How to Get Smell Out of Car Seats (4 Methods)

Car seat smells aren't always at the forefront of our minds. Still, if you've ever dropped your phone in your car and had to crane into an awkward position to grab it, you'll have been made suddenly aware… of the smell of your car seats.

Car seats soak up the lingering smells inside our cars, whatever they are. Getting the smell out of car seats and keeping it out is essential to enjoying your car to the fullest.

So, we've compiled a guide detailing a few ways to help you get the smell out of car seats, from using white vinegar to Car Cologne. Read on to find out more!

Use White Vinegar

White vinegar will help get rid of almost any smell. However, when using it, be careful to add the correct proportions of vinegar and water and not spill too much of it on fabrics. Too much, and everything will smell too strongly like vinegar, which you probably don’t want either!


Spray Bottle

White Vinegar


Step 1: Mix one-part white vinegar along with two parts water in the spray bottle. (For instance, use 1/2 cup of white vinegar to 1 cup of water)

Step 2: Spray the seats thoroughly. The best time to do this is when you're not driving the car for a few hours, so consider doing it at the end of your day when you're turning in for the night. The seats may be damp afterwards; that's normal and a good sign that the vinegar will soak up the smell.

Step 3: Leave it alone for a few hours. After at least 3 hours, you can check to see if the smell still lingers.

Step 4: Repeat as necessary.

Sprinkle Baking Soda

Baking soda naturally absorbs odours. Keeping a tub of baking soda in your car will keep bad smells away for a long time as the baking soda soaks them up from the air. You can get cheap baking soda at supermarkets and local shops, making this a cost-effective option.


Baking Soda

Car Vacuum

Step 1: Set aside a few hours for this. You’ll need time for the baking soda to do its job.

Step 2: Vacuum the seats. This will take any surface particles off so the baking soda can get to what it really needs to attack.

Step 3: Sprinkle baking soda on all the smelly fabrics. You can do this on your seats or carpets. For extra effectiveness, rub it or scrub it into the surface.

Step 4: Leave it for at least 3 hours before vacuuming the baking soda.

Rub Dryer Sheets

Cars that smell like cigarettes might need specific methods to get the smell out of car seats. Dryer sheets are a cheap option that can be used to remove the smell and prevent it from growing too much in the car.


Dryer Sheets

Car Vacuum

Step 1: Vacuum the car to get all the easy-to-lift particulates off before using the dryer sheets. This will make them more effective.

Step 2: Take a fresh dryer sheet out of the pack and rub it along the fabric of the chair. Don’t be afraid to press hard. We recommend using a fresh sheet for each chair. You can even use this on the carpet.

Step 3: Stash a fresh dryer sheet under the seats in the car. This will absorb any future cigarette smoke and also give off a good smell. You can change these when they stop emitting smell.

Note: This might be a good first step before using the baking soda or vinegar method if you have cigarette smoke in your car. That way, you get a deep clean that addresses all your car smells.

Use Car Cologne

“The best offence is a good defence.” Using a car fragrance diffuser that emits a nice smell to counteract the bad one is the final step in making cleaning sessions less frequent. Getting a mist diffuser that doesn’t require heat or water and has several levels of intensity so that you can tailor your scent to your situation is the perfect way to escape constant cleaning.

Car cleaning is one aspect of car maintenance that no one relishes. However, finding ways to get it done quickly and easily will make your life infinitely more enjoyable. With these simple steps, you can get the smell out of car seats, and with the proper tools, you can keep the smell out longer. Visit our line of car fragrance diffusers to see the best defence against car seat smells.

Ex financial contractor turned E-Commerce brand owner. with a strong passion for both the automotive and fragrance industries. This passion led me to starting Car Cologne in 2018, indirectly creating a new niche in the process, providing long-lasting, luxury car freshening products on a global scale.

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