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Odor Removal

Hi Friends! -

I’ve got a sort of atypical (and stomach-turning) question. Two days ago, my 17-month-old son vomited in my car (a 2009 Toyota Corolla with regular fabric interior). He rides in a rear-facing carseat, so while most of it ended up on himself and in the carseat itself, a very small amount of it made its way to my backseat. I took the carseat out of the car, cleaned it, and washed the fabric overlay TWICE while sanitizing the plastic pieces with clorox. I also wiped down the affected upholstery. I have febreezed the entire car to death, however, there is a still a horrible odor! I have tried keeping the windows down, but here it Maine it has been nonstop rain this week, so I cant keep them down for long without soaking the inside of my car. I’m thinking at this point I’m just going to have to go get my car detailed and end this ordeal. Is there anything else (like a certain kind of auto upholstery cleaner) I can try first to get rid of this smell before I have to go and spend money on detailing an otherwise clean car?


You might want to lift up the rear seat cushion and check if some of the girble found it’s way down between the seat cushion and the seat back onto the floor.


My goto product for babies, kids, cats, and dog is “Awesome”, available at your local Dollar Store.

I spray it on the stained area and scrub with a wet washcloth, don’t be shy with the water either. Use a cotton towel to soak up the water. Place some weight onto the towel and let it sit for a while. The water will be drawn up into the towel.

Ed B.

Thanks for the tips!

For odor removal try white vinegar (diluted) and spray it on. Be liberal on the carpets and seats and then let it dry naturally. Of course try it on a small area to make sure that there is no discoloration. However, it does need to dry in the sun; so if it’s raining you might have to consider. One caveat though - you will get the smell of vinegar for sometime, but it will dissipate gradually. For some reason, I am reluctant to use products like Febreeze.

One important thing - if you make the upholstery too wet (and does not dry out subsequently) you might have problems with mold.