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Old 06-15-2018, 08:15 PM   #1
JerryHughes
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Default That "old car smell"

I've got a 97 Sl and have tried to get rid of that old, interior smell that all cars get over the years. This time I tried Lysol Disinfectant spray and that helped a lot! This Lysol is supposed to get rid of 99% of viruses and bacteria and when I spray the interior (seats, carpet, etc.) I make sure I actually "dampen" it all with the spray. I use about 1/2 a can. Works but will wear out in a couple months or so but worth it, so I respray. I spray the heck out of the inside of the car in the evening, shut all the windows and let it dry overnight. It will smell like the spray for a couple of days, then there will be no smell. Good luck if you try.

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Old 06-16-2018, 01:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

I guess that would work if you only have 5 minutes.

When I initially bought my Saturn 10 years ago, I removed the seats and shampooed the carpet. I don't smoke or eat while driving. It doesn't smell like a new or old car - it's simply scentless.

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Old 06-16-2018, 05:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macgyver View Post
I guess that would work if you only have 5 minutes.

When I initially bought my Saturn 10 years ago, I removed the seats and shampooed the carpet. I don't smoke or eat while driving. It doesn't smell like a new or old car - it's simply scentless.
"Scentless" is what I'm after and I have replaced, in time, the carpet, new header, new floor mats, etc. but in time, it will smell like an "old car". Must be in the seats? Anyway, that disinfectant gets that smell out----for a while. You're lucky, being able to simply wash and keep the smell away. What detergent did you use?

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Old 06-16-2018, 09:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

I most likely used what I still do today, it's a Bissell Deep Oxy cleaning solution for my machine. It's designed for pets and odors in general. I've also sprayed the product below inside of the air ducts which always seemed to take care of any musty smells.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HJXR0E0

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Old 06-16-2018, 11:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macgyver View Post
I most likely used what I still do today, it's a Bissell Deep Oxy cleaning solution for my machine. It's designed for pets and odors in general. I've also sprayed the product below inside of the air ducts which always seemed to take care of any musty smells.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HJXR0E0
Thanks for the info. I will try it when my car starts to smell again!

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Old 06-16-2018, 01:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

It very may well be in the seats. I have no odor in my car, but I do have leather that is easily wiped down.

The disinfectant spray may become self-perpetuating if it is QAC-based. You may want to try an oxygenating cleaner like mentioned above that does not contain a surfactant package that tends to reattract stains/odors over time.

Last edited by Cheyne; 06-16-2018 at 01:43 PM..

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Old 06-16-2018, 04:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheyne View Post
It very may well be in the seats. I have no odor in my car, but I do have leather that is easily wiped down.

The disinfectant spray may become self-perpetuating if it is QAC-based. You may want to try an oxygenating cleaner like mentioned above that does not contain a surfactant package that tends to reattract stains/odors over time.
I don't see any QAC-based ingredients on the label but I will switch to the above recommended spray. Thanks for your input.

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Old 06-20-2018, 11:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

there's "new car smell" spray out there: https://www.amazon.com/Chemical-Guys.../dp/B002J7VX4Y

have not tried it on an old car but I will try it when my 18 cruze gets old!

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Old 06-20-2018, 11:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnsctwo View Post
there's "new car smell" spray out there: https://www.amazon.com/Chemical-Guys.../dp/B002J7VX4Y

have not tried it on an old car but I will try it when my 18 cruze gets old!
Thanks but actually, I not looking for a new car smell---just to get rid of the old car smell. No smell is good by me.

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Old 06-20-2018, 12:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

My SC2 had a strong cigarette smell

Probably due in some part to this (discovered after I vacuumed under the seats, but later removed the seats entirely)
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/att...7&d=1479864979

cleaned and vacuumed everything, used carpet cleaner on all cloth surfaces (the spray-in, scrub, then vacuum off stuff), Febreezed the crap out of everything, including headliner, seatbelts, and sunvisors, but cigarette smell would come back.

Then I replaced the headliner, and the smell was gone. Apparently, it can really store some odors and release them later.

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Old 06-20-2018, 01:56 PM   #11
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
My SC2 had a strong cigarette smell

Probably due in some part to this (discovered after I vacuumed under the seats, but later removed the seats entirely)
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/att...7&d=1479864979

cleaned and vacuumed everything, used carpet cleaner on all cloth surfaces (the spray-in, scrub, then vacuum off stuff), Febreezed the crap out of everything, including headliner, seatbelts, and sunvisors, but cigarette smell would come back.

Then I replaced the headliner, and the smell was gone. Apparently, it can really store some odors and release them later.
Looks like the previous owner had a nicotine problem. Headliner probably got the brunt of the smoke. Glad you got rid of it. So far, that Lysol is doing the job on my car---for now.

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Old 06-20-2018, 03:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

That was after the car was vacuumed. I had stuck the vacuum under the seat and everything.

When I unbolted and pulled the seat completely out, all those fell out from between the seat and the center console

...
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Old 06-20-2018, 04:07 PM   #13
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

Just throwing this out for thought. We all know the sneaker stink from moldy hvac systems and the various treatments all the way to GM putting out a bulletin for a chemical coating on evaporator coils, on the customers dime. I've tried Lysol and Ozium but they fade away after a season or less of heavy ac use. I finally found one answer costing one dollar, a box of baking soda. Liberally sprinkled two years ago into the large cavity below the front windshield holding the cabin filter, hardly any stink last year and this year...... less than half the box was used. I turned on the cabin blower and fine powder came out from all the vents for a few days. I wanted a way to distribute powder into the ducts. Keeps absorbing odors?

I wonder if a hot or warm brew of water and copious amounts of baking soda sprayed onto surfaces would do the same, penetrating into fabric, drying and leaving it embedded to absorb odors, spilled coffee, cigarette oils, whatever...... Any residue can be vacuumed if it stands out.

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Old 06-20-2018, 04:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
That was after the car was vacuumed. I had stuck the vacuum under the seat and everything.

When I unbolted and pulled the seat completely out, all those fell out from between the seat and the center console
I think you're lucky you're riding around in your Saturn today. Should have gone up in flames before you owned it!

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Old 06-20-2018, 04:44 PM   #15
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Just throwing this out for thought. We all know the sneaker stink from moldy hvac systems and the various treatments all the way to GM putting out a bulletin for a chemical coating on evaporator coils, on the customers dime. I've tried Lysol and Ozium but they fade away after a season or less of heavy ac use. I finally found one answer costing one dollar, a box of baking soda. Liberally sprinkled two years ago into the large cavity below the front windshield holding the cabin filter, hardly any stink last year and this year...... less than half the box was used. I turned on the cabin blower and fine powder came out from all the vents for a few days. I wanted a way to distribute powder into the ducts. Keeps absorbing odors?

I wonder if a hot or warm brew of water and copious amounts of baking soda sprayed onto surfaces would do the same, penetrating into fabric, drying and leaving it embedded to absorb odors, spilled coffee, cigarette oils, whatever...... Any residue can be vacuumed if it stands out.
That might work wonders! Let it set on the seats, carpet, etc. then vac it up. Baking soda is used to get rid of odors in everything from inside your fridge to inside the cat's box. When my stink comes back, I'll give that a try.

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Old 06-20-2018, 10:33 PM   #16
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

Could try mixing amonia and bleach in a bucket, and letting that cycle through the vents. Just donít breathe near it.

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Old 06-20-2018, 10:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhonky View Post
Could try mixing amonia and bleach in a bucket, and letting that cycle through the vents. Just donít breathe near it.
Oy----that sounds toxic to me! Don't know how healthy that would be to breathe.

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Old 06-20-2018, 10:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

Quote:
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Could try mixing amonia and bleach in a bucket, and letting that cycle through the vents. Just donít breathe near it.
And you're a moron for suggesting it!? The most ignorant person is the one trying to mix house hold cleaning fluids and poisoning themselves and anyone nearby without attempting to ask, enquire, Google, search online or use a library. Then again, why don't you try it as you'll become an instant Darwin award winner when you're dead and news spreads of your ignorance......

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Old 06-21-2018, 05:46 PM   #19
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

Bleach and ammonia don't play well together. Actually bleach along with other oxidizers doesn't play well with many things. The baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, does work for HVAC odors which is why some cabin air filters may be infused with it or charcoal. I don't know that I'd pour it in the ductwork since it could possibly cause mucosal irritation if enough becomes airborne. It would likely work better if placed in mesh somehow and would certainly help to absorb odors.

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Old 06-22-2018, 12:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: That "old car smell"

Quote:
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It would likely work better if placed in mesh somehow and would certainly help to absorb odors.
Cut off the foot of old nylons, put it in, and tie the top?

I occasionally kick the idea of making a DIY cabin filter for the Saturn, using charcoal and some of that breather element stuff, but usually don't get enough odors or dust to motivate me

Think I got the idea after buying some DIY "make your own window screen" stuff from a big box store for the basement windows. I think I still have some of that aluminum frame that you cut to size, haven't been in the Saturn HVAC boxes for planning yet though

...
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