5 Tips To Keep Your Ride Smelling Fresh and New

Tips To Keep Your Ride Smelling Fresh And New - Featured Image

You’ll need to preserve that new car smell for as long as possible to keep your ride smelling fresh and new. But what’s the best way to keep that snappy scent in the air?

While many scent-related tips for your car are common sense, in this article we’ll explain all of the different tricks you can use to make your car feel new for a long time.

1. Use Common Sense

Common sense tips are quick and easy. If you haven’t thought of these already, they’re the right place to start.

Don’t leave smelly items in your car for longer than necessary! While the scents should dissipate after a few days, it’s better if they aren’t there to begin with.

You should try to avoid leaving the following items in your car for longer than necessary:

  • Bags of trash
  • Fresh fish
  • Hot food items
  • Fruit

If you can’t minimize the time these things spend in your car, at least try to wrap them up in a Ziploc bag.

Likewise, if you’re carrying something smelly, open the windows so that the scents don’t build up.

2. Clean Your Car Often

Keeping a clean car will also help to prevent musty odors from accumulating. You should strive to take your car to the car wash and vacuum out the inside at least once per month.

It might seem like an aggressive cleaning strategy to vacuum everything — and use a fabric cleaner — so frequently, but the more meticulous you are about preventing any buildup, the longer your car’s new smell will last.

You may also want to utilize surface protection products for your car’s interior. These products can seal or waterproof the upholstery and dashboard, which will keep them from getting any dust stuck in nooks or crannies.

Especially when you get mud or slush into your car, you’ll need to clean it out as quickly as possible to prevent bad smells from building.

Other common contaminants include sand from the beach. Sand seems scentless at first but often has organic matter around it — like microscopic specks of seaweed — which might rot after a while.

This means that you need to do a deep cleaning of your car — or have good defensive technology — after every visit to the beach. If you have young children or pets with you, the advisory is doubly true.

When all else fails, try scrubbing with soap and water.

3. Pet-Proof Your Car

You love your pets, but they have a set of smells which tend to stay behind wherever they have been. Especially after your dog has taken a swim in the river, you’ll need some serious pet-proofing on your car if you want to avoid your car smelling.

There are some easy tricks you can use to make your car pet proof:

  • Lay down a protective mat on the surface where your pet sits
  • Clean off your pet before letting them into the car
  • Vacuum out all of the pet hair after your pet has been in the car
  • Make sure your pet cannot slobber or knaw on anything outside of the pet proof area

It’s hard to overstate how quickly a wet pet will remove your new car smell, so try especially hard to dry them off a bit before letting them into the car. You should probably have a little bit of shampoo, too.

For pets other than cats or dogs, pet proofing might be more complicated. Animals which spontaneously defecate, like birds, should stay confined to their carrier for the duration of the trip. You will also need to make sure that their carriers have no holes in the bottom.

For naturally smelly animals, like ferrets, you should probably have an enclosure for them during travel, too. Make sure that any of the pet-proofing materials which you use in your car are safe for your pets. You should probably purchase products explicitly for pet-proofing.

4. Buy Floor Mats

If you live in an area that gets a lot of rain or snow, buying floor mats will be a lifesaver for your new car smell. Floor mats are inexpensive and sit on top of your car’s floorboard to provide a waterproof and easily cleanable surface.

When you lay down a floor mat, muck from the outside never touches the inside of your car’s upholstery. There’s no chance of anything dragging in unpleasant smells.

You should still clean your floor mats often, however. There isn’t much point in providing your car with protection which can be easily cleaned if you opt not to clean it. Popping out a floor mat takes only a second, and with a hose, you should have it clean as new in no time.

When you purchase a floor mat, you should refrain from those which are made of anything other than hard rubberized plastic.

The upholstered floor mats may look much nicer and also feel much nicer to your feet, but they are as bad as your car’s normal flooring when it comes to preventing scents. Anything upholstered absorbs the mess from the outside.

While upholstered floor mats aren’t supposed to be vulnerable to rotting — which will produce an awful smell — they often do anyway. Stick to the inorganic materials for your floor mats.

5. Use An Air Freshener

Perhaps the single best way of maintaining your new car smell is to use an air freshener. That doesn’t mean you have to use a strawberry-scented swatch hanging from the rearview mirror, however.

In fact, if you’re smart, you’ll use a neutrally scented or “clean” scent air freshener rather than one with a strong scent.

Good scent options to maintain the new car scent are:

  • Linen
  • Coconut
  • Sage
  • Lime

Cater to your tastes when you pick an air freshener, but remember that neutral smells won’t be as noticeable and they’ll also be more effective at covering up subtle smells which might accumulate after a meal in the car or a day with your pet at the beach.

Brett Gordon

The engine behind editing at DigMyRide and the brains behind its build. During the day, Brett is a thirty-something dude from SoCal climbing the corporate ladder, but by night, he spends his time contributing to the online world of automotive tech & trends.