How To Get Vinegar Smell Out Of Car?

Simple Ways to Restore the Smell of Your Car!How to Get Rid of the Vinegar Smell in the Car!

Have you ever gotten into your car and smelled something foul or sour? If so, you are not the only one.

Many people have reported smelling something strange in their cars, but they might not be sure what it is.

When your car starts to smell like vinegar, it’s time to act. It seriously damages the carpet, seats, and windows in your car.

The worst part is that if you don’t take quick action, it could start harming your car’s interior.

Why, then, does the car have a vinegary odor? This could occur for a number of reasons, which we’ll go into further detail in this blog post.

In this article, CarMats will assist you if you need to know how to get rid of vinegar odors in your car.

In a Hurry?

Here are the quickest methods for eliminating the smell of vinegar in a car:

  • Open the windows.
  • Get rid of any food leftovers in your car.
  • Spray the affected areas with a solution of water and white household vinegar in equal parts (make sure the windows are rolled down).
  • Before using a wet/dry vacuum to remove the mixture, allow it to sit for about 30 minutes.
  • To finish drying out your car, turn on the air conditioner for at least an hour while keeping the windows closed.
  • If you don’t have time to let the mixture sit, baking soda can be used as a substitute.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on all the harmed areas—which may include the seats, carpets, and floor mats—and let it sit for the duration of the night.
  • The following day, vacuum everything up and enjoy your fragrant car.

The list that follows includes some of the most common causes, but if none apply to your situation, there may be other causes.

Learn how to get rid of or prevent that overpowering smell in your car’s interior by reading on.

Why Does My Car Smell Like Vinegar?

Here is a list of some of the most common causes:

Interior Mold

Mold in the home could also be the cause of the vinegar odor. This is probably the reason if your car has ever leaked water inside.

The only remedy is to thoroughly clean it with soap and water and allow everything to dry completely because these are areas where water has accumulated and started to grow mold.

Mold on the inside of a car is not uncommon, especially if someone smokes in the car often.

Dead Small Animals in Vents

A dead animal in the car’s walls, floors, or vents can release a very potent odor that is challenging to get rid of. If you are unable to remove them because they are stuck somewhere.

Wet Interior

If water stays on wet carpets for a long time, they can rot or start to smell like mold.

Rotting Fast Food

Even if they are well-wrapped, rotting food items in the interior or trunk can undoubtedly produce an odor.

Too much condensation will form in a closed space, which will quickly make the food go bad.

Spilled liquid

There is a very good chance that whatever you spilled inside your car, be it soda, juice, or any other liquid, is to blame for the vinegar odor.

Mold growth might result if it’s on the carpet.

If at all possible, clean up spills right away to avoid them setting up and becoming nearly impossible to remove from clothing and carpeting.

How To Eliminate Vinegar Smell From My Car?

Here are some quick ways to get rid of the smell of vinegar in your car:

Clean your car.

  • Throw out any trash. 

Throwing out any trash comes first. Clean your car completely. You must get rid of any trash that could be the source of the mildew.

  • Air out the car.

You should quickly let your car’s interior air out if it gets wet inside (from you or a spilled beverage) to prevent the growth of mold.

Spills should be cleaned up with a carpet and seat cleaner after they have had a chance to air out. Dry the area completely to ensure that no moisture is left behind.

  • Clean any liquids spilled on the carpet.

Any spilled liquid can be cleaned up by:

    • Carpet cleaner or a wet rag.
    • Give them time to completely dry before attempting to clean or deodorize any wet surfaces, give them time to completely dry.
    • Spray the interior with a solution made of dish soap and water in equal parts once it has dried.
    • After that, clean it off with a wet cloth or some paper towels until no more suds are visible.
    • Give it time to fully dry before replacing anything inside your car.

Clean the vents.

If you discover a dead animal inside, you should use a can of compressed air to thoroughly clean out the vents in your car.

You might want to think about visiting an auto parts store or a mechanic for this step because they will have access to better tools for cleaning out those tight spaces!

After thoroughly cleaning the vents, leave your car running with the heat on high while all of the windows are open.

By doing this, you’ll make sure that any dander from the dead animal carcass is circulated outside your vehicle, far from where you and your fellow passengers are sitting.

Replace the cabin filter.

Even after using all of these remedies, the cabin filter may still be the source of the vinegar odor.

If the cabin filter isn’t functioning properly, your car will smell bad inside because it purifies and refreshes incoming air!

Absorb odor with baking soda.

Because it works quickly and contains organic material that makes it safe for you to use and for the environment, baking soda is a great tool for getting rid of odors.

There are two approaches to take:

  • Just leave two little boxes of baking soda in your car for the night. Any odors that may still be present in the carpet or seats should be absorbed by them.
  • Use water and baking soda. Warm water should be added to a spray bottle with baking soda.

After everything is mixed together, you can just spray it on any items or carpeting that may have smelled bad.

However, use it sparingly and try to keep it off the carpet if at all possible, as this could harm or discolor the car seats.

After making sure that everything has been thoroughly covered with the solution, leave the windows open for a while to allow air to circulate inside your car and allow the surfaces to air out and dry.

Keep an eye on the area where you applied the solution because air fresheners and air freshener products occasionally have a tendency to absorb into materials, making them less absorbent, which will lead to the accumulation of bad odors.

Replace the smell with a carpet odor neutralizer like Febreze.

Using Febreze and other comparable products makes it simple to get rid of those obnoxious odors that recur.

In the end, it’s possible that none of your efforts to get rid of the vinegar smell will be successful.

The best course of action in this situation is to leave your car alone for a few days so that the odor can go away naturally.

You can also use one of the other methods listed above to help get rid of the vinegar smell.


Did any of these help to resolve your issue? We sincerely hope that at least one of our suggestions helped you and that your car’s air conditioner now smells wonderful once more.

If this is the case, you should talk to a professional so they can figure out if the problem is with the drain lines, the air handler, the electric motor, the catalytic converter, steam cleaning, or the battery acid.

Additionally, if you have any tried-and-true cleaning methods for eliminating the bothersome vinegar smell from your car, please share them in the comments section below.

We’d love to hear from you!

Read more:

Why does my car smell like nail polish remover?

Why does my car smell sweet?