de-stinking a car interior

Page 1 of 4  
I'm sure this has come up on here before, but I can't remember what the best recommended product was. I think something died in my van, and I need to de-stink it. I pulled the removable seats loose and did an eyeball inspection, but found no little corpses. Not yet desperate enough to pull the carpets and interior panels. Used up my remaining quarter-bottle of Febreeze, too soon to tell if it helped. As usual with these things, smell is worst after van has been sitting closed for several hours. Smell arrived with the warm spell a couple days ago.
Will it dry up faster if I leave it parked in sunshine with windows up, or windows down? And what is best product to saturate the suspect part of carpets and end of floor heater ducts with? (No stink apparent from the dash ducts, or seating surfaces, or underside of the seats I flipped over)
Does simple mold ever smell like decomp?
If I leave it parked outside for a month and drive the spare car, will the problem eventually solve itself?
-- aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You need to locate where the smell is coming from. Open it up and air it out then come back and go a sniffing.
you can clean the carpets effectively with boiling water and a shopvac.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You didn't happen to have a leaking baby bottle in it, did you? That can be ghastly.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Push it over a cliff.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
StepfanKing wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Eat my shorts.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Cheri wrote:

Nope, I'm a single male. No little ones ever ride in there. (I needed a hauling vehicle, and a pickup won't fit in my garage. The removable seats usually aren't in it, but I had to put them back in to make room for the snow blower in the garage.)
-- aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

YOU stink. It's not the vehicle.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
ktos wrote:

for this thread.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 19 Mar 2009 20:49:10 -0700, Cheri wrote:

LOL! We had a car come into the detailing shop as a trade in, a nice Lexus 300, IIRC, and did a good cleaning. But it had this awful *smell*. We used an extractor on the seats and the carpets, and set off a 'stink bomb' that is supposed to remove (or at least cover over) smells, and then ran the ionizer on it for hours. Next day we came in and opened it up and it STILL stunk to high heaven. We cleaned it with everything we had, and ran the ionizer overnight, all night. Smelled good when we came in, but an hour after removing the ionizer the smell was back again. I went for lunch, and when I came back the shop foreman, who had started on the car originally, said, "Hey, JJ, check this out!" On his desk was a milk carton. He just opened it up on his desk and we all almost gagged! It was shoved *WAY* under the seat and could only be found by crawling in the back seat with your head to the floor...
PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I had a mouse climb into my 6 month old Corvette during winter storage and die, leaving an incredible odor in the Spring when I came to take the car out of storage.
I ultimately found only 1 way to get rid of the odor based on an excellent recommendation here on this newsgroup. The solution was to find an enzymatic odor eliminator used for carpet cleaning, made by a company I believe was called "Rug Doctor". It is an odorless, clear liquid sold alongside rug shampoo machines to remove pet odors, etc. It is sold in small reddish-orange bottles, as are the other carpet chemicals from the same company (stain remover, shampoo).
It took 3 applications, but the odor is now entirely gone. My earlier attempts with Fabreeze and other fragrances made the problem much worse and should never have been used.
Smarty
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Smarty wrote:

unscented kind. It isn't just perfume. The stuff in it supposedly hooks on to the stinky compounds, and chemically changes them to non-stinky. Leastways, according to their web site. And it has helped a lot already.
-- aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Smarty wrote:

Did you ever see the Myth Busters show where they bought a Corvette and put a dead pig in it and let it rot? It was awful.
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The Daring Dufas wrote:

That's just evil, probably the juices soaked into the fiberglass. that stuff doesn't just wipe clean like steel.
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 20 Mar 2009 03:25:25 +0000, aemeijers wrote:

Did you try checking the undercarriage? You might have some road kill wedged in somewhere.
How is the weather in your location, warm enough for flies? If so, maybe their comings and goings could lead you to the source of the stench.

Assuming dry weather, windows down, I would think.
--
Tony Sivori
Due to spam, I\'m filtering all Google Groups posters.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Use a mild H2O2 (Hydrogen peroxide) solution on the rugs, and try an ozone-ator overnight. A simple hot water or steem cleaner GENERALLY cannot sterilize the carpet and underpad - where a lot of smells originate.
My brother bought a Sable wagon. The owner had loaded it with garbage to go to the dump, then died. Car sat for several months. IT STUNK!!!!!!.
He bought it cheap enough that he couldn't loose, even breaking it down for parts. Only had a few thousand KM on it, so he cleaned it up. It had the ozone in it about 4 times - doesn't smell bad now at all - 2 years later.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
aemeijers wrote:

Did you check the trunk and under the hood for dead animals? Take carpet out of the trunk to wash? If no animals, it is most likely spills or dropped food...had a leaky package from grocery store? One of the worst food smells, from my experience, is rotten potato. If no material is found, I would flood the carpet on the floor a couple of times, let it soak an hour or so, and remove thoroughly with wet vac. Then keep car open on a nice sunny day to dry out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

It's a VAN- no trunk. No smell under hood, or under dash, or from dash vents. It could be an old winter spill, since The Thaw only came a few days ago around here, but I don't eat in the car, and I haul the grocery bags in plastic busboy tubs, just to prevent things falling out and rolling away. (BTDT)
Stopped on way home from work today, and bought another jug of extra-strength Febreze, and dosed it all again, and it seems to be helping some. Van is sitting in sunlight with windows down right now- have to remember to put it away come dark so nothing else climbs in.
-- aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Here's my guess;
If it's a vehicle that you may not drive every day, and maybe even if you do. We're coming off of winter, the mouse colony that took up residence in the heater box froze to death one very cold night. Now that it's warming up out, they are starting to rot. Also, they piss in their nests, and it makes for some horrendous stinking when you are trying to get warm from that heater. If this is the case, you'll need to pull the heater duct hoses loose so you can see in the heater box to get the nest out. You may also need to pull the blower loose in the engine compartment side, because the whole mess may be on that side of the heater core. Once you remove the nest, wash out the box with just about anything and the smell will quickly begin to fade, as long as you got it all. You know, mice simply love jute, which is found on the backside of most vehicle carpets, and even vinyl floor mats. It makes excellent nesting material.
HTH, Lefty
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Might need to pull the ventilation ducts under the dash.

It didn't.

After the corpse thawed out, probably...

Down, of course -- how else do you expect the smell to leave?

You're going about this wrong. You need to locate and remove the source of the stench, then thoroughly clean the contaminated part(s). Soap and water will do just fine. Randomly spritzing odor-"removal" products (which really are simply odor-*masking* products) isn't going to help.
Activated charcoal (available anywhere that sells aquarium supplies) actually absorbs odors. Find the source of the stink, remove it, clean the affected parts, then spread activated charcoal around the area. Vacuum the charcoal up in a week.

No.
Oh, eventually, sure -- but I doubt a month will do it. Two or three years, maybe...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.