Since you're driving your car for various purposes or carrying many things inside the car, foul odors could easily build up and result in unpleasant driving experiences for both the driver and passengers, alike. Bad smells can come from dirty socks, clothes, shoes or even baby diaper if you have one. No matter what causes the foul smell in your car, it should be removed by any mean. 


The most common of all foul odors in a car comes from cigarette smoke.

Smoke Cause Bad Odor

If you are a driver who smokes, to help eliminate the most part of the odor from the smoke, always smoke with your car windows open or at least cracked open. Always keep your car ashtray cleaned as the odor can linger from that.

What Can You Do to Remove Odor?



Whatever the source of the odor, it can be easily removed and your car can smell fresh and comfortable again. Just follow these simple and effective tips to remove bad smell quickly, and economically while leaving your car with a fresh clean scent that will make your driving very pleasurable for you and your passengers.

Keep Sealed Bag​

Sealed Bag For Car

Keep a strong and reliable sealed bag available for placing trash inside and trapping the odors in the bag, rather than filling your vehicle with any unpleasant odors.

Bags can be anything from quart size ice cream bags with zippers to gallon size Ziploc bags with plastic zipper seals. Or just plain ordinary brown paper bags, solid and strong, and use a paperclip to fold the top edge of the bag down and close it shut tight with the paperclip. Whichever bag you opt for, be sure to empty it when you return home or are near a garbage can, while on the road.

Use Essential Oil


A tip that I have, myself, often used is simply using orange essential oil or an orange peel placed just slightly inside of the air conditioner/heater vents edges. Use caution to not let the orange peel fall into the vents, as this could result in a local car repair shop needing to go inside and remove the citrus peeling, to avoid any crucial damage in the engine.

Orange Essential Oil

Citrus is infamous for removing the worst of foul odors. You can use any form of citrus; oranges, lemons, grapefruit, whatever you choose. This will give a fresh scent to your car.

Citrus Oil

Simply run the air conditioner or fan for about 30 minutes while driving and the odor will be neutralized.

Hang Air Fresheners

Hang A Air Freshner

A popular technique is using hanging air fresheners. These hanging air fresheners are generally hung from the rear view mirror on the inside of the windshield.

They are basically merely a piece of cardboard that has been coated with scented oils or citrus essence oils. They can be effective, but the results are often quite temporary and the air fresheners will need to be replaced often. Generally, they are inexpensive, but it can be a hassle having to replace them every so often. These hanging air fresheners can be purchased at a local car repair and parts shop or at a general store.


Auto Odor Solution ELIT


Spray Odor Neutralizer


Another tried and true technique, which can be a little more expensive, but still worth the value is using a spray odor neutralizer. Neutralizers remove the odor completely, while fresheners only ‘cover’ the odor. A common odor neutralizer that can be easily stored in your car and even for around the house.

Essential Oils And Extracts


A final option can be essential oils and extracts. (Vanilla extract can be inexpensive and purchased at nearly every grocery store easily.) Simply place a few drops of the essential oil or extract on a cotton ball and place the cotton ball under a seat somewhere.


Following any of these tips and tricks will give your car with a pleasant and fresh clean scent and will make driving so much more relaxing for you and your passengers. It’s best to remove the odor as soon as it is detectable, and should certainly be performed when cleaning your car and detailing.


To learn new tips and how to detail your car interior follow my cleaning series Interior detailing


About the author


Hello, My name is Andrew David, a passionate car lover, and enthusiast.
I am not so called expert but love to share my experiences and knowledge regarding the car and motor parts for all vehicles.