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BO Smell Embedded In Seat

I am at my wits' end with a smell embedded in my car seat. A couple weeks ago I gave a friend a ride on a short road trip. He apparently suffers from terrible BO. The smell from him is now stuck into the passenger seat. It is most prevalent right where his arm pits would've been when sitting. I have tried many things to get rid of it and while it has become less stinky its still there. What I have tried so far:

Febreeze Auto
303
Vinegar/Water/Soap solution
Vinegar
Baking soda left on over night
Steaming

Does anyone have any tricks they have tried to get rid of smells from the seats?

I have a 2021 with the white seats if that matters.
 
You sure it is just in the seat(s)? Maybe also in the armrest, seat belt, etc? Could it be in the headliner or other surfaces?

My deep cleaning routine typically involves spraying diluted all purpose cleaner (Optimum Power Clean 1:10 but maybe a little stronger in this case?) on the seats, agitating with a soft brush, and then steam cleaning and wiping down clean with a microfiber cloth. Repeat as necessary. Same routine for the seat belt and armrests.

Another option is to run an ozone machine in the car for 30 mins or so. I bought one off of eBay a couple years back and it really does help to blast smells, but I wouldnt use it too frequently as the ozone may also degrade plastics and stuff over time if used too heavily. I would do the ozone AFTER getting everything else clean first though.
 
You sure it is just in the seat(s)? Maybe also in the armrest, seat belt, etc? Could it be in the headliner or other surfaces?

My deep cleaning routine typically involves spraying diluted all purpose cleaner (Optimum Power Clean 1:10 but maybe a little stronger in this case?) on the seats, agitating with a soft brush, and then steam cleaning and wiping down clean with a microfiber cloth. Repeat as necessary. Same routine for the seat belt and armrests.

Another option is to run an ozone machine in the car for 30 mins or so. I bought one off of eBay a couple years back and it really does help to blast smells, but I wouldnt use it too frequently as the ozone may also degrade plastics and stuff over time if used too heavily. I would do the ozone AFTER getting everything else clean first though.
Yes, verified with my nose its coming from the seat and narrowed it down to the locations. I guess it could be possible it got embedded in the stitching or made its way into the seat under the fabric through the holes.

I thought about using the ozone cleaner, but didn't want to buy devices i didn't already have. I'll keep that in mind though.

I'll give your routine a try. I have some all purpose cleaner laying around somehwere. I probably should've spent more time steaming.
 

CyberGus

Not Just a Member
May 5, 2020
1,445
3,333
Austin, TX
Try all the cleaning steps suggested and park it outside on a sunny day with all the windows down.

Also my "mind-of-a-12-year-old" couldn't help but visualize you, sniffing around for this smell and realizing it's where your friend's armpits would be. LOL

I'd say you have a intervention meeting with your friend and tell him about the BO. As a bonus, he may thank you for being a true friend and offer to pay to clean your car.
 
Wasn't this a Seinfeld episode?

I had a car with a mysterious vomit-inducing odor (maybe a latte was dumped into the carpet?? idk) but I eradicated it with this ozone generator:


I had to "soak" it a full day, twice, and then air it out for a day, but the car is now odor-free.

What do you mean by soak all day? Most of the ozone generators I've looked at have timers that only last a few hours at most.
 
Try all the cleaning steps suggested and park it outside on a sunny day with all the windows down.

Also my "mind-of-a-12-year-old" couldn't help but visualize you, sniffing around for this smell and realizing it's where your friend's armpits would be. LOL

I'd say you have a intervention meeting with your friend and tell him about the BO. As a bonus, he may thank you for being a true friend and offer to pay to clean your car.

Haha, it was pretty easy to identify where it was coming from. Its very strong...

And thankfully for my nose its a friend I really only see once or twice a year. I've thought about letting them know, but I really don't want to offend or embaress. I could be a medical issue they are aware of, but can't fix for all I know.
 
Wasn't this a Seinfeld episode?

I had a car with a mysterious vomit-inducing odor (maybe a latte was dumped into the carpet?? idk) but I eradicated it with this ozone generator:


I had to "soak" it a full day, twice, and then air it out for a day, but the car is now odor-free.

Great episode and show!

Anyways, by "soak" I hope you meant you ran the ozone machine for <1 hour and then just left the windows and what not closed? Not ran the machine that long.....

Another good trick is to, after doing the above, is to turn the recirc mode on in the car (not sure about the model 3...but standard HVAC has this LOL) and let it run for a bit longer to try and clean up whatever is in the vents.
 
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CyberGus

Not Just a Member
May 5, 2020
1,445
3,333
Austin, TX
What do you mean by soak all day? Most of the ozone generators I've looked at have timers that only last a few hours at most.

Right, I meant "run the timer for an hour, and then leave it alone for 24 hours". Running the A/C fan on recirculate would help clean out those musty odors too (but maybe not for 2 days straight lol).

Remember that Ozone is poisonous and the area needs to be thoroughly ventilated before you enter.
 
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Right, I meant "run the timer for an hour, and then leave it alone for 24 hours". Running the A/C fan on recirculate would help clean out those musty odors too (but maybe not for 2 days straight lol).

Remember that Ozone is poisonous and the area needs to be thoroughly ventilated before you enter.
I wouldn't fret it that much personally - ozone has a very short half-life, between 7 and 10 minutes. Give it 30 with the windows or doors open and it is certainly gone. If you don't smell it it (it has a very distinctive smell), it ain't around. Don't be an idiot - put the generator in the car, hold your breath when you do and when you turn it off. You'll be fine.
 

CyberGus

Not Just a Member
May 5, 2020
1,445
3,333
Austin, TX
I wouldn't fret it that much personally - ozone has a very short half-life, between 7 and 10 minutes. Give it 30 with the windows or doors open and it is certainly gone. If you don't smell it it (it has a very distinctive smell), it ain't around. Don't be an idiot - put the generator in the car, hold your breath when you do and when you turn it off. You'll be fine.

The half-life depends on the O3 concentration, which will be exceptionally high in a small enclosed space like a vehicle. Even 24 hours later the distinctive odor was quite strong in my car.

Conversely, a small volume will air out quickly. As you say: trust your nose.
 

TBrownTX

Active Member
Dec 25, 2020
1,083
1,287
Dallas, TX
I am at my wits' end with a smell embedded in my car seat. A couple weeks ago I gave a friend a ride on a short road trip. He apparently suffers from terrible BO. The smell from him is now stuck into the passenger seat. It is most prevalent right where his arm pits would've been when sitting. I have tried many things to get rid of it and while it has become less stinky its still there. What I have tried so far:

Febreeze Auto
303
Vinegar/Water/Soap solution
Vinegar
Baking soda left on over night
Steaming

Does anyone have any tricks they have tried to get rid of smells from the seats?

I have a 2021 with the white seats if that matters.

Almost too good not to leave a "totaled" comment.

Tim
 

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