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Removing paint smells from car interior

My wife’s car just spent 3 weeks at the body shop. Even though it went in for a bent wheel well and some minor dings we suspect they repainted the entire car because they were having trouble matching the color. I mean, how hard it gray?

Now the inside of the car reeks of paint fumes and Armour All.

Is there any sure fire way of ridding her car of this mind numbing stench? My wife is very sensitive to odors and suffers extreme pain when exposed to chemical fumes so just masking the odor is not an option. We need it gone! The odor, not the car.

Call a detail shop and see if they have an “ionizer”. Run this in the interior for a day and the smell should be gone.

I assure you they did not paint the entire car, it would cost a butt load of money to paint the entire car.
How hard is gray? It can be very tricky. The base coat is no problem but the clear turns the gray kind of yellow so it is tricky. I am not saying 3 weeks is good since we here do not know the extent of damage but sounds as if the shop kept it to assure quality instead of sending it out looking bad.

Leave it outside in the sun with the windows almost closed for awhile and then with them down a few inches. Maybe the heat and the ventilation will help. Change the cabin air filter. Ozone spray. Clean the seats and the inside. Open hood and trunk and use a leaf blower to get rid of the dust? Call a detailer.

In my experience, time is about the only thing that will get rid of the smell, as long as you leave the windows open for ventilation. When we had our car’s roof painted, it took about a month for all the smell to go away. It gets less and less, but if you drive it daily, you might notice the difference daily. An air freshener might distract your sense of smell.

I Agree. Patience Is A Virtue. Also, Ozium spray is powerful.

+1 on time. The paint is outgassing and the only (realistic) way to speed that up is with heat.

BTW- if she is truly sensitive to the vapors (it not just unpleasant but causing a reaction), no amount of masking odors will actually displace or eliminate the chemical vapors.

Nobody has responded to the Armour All question. I too would like to hear that one. While I avoid that c*** like a tsunami, if I ever need to I’d like to know how to get rid of it.


AutoVaccine is the only product that works so well that it comes with a money back guarantee. It?s revolutionary new technology that delivers chlorine dioxide the strongest known odor eliminator for large industry’s. You can only get the real stuff from a company called
I used to get gasoline smell out and it worked way beyond my expectation.
It’s not expensive and easy to use.
Really a good product!
I think there was a segment about it on car talk one a few months back.

Thanks, I just ordered one. I have a car that once had a mouse nest in the ducting. It still smells when the temp/humidity are right. If I run the fan on recirc, should treat the ducting. I’ll post back with the results afterward.

Hello roger_i_am,
My wife is similarly afflicted. How did your scenario work out? Does your wife see any specialists?

No wonder I didn’t recognize my response… the thread is over 7 years old!! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
I’m guessing that the OP’s wife’s paint has outgassed by now…

One idea for @henkelka2010, figure out a way place a 20 inch box fan blowing air into one window, and open the other windows. Let it blow for a few hours. That may not solve the problem immediately, but the amount of air flowing through the passenger compartment should make for some noticeable improvement.