Car Odor Removal: How to Remove the Smell from Air Conditioning

What You'll Need
White wine vinegar
Warm water
Paper towel
Spray bottle
Replacement air filter

If you've recently taken notice of an offensive smell emanating from your vehicle's air conditioning vents, you're probably searching for an effective method of car odor removal. If so, you should know that eliminating pungent air conditioning odor can be tackled in just a few easy steps.

Step 1 - Mix Your Cleaning Solution

Before proceeding to clean you vehicle's air conditioning vents and carry out the car odor removal process, you'll need to produce a highly effective homemade cleaning solution. Begin this step by combining 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar with 2 cups of warm water. Next, pour the mixture into an empty spray bottle and shake the bottle until the elements combine. Alternatively, if you're not put off by the potent chemicals found in most commercial cleaning products, you can use Lysol in lieu of the aforementioned cleaning solution.

Step 2 - Clean Your Vehicle's Air Conditioning Vents

Now that your homemade cleaning solution has been produced, you're ready to proceed with the car odor removal process. Begin this step by using the spray bottle to vigorously apply your cleaning solution to your vehicle's air conditioning vents. In addition to giving the vents a thorough cleaning, your cleaning solution will give them a fresh, clean smell. Once the solution has been applied, allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before proceeding to turn the car's air conditioning on. While the air conditioning is running, wipe away any excess cleaning solution with the aid of a sponge, paper towel or washcloth. Should any lingering offensive smells remain, repeat this step. Keep in mind that you may need to apply your cleaner several times before the offensive odors are completely purged from your vehicle.

Step 3 - Keep Your Air Conditioning Vents Odor-Free

Now that you've successfully completed the car odor removal process and gotten rid of the offensive air conditioner smells, you'll want to keep your vehicle's AC vents smelling nice and fresh. First off, make a point of not running your car's air conditioning on the highest setting unless absolutely necessary. If your vehicle's air conditioning is consistently operating at its highest setting, this will cause the formation of moisture, which, in turn, will result in the growth of odor-causing mold and/or mildew. In the event that you choose to run the air conditioning on its highest setting, make sure to switch to a lower setting before turning off your vehicle, thus giving your car's AC system an opportunity to dry out.

Another fantastic method of car odor removal and prevention is regularly having your vehicle's air filter changed. For maximum odor protection, it is recommended that you have a new air filter put in whenever you take your car in for an oil change--in other words, every 3,000 miles. Regularly having your filter changed is particularly important if you frequently make use of your car's heating and air conditioning system.