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How do you keep your car from smelling?

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    How do you keep your car from smelling?

    Apparently I am nose blind. I keep my car pretty clean, I vacuum it regularly at a car wash with those high powered vacuums. I wipe the interior down regularly. I have a seat cover on my seat that I wash regularly. But apparently my family still says it smells like horses. My son hates getting in my car. My husband’s car is the tow vehicle, and I need it this weekend, and he begged me to please clean my car because my son has a tournament, so they have a couple hours worth of driving to do.

    Help! Suggestions? The only time it smells to me is when I bring horse blankets home. I wash and repair horse blankets, but I always vacuum and air out my car after I have brought some home from the barn.

    ETA: it’s my husband that has asked me to clean the car (not my son) because he thinks it smells awful too.
    Last edited by Nova2000; Sep. 16, 2020, 01:57 PM.

    #2
    Sounds like it might be time to have the car professionally detailed, including shampooing any carpeted areas.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina

    Comment

      Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
      Sounds like it might be time to have the car professionally detailed, including shampooing any carpeted areas.
      I have those custom fit rubber floor mats everywhere, including in the back. I remove them occasionally to vacuum the carpet underneath, but the carpet stays really clean.

      Comment


        #4
        If you never clean the interior, your nose will never notice the difference. That's my approach.

        Comment


          #5
          Could it be that your son is just really sensitive to smells?
          Dirty horse blankets are REALLY smelly. But it sounds like you do all the right things to keep the smell from sticking around.

          I suppose it would not hurt to call a detailing place to ask them about getting any smells out.

          Comment


            #6
            I'm pretty sure I'd tell him that whiny children get to walk to tournaments. That's definitely what my parents would have told me if I complained about something so silly.
            No mourners, no funerals

            Comment

              Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by tabula rashah View Post
              I'm pretty sure I'd tell him that whiny children get to walk to tournaments. That's definitely what my parents would have told me if I complained about something so silly.
              No it is my husband too. He says my car smells terrible. He’s the one that asked me to please clean it for their trip this weekend. And because I have to borrow his car occasionally for towing, i really try and do my best with my car.

              Comment


                #8
                My car smells pretty pungent because I carry almost all of my daily gear in it. But when I clean it, removing all of the stuff for a day or two takes care of 90% of the smell, vacuuming takes care of most of the rest of it, and wiping the hard surfaces with a cleaning product makes it smell nice. I’m surprised yours still smells after vacuuming (assuming you’ve removed everything from it). I’d say get any cloth surfaces shampooed if you think you have ground-in dirt/poo/urine, or if not, maybe wiping down the dash with Pinesol or something equally fragrant might at least trick them 😊

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                  #9
                  the only method that has worked with me .... nothing "horse' in the interior * only in the trunk in a laundry basket.... meaning boots in trunk / change out of before getting in the car as well as top/outer jacket ...and because this is difficult ..

                  also... I always try to keep one vehicle for basic life = NO HORSE ...does not go to barn to collect odor.

                  ^ sounds impossible but it's SO nice to have one vehicle for only 'in town' or 'going out on the town' really !

                  ** won't even start the conversation about the Aussies that go to the barns and travel in front seats to and from regardless of the weather
                  Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Nova2000 View Post

                    No it is my husband too. He says my car smells terrible. He’s the one that asked me to please clean it for their trip this weekend. And because I have to borrow his car occasionally for towing, i really try and do my best with my car.
                    As much as I love my horses, I won't put any of their gear in my car because I can't stand the smell either. So I have sympathy for your husband's position. If you have done what you've described and the car still smells, it's time to get the professionals to help, particularly if you have cloth seats, as someone else noted.
                    **********
                    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                    -PaulaEdwina

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Vacuum all the cloth surfaces (mats, seats). Sprinkle a generous dusting of baking soda all over the carpet and cloth surfaces, using a rag or brush to work it in to the fabric. Leave sit overnight. Vacuum it all up the next day. It's worth going to one of those DIY car washes with the super strong vacuums for this step.

                      If that doesn't do the trick, this stuff is a miracle worker. You're running out of time though, if they're taking the car on Friday or Saturday. Get hustling!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I no longer ride but 10 years ago when I bought a new SUV I decided to put all horse stuff into one of those big plastic totes in the back of the car to transport anything from house to barn and back. And once a month at least I go to the car wash and have the inside and outside done, including vacuuming and floor mats and my car stayed nice and clean with no odors while I was riding. We don't always notice that horsey odor but non-riders do and I don't blame them for not liking it. Its the same with dogs, I have a couple of friends whose cars make me want to vomit the doggy odor is so strong, so I always offer to drive if we are all going someplace together.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          What you want us a product called Febreeze. It really works.

                          Backpackers use it to spray under armpits and crotches in clothes so they don't have to spend money on laundry.

                          It kills germs, removes odours and leaves a lovely fresh smelling smell and my nose is very sensitive.

                          It works so well on clothes. I use it when I stay overnight. I took off at home and my cleaner put them in the clean pile not realizing they had been worn 4 days in a row and still thought I was wrong when I said they were dirty.
                          It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                          Comment

                            Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post

                            If that doesn't do the trick, this stuff is a miracle worker. You're running out of time though, if they're taking the car on Friday or Saturday. Get hustling!
                            Oh I’m going to try this! It look like it can ship from Home Depot and estimated to be here by Friday. It didn’t get very good reviews on the HD website, but fingers crossed that it works for me!

                            I live near a Duluth Trading so I got pretty excited, but it didn’t look like it was in stock, and HD shipping was faster.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Nova2000 View Post

                              Oh I’m going to try this! It look like it can ship from Home Depot and estimated to be here by Friday. It didn’t get very good reviews on the HD website, but fingers crossed that it works for me!

                              I live near a Duluth Trading so I got pretty excited, but it didn’t look like it was in stock, and HD shipping was faster.
                              Leave it working overnight if you can. Be forewarned though that you really have to air the car out afterwards-- if they're driving on Saturday, they may need to keep the windows down for awhile.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Buy a steam cleaner. It's worth it. My partner is actually allergic to my smelly car (and me half the time, I guess) and the steam cleaner gets a lot out and he can tolerate it. It's also very useful around the house, most especially when said partner gets all excited about the thing and wants to use it on everything

                                Comment

                                  Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Pally can you recommend one?

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Febreeze, baking soda in an open container (be careful Not to spill it), scented dryer sheets in and under seats, make sure there isn’t a stray splint boot stuck somewhere.
                                    RIP Mydan Mydandy+
                                    RIP Barichello

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Take it to your mechanic and have air filters replaced and vents cleaned. Anything in the car, heating, air conditioning, etc. is probably reeking. Going forward, put everything in the trunk. It won't totally stop the smell, but it helps tremendously. If you're driving an SUV, empty it every day. Check the interior roof. Odors tend to cling there.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Nova2000 View Post
                                        Pally can you recommend one?
                                        The one I got was a Polti Vaporetto https://www.polti.com/polti-vaporetto-smart-100-b and it's nice, but honestly, my choice largely came down to what very few were available on Amazon in spring. The high heat also kills microorganisms, so they were in short supply Me... I wasn't intending to kill any viruses with it... just wanted to keep my new-to-me car a little more... er, kept... than the old girl. I think any household canister style one (you need the hose and attachments, similar to a vacuum, NOT just a straight steam mop) will do the trick. Some auto-detailers have crazy expensive ones, but that's probably overkill for one car.

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