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Mice odor in car

After the winter my little VW bug 1978 smelled horrible and I found mice running about in the back. What is the best thing to get the odor out. Last Saturday, July 4, on NPR, Click and Clack did mention a product, but I do not remember the name.

Many thanks. Mary

This is supposed to workon skunk:
1 quart of fresh, 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution (old HP eventually turns into water)
? cup of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1 teaspoon of a liquid soap that is known for its degreasing qualities
Always mix the solution in a large, open container. A closed container can explode. The mixture will bubble because of the chemical interaction between the baking soda and the hydrogen peroxide. Use the entire mixture while it is still bubbling. Wearing rubber gloves, apply the solution, work it into lather, and leave it on for 30 minutes.

Commercial preparations containing ?neutroleum alpha,? available from some pet stores, are also effective.

Antimicrobials or enzymes. Antimicrobials are added to the air to destroy odor-causing bacteria (e.g., Oust), or enzymes are added to the air to speed up odor decomposition (e.g., Pure Ayre). To work, these products need to come into actual contact with either the odor-causing bacteria or odors. Mixing antimicrobials or enzymes directly into livestock manure, for example, is actually a form of source control and an effective way to control manure odor. Spraying antimicrobials or enzymes into the air to control odor, however, is likely to be ineffective as (1) only a negligible percentage of odor-causing bacteria is actually aerosolized and (2) in the air, these products will almost never actually come into contact with aerosolized bacteria or odors. In theory, these products would work by preventing or removing existing odors. In reality, these products all contain perfumes, and these products, in actuality, work by adding odor to the air.

-Home Depot and they had with the air fresheners this plastic net bag which contained volcanic rock. It said it guaranteed to get rid of ALL odors within 36 hours and without adding another smell.
I asked about the refund policy and decided the almost 6 dollar investment would be worth it, IF it worked…Guess what it DID WORK. I was shocked and it was fast. you just set it out no big deal and the smell is gone in less than 24 hours!

The problem can involve much more than just an odor in the car. Take a look at some information from the US Centers for Disease Control regarding the frequently fatal Hanta Virus, which can be spread by inhaling dust from wild mouse droppings and urine:

I would suggest that you not spend any time in that car until the infestation (and its remnants) have been throroughly cleaned from the interior and its HVAC ducts. When doing the cleaning, be sure to wear a high-quality dust mask and clothing that can be sanitized after doing the cleaning.

“Mice running around in the back.” Were the mice in the interior (back seat) or in the engine compartment (back of the car)?

If they were in the interior I suggest removing the rear seat and cleaning out whatever might be under there.

If the mice are in the engine compartment you could have a nasty job on your hands. Old VWs get their heat from the exhaust system, and there is a long tube running under the car to bring the heat to interior and the windshield for defrosting.

If the mice got into the heater boxes the engine will have to be removed to clean them out.

Thank you for this swift reply. I am running to Home Depot on the way home!

Ouch, now I am scared not only of the little critters by of a fatal virus. I will bring my car to have it cleaned. Thank you. Mary

The product is called FRIGI-FRESH.


A bag of charcoal left open in the car can neutralize odors. Remove it when the odor is gone.

That is true, but odor is not an accurate indicator of the presence of infectious agents such as the Hanta Virus.

At one time, the CDC believed that this frequently-fatal respiratory infection was confined to the US Southwest. However, after a young man on NY’s Long Island died from Hanta Virus (about 6 years ago, IIRC), they changed that assessment.

The Hanta Virus can apparently exist anywhere in the US, and is definitely spread by the feces and the urine of wild mice.