What is the best thing you have found to keep your car smelling fresh

I was wondering what might be the best way to keep the inside of my mini van smelling fresh or at least not like ole warn out shoes or something…

When I Was In High School My Girlfriend Worked At A Pancake Restaurant. I’d Pick Her Up After Work And She’d Keep My Car Smelling Like International Flavored Pancakes And Syrup.

If you’re not married then you could try that. If you’re married get your wife a full-time or at least a part-time job at a pancake place, donut shop or a brewery and pick her up after work !


Can you explain what’s causing the smell? The interior shouldn’t smell like anything bad unless there’s a reason.

I find bathing helps … a lot.

On a serious level, I like to leave the windows cracked whenever I park under shelter, like in a parking garage.

When things get really bad, I use Ozium air sanitizer.

To all the other good suggestions, let me add…Cleanliness above all else. At least twice a year, make it a major project. We use rug shampoo rentals to do all carpeting and fabric interior as needed. Many smells are from these areas we have found. Vacuuming alone is a very cursory effort though important to keep dirt and smell from grinding in.

Excellent but expensive floor mats like Husky are a huge asset too. Their products are “custom fit” to your car and can be used for all carpet areas, last the life of the car and minimize the “major project” time. If you can afford it, have it “detailed” to get areas you might miss though any one with time can do as well.

It’s not a horrible smell, just well a old car musty smell, just like you get in your house when it’s been closed up all winter…

f you’re married get your wife a full-time or at least a part-time job at a pancake place, donut shop or a brewery and pick her up after work !

Not sure my wife wants to quite her job as Marketing Director to take a job that pays 1/10th of what she makes now.

To keep a car smelling nice…is to keep it clean.

I suppose I could try to hook-up with an IHOP waitress, or a doughnut shop employee. That’s the best idea CSA has had yet! I can smell the pastries already just thinking about it.

Brewery, baby…and ask her for samples every day…lots and lots of samples… :slight_smile:

Then, even it it smells, you won’t care.

If the car has a cabin air filter, change it and at that time put an air freshener somewhere in the air box. Just make sure it is on the side away from the fan so it can’t get caught in the blades of said fan.

Once a year I use Wynn’s “Fresh Air” which is sprayed into the outside air intake with the A/C or heater running. It has a fungice that gets rid of the dead leaves and mouldy smells.

In additon to that I use “Fresh” from Auto Expressions which gives a “new car” scent. We have a dog and the Fresh comes in handy.

Both are available from auto supply stores.

Some folks use a sheet of Bounce that’s used in the clothes dryer. It leaves a strong smell which many object to although it does get rid of bad odors. I once bought a smoker’s car and even after scrubbing the carperts and upholstery, it still smelled. I then drove areound with Bounce towels under the seats for about 3 months.

We’ve Got Leather Chairs In Our Cars And Keep The Upholstery Cleaned/Treated With Leather Conditioner. The Interiors Smell Like A New Baseball Glove ! It Doesn’t Get Much Better (Except Maybe The Brewery) !


Right Guard. And “The Patch”.

Maybe I should use a heavy duty extension cord to cook some bacon in my car with an electric skillet. Then I could drive around enjoying the smell of bacon. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!

You didn’t buy this car, did you? (See the picture.)

I have a favorite perfume from a previous love. I just do a few squirts into the air from the bottle every now and then. Even though I smoke with the windows open and no passengers in the car, I have had a few comments transporting high school critters such as your car always smells so nice, TRUE! It sure smells better than the nauseating hangers you can buy anywhere.

Whitey…that looks like one of those ads Jay Leno used on the Late Show.

Try a warehouse and don’t drive it.

By some nice fragrance devices

The only thing I have found is the same thing I use in my home…Same as Cigar Bars use in the “Smoke Rooms”…etc. I have a “Living Air XL15” Air Purifier/Ozone Generator… Know that smell during a rainstorm with a lot of lightning? Thats Ozone…it neutralizes pretty much ANY odor you can throw at it…I mean you could have 5 guys all smoking cigars in my Rec. Room which is about 12ft W by say 25ftL…COMPLETELY FILL THE ROOM WITH smoke so thick you could cut a Donut shape out of the air…then turn on the Living Air…and “FAGHETABOUTIT” In under an hour you would never know anyone was smoking in that room…and it actually lasts after it is shut of…because the Ozone actually breaks down whatever STINK molecules are in the air or rug and literally rids the room of smell.

You can see these units ALL OVER Ebay still to this day…they came out long long ago…and used to cost a fortune, but now you can get them for $100 - 200 for a nice working unit. Check them out…FANTASTIC machines… Now these days they say that Ozone is bad for you or whatever…dont know about that but I DO KNOW that it is THE BE ALL END ALL of odor elimination of all time… I love it There have been many “knock-off” versions of this unit for even less money…and they work too… The reason is that the electronics price has fallen so low nec of the modern computer age I s’pose.

Why do I mention this? Because they make a teeny tiny one that plugs into your cigarette lighter socker…they pull super low voltage and havent ever affected my battery charge state yet…and man the car smells like OZONE for sure… I love that smell Its molecular symbol is O3 I believe. Ozone kicks major ass at any odor removal and its permanent … Look into it if you have never heard of this before…Its what I have used for many years… Have fun searching…there are PLENTY of units out there…

Aside from that Good Ole Baking Soda works well…removing your entire interior and Power Washing it with a little Tide thrown into the mix is also great…