Dead Mouse Smell from Vents

This question was submitted from Bob B.

“How do you remove smell of a dead mouse from the car air conditioning system?”

A professional disaster restoration company would fog the affected area with a mal-odor neutralizer (which can be bought at any janitorial supply store).

Basically the fog is a way to transport the odor neutralizer to all areas of the ventilation system.

Try these techniques :

If you were doing it your self, you would place the odor neutralizer in front of the intake vents of the car where the air goes into the system (you may have to consult with your car dealership).

You can likely rent a fogger from a larger janitorial supply store or a equipment rental shop – especially one that would service the film industry.

Infant car seats

General Information:
To clean children’s car seats, give your self a day when you’re not likely to require the use of the car seat. Remove the seat from your vehicle, as you will need all restraining belts undone to remove the fabric cover. Most manufacturers are aware that young children can expel a number of smelly, gooey, protein rich substances, in addition to misdirected cookie, juice, crackers, and milk snacks. For this reason almost all car seats have washable covers.

Tools & Technique
Start by brushing off or vacuuming the entire seat. Remove the cover, watching carefully how it re-attaches to the car. A quick video tape or Polaroid picture will help things go together correctly. Be sure to follow washing instructions, as some covers cannot be put in the dryer. If in doubt, wash in cold water with an enzyme digester, and allow to air dry.

Tobacco smell from auto interior

We just recently purchased a station wagon that was owned by an elderly woman who smoked like a chimney. The car is in immaculate condition, with extremely low miles but I cannot seem to shake that nasty cigarette smell. I have shampooed the carpets and doors with an odor reducing commercial solution, but it is still there.
Can you help?

Tobacco smoke is one of the most difficult smells to remove from a car. The smoke permeates everything, including the foam rubber used in seat cushions.
You can successfully remove most of the tobacco smell by shampooing the carpets and upholstery with Kids & Pets Brand (www.kidsnpetsbrand.com) Stain & Odor Remover, and wiping down all other surfaces with a sponge and Kids & Pets Brand Stain & Odor Remover. After the carpet has dried for 24 hours, sprinkle baking soda on the carpet, rub it in with your hands, and leave it for a week. After a week, vacuum your carpets.
The baking soda will absorb the remaining odor in the carpet. Don’t forget to scrub the headliner, as this is the source of a lot of the smell.

You might need to repeat the baking soda deal a couple of times, and I have even heard of cutting open the side of a box of baking soda, and with double sided tape, taping the box to the carpet under the front seats.

Info provided by Autopia-carcare.com

Auto Interiors

With our active lifestyles and the amount of time we spend in our cars, the average car interior is easy prey for a myriad of stains and odors.  Stain and odor removal is almost a science into itself.  Upholstery fabrics and carpets widely vary, as do the composition of stains.  However, in my experience, there is a correct method and a suitable cleaner for most car interior problems.

Protection is Worth a Pound of Cure
Common upholstery fabrics are more likely to stain than vinyl or leather.  To best prevent stains altogether, it is necessary to properly treat upholstery, carpet, vinyl and leather.  The best treatment for carpet and fabric is a spray on fabric guard product.  The Scotch Guard™ brand products are the best know, and most widely available.  Other products, like 303 Hi Tech Fabric Guard, offer newer fabric protection formulas.  To protect vinyl and leather, simply use your favorite cleaner and protectant on a regular basis.  Some leather protectant products, like Eagle One Leather Conditioner, contain mink oil, which is excellent for protecting against stains.

When the inevitable happens, and your three-year-old drops (or barfs!) his mustard-loaded hotdog on your brand new velour upholstery, stay calm, and remove as much of the spill as possible (by blotting, not wiping, with paper napkins, paper towels, etc).  Then, don’t let the stain sit too long before you get to work on it.  Within a day or two, most spills will set and permanently stain your upholstery or become very difficult to remove.  It will only take one such incident for you to realize that a  $15 investment in fabric and carpet protection is worth every penny.

Stain Removal Basics
Even without protection, you would be amazed at how easy it is to clean up most stains with nothing more than a neutral detergent and water.  A neutral detergent has a pH of 7 (on a scale of 0 to 14).  A detergent with a pH less than 7 means it is acidic, whereas a pH higher than 7 is alkaline.  Neutral detergents will not bleach fabric or remove fabric protection.

When cleaning a stain, try detergent and water first.  If this does not remove the stain, then go for a cleaner with a little more oomph!

Common cleaning agents for interior stains include:

Neutral detergent (Ivory Liquid) & water (1:20)
Mild ammonia & water solution (1:5)
Distilled white vinegar & water (1:1)
Dry-cleaning fluid (Carbona, Renuzit, Perk)

Tools you’ll need to remove interior stains include:

  • Spatula or putty knife
  • Clean, white terry cloth towels
  • Soft bristle scrub brush
  • Wet-dry vacuum

Some stains, no matter what you try, will be permanent.  If an indelible stain has penetrated the fibers of a material, they will not come out.  You might be able to make the stain less noticeable, but no cleaner or method will remove all of the stain.  You will have to live with it or have the section of carpet or upholstery replaced.  In some cases, leather and vinyl stains can be fixed by color matching the area with a leather or vinyl repair system (a job for a professional).

Removing Odors
I get a lot of questions about removing smells.  The most common questions are “How do I remove the smell of cigarette smoke?” and “My child vomited, how do I get rid of the smell?”  Most bad smells in cars are organic (i.e., food, urine, vomit, tobacco, grass, mold, mildew, etc.).  I recently had a professional detailer tell me a client had spilled fish in his car, which I know from experience is not pleasant.  As a teen I hid an open can of sardines under the seat of a neighbor’s car.  They had to sell the car to get rid of the smell!

Smell problems are pretty easy to take care of with some of the new cleaners on the market.  My favorite is called “Kids & Pets Brand Stain & Odor Remover,” by Paramount Chemical Specialties (www.kidsnpetsbrand.com).  This cleaner, and others like it, use enzymes, a surfactant, and denatured alcohol to remove stains and kill odors.  The enzymes kill odors in their tracks by stopping the organic material from decomposing.  So, spray this stuff where your girlfriend just heaved her guts all over the front seat, and the mess and stain are gone.  Don’t use it, and you’ll be smelling that night for a long time.  Other products that also work okay for dealing with organic smells and stains include Febreze (Proter & Gamble) and FreshCare (Clorox).

Tobacco smoke is one of the most difficult smells to remove from a car.  The smoke permeates everything, including the foam rubber used in seat cushions.  You can successfully remove most of the tobacco smell by shampooing the carpets and upholstery with Kids & Pets Brand Stain & Odor Remover, and wiping down all other surfaces with a sponge and Kids & Pets Brand Stain & Odor Remover.  After the carpet has dried for 24 hours, sprinkle baking soda on the carpet, rub it in with your hands, and leave it for a week.  After a week, vacuum your carpets.  The baking soda will absorb the remaining odor in the carpet.  Don’t forget to scrub the headliner, as this is the source of a lot of the smell.

by David W. Bynon Copyright (c), 2000, Autopia Car Care — All Rights Reserved

Spilled Gas on Carpet

I spilled gas in the back of my SUV. The smell will not go away. What can I do to remove it?
Ryan

The solution is to rinse the nonvolatile solvent(gasoline) out of the carpet using a volatile solvent (dry cleaning solvent). Volatility refers to the ability of the solvent to dissipate at room temperature.

What you have tried to do was to wash, in essence, oil with water. They do not mix in fact when you attempted to wet clean the area the gas would have chased from the water.

If the spill is large (bigger than a dollar bill) I recommend calling an IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning & Restoration) certified carpet cleaning company and let them handle the problem.

If it is a small area, purchase some dry cleaning solvent (available at grocery stores, janitorial suppliers or carpet cleaning supply houses) along with some white terry towels.

Follow all safety instructions on the dry cleaning solvent bottle.

  • Test the affect of the dry cleaning solvent on the carpet before attempting to clean it by placing a small amount of dry cleaning solvent on the terry towel and apply it to an inconspicuous part of the carpet (i.e. under the seat) to see if there is any colour transfer or puckering.
  • If there does not seem to be a problem with the test, proceed to clean the stained area by placing dry cleaning solvent on the terry towel (DO NOT POUR IT DIRECTLY ONTO THE CARPET) and lightly tamp the stained area.
  • Repeat this process 3 or 4 times if required and do nothing else.

Dry cleaning solvent will dissipate when exposed to the air and does not leave cleaning residue.

Cheers
Jay Miles, Forum Member
CRS Carpet Cleaning
Vancouver, Cananda

Spilled Gas On Carpet

I spilled gas in the back of my SUV. The smell will not go away. What can I do to remove it?
Ryan

The solution is to rinse the nonvolatile solvent(gasoline) out of the carpet using a volatile solvent (dry cleaning solvent). Volatility refers to the ability of the solvent to dissipate at room temperature.

What you have tried to do was to wash, in essence, oil with water. They do not mix in fact when you attempted to wet clean the area the gas would have chased from the water.

If the spill is large (bigger than a dollar bill) I recommend calling an IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning & Restoration) certified carpet cleaning company and let them handle the problem.

If it is a small area, purchase some dry cleaning solvent (available @ grocery stores, janitorial supplier or carpet cleaning supply houses) along with some white terry towels.

Follow all safety instructions on the dry cleaning solvent bottle.

Test the affect of the dry cleaning solvent on the carpet before attempting to clean it by placing a small amount of dry cleaning solvent on the terry towel and apply it to an inconspicuous part of the carpet (I.e. under the seat) to see if there is any colour transfer or puckering.

If there does not seem to be a problem with the test, proceed to clean the stained area by placing dry cleaning solvent on the terry towel (DO NOT POUR IT DIRECTLY ONTO THE CARPET) and lightly tamp the stained area. Repeat this process 3 or 4 times if required and do nothing else.

Dry cleaning solvent will dissipate when exposed to the air and does not leave cleaning residue.

Cheers
Jay Miles, Forum Member
CRS Carpet Cleaning
Vancouver, Cananda