Car Hacks to Keep Your Ride Smelling Fresh

Car Hacks to Keep Your Ride Smelling Fresh

There are certain things you just don’t want to find out from other people:

“Hey, you’ve got toilet paper stuck to your shoe.” “By the way, you’re not muted, and also, excuse you.” Or: “Wow, bro, your car smells funky!”

Talk about embarrassing.

Luckily, we’re here to help you un-funk-ify your ride with a few epic hacks…

Coffee Beans.

Coffee beans have long been considered a palate cleanser for the nose, so why not test that theory in your car? Simply dump a couple scoops into paper bags to hide under the car seats, or pour into glass jars with holes in the lid (available where kitchen gadgetry is sold), and keep them in the cupholders. Then, change out the old beans with new ones as necessary! (Just make sure to keep them out of reach when traveling with pets or children.)

Dryer Sheets.

This may be the quickest and easiest way to make your car smell like fresh laundry. Just pop open a few boxes of dryer sheets and stow them under the seats for an instant burst of freshness. Individual sheets can also be stored discretely throughout the vehicle to enhance that just-laundered aroma.


Now, if this wasn’t already obvious, you should never burn candles in your car. You can, however, chop them up (carefully, like a responsible adult) and toss them in the same jars mentioned above for a little aromatherapy whenever the car’s inside temperature causes them to melt. Don’t want to waste perfectly good (and potentially expensive) candles? Try scented soaps, instead, for a similar effect.

Actual cleaning.

Look, we’re sorry--we know this isn’t really a ‘hack.’ It is, however, an unavoidable necessity, because without keeping things clean in your car, all of these tips become the equivalent of spritzing perfume on a rotten egg.

That being said, here are the things you should focus on…

  • Upholstery. Whether you want to do it yourself or have someone else do it, remember that upholstery is fabric, and the fabric tends to get stinky when it’s never washed. Just think of all the sweat and bacteria that could be trapped in there for months--not to mention runaway snack bits, pet hair--you name it!
  • Mats. Just think about where your shoes and the shoes (and paws) of your passengers have been... All of that stuff (the road salt, germs, and general grime) ground into the fibers of your mats can really cook up a stink. So, yank those suckers out, give them a good shake, and even hose them down and let them dry in the sun for a deeper clean. Vacuum your vehicle’s carpet before you put them back in, and you’re good to go!
  • Air vents. Just like the vents in the house, the vents in your car can become clogged with dust and microscopic debris over time and it’s a good idea to give them a thorough wipe-down. Lucky for you, there are plenty of products online, as well as instructional videos to help you with this task. Let’s face it--if the air that circulates in your car is dirty, it will be hard to make your car smell clean. Plus, all that crud in the air is not good for your lungs, or those of your passengers.
  • All the plastic. We’re talking the dash, steering wheel, shifter, stereo controls, cupholders--everything. Admit it: those cupholders are also snack, change, and general trash holders. Plus, do you even want to know how dirty your steering wheel is? (If you think your stomach can take it, have a look!)

“Passenger” Awareness.

We’re not just talking about your beloved, smelly teens coming home from football practice--there are plenty of other culprits that can lend themselves to an unappealing stench in a vehicle. Make sure you’re checking under seats and in trunks to ensure that food hasn’t been left to congeal in the summer heat (or slowly fester in the cooler months). Even reusable grocery bags can develop an unpleasant odor if not washed every once in a while.

Fresh Air.

Finally, your car can get stuffy just because of poor air circulation. When it’s nice and cool and you’re headed toward that sunset, why not roll down the windows and invite the evening breeze to tousel your hair? We also dare you to not feel lighter and freer as you cruise on down the road.

So, there you have it. Let us know which hack is your favorite and from all of us at Quick-Set Auto Glass, drive safely out there!

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