Interior Car Odors

“You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Perhaps not, but covers send a message regardless. I see a book cover with a knife dripping blood on it. I get the message that it’s going to be a violent story. Our clothes are “covers” that make particular statements. I see a woman in Louboutin shoes, and I assume she’s wealthy. She may not be, but that’s the message. Our cars “wrapped around us” as we move through this world make statements also. Whether it’s new or old, high-end or junker, even the color can be an extension of ourselves. So what statement are you making when you invite a passenger into your car and he just about chokes. Or maybe he’s one of those “tell it like it is” types and says, “Did something die in here?” Odors are usually more obvious to others, but, really, you’ve noticed it yourself, haven’t you? So what’s smelling up your car?

Cigarette Smoke

So you don’t smoke, but there was that one time that you let a particularly distraught friend light up. Amazingly, that’s all it takes—one time. Cigarette smoke gets everywhere, into the air vents, into fibers. And it lingers. And lingers. And lingers.

Now, if you or a passenger has smoked something else (not saying what—we’ll keep that between the two of us), that smell also lingers. Some people liken it to skunk! An additional problem with that “scent” comes about if you get stopped for, say, a traffic violation. The police are well acquainted with it, and you could end up in worse trouble than you were before for rolling through a stop sign.

Trash and Leftover Food

You don’t have French fries strewn around your living room. Or fast food wrappers scattered about. So why have them in your car? When those smells get old, they are far from appetizing.

I’m including spills here also. They’re somewhere in between trash and leftovers, I suppose. Coffee, for instance, smells so good when it’s fresh and hot. And so putrid when it’s old and sunk into the carpet or upholstery. “Don’t cry over spilt milk.” You will want to if a potential employer or your dream girl gets into your car. It’s a terribly sour smell—stomach turning to many.


Water can get into the interior of your car through a window opened even a crack in a heavy rainstorm, a poorly fitted door or sun roof, trunk lid or hatch back. Water provides a perfect breeding ground for mold. What you may smell is MVOC (mold volatile organic compound) gases produced by some species of mold, and it’s obnoxious. The smell may stay around even after the actual mold has been removed, because the gases are in the seats, carpeting and headliner—even if those items were never wet and moldy.

Mold is more than an unpleasant odor for some people. For your passengers who have respiratory problems, compromised immune systems or similar issues, for the elderly and infants, exposure to high levels of MVOC gases can pose serious health risks.

Dirty Clothes

If you were at one point on your way to the laundromat, please get there and get those clothes out of your car. Or maybe you like to have your gym bag handy—for whenever the mood strikes. Not a good idea to keep it in your car. If you are an athlete, do you remember how your high school locker smelled? If you are not an athlete, even worse when you got whiffs of them as you walked by.

Furry Creatures

Mice love cars. They’re dry and safe and comfy. The glove compartment is a particularly valuable piece of mouse real estate. But they can make themselves at home nearly anywhere: HVAC ducts, door panels, under the seats, in the trunk. Once you’ve smelled rodent, you’ll know it forever, especially if they die there and decompose. Oh, boy! And like other odors discussed here, you can remove the source, in this case the rodent (dead or alive) and the odor remains.

Call The Odor Guys

Put your best self forward. It doesn’t matter if your car is new or old, tricked out or junked up, a clean-smelling, and clean, car will make a powerful positive message about you. Besides that, if you have people that you drive around, it’s the considerate thing to do.

We have the equipment and experience to remove these odors from your vehicle. Give us a call at 207-839-9111 or drop us an email.


Does Your Stinky Car Require Bio Hazard Cleanup?

Big stink from small accidents in your car or truck

As a former auto detailer, I can confirm that some of the worst odors come from the smallest accidents.  In our mobile society we tend to eat far too many meals in our cars. Eating in the car will eventually result in spillage.

Add to this complex mixture the long New England winters where folks tend to put off cleaning their automobile until warmer conditions, by the time spring thaw comes along there is quite a bit of organic material buried beneath 5 months of trash to begin decomposing in the warming sun.

Spilled milk shakes, hamburger crumbs, meat fat and other food drippings that has soaked into carpets and seat cushions quickly become a repulsive stench and can be extremely difficult to remove. Small leaks from milk containers or meat coming home from the grocery store can cause big problems later. Fishermen and hunters who have transported their catch of the day may find that their car, truck or boat reeks the next day.

If you have tried to do the vehicle cleaning yourself and are still experiencing problems, using bio-hazard cleanup techniques is your next step. Give us a call and we clean up your car, truck or boat. We can even help manage the cleanup of fleets of vehicles.

IICRC Press Release


2715 E Mill Plain Boulevard
Vancouver, Washington 98661
(360) 693-5675, FAX (360) 693-4858


Issued by: The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification

Vancouver, Washington, (360) 693-5675

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is proud to announce that William York of BioSpecialists, LLC  in Gorham, Maine recently has qualified by education and examination as a Certified Odor Control Technician. This student has sacrificed many hours and a great deal of time and study to reach this level of certification.

Tom Hill, IICRC Executive Administrator, states William York is an example of the type of individual who cares about consumers and their belongings as well as his industry.  He has demonstrated the desire to provide customers with thorough, professional, and caring service.

The IICRC is a nonprofit certifying and standard-setting organization dedicated to raising industry standards through technical proficiency. By administering a strict process of certification, the IICRC provides a means by which consumers can receive the highest quality of service from trained, knowledgeable, professional technicians.

William York joins the ranks of the true professionals within the cleaning, restoration, and inspection industry.  The IICRC welcomes his participation and continuing education.