How to Get Dog Smell Out of Car

How to Get Dog Smell Out of Car

Having a dog is wonderful, but sometimes their scent can linger in your car long after they’ve left. If you’re wondering how to get rid of that dog smell, here are some effective methods to try.

1. Clean the surfaces: Start by vacuuming the interior of your car thoroughly. Remove any dog hair or dirt that may have accumulated. Wipe down all surfaces, including the seats, floor mats, and dashboard, with a pet-friendly cleaner to eliminate any lingering odor.

2. Baking soda: Sprinkle baking soda generously on the seats and carpet. Leave it overnight to absorb the odors. Vacuum the baking soda the next day to remove it along with the trapped smells. This method is particularly useful for eliminating pet odors.

3. Air fresheners: Use car air fresheners specifically designed to combat pet odors. Look for products that contain natural deodorizers like activated charcoal or essential oils, which can help neutralize the dog smell.

4. Odor absorbers: Place odor absorbers, such as activated charcoal or coffee grounds, in small containers around your car. These natural substances can help eliminate odors over time.

5. Steam cleaning: If the dog smell is deeply embedded in your car’s upholstery, consider steam cleaning. This method can effectively remove trapped odors and leave your car smelling fresh. You can rent a steam cleaner or hire a professional to do the job.

6. Vinegar solution: Create a solution of equal parts water and vinegar. Spray it on the affected areas and let it sit for a few minutes. Wipe off with a clean cloth. Vinegar is known for its strong odor-fighting properties and can help neutralize dog smells.

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7. Professional detailing: If all else fails, consider taking your car to a professional detailer. They have specialized equipment and products that can eliminate tough odors. They may also have access to ozone treatments, which can help neutralize odors at a molecular level.


Q: Can I use air fresheners designed for homes in my car?
A: It is not recommended, as home air fresheners may be too strong for the confined space of a car. Use car-specific air fresheners instead.

Q: How often should I clean my car to prevent dog smells?
A: Regularly cleaning your car, especially after transporting your dog, can help prevent odors from building up. Aim for at least once a month.

Q: Can I use baking soda on leather seats?
A: Baking soda is safe to use on leather seats. However, make sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the material.

Q: Are there any pet-friendly cleaners I should avoid?
A: Avoid cleaners that contain ammonia, as the scent can resemble urine and may encourage your dog to mark their territory.

Q: Can I use fabric refreshers instead of air fresheners?
A: Fabric refreshers can be used in conjunction with air fresheners to help eliminate odors. However, they may not be as effective on their own.

Q: How long does it take for the vinegar smell to dissipate?
A: The vinegar odor should fade within a few hours. If it persists, air out your car by leaving the windows open for a while.

Q: Can I use scented candles or sprays to mask the dog smell?
A: While these products may temporarily mask the odor, they do not eliminate it. It is best to focus on removing the underlying cause of the smell rather than covering it up.

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By following these tips and tricks, you can say goodbye to that persistent dog smell in your car and enjoy a fresh and odor-free ride.