How to get bad smells out of cloth car seats?

By Product Expert | Posted in DIY Maintenance, FAQs, Tips and Tricks on Thursday, August 20th, 2020 at 8:21 am
driver holding her nose because car smells bad

How to Deodorize Your Vehicle’s Cloth Upholstery Yourself

When it comes to detailing a car, a professional is always the best choice. But professionals cost quite a lot. So, whether you need a quick fix or don’t feel like forking over a bunch of cash, we can help.

Here are five cheap ways to get bad smells out of your car’s cloth seats.


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small pitcher of veingar

White Vinegar

If there’s a jack-of-all-odors cleaner, it’s white vinegar. White vinegar naturally kills bacteria, fungus, and mold thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. It’s also super cheap. Mix one part white vinegar with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray on your seats. No labor necessary; just let it dry. Repeat as many times as needed.

Enzyme Digester

An enzyme digester breaks down smelly bacteria quickly. It’s commonly found in pet odor removers and is safe for cloth upholstery. It won’t be as cheap as white vinegar, but it’s often odorless (unlike white vinegar). Just follow the directions on the package.

Baking Soda/Coffee Grounds

We grouped these two together because they work and are used in the same way. They both absorb odors from the air. Simply put a bowl of baking soda or coffee grounds in your vehicle overnight. Make sure that the windows and doors are completely shut. In the morning, dispose/compost the baking soda/coffee grounds. Repeat with a fresh bowl as necessary.

Dryer Sheets

This one is for a car that smells like cigarettes. Most of the time, you’ll have to get a smoked-in vehicle professionally detailed, but you can place dryer sheets under the seats as a temporary solution. It will absorb smoking odors and give off a fresh scent. Switch them out when they stop absorbing odor.

Looking for a High-Quality, Non-Smelly, Used Car?

If you’re in the market for a used vehicle at an affordable price, try CrossPointe Motor Cars a call. We have a huge selection of vehicles, many of which are covered by our lifetime powertrain warranty. For a hassle-free, no-haggle car buying experience, try CrossPointe.

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