How to get rid of new car smell quickly?


  1. Wife wants to buy a new car.
  2. Wife gets nauseous when exposed to “new car smell.”

What’s a quick and effective way to get rid of the “new car smell” so my wife won’t toss her cookies when we go for a celebratory spin?

There doesn’t seem to be a quick way, sorry.

Febreze - It can be purchased at any grocery store. Leaves no odor of it’s own but neutralizes other odors.

Your wife is reacting to the adhesives used to make cars, which contain molecules aptly named aromatic hydrocarbons. You either love them or hate them, but there is no eliminating them except with time. Solution: Buy a one- to two-year-old, low-miles car in immaculate condition. Let someone else eat the depreciation, and let your wife eat whatever she likes and keep it down.

Caution: Febreze is some pretty nauseating stuff to a lot of people, plus there are concerns about the safety of the chemicals used to make it. The combination of new car smell and Febreze might be enough to make anyone blow lunch. I recommend Citrus Magic.

Step 1: A big kettle of beans, cabbage, and onions.
Step 2: A 4 - 6 hour road trip.

When you return, the new car smell should have been replaced with an altogether different aroma.

Go to it, and good luck


I had to live with new car smell for months.

If you have a garage you could try keeping the windows down, drowning the insides with Febreze and letting it “air out” for a few days.

I got my car in the winter so it took longer for me to get the smell out.

I had to live with new car smell for months.

If you have a garage you could try keeping the windows down, drowning the insides with Febreze and letting it “air out” for a few days.

I got my car in the winter so it took longer for me to get the smell out.

Smoke. Drive people who smoke. Smoke your brains out! And maybe put some very good scented candles here and there. Pier One has some really lovely scents that keep smelling lovely for a really long time.

Uhm, having your wife toss her cookies might get that new car smell out! :eek:

Have your wife trade her new car for my 1991 Ford Escort with 180,000 miles, a broken speedometer, and significant rear end damage from when my fiancee ran into me.

It has absolutely no new car smell left. I guarantee it.

We had a customer who did not like the new car smell. He bought the car, and had one of the technicians drive it for 3 months to get rid of the smell.

I asked a friend of mine who is a car detailer.

He said let it “air out” as much as possible (windows down in a breezy area). The warmer the better for that. If it’s cold outside, he said you wouldn’t be able to smell it, but once the car warmed up, the smell would return.

Another thing he said to try is let it run with the heat on high and get the cabin nice and warm…Place a couple of open boxes of baking soda inside and let it sit as long as you can.

One last suggestion he had was to keep new dryer sheets under the seats and change them often. He said that would only work when the “new” smell has died down somewhat.

I have a little wooden ball on a string that gives off the aroma of Cappuccino. Delicious odor. My car is fairly new and does not have any new car aroma at all. I got the ball at a fair here in Bogotá but do not know where you can find a similar object in the US.

Pay off the loan immediately [or buy cash]. Once its yours free and clear, there will be no new car smell. You’ll probably save money, too.

Seriously, though, I’d make a distinction between an objectionable smells, subconscious associations and a chemical sensitivity. Objectionable odors can be modified or swamped out by other scents. Subconscious associations can go either way (is she reacting to the ‘scent of extravagance and debt’ or the ‘scent of Uncle Ernie’s new car that they rode at Grandma’s funeral’?) Chemical sensitivities will almost certainly not respond to cover-ups, and may not respond to zinc compounds like Febreeze.

You may have to ask many questions (Does she react to the smell of new carpet, paint, renovations, etc. in public/commercial places?) and do some deep soul-searching to find the answers. There are a number of specialists in this field, but I’ll be honest - most doctors don’t do as good a job as I wish they would, and some other types of specialists either have agendas or border on pseudoscience.

I wish I could give you a more concrete answer. I just wanted to raise a distinction, which IMHO may help in other issues as well.

I like the new car smell.

Eat in the car. Often.

I’m “on the go” a lot, and as such, I eat many of my meals in the car. After 2-3 weeks, the ‘new car’ smell was gone. I also did the rolled-down-windows-in-the-garage thing.

Let your cat piss in it.

Okay. Sorry. It works, but that’s gross.

Take a plate, and a few incense cones. The dense scented smoke really WILL absorb into the fabrics, and mask the odors mentioned above.

And, mazel tov on the new wheels !


Spill some shrimp juice in it… I guarantee she won’t notice the new car smell!

I love the new car smell… the problem it doesn’t last very long.

Go to a health food store and ask for some “zeolite.” This stuff is a volcanic mineral that takes the smell of anythng out of anything. We once used it to get the smell out of a house where a guy died and was not found for three days in the middle of July.

You can get it in nice little breather bags. Just hang them in the car. It absorbs the odor and leaves no odor of its own. It is absolutely marvelous!

Do a websearch for some stuff called ExStink. It’s a powder that absorbs and neutralizes odors – it’s used by morgues in their vehicles and is apparently strong enough to do away with the stench of body fluids and even decomposing bodies.

A few applications of it to the upholstery and carpeting in the car should do away with a lot of the new car smell, though I’m not sure what to do about any odors that might come from the headliner which might be a problem since it’s closer to the nose.

Interestingly, one of the things frequently used to neutralize odors in theatrical costumes is a light misting of a 2:1 mixture of water and cheap vodka. (Cheap because why waste the expensive stuff?) That might be another option for the headliner, though if it’s winter cold when doing something like that, you might not get great results.