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Have you ever gotten into someone else’s car and had to stifle your breathing to avoid inhaling the unpleasant odor that had permeated the vehicles’ interior? Old fries on the floor, mysterious stains on the upholstery— we’ve all had similar experiences. Perhaps you yourself are the offender of cultivating a foul-smelling vehicle interior.

According to Kelly Blue Book, a strong odor in your vehicle (like cigarette smoke, mold, or vomit) can significantly decrease the vehicles resale value. Used cars which have no evident odors are generally offered at a substantial premium above their Kelly Blue Book value (>11%) and above similar vehicles with strong interior smells, which are offered roughly 7–9% less than comparable models. Foul odors are absorbed into the surfaces and fabrics of your car and take effort to remove entirely.
If your car reeks, don’t despair— There is good news! Removing the offensive smell inside your vehicle doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. You can increase the value of your used car easily by following these three easy steps to help remove stubborn odors from your car’s cabin.

1) Get rid of debris & garbage.

First thing that you should do to improve the value of your vehicle is make sure that the interior is free of debris and trash. Vacuum the inside of your vehicle and make sure that the floor and other surfaces of your car are free of any rubbish or old food that may be lurking underneath your seats and inside small crevices. Hidden debris (especially food scraps) can often act as the culprit for stale, unwanted smells inside of your vehicle.

2) Air it out.

After the debris is gone from your vehicle, air-out your car whenever you have the opportunity to do so. Air flow will help to remove surface odors and keep stagnant moisture out of your vehicle. Moisture can cause mold and other bacteria growth in hard-to-reach places in your vehicle if there is too much of it, which can make your vehicle smell musty and sour. Airing out your vehicle when it is dry outside can help reduce bad scents and is the next step towards an odor-free ride.

3) Use a neutralizer.

Using an odor neutralizing substance in your vehicle to absorb and remove smells is the ultimate step to having a pleasantly scentless vehicle. There are several different things that you can use that are easy to find at any regular grocery store—
Baking Soda: The most common way to absorb an offensive smell. It’s used in refrigerators, for litter boxes and can be used to deplete the smell in your car as well. This abrasive and alkaline powder absorbs odors and can help blanch stains as well. Just clean and wet down the problem areas of your car, liberally sprinkle the baking soda on and then let it dry completely. After its dried, vacuum the powder and the smells along with it.
Charcoal: A charcoal filter is one of the best ways to purify the air in a vehicle. Leaving a few charcoal briquettes in your vehicle for a few days should remove any fetid smells from the air. Charcoal is one of the most effective toxin removers on earth, filtering out volatile organic compounds that effect taste and odor.
Vinegar: While vinegar has a severe odor on its own, it is effective in removing other overpowering smells inside of your vehicle’s interior. Leaving some in a small bowl inside your car overnight can help to neutralize other odors lingering in the air. The evaporation process will significantly limit even the most overpowering of odors. You can also try spraying and rubbing an offensive area with a wet cloth dipped in a mixture of vinegar and water. Just be sure to never pour pure vinegar anywhere in your car because it’s strong enough to damage materials such as carpet or leather.
Toyota Upholstery Cleaner: Regardless of the material in your car, whether its Nylon, Vinyl or Leather— we’ve got a cleaning agent to help you easily remove troublesome smells and stains from the interior of your vehicle. Give our Parts department a call at (613) 523-8666 to see if we have the right product available for your car’s upholstery.

Now that your vehicle is fresh and clean smelling, you can enjoy the pleasant experience of the odor-free interior— along with the extra money in your pocket and the value added to your trade-in. However, if this seems like a lot of work or you’re just too busy, you can always bring it on over to the Bank Street Toyota