the same thing the next night, and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the results.
  • Herbs. If you grow fresh herbs in your garden, try clipping a few sprigs and laying them in your car's back seat (on a towel of course). Strong smelling herbs like lavender, rosemary or sage work the best. You may need to leave the herbs in your car for a while to achieve the best effect since this is replacing bad odors with good ones, not absorbing any odors.

If you've had success with these or any of your own odor-removing techniques, drop us a line and let us know. We love to hear from our friends and neighbors in the greater Metroplex area, and to share tips and suggestions with all of you. Hope to see you soon.