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Every now and then, you might find a funky smell developing in your car. If you do, you will want to get to the bottom of that problem immediately, because often a bad smell will only get worse if left untreated. But where do you start? And how do you prevent these smells in the first place?

Car Smoking


Smoking cigarettes in your car will cause odors that will linger for an extended period. Smoke penetrates your upholstery and floor mats, while the tar in cigarette smoke can cause a sticky buildup on air vents and other hard surfaces. While there are ways to clean up that cigarette smell, the best way to keep your car smelling fresh is to avoid smoking in the vehicle. If you are dealing with a residual cigarette smoke smell, a thorough shampoo and detail will go a long way to removing the smell.


Your pets probably love taking a ride in the car. But they can cause some smells that stick around long after their trip to the park. Your dog loves getting out for a walk in nature, but will likely bring some of it back with them. It doesn’t take long for dirt, mud, and moisture to soak into seats and floor mats and cause that distinct “wet dog” smell. Pet accidents can also cause stubborn stains and smells that have penetrated deep into your upholstery. The best way to prevent pet smells is to keep them in a dedicated area of your vehicle, ideally with a removable cover on seats or floor mats. This way, potential smells can be removed and cleaned separately.

Food and drink

Sometimes it is hard to avoid eating and drinking in your car, but crumbs and spills happen, and these can lead to a smelly car. Foods with strong odors, like coffee or fish, can also cause some residual odor. If you have to eat or drink in the car, be extra careful about spills and clean them up quickly.


For stubborn smells, it is best to turn to the professionals for a full shampoo of the interior of your car. The experts at R&J’s Auto Spa in Lakewood provide a comprehensive selection of car cleaning services to help keep your vehicle in tip-top shape.