The Secret to Getting that New Car Smell

Aaahhh, that new car smell. Not quite the same as that stale-french-fry, wet-dog, stinky-gym-bag car smell. But fear not. We tested three easy ways to get your car smelling like new again. Here's what we tried and how well they worked...

The first step to getting that new car smell is to remove any current odors.
Start by cleaning your vehicle from top to bottom. Try to be as thorough as possible, which includes removing the floor mats, vacuuming, and cleaning out the ashtrays. Remember to clean the dashboard, vents and all the nooks and crannies that you can. One cleaner we tested that has a nice, clean citrus smell is Meguiar's G13616 Quik Interior Detailer Cleaner. It's available on Amazon and does a great job without creating the shiny, glossy glare that Armor All does.

If you've cleaned your vehicle and it still has an odor, try one of these approaches to absorb the offending smell:

1. Sprinkle baking soda on the dry carpet and seats. Let it sit for a day or so and then vacuum up the baking soda.

2. Place a couple of bowls of fresh ground coffee in your vehicle. This method does wonders to absorb smells. But it will also leave behind a coffee aroma, so don't try this if you don't like the smell of coffee.

3. An open bag of charcoal also functions well to absorb odors. Make sure you don't use the kind that is pre-treated with lighter fluid.

Once your vehicle is cleaned and free of odors, the secret to getting that new car smell is as simple as adding the right freshener.

Many people associate the new car smell with the smell of new leather and also with certain cleaning products. We tested three freshener options with our very non-scientific, informal sniffers. Here are the results.

Fabric softener sheets
This is a fairly low-cost method for getting that clean smell in your vehicle. While you can use the scented ones, the unscented ones are best if you want to completely eliminate all odors in the vehicle. Simply place one of these sheets underneath each car seat. Of course, these do not come in a "new car" fragrance scent, but if you like the smell of fabric softeners on your clothes, you'll probably like them in your car as well. Another advantage is that you might have fabric softener sheets in your laundry room, which makes these quick and easy to try.

Febreze Car Vent Clips New Car Scent Freshener
These are available at most grocery stores. To activate them, you puncture the back of the freshener, clip it onto your vent, and then adjust the "scent intensity dial" to your liking. All our testers agreed that this freshener doesn't smell anything like a new car. One tester described it as smelling like organic playdough from preschool. Since the rest of us have no idea what organic playdough smells like, we agreed that "overpowering" and "awfully chemical" were the best descriptions.

The Chemical Guys
We saved our favorite secret weapon for last. The Chemical Guys have figured out a way to bottle up the exact two fragrances we were looking for: New Car Smell and Leather Scent. The two bottles came in a combo pack from Amazon for a total of about $14. Both smells received very high ratings from our testers. Not only did they actually smell like the scent, but they weren't overpowering. According to their bottles, they contain natural enzymatic odor elimination properties to eliminate odor and reduce recurring odor. They are easy to use too - just squirt a couple of sprays in your vehicle (we sprayed ours on the vehicle's carpet), and you're all set.

With any of these olfactory additions, you'll want to remember to replace/refresh them occasionally when the fragrance starts to fade.

Of course, we should also mention that there is one other option for getting that new car smell... could we, *cough,* mention that we have a great selection of new vehicles available? As well as some great pre-owned vehicles? With current incentives and high trade-in values, many people discover they are able to get a newer vehicle without increasing their monthly payment. For details, please give us a call at (877) 356-9697.

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