7 Simple Tricks Car Detailers Use To Make Your Car Smell Good

How you feel after driving your car from the detailer’s is good because of the smell.

It makes you feel like you’re driving a new car, and you’d want your car to smell that way forever.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t, but thankfully, you can make your car smell good just like the detailers do.

Quick Answer

As a whole, car detailers do a thorough and quality interior cleaning of cars and use deodorizers to get them to smell good. 

You may think you need to use many air fresheners, perfumes, and deodorizers to make your car smell good — you couldn’t be more wrong.

Those solutions may mask the foul smell in your car temporarily, but it’ll come back when the smell fades.

Therefore, you need to do something more permanent and quality to make your car smell good. 

Check out useful tips in this article. 

What Do Car Detailers Use To Make Your Car Smell Good?

You may think the secret to getting your car to smell good is to load up on perfumes and air fresheners.

That could work if your car is in a good state, but most times, they are a temporary fix if otherwise.

Car detailers do more than that to get your car to smell good. 

As a general rule, car detailers clean cars’ interiors to get them to smell good, and the following are some of the tricks they use:

  • Vacuum the vehicle
  • Clean the seats, carpet and upholstery
  • Deodorize the cabin
  • Clean the vents
  • Change the air filters
  • Use Meguiar’s odor eliminator
  • Ozone treatment 

The major culprit of bad smells in cars are contaminants, including dirt, mold, mildew, stale food, spilled drinks, pets shedding hair and kids spilling stuff in your car, and more.

All these cause your car to stink, and even air fresheners can’t remedy them. 

Instead, here are what to do:

Vacuum The Vehicle

One of the tricks to make your car smell good is vacuuming it.

You need to remove the dirt, particles, and debris from your car.

Vacuum every soft furnishing on the vehicle to remove the smelly stuff there. 

Tend to passenger spaces one at a time without missing any spots.

You should be meticulous in removing particles from hidden spots.

For example, use the upholstery attachments and crevices to clear under the driver’s seat and seams in the upholstery because you can easily miss dirt hanging there. 

Then, take the upholstery brush and use it to vacuum the headliner because while it rarely attracts visible dirt, it can house smelly particles.

Clean The Seats, Carpet And Upholstery

You can also get your car to smell good by cleaning the carpet, seats, and upholstery.

Washing the fabric in the car will help remove dirt that the vacuum couldn’t reach. 

Get a safe and specialized car interior wash cleaner for washing.

You should get a product with a nice smell and gentleness on the fabric and interior rim.

The product will remove the dirt and deodorize the vehicle.

Then, apply a detailing spray to give the interior a new look and feel.

If you have leather upholstery, you can use a leather conditioner to restore the look after cleaning it. 

Deodorize The Cabin

Cleaning your car interiors should be enough to get it to smell good.

However, you can go the extra mile by deodorizing the cabin.

Besides, if you still perceive some unpleasant odor after washing, using deodorizers seems fit.

One popular way to deodorize is using baking powder.

Spray it on your upholstery when it’s dry and leave it to settle on your car for like six hours without rubbing it in.

Then, you can vacuum the baking soda out and notice the smell is gone. 

Another thing to do is to mix Borax with baking powder and replicate the previous steps.

Otherwise, you can use air purifiers to freshen the air in your car and remove bacteria and allergens. 

Clean The Vents

Clean vents are part of the prerequisites for a car to smell good.

Your ventilation system can house dirt, dust, and mold that will mess up the car’s smell no matter how clean the car is. 

Vacuum the vents and wipe them with a cleaning agent using a microfiber cloth.

Get out all the extra particles and make your car smell as good as new.

Change The Air Filters

Sometimes, cleaning the vents may not be enough; the air filters may need replacement.

You need to change the filter more often if you live in a dusty area; otherwise, you can change it annually or after every 12,000 miles.

The air filters are usually hidden away, so you may need to check the owner’s manual to remove and replace them.

They should be clean if you want to inhale clean and fresh air in your car.

Use Meguiar’s Odor Eliminator

Some detailers also use Meguiar’s odor eliminator to remove bad smells from cars.

It uses chemical bonding to eliminate foul smells from cars and leaves a refreshing and nice fragrance. 

This odor eliminator removes awful smells like pet soil, cigarette smoke, workout gear, and more.

Some detailers say it makes your car smell like new for weeks, and it’s effective even penetrating the ventilating system.

Ozone Treatment 

Ozone treatments are effective in getting out bad odors and getting your car to smell good.

It uses ozone gas to eliminate stubborn and foul smells, bacteria, and viruses from cars.

However, you may have to ask a professional to help you with the treatment if you want it to be effective.

The professional will blitz your car with the gas while you’re out of harm’s way and have your car ready.

While you can use shop-bought ozonators as an alternative, they may not be as effective as asking a professional. 


The key to your car smelling great is to keep it clean.

A clean car keeps dirt and odor away.

Washing your car and using air fresheners or deodorizers aren’t enough; you also need to maintain clean habits in your car. 

Avoid smoking or leaving thrash in your car.

Clean and vacuum spilled drinks and foods quickly before they become a menace.

Key Takeaways:

  • A clean car smells good,
  • Maintaining clean habits in your car will make it smell good,
  • Clean the ventilation and change the air filter if dirty,
  • Use deodorizers to get rid of foul smells.






Jan-Lucas Ganssauge
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge