Posted on: September 10, 2009 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 3

So you just bought that new car of your dreams, the dealer pulls it up and you hop in for the first time and take a big, long whiff of that new car smell. Satisfying. Fast-forward a few days and maybe that factory-infused new car smell is still as strong as ever. What once was a reminder of an exciting new ride is now an annoying and offensive attack on your senses. Now you are asking yourself how you can get rid of the new car smell as quickly as possible!

Well there are actually a few methods that you can try to clear out that lingering aroma. It can be a little tricky, since manufacturers actually infuse that smell deep into upholstery and carpeting to cover any potentially bad smells caused by production. Here are a few ways to clean out any smell from your car.

1. Drive around with the windows open.

This one may seem simple, but it is a tried and true method! Getting the airflow circulating over any areas that are holding a scent will help to remove the smell and waft it out the window. You may leave your neighbourhood smelling like a new car, but at least your car will smell fresh!

You can also try leaving your car parked with the windows open a crack. This is especially effective on hot days, as the heat will quickly draw the scent out from deep in the upholstery! Just be sure to keep a close eye on your open car. You don’t want the rain or thieves getting into your brand new toy!

2. Try scented air fresheners.

You’ve seen air fresheners for your car before: they’re a dime a dozen at car washes, gas stations, department stores, etc. Hanging any of these could help you to mask and eventually forget about a lingering new car smell. Make sure that you select a smell that you would be fine with for the next few weeks, though. A smell that you only slightly enjoy now might be unbearable in a few weeks.

This solution may be a quick fix, but it won’t get that smell out. After the air freshener has worn off, you’ll most likely begin to smell that new car smell again. If you are looking for a more permanent solution, read on to the next suggestions.

3. Give your car a shampoo.

This solution you can either do yourself, or you can try taking your car to a cleaning shop that specializes in upholstery shampooing. You can usually find products that you can lather on and then wipe off to clean and deodorize your seats and carpeting: just be sure to follow the directions on the label. Many detailing shops have high-grade cleaners and shampoos that will penetrate deep down into the fabrics and neutralize those odours at the source.

This is a great method if you find that you’ve already made a mess of the carpeting or seats in your new car. You can make it look new while also getting that new car smell out of the seats!

4. Get some fast food.

You might have noticed this before, but fast foods such as burgers and fries can leave a smell that will linger in your car for days. Why not use this to your advantage?

If you love the smell of burgers and fries, stop by your local fast food joint, grab a special of the day, plunk it in your car, and leave it there for 15 minutes or so before you actually tuck in! The smell may actually seep into your seats and give you a friendly reminder of that delicious yet unhealthy meal!

This one may not be for everyone since fast food smell may be just as obnoxious to some as the new car smell! Not to mention, eating greasy foods in your car has the potential to leave messy stains, and you don’t want those in your brand new car either. Keep reading for some other ideas if this one does not suit your fancy.

5. Try a steam cleaner.

Next up, we’ve got a solution that’s really hot and steamy! If you’ve got a steam cleaner kicking around, put it to use getting those smells out of your seats. Steam cleaners can shoot jets of steam deep down into upholstery, where the heat breaks down those smell molecules. Those smell molecules won’t stand a chance and they’ll likely never bother you again. You can usually find small steam cleaners in department stores or online, or you could search for a nearby place that may rent them out for the day or for the afternoon.

Be sure to be careful when using a steam cleaner. Steam is very hot! It’s hot enough to leave a severe burn if you get a good enough blast of it so make sure you are careful and be aware of what you are doing.

6. Try using baking soda.

This one is a real winner because it is effective while being completely natural. You probably already know that baking soda can remove odours from your fridge or freezer, but did you know this miraculous powder can also remove smells from upholstery and carpeting? Pro tip: this same tactic works for shoe odour as well.

All you need to do is sprinkle a good amount onto your carpet and seats, leave it there for a bit, then come back with your vacuum and suck it all up! The smells in the fabrics will permeate into the baking soda and become trapped there, allowing for easy removal.

This solution is easy and effective while also being safe and natural. Now you don’t have to worry about your children or pets coming into contact with potentially harmful chemicals.

Even though you loved that smell at the beginning, a lingering new car smell can become annoying. Try out a few of these methods to try and kick that smell to the curb! For stubborn smells, combine a few of these suggestions to create an effective strategy that works for you!

Don’t forget, as your car gets older it will likely pick up new, even more offensive smells. The suggestions given here might also help you to get those smells out too!

3 People reacted on this

  1. LOL why would anyone want to get rid of the new car smell, researchers say it is one of the most popular scents to consumers in the world!

  2. I’m pretty sure that the chemicals in Frebreze and Freshwave aren’t very “good” for you either. I’m not about to go to the sites and look as I won’t be using either of them- but use common sense. Just let your car air out before driving if you have concerns.
    Masking a scent with another isn’t going to prevent a chemical from giving you a headache or making you ill if you have an allergy or intolerance. This writer is terribly misinformed.

  3. All of these items are uneeded. All you need is one of those baking soda fridge boxes, leave it on your dashboard when you park your car for a while. Did this for about a week or 2 for my 2008 vw and it worked really good, got rid of all the chemical smell which was giving me headaches. The boxes are under $2 at any grocery store.

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