Smelly Car Carpet

My thoughtful husband brought home bagged mulch in the back of my minivan. Unfortunately, it had spent 40 days and 40 night in the rain back in the store. So, my car was filled with a slurry of rainwater, mulch bits, and whatever else grows when the two mix. To eliminate the stench we have tried airing, scrubbing, ‘Pet Fresh’, baking soda, bleach spray, fans, etc. Nothing yet has worked. And, as we are off on a cross country trek soon, I pity the youngster who will be sitting in the third seat! (Perhaps it will be my husband.) Any suggestions?

If it was on the seat buy a recycled bench seat, if it was on the floor replace the carpeting, tear the old stuff up, wash everything out the best you can with a cup of bleach to a gallon of water using rubber gloves and protective eyewear of course.

It was the well in the back, and I was hoping for something easier that replacing the carpet. I don’t want it to turn into the most expensive bags of mulch ever!

Likely the best bet would be to remove the carpet so you can clean under it and have the carpet professionally cleaned.

If that does not do it, open your phone book and you should find a professional fire restoration company. They go into homes after things like fire floods etc. They can do the job.

I have had good results with the Bissel Little Green Machine for cleaning upholstery and auto carpets. The machine costs under $100. My son left some earthworms (fishing worms) in the trunk of a car and the earthworms died. The odor permeated the whole car. I spent a morning using the Little Green Machine–steam cleaned the carpets, upholstery and trunk lining. This took care of the odor.

I also have a Bissel green machine
a wet/dry shop vacuum.

You’re never going to get down in and under the carpet with scrubbing.

If taking out the carpet is not you first choice, then with one of these wet vacuums, you can get it really wet ( I use a gallon jug or a bucket and dump it on…really soak it ) with any number of cleaning solutions and suck that stuff right back up, through, and out of the carpet.

several times.

Then continue with the wet vac and you’ll get it very near dry
and air out till dry.

You might try a shop near you that specializes in cleaning and repairing car interiors. They did wonders for our car.

I learned the hard way about mulch too. In the future use a tarp to line the cargo area.

Is the carpet removable? If so, take out and use a Bissel Green machine on the carpet and padding. Check the electrical wiring and connections for corrosion.

Consider adding ventvisors to the windows in order to leave them cracked to air out the van.

I just installed these on my 2010 Cobalt and my wife’s 06 Sienna. They install in the window channel and look a lot nicer than the externally attached ventvisors on my 2000 Blazer.

Ed B.

The wet/dry shop vacuum to supplement the Green Machine is a good idea. The suction on the green machine isn’t that great.

The key here is to use just the vacuum function of the Bissel.
Take off the carpet fan spray nozzle and use the open hose end to suck up the water solution from a outside source like the bucket.

I used my Bissel in this fashion just two days ago for a soda spill on the living room carpet.
The day before that for a toilet overflow along with the shop vac.

Gets quite a workout with these three grand kids.

have the car professionally cleaned/detailed at the car wash they will get the stench out may cost a few dollars but at least it will be gone and you’ll get a nice clean car out of the deal