Atlanta drivers spend a lot of time in metro-area traffic. Between regular use, too much time between vacuums or car washes, or air filter replacements, your car can start to smell strange quickly. Here are five fast ways to keep your car smelling great so you can breathe easily during your weekday commute.
5 Fast Ways to Keep Your Car Smelling Great
1. Vacuum your car once a week
Whether you take your vehicle to a local car wash or pull out your handheld vacuum cleaner, vacuuming your car once a week can go a long way towards the air quality in your car. Crumbs in the seats and dirt and debris on the floor mats contribute to building odors. Getting rid of these culprits regularly helps prevent odors from building up over time.
Airing out your floor mats once a month (weather permitting) can help them stay fresher longer.
Note: Sprinkle baking powder on the seats and floorboard before vacuuming. The baking powder absorbs unpleasant odors naturally and will leave your car smelling fresh.
2. Hang an air freshener in your car
An air freshener is one of the most tried and true ways to keep your car smelling great. A standard air freshener might not get rid of odors, but it can help mask unpleasant smells. Similarly, you can place a scented (but unlit!) candle under your front seat to help mask the smell in your car.
Depending on your budget and the smell in your car, you may want to consider a car air freshener that contains deodorizing agents. Vent clip-ons can help circulate air fresheners throughout the vehicle’s cabin.
3. Deep clean your car’s interior
If the smell in your car is unbearable, it may be time to do a deep clean. Some car washes offer deep cleans, but you can also make an interior car wash an afternoon project. Just make sure it’s a sunny day!
Deep cleaning your car ideally includes the following:
- Leave the windows open to air out the vehicle while you are cleaning
- Spot clean stains on your upholstery, floor mats, and footwells
- Scrub your dashboard with a disinfectant
- Use window cleaner to scrub the interior-facing windows
- Use leather cleaner on your seats, if applicable
- Vacuum your car thoroughly, including the seats, floormats, footwells, and the crevasses between the seats
- Remove the floor mats from your car, shampoo them, and then air them out, ideally letting them hang from a line or draped over a balcony
Clean up food and drink spills as they happen before the odors have an opportunity to set. Regularly cleaning mistakes as they happen will also help reduce the amount of work you’ll need to do when it’s time to deep clean your car.
4. Deodorize your car naturally
There are a few different ways to deodorize your car naturally. These options absorb the smells and may take time to fully get rid of the unwanted odor.
- Place a box of baking soda in your car, much like you would in your fridge
- Fill a sock with coffee beans and place it underneath the driver’s seat
- Place some lumps of charcoal beneath the front seat
- Put an open box of dryer sheets beneath the front seat
As far as ways to keep your car smelling great, this method is effective but takes time. You may need to wait several weeks for these methods to take full effect depending on how strong the smell in your car is.
5. Replace your car air filter
Sometimes, the source of strange smells in your car isn’t in your vehicle’s cabin at all but is actually caused by your air filter. A strange odor in your car can be a sign that your air filter needs replacing.
Your air filter is easy to overlook when it comes to regular auto maintenance. It traps dust and other road debris and, much like the HVAC system in your home, needs to be replaced regularly. For the most part, you can expect to replace your air filter every 15,000 miles. The exact interval will depend on how often you drive and the types of road you drive (regular dirt road driving will lead to more frequent changes).
Car Air Conditioner Inspections and Repairs at T3 Atlanta
If you’ve tried every DIY suggestion to improve your car’s smell and nothing seems to improve the smell of your car, then it’s possible your air conditioner is the culprit. T3 Atlanta can determine if your air filter needs replacement or another component in your air conditioner needs work. Give us a call and book an appointment at one of our convenient metro area locations today!