Cleaning the inside of a car (Photo: @JulieK via Twenty20)

How to Get Rid of the New Car Smell

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Cleaning the inside of a car (Photo: @JulieK via Twenty20)
You just bought a brand new car (yay!) and now you’re wondering how to get rid of the new car smell. You’re not alone. While many love the odor that accompanies a new ride, many struggle with finding a way to quickly eliminate it. Here are a few tips that will help the new car smell fade faster.

1. Roll Down Your Windows

Airing out your car is one of the best ways to help eliminate the new car smell. The odor originates from compounds in the materials used in the manufacturing of your car. Opening your window and making sure your airflow is not set to recirculate will get fresh air in while flushing out the stale air out.

2. Professional Detailing

If you have the money, consider having a professional detailing company clean your car. They will wipe down all the surfaces, blow out your vents, and steam clean and vacuum your carpets and seats. If you have the time and energy, you can do the work yourself and get the same results.

3. Bake Out

The compounds in the materials causing the smell can be “baked out” with heat. The most economic way to do this is to park in a sunny location. Once situated, slightly roll down the windows and leave the car in the sun for a couple hours. Afterwards, wipe down the interior with a microfiber cloth. You can repeat this a few times, but don’t do it too often or it can lead to heat damage to the dash and fade the paint.

4. Baking Soda

Just like baking soda absorbs the smells in your refrigerator, it can help rid your vehicle of the new car smell. Open a box and place it in an open container that won’t allow it to spill all over your carpet. If the smell still lingers after a few days, replace the box with a new one.

5. White Vinegar

Mix one part vinegar to two parts water in a bowl or pail. Using a microfiber cloth, wipe down the interior of your vehicle with the mixture. It is best to use a microfiber cloth, but you can use a sponge or other soft cloth, too. Make sure to dry right away to avoid mold or moisture damage. Vinegar also absorbs odor, so you can fill a container with holes in the lid and place in the car where it won’t spill.

6. Charcoal

Like baking soda, charcoal is great for absorbing odors. You can buy charcoal in a mesh bag made specifically to absorb smells or you can use the charcoal you have for your grill. Place it in a container with holes in the lid so it can do its work. Replace it as needed and you should start to notice the smell fading away.

7. Air Freshener

If the new car smell is really bothering you, you can place an air fresher in the car while you wait for the other techniques to work to rid your car of odor altogether. You can use a store-bought fragrance freshener or you can purchase an industrial strength eliminator. However, keep in mind these can be quite strong as well.
While these tips will help you get rid of the new car smell, the truth of the matter is it takes time. Whether a few weeks or a few months, the odor will eventually leave on its own.