General Question

AshLeigh's avatar

How do I get this smell out of my car?

Asked by AshLeigh (16340points) July 18th, 2018

Hi guys.

I work with special needs people, and one of them pooped in the back seat of my new car. Haazard of the job, I guess.

The seats are fabric. I’ve washed it with soap and water at least 8 times. I tried baking soda and vinegar, then more soap and water this morning. I still can’t get to smell to go away.

Any ideas?

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29 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

Were you able to remove the stains?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Just one vets sell a shampoo to get animal smells out of carpet.
Another you might phone a detail shop and see what they use to get fowl smells out.
Good luck hope you have some luck.

AshLeigh's avatar

@stanleybmanly, it’s dark fabric so if there’s a stain I don’t see it.

Pandora's avatar

You may have to pay a pretty penny and take it to a detailer. Maybe someone who can remove the seat and clean it thoroughly. If it’s still smelling after all of that, then it went through the seat and is trapped in the cushion. I would suggest in the future to put some sort of liner that can won’t allow anything to go through and you can remove and wash. There are a lot of pet liners for seats that will work for that. Another thing may be that maybe some of it got into corners you didn’t think to clean because you can’t see it, or on the carpet below.

snowberry's avatar

I am in the USA. Here, if you use your car for work, and if it’s required for the job, the cost of cleaning or replacing parts that were damaged as a regular part of your work should be an allowable deduction on your income tax return.

AshLeigh's avatar

I have an appointment set up to have the seat cleaned professionally, but they couldn’t fit me in until Friday, and because I use it for work I’ve been trying to get it cleaned up myself. I’m trying the pet carpet cleaner now. I’ll let you know how it worked. Already smelling better in here.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@snowberry. That was true until this year. For 2018 and beyond, unreimbursed employee expenses are no longer tax-deductible.

@Ashleigh, have you asked your employer to cover the cost of having your vehicle professionally cleaned? That’s the best option for you.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Unless she has a VERY understanding employer I highly doubt the employer will pay anything to get the vehicle clean.
With things like well you use it for work and those are risks you take.
Or it’s part of the job, sorry we would love to help, but you know these things can happen.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But she could probably file the expense when she files her taxes.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

If it’s an older vehicle and if you’re handy then simply finding a used seat and junking the old one may be a good option. Could be cheaper than having it cleaned.

Dutchess_III's avatar

…She said it’s new. But I don’t know if it’s new-new or new to her.

snowberry's avatar

If there is a comprehensive insurance policy on the car, I would assume that would cover it. The question is, Will be worth it if they raise your rates due to the claim?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, she’ll have a deductible that will probably be more than the cost of cleaning it.

kritiper's avatar

Get a vacuum that is a super sucker and vacuum the crap out of the seat when it’s really dry. You could have a professional upholstery cleaner work it over, too.

rojo's avatar


Dutchess_III's avatar

Does that stuff really work as advertised?

Yellowdog's avatar

FaBreeze worked well in the 1990s early 2000s—but has a VERY WEAKENED formula since the 2010s—don;t know why they messed up a good thing. Carriage ride drivers used to be able to spray that stuff on fresh horse droppings and it was all the city required, even where there were restaurants and foodservice koisks in close proximity.

Odoban might work but it has a smell of its own. I’d go with the suggestions for vetenary products

JLeslie's avatar

Febreeze for now, since you’ve already scrubbed the area. I hate the smell of Febreeze, but it will be better than what you’re dealing with now. The professional cleaning should do the trick once you get that done.

I think your job should pay for it, or if your self employed and deduct your car from your taxes you should be able to write this off as an expense and another jelly suggested.

MrGrimm888's avatar

If the car will be used in this manner for good, I would replace the seat. Try to find a vinyl version.

With things like this, a hot summer day will bring the smell back, and you’ll always think you smell it a bit. That would suck…

AshLeigh's avatar

Update: the pet cleaner helped a lot, but it’s not completely gone. I think if I clean it a few more times it will be good until I can get it cleaned professionally.

@MrGrimm888 luckily for me, I’m in Alaska and hot summer days are rarely an issue. I have a seat cover coming in the mail, but I just got the car less than two weeks ago, and unfortunately couldn’t find anything locally that fit.

2davidc8's avatar

Before you use Febreeze, check and Google the ingredients. Some of the stuff they had in it are carcinogenic. Don’t know how/if the formula has changed.

snowberry's avatar

You’ll want more than just a new seat. You’ll want a one piece waterproof cover for it, so any fluids can actually be cleaned up!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have to agree with @snowberry. With a one piece of some sort of plastic you can just pull the whole thing out for cleaning and not worry about getting down inbetween the seat and the back.

AshLeigh's avatar

Update: OdoBan is a miracle. I saturated the seat in it a few times a day for the last couple days and now the smell is gone! The product has a stank of its own, but it’s tolerable and went away quickly.

Thanks for all your help, guys!

Also, I had a seat cover coming in the mail, it just hadn’t gotten here yet because I just got the car.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Glad to hear it @AshLeigh .
So was any of my advice a help for you?

snowberry's avatar

At the very least your boss owes you either the cost of the cleaning products or for the plastic cover or maybe even both! Save your receipts and hand them over!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I will remember OdoBan….

Yellowdog's avatar

And remember, I said it first, @Dutchess_III

MrGrimm888's avatar

^That he did. Good job @Yellowdog .

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