Whether your car smells like rotten meat from forgotten leftovers or it has been the home of a deceased animal, the foul odor can be hard to eliminate. There are several different methods for removing the odor from your vehicle, including using household items and professional products.
Start by emptying your car of all its contents, including the cupholders and storage bins, then vacuuming the entire cabin. If possible, shake down the floor mats as well. Next, use a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar to spray the interior surfaces of your car. Let the solution sit for a few minutes before wiping it down. Finally, use a deodorizer such as an ozone generator or baking soda to remove the odor from upholstery and carpet.
If the odor persists, consider using an air freshener or a homemade deodorizer. Vinegar is an effective odor eliminator and can be used in the same manner as commercial sprays. Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz the inside of your car. Alternatively, you can sprinkle baking soda over the upholstery and trunk to help neutralize the odor.
Another option is to place charcoal bags or baking soda in your car for a few days to absorb the smell. Leaving the doors and windows open and using a fan to circulate air can also help reduce the odor. If the odor is too strong to remove with at-home hacks, it may be time to contact a professional cleaning service.