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8 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Fishy Smell In Car

Cars should smell fresh and pleasant, not metallic and fishy. However, sometimes this is exactly what people experience when they get in their cars.

If you are one of them, then it’s likely that someone left a can of tuna in your car or you run over some roadkill.

Whatever the case may be, it’s important to get rid of the smell as soon as possible. So how exactly do you go about doing that? Keep reading to find out.

How To Get Rid Of Fishy Smell In Car

Method 1: Clean the spilled food

Well, the first and foremost thing you must do is clean out the spilt or rotting food. Also, make sure you wash your car thoroughly because if the smell remains in your car, no amount of air freshener in the world will help you.

So, after you have cleaned out all the mess from your car, let it air out for a few minutes and then leave it open for a few more minutes. This will help to get rid of the smell and also prevent you from suffocating when you get in your car.

Method 2: Air it out

Just like cleaning the spilt food, you must also air out your car. Sometimes, this is enough to get rid of the smell. So, all you need to do is park your car in the open and let it get some fresh air. Once again, don’t get in before letting it settle for a few minutes.

Method 3: Make a cleaning solution

Baking soda and water are a great combination when you want to get rid of the smell in your car. 

All you need to do is mix them in equal proportions and sprinkle it on the carpet, seats, and other places where the fishy odour has manifested itself. Leave this for about 30 minutes before vacuuming it up.

Also, you can disinfect your car by spraying vinegar everywhere, including the seats and carpets. Also, you can pour some on a cloth and leave it in the car for some time.

Method 4: Fabric softener sheets

This is one of the most effective ways to get rid of funky smells in your car. Place the fabric softener sheet everywhere, including under the seat cushions, carpets, etc. If you don’t have access to fabric softener sheets, you can also use baking soda and follow method 3.

Method 5: Coffees

Usually, coffee is used as a car deodorizer. Pour some coffee on your floor mats and let it sit there for about 15 minutes before vacuuming it up. You can also leave the wet coffee grounds in your car overnight to get rid of the smell.

Method 6: Use a car freshener

I bet this was the first thing that crossed your mind when you smelled your car after a week-long but did you still purchase a car freshener yet?  If yes, then you must have realized by now that it’s not going to help.

Bottom line is that those car fresheners simply mask the smell and they don’t get rid of it. Car fresheners tend to lose their effect after a certain amount of time as well so if you want your car to smell fresh for a longer period of time, resist the temptation to use those spray-on deodorizers and instead opt for a good old air freshener.

Also, make sure you clean your car as often as possible to minimize any spillages or food leftovers. If nothing else works then you can try going into a store that sells automotive chemicals and find out which one is most effective for your car.

Since every car has a different characteristic, there is no universal remedy for this issue so you may have to experiment.

Method 7: Vinegar and water solution

Another great option is to clean your car with a solution made from vinegar and water. This method is very effective as not only does it remove fishy odours, but also cleans and disinfects the seats and carpets.

What you need to do is mix one part vinegar and three parts water in a spray bottle and spray it everywhere in your car, including the seats and carpeting. Let the solution soak for five minutes before scrubbing it down with a brush or towel. Then use a wet sponge to wipe the seats and carpeting clean.

Method 8: Rubbing alcohol

This is another very effective method to get rid of fishy smells in your car. You will need rubbing alcohol, which you can purchase from any store near you or even on Amazon, if necessary.

The first thing you need to do is open all the windows and doors of your car to let it air out. Make sure that there are no sources of heat anywhere in your car as the last thing you want is for the sun to dry out this method even further which will just make things worse.

After letting all the windows and doors open, spray some rubbing alcohol inside the car and scrub it down to remove the bacteria that has caused this smell. You can leave it there for about an hour before spraying some more rubbing alcohol inside your car again and then scrubbing to remove any excess grease or dirt.

After you have finished scrubbing, all you need to do is wait for the solution to dry up completely which could take a couple of hours. Once dried, you can turn the air conditioner on to warm up the car so that it dries fast.

Note: this method isn’t going to do much in the way of removing the smell from your car, but it is going to remove all bacteria that have caused it. This helps in decreasing the smell, eventually.

Final words

If you are ever stuck in a car that smells of rotten fish, then don’t panic. Keep yourself cool and follow the aforementioned methods to fix this issue fast. The best thing you should do is get a car freshener and use it.

Lastly, prevent spilling spicy, oily, and smelly food inside the car, as it is the main culprit of fishy smell.

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