How to get smells out of car leather

Written by ashley friedman
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Car leather is one of the most difficult fabrics to remove odours from. Because car fabric cannot be cleaned internally, it is very difficult to get at the root of the odours, which often (especially in the case of cigarette smoke) have permeated the leather and rubber foam used to make the car seats. However, there are some methods you can use to get smells out of car leather that require the use of basic household products.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Odour eliminator spray
  • Soft cloth
  • White vinegar
  • Warm water
  • Spray bottle
  • Leather conditioner
  • Baking soda

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  1. 1

    Spot test the odour eliminator spray before using to make sure it does not damage the leather. Spray it all over the car leather and wipe it with a cloth. You may need to repeat this step several times.

  2. 2

    Mix white vinegar with equal parts warm water and put into a spray bottle.

  3. 3

    Spray the car leather liberally with the white vinegar mixture and immediately wipe it with a soft cloth, spreading the liquid in a thin layer all over the leather. Do this only once because continuous exposure to the acid in vinegar can destroy the leather.

  4. 4

    Allow the vinegar and water solution to evaporate on the car leather with the car windows open, taking much of the odour with it.

  5. 5

    Immediately apply a leather conditioner to the entire surface of the car leather using a soft cloth.

  6. 6

    Leave an open box of baking soda in the car at night or whenever the car is parked and not in motion. Over time the baking soda will absorb the odours from the leather.

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