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How To Get New Car Smell Back

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Is The New Car Smell Bad For You

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As you can see from the previous question, that new car smell doesnt sound as appealing anymore. Research has been done to identify and understand the effects of inhaling these chemicals and the results vary. Depending on the health background of the individual, as well as how much and how frequently a person is exposed to the release of these VOCs, can vary the results on whether an individual experiences any side effects. Some drivers have reported dizziness, headaches, and nausea. Depending on what study you read, you will see warnings such as frequent and extensive exposure can cause serious health issues such as cancer while others say the data is inconclusive. Either way, car manufacturers are currently in the process of eliminating the use of materials that contain these VOCs.

How To Give Your Old Car That New Car Smell Again

  • Written by Luke Arthur on Jun 16, 2010To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.Reviewed by

Trying to get that new car smell again after owning your car for several years can be difficult. After a certain amount of time, the smell goes away and you are left with other aromas. Many people love the new car smell and because of that are willing to try different things to get it back. Here are the basics of how to give your old car that new car smell again.

Step 1–Clean out Debris

Most of the time, when you drive your car for an extended period of time you are going to have some debris laying around within it. In order to get the car smelling good again, you are going to need to remove all of this. This includes trash, papers, toys, books, or anything else that is laying on the seats or under them. In order to properly clean the car, you are going to need to make sure that everything is out of it.

Step 2–Vacuum

Once you have all of the larger pieces out of the way, you can begin vacuuming the car. Vacuuming is going to help you remove all of the small pieces of dirt and dust. This is a very important part of the process of making your car smell good again. If you do not have a vacuum that is capable of vacuuming your car, take your car to the local car wash and use one of the high-powered vacuums that they have available.

Silly Car Question #: How Do I Get That New

“New car smell”: it’s what identifies a car as truly box-fresh and for many it’s a sniff-symbol of their aspiration to own a brand-new vehicle one day.

In the words of Bruce Springsteen’s Used Cars: “Someday mister, when the lottery I win, I ain’t ever gonna ride in something that doesn’t have that new-car smell again.” Well, it goes something like that.

In the absence of authentic new-car smell, many seek to replicate it in their more mature vehicles. Some products, like in-car air fresheners, claim to give you that high-end odour instantly, without the three-year finance commitment and crippling depreciation.

But really, what’s the best way to get that new-car smell?


To answer that question we need to know what new-car smell actually is. The answer: it’s toxic.

That prized odour is actually a cocktail of 50-100 Volatile Organic Compounds that combine in the confines of a car’s cabin to create a uniquely damaging aroma. It’s like that “new building smell” of paint and carpet… but so, so much more nasty. It’s all the bad stuff that’s used to make that shiny new car: solvents, rubber, freshly extracted plastic mouldings, that kind of thing.

That’s why particular brands of car share a particular smell. Each VOC-recipe is slightly different because each carmaker has its own blend. Delicious.

Indeed, new-car smell is a short-lived thing. It fades significantly after a few months .

Still keen?

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Diy: How To Get That New Car Smell In Your Used Car

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When buying a new car, that new car smell when you first enter the drivers seat with your keys in your hand seems to sum up the experience as a whole. The smell of a new car is intoxicating, quickly invoking a memory maybe like your first real job, or a graduation present, or a reward for your retirement. It evokes that golden time of a new car, the time before coffee stains, peanut butter seats and a boot that smells like a gym locker room and dirty running shoes. Whether its a new car from the showroom or a new car to you, that fresh scent can set the tone of how you enjoy your new vehicle adding to the excitement of your purchase.

While we cant guarantee our tips below will get you that new car smell quite like the one on the dealership showroom floor, we can promise a clean, fresh and wonderful smelling car for you to enjoy in your old faithful or to entice the buyers to pay-up for your pre-loved car.

2. Use a vacuum and clean your seats and carpet of the car, making sure to reach into the edges and corners of the car.

What Is The New Car Smell

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Unfortunately, sometimes things that smell good arent good for you. According to Chemical & Engineering News, new car smell is created when volatile organic compounds from the adhesives and sealants used in car manufacturing emit noxious gas into the passenger compartment, something known as off-gassing. Individually these VOCs arent harmful, but together they could cause health problems if there is long-term exposure. Fortunately for your health, but perhaps unfortunately for your olfactory pleasure, VOCs that create new car smell dissipate over a few months.

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Wash The Seats Carpet And Upholstery

Washing the interior fabrics will remove any dirt and particles that the vacuum couldnt reach. You will need a specialized car interior wash product. It needs to be safe on fabrics and interior trim, and, of course, have that fresh smell that youre looking for!

The Torque Detail Interior Kit is a killer combination of two class-leading products.

The first, Intra Clean, is a dedicated wash spray that cleans and deodorizes leather, cloth, and all dashboard surfaces. With Intra Clean by your side, those unpleasant odors dont stand a chance!

The second, Torque Detail Intra Sheild, is a detailing spray. It takes an already clean interior up to the next level by providing ceramic and UV protectant to interior surfaces and rejuvenating their finish. If youre looking for that new car smell, why not get that new car look too!?

Both products are totally safe on fabrics, and we stand behind every bottle we make with our 100%, no questions asked, money-back guarantee!

If you have leather upholstery, you will want to give that premium hide a premium treatment. Well-cared-for leather should look great, feel great, and definitely smell great. See what our customers are saying about Leather Restore Ceramic Conditioner and show that hide the respect it deserves!

Finally, youll need some quality microfiber cloths to apply the products safely.

For more details on how to wash the interior fabrics, check out our comprehensive guide to interior cleaning here.

What Are These Chemicals

When tested, the largest group of chemicals were Volatile Organic Compounds , including alkanes, ketones, benzenes, and aldehydes. These airborne particles are emitted by petroleum-based products and, importantly, are considered air pollutants. When tested, as many as fifty different VOCs were found in the air inside some new cars!

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How To Get The New Car Smell Back

Here are some proven ways to get your new smell back:

  • Get a professional air conditioner refresh, car dealerships offer this service and this method removes odours which occur in car air conditioning units.
  • Vacuum regularly dirty shoes and food crumbs can cause lingering smells. However, dont use shake-n-vac or any other vacuuming products as these will have their own odour.
  • Wash the interior of the car car mats and seats, use a special car shampoo that is designed to be used on fabric.
  • Take the car to a professional valet, if professional help is needed.

Wipe The Steering Wheel Dashboard Central Console And All Trim Panels

How to Make Your Car Smell like New Again for a few $$$

Smelly particles will sink deep into soft fabrics, but they can attach themselves to harder surfaces too.

To banish the unwanted odors, use a few good sprays of Intra Clean on a clean microfiber cloth and work it over every plastic or metal interior surface. You will be amazed at the difference it makes to their smell and their appearance!

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Keeping That New Car Smell Isnt Often About What You Do Its Often About What You Dont Do

Try and keep the wet dog and take-away out of your new car as much as possible. When you are carrying stinky cargo, wind the windows down as far as you can and leave them open overnight after taking the cause of the smell out. This will ensure your new car gets an adequate airing and wont trap the odour inside.

Tips For Removing Unnatural Odours

Here are some examples of natural products which help to remove nasty odours from car interiors:

  • White Vinegar this has a potent smell, so only use a little and dilute with water. Use on areas that have an odour.
  • Essential Oils the scent of essential oils is quite strong, so a few dabs of this on a tissue will give an area which is affected by odour, a new fresh smell.
  • Baking Soda is a natural yet hard duty odour remover. It just needs to be sprinkled over a smelly area and vacuumed after 15 minutes.
  • Activated Charcoal This is a high impact natural odour remover, the activated charcoal is versatile within its usage and it leaves a fresh, clean scent.

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Why Air Fresheners Dont Work

Although popular, air fresheners have never really been a solution. Go to any gas station or auto shop and you can find an endless array of dangly cardboard things or bottles of vent-mounted perfume. But, the truth is that they only mask unpleasant smells by overpowering them with an artificial smell. The real underlying problem hasnt gone away.

There are also a number of air fresheners that claim to give your ride that new car smell. Despite their high claims, we have never found them effective! That real, satisfying new car smell is the pure, undiluted scent of new products . Not new perfume with undertones of dirt and mold!

Mix Rice With Essential Oils

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If you want to go the totally natural route, all you need to do is cook up some jasmine rice and then add in 15-20 drops of a sweet-smelling essential oil. Examples that would definitely do the trick include peppermint, lavender or lemon. It all depends on your personal preference! Mix up your concoction, place it in a dish and then put it in your car.

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Why Does That Brand New Smell Fade Away

Although the common notion here is that all things lose its charm as it grows old, there are other reasons why the good smell fades. Many people think that its inevitable that your car will lose this smell as it packs the miles. However, try not to think similarly. This is because there are easy ways that let you retain this pleasant smell.

For starters, cars lose this good smell because it gets overtaken by bad ones. Its not a matter of the car just aging, but its on how you maintain the vehicle. An example would be bringing smelly foods in your car. If you just did a take-out from a fast food chain with lots of salsas, sauces, and garlic-based marinades, then its likely the car will smell.

Another common reason is your smoking habit. Do you often smoke in your car? Then, stop it now! The smell leaving on your car furniture will annoy other non-smoking people when they get into your car. Besides, I bet you can not stand the bad scent created by smoke and foods.

Not bringing your car regularly for a wash is also one of the main reasons why your car will smell. The upholstery of a car is very delicate, and it can smell easily. Its not only susceptible to food smells, but it can also absorb body odor. Your friend who reeks from the afterparty is all that it takes to say goodbye to your new car smell.

Preventing Bad Smells In Your Car

Apart from cleaning the air conditioning system, prevention is the best way to keep your car smelling clean and fresh. Here are some suggestions to make sure you best prevent bad smells in your car:

  • Don’t smoke: whether you are a pack-a-day smoker or you go out to your vehicle to have the odd cheeky cig, you shouldn’t smoke in the car. It can permeate the cushions of the upholstery and be incredibly difficult to remove. It is one of the biggest complaints when people go to buy a used car and can even be used to lower the price. Even when smoking with the window open, it can be very hard to remove smoke from your car, although not impossible.
  • Don’t eat: this is starting to sound like very authoritarian advice, but it is one of the best ways to prevent smells getting into your car. A packet of cookies or a sandwich might not cause a big smell, but their crumbs can drop and lead to one. Hot food, especially spicy food like curry or chile, can get right into your car and be hard to leave. Worse still if if you spill or drop some food. Perhaps the worst culprit when it comes to smells in the car is dairy. If you spill milk or drop some yogurt and forget about it, the smell can be horrendous. It becomes tart and astringent and can be really difficult to remove.
  • Close windows: when you are near an area which smells bad, such as going to the dump or being near a farm, it is always good to close the windows. Smells can get in from outside and can be difficult to get out.

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How Long Does The New Car Smell Last

After reading this you may be a little hesitant to buy a brand new vehicle or drive the one you just bought. While the research is inconclusive at this time on the effects of the new car smell, the smell doesnt last very long. Most vehicles lose the new car smell within the first few months of ownership. If you are buying a vehicle that has been sitting on the lot for a few months during the summer, then that smell has already begun to fade. Until that new car smell fades, keeping your vehicle clean and well ventilated in the first few months of ownership can help rid your vehicle of those VOCs more quickly.

What Is New Car Smell


While the interiors of new cars are nice to look that most car interiors use a wide variety of plastics, paints, sealants, and rubber compounds that are used to put together all of the various pieces of a car. These materials will off-gas chemicals called volatile organic compounds or VOC for short.

There can be hundreds of VOC chemicals that are detected in the interiors of new cars. Some of the most common chemicals found are benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, styrene, and toluene.

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Make Your Car Smell New With Original Factory Scent

Original Factory Scent is a commercial grade odor counteractant that truly captures the factory new car smell. This product is used by individuals to remove the smell of smoke, pets, sweat, and other odors within the interior of vehicles. Original Factory Scent lasts for a couple months, just like a new car.

Simply cut the corner of the package and place the product underneath your seat.

  • Improve the smell of your car
  • Reduce smoke odor
  • Product is guaranteed for months
  • Find out how you can get a discount and free shipping here.

Tips On How To Keep Your Car Smelling New

If you use a car air freshener with new car smell on its label, you might believe its the best way to keep a fresh smell in your vehicle. However, our guide will show you how to keep your car smelling new with a few simple tips, tricks, or inexpensive products that may make a difference.

Our guide will teach how to keep your car smelling new using step-by-step instructions and a detailed list of basic materials you may need.

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Choosing The Right Scents

Once your vehicle has undergone a good cleaning and youre starting to avoid keeping smelly items in the vehicle, the final step is to find the desired scent for your car. You can choose a scent that you like best, and then get it in a few different forms. Were talking sprays, clip-on vent air fresheners, and even those little trees that everyone hangs from their mirror.

The tree air fresheners are best kept in an area that has a lot of air circulation. The vent/dashboard fresheners are great options as well because they make direct contact with the airflow of your car. This can help generate more aroma in the interior.

Sprays are another option to improve ensure your vehicles clean smell is long-lasting. You may want to try a good-smelling aerosol freshener or even a perfume you like. Keep in mind, this is not a permanent solution. It helps to eliminate bad odours in a pinch, but are generally not long-lasting.

Our final suggestion is to try placing scented items throughout the vehicle. Sometimes placing a small candle under a few seats can make a difference and last quite a long time. Other items like solid fresheners also help to do the trick and can usually be found at your local dollar store.

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