Monday, May 10, 2010

What the HELL is that smell!?

So, I moved a bag I had thrown on the floor in the backseat after the flood, and realized it was soaking wet underneath. But, I didn't think it was that big of a deal, since it was just a plastic grocery bag and it was on the rubber floor mat.

But, then, as I was driving to school, I was assaulted by a foul smell. It kinda smelled like spoiled milk? Anyway, when I got home, I figured I'd better get the bag off the floor and let the mat dry. I had planned to also Febreze the car from front to back, just for an added bonus.

Well, imagine my surprise when I moved the rubber mat and saw that the carpet mat under it was wet. Then, imagine my horror when I realized that the actual carpeting in the car was sopping wet! Holy crap!!!

I immediately removed both sets of car mats (the original carpet mats that came with the car, and the heavy-duty, super-thick, SUV mats my brother bought me as a 'car warming' gift, that I have over the originals) and then had Stud help me set up our elaborate drying system again.

I did Febreze the crap out of all the upholstery, so I hope that helps get rid of the foul odor. If it still smells tomorrow once it's dry, I plan to sprinkle a box of baking soda everywhere and then let that sit overnight before I vacuum it out.

When I first bought this car, there was a foul, icky smell going on, which I thought was in the vents. It did seem to improve a bit after I had an oil change done, and they switched out all the air filters. But, every once in a while, I'd get a whiff of something offensive. Again, it smelled a little like old milk. I'm basing this assessment on my memory of the smell in my old car after Stud dropped umpteen bottles of milk, not to mention a few sippy cups, which then dripped into the carpeting. Delightful, right?

Obviously, the car was detailed before I bought it. Now, I'm almost wondering if the carpet was still a bit damp when they put the floor mats back in it. The mats are rubber-backed, which would keep the carpet underneath from drying, right? Then, the day after I bought it, my brother brought over those heavy-duty mats and put them in for me. Is it possible that the carpet might not have ever fully dried? Seems a bit far-fetched, but any thing's possible, right?

If anyone has any other odor-removing suggestions, please pass them on. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that charcoal briquettes can be used to remove odor, so maybe I should place a few under the seats for a while. Leave me your tips, please!


Tracey Axnick said...

OMG. My worst nightmare. I have a super sensitive nose, and smells stay WITH me.... I have a "scent memory"!!!

So, needless to say, I feel your pain.

I keep one of those little Glad plug-in things (although it's not plugged in... just the refill) in my car at all times... I use the "clean linen" scent... it smells like Downy. I hate it when my car smells bad. And when you have kids, your car alternately smells like FEET, french fries, or someone's curdled milkshake that they forgot to take inside. ("Sorry mom - why are you making such a Big Deal??!!")

Hang in there girl... you'll find the smell and get rid of it!

Life with Kaishon said...

That is the worst! Burning matches always helps things. At least temporarily! : )

Ed said...

Baking soda does work. I spilled kerosene a few years 9(for a heater) on the back seat rug. It did absorb the smell.There is padding under the carpet which is probably still wet. I would use a heavy duty wet vac on the rug to grab all the excess water. You may also may want to run the heater on high for awhile (could do that in the garage...with garage door OPEN.

Busy Bee Suz said...

There is nothing worse than a stinky car. The only things I tried was baking soda and then vacuuming.
I also liked to put a few dryer sheets under the seats to bring in a nice smell.
Good luck!!!

dkuroiwa said...

Baking soda is always good and Suz's idea of a dryer sheet is good too.
The charcoal idea is something we do here...we have a special container for coal in our fridge, even. I'd throw a piece under the seat and see what happens.
My boys had cartons of milk on a drive with their dad and both of them failed to take the empties into the house...instead, they put them in the pockets behind the driver's and passenger's seat. it took me a while to figure out what the hell that smell was...I accused both boys of leaving sox in the car!!
I now have a bottle of Febreeze in the glove compartment. ;-)

C said...

i vote for the charcoal brickettes.. so when you get hungry you can just pull ovah and have yo self a cookout anytime! i guarantee the smell of meat roasting in your back seat will knock out the sour milk smell. good idea, ya?



i'm sending you the stuff to make smores, too... mize well, right? senseless to waste a good fire....

Anonymous said...

What about Fresh Wave, the product that SmileyGirl advertises? I haven't found it around here yet, but I keep looking or I'll order it online. It has great reviews!

My old Taurus would sometimes have this awful sulfur smell that we called a Car Fart. I think it was something to do with the catalytic heater.

jlo said...

Andy's truck smelled like, well, ass when we first bought it. Seems like you're doing all the right tricks! Good luck!