Mysterious smell in my car

Little bit more than a month ago, I found out that my car stink. It’s like someone vomited in my car. I had shampooed the car. The car wash guy showed me where the smell came from. It was under the driver seat. There was a big brown spot. The car mat at the back on the driver side had some splatter pattern. It’s like someone dropped some drinks in my car. They cleaned the spot. Few days later, the smell came back. I’ve tried to spot clean that area myself using some OTC cleaning stuff for car but the smell doesn’t go away. What can I do to get rid of the smell? My friend sticks his head out the window while he is driving my car.

It was probably something with dairy product in it such as coffee w/ cream or hot chocolate. Old, rotten dairy tends to end up smelling like vomit.

And it probably soaked through the carpet into the insulation underneath. That is now like a big sponge full of rotten milk. You can check back with an auto detailer or maybe try another one. You might end up needing to pull out the interior to get at the underside of the carpet.

One thing that I might try - just b/c I happen to have it around the house - is a thing called “Nature’s Miracle.” Its sold at pet supply stores and is meant to get rid of pet stains. You basically soak the whole area and then just leave it wet. Its some kind of enzymatic thing. The enzymes break down the stuff in there and then it dries out on its own. Its obviously made for pet urine and the like so I have no idea whether it would do anything for whatever is on your carpet. But if my next option was pulling the carpet out of the car I wouldn’t see any harm in giving it a whirl.

AtmosKlear Odorless Odor Eliminator

Whatever was spilled in your car soaked through the carpet and has been absorbed by the padding underneath. The padding is a sponge-like material, and is very good at absorbing and holding liquids. I’ll bet it’s still wet under there, and that’s why it stinks.

The only way to get rid of the smell is to remove the padding from under the carpet and clean it outside the car. After it’s clean you should let it air dry before you put it back in the car.

There isn’t a shop vac on the planet that will extract the moisture from under the carpet. Removing the padding is the only way I know of to really get rid of the odor.

Thanks guys. I will try to the Nature’s Miracle first. I hope I don’t need to pull out the carpet of the car. If I really need to do that, can the auto detailer do that? After they clean the underside of the carpet, can they put the carpet back? I’ve never thought of pulling the carpet out or I don’t even know that the carpet can be pull out.

If all else fails, perform a Google search for ozone odor removal. Ozone generators are used to clean odors out of used cars by car dealers. There are contractors that provide the service you will likely find one locally. If not, there are companies that rent the ozone generator to do it yourself. Cost should be less than $100 for the service and take a few hours or a day. I used an ozone odor removal service to remove cigarette smoke odor from apartments. It is effective and permanent.

You have likely already done all the cleaning necessary/possible to remove the odor. Additional treatment may mask the odor, but ozone is the only treatment that will remove it permanently.

I agree! I bought a house from an elderly woman who had a dog. I steam cleaned the carpet and the dog smell would disappear for a while, but would return. The dog smell was particularly bad in damp weather. I finally figured out that the odor was most prominent just inside the front door. I decided to cut out a section of the carpet and put down a piece of linoleum. When I cut out the section of carpet, the pad under the carpet was really gross. The woman who owned the house was hard of hearing and dog sometimes relieved himself at the door. What I found under the pad was very nice hardwood flooring. I put carpet bars around the section of carpet that I removed. I threw out the section of carpet and pad that I removed and no more odor. You may have to replace the carpet in your car to eliminate the odor.