Interior Car Odors

Interior Car Odors

“You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Perhaps not, but covers send a message regardless. I see a book cover with a knife dripping blood on it. I get the message that it’s going to be a violent story. Our clothes are “covers” that make particular statements. I see a woman in Louboutin shoes, and I assume she’s wealthy. She may not be, but that’s the message. Our cars “wrapped around us” as we move through this world make statements also. Whether it’s new or old, high-end or junker, even the color can be an extension of ourselves. So what statement are you making when you invite a passenger into your car and he just about chokes. Or maybe he’s one of those “tell it like it is” types and says, “Did something die in here?” Odors are usually more obvious to others, but, really, you’ve noticed it yourself, haven’t you? So what’s smelling up your car?


So you don’t smoke, but there was that one time that you let a particularly distraught friend light up. Amazingly, that’s all it takes—one time. Cigarette smoke gets everywhere, into the air vents, into fibers. And it lingers. And lingers. And lingers.

Now, if you or a passenger has smoked something else (not saying what—we’ll keep that between the two of us), that smell also lingers. Some people liken it to skunk! An additional problem with that “scent” comes about if you get stopped for, say, a traffic violation. The police are well acquainted with it, and you could end up in worse trouble than you were before for rolling through a stop sign.


You don’t have French fries strewn around your living room. Or fast food wrappers scattered about. So why have them in your car? When those smells get old, they are far from appetizing.

I’m including spills here also. They’re somewhere in between trash and leftovers, I suppose. Coffee, for instance, smells so good when it’s fresh and hot. And so putrid when it’s old and sunk into the carpet or upholstery. “Don’t cry over spilt milk.” You will want to if a potential employer or your dream girl gets into your car. It’s a terribly sour smell—stomach turning to many.


Water can get into the interior of your car through a window opened even a crack in a heavy rainstorm, a poorly fitted door or sun roof, trunk lid or hatch back. Water provides a perfect breeding ground for mold. What you may smell is MVOC (mold volatile organic compound) gases produced by some species of mold, and it’s obnoxious. The smell may stay around even after the actual mold has been removed, because the gases are in the seats, carpeting and headliner—even if those items were never wet and moldy.

Mold is more than an unpleasant odor for some people. For your passengers who have respiratory problems, compromised immune systems or similar issues, for the elderly and infants, exposure to high levels of MVOC gases can pose serious health risks.


If you were at one point on your way to the laundromat, please get there and get those clothes out of your car. Or maybe you like to have your gym bag handy—for whenever the mood strikes. Not a good idea to keep it in your car. If you are an athlete, do you remember how your high school locker smelled? If you are not an athlete, even worse when you got whiffs of them as you walked by.


Small rodents can die in your car's interior and stink up your car.Mice love cars. They’re dry and safe and comfy. The glove compartment is a particularly valuable piece of mouse real estate. But they can make themselves at home nearly anywhere: HVAC ducts, door panels, under the seats, in the trunk. Once you’ve smelled rodent, you’ll know it forever, especially if they die there and decompose. Oh, boy! And like other odors discussed here, you can remove the source, in this case the rodent (dead or alive) and the odor remains.


Put your best self forward. It doesn’t matter if your car is new or old, tricked out or junked up, a clean-smelling, and clean, car will make a powerful positive message about you. Besides that, if you have people that you drive around, it’s the considerate thing to do.

We have the equipment and experience to remove these odors from your vehicle. Give us a call at 207-839-9111 or drop us an email.

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