Have you ever noticed a familiar smell and a memory comes to your mind, whether pleasant or unpleasant? Smell — like taste — has the magical property of affecting our brain in such a way that it connects the stimuli of these senses with various events we experience. For example, many of us have associated the smell of ginger and cinnamon with a festive table. But why associate unpleasant odors, such as mold, with our car? In this log informational we will focus on the treatment of unpleasant odors.
THE PROCESS The first thing we need to do is identify the source of the unpleasant odor. Then, we must identify the type of problem. Lastly, we eliminate the odor along with any factor that can bring it back.
The simplest case of an unpleasant odor is a result of food debris that has fallen under the seats or other inaccessible places. If these residues remain for a long time they can begin decomposing, resulting in the secretion of an unpleasant odor. There are times when the problem even comes from the trunk or the glovebox. So, we must keep in mind that in addition to the floor-mats, we may need to completely remove the seats to eliminate every possibility.
SPOTS ON FABRICS
There are many times when odors are hidden in the upholstery and carpet. Liquid agents — such as food, urine, and vomit can penetrate deep into the fabric and make them difficult to remove, especially if left for a long time. In this case, vacuum extraction and steam are our allies. The steam also offers additional disinfection due to the high temperature during contact with the surface, which is especially important for COVID-19 concerns.
In leather upholstery, liquids often do not penetration as deep as with fabrics. However, we face the problem of mold. This is more common in older or classic vehicles To clean the leather, always use a specialized cleanser with the help of a soft brush or microfiber towel. After the leather has been cleaned, it is crucial to ensure the leather stays hydrated. The cleansing process afflicts and dries the skin. Apply the appropriate cream or emulsion to the leather to ensure hydration.
MOISTURE AND STAGING WATER High humidity levels in the cabin is another factor. This can result from extensive use of water-soluble products. More often, it is caused by an open window, a hole in the soft top — if it is a cabriolet — or from clogged sunroof drains. In the last two cases, after identifying the problem caused by the stagnant water, we must first repair the problem. Once repairs have been made, we can proceed with cleaning, so the unpleasant odors do not remain.
AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM Mold can also form in the air conditioning system. After all, any odors inside the cabin circulate through the air conditioning. Thus, while the car cabin may be perfectly clean, unpleasant odors continue to create an unpleasant atmosphere. Many may suggest an air freshener or driving with the windows open as a solution, but this will only temporarily mask the unpleasant odors. It will not provide a lasting solution. To deal effectively with the problem we must use an A/C cleaner or an ozone generator while the circuit is in air recirculation mode and the engine is running.
CAUTION! The ozone generator is a powerful tool for the part of sterilizing the cabin and dealing with bad smells. ALWAYS check the production of ozone (mg/h) and consult the manufacturer because extensive use can cause damage to the interior. If the unpleasant odor continues to come from the airways, we should also consider the possibility of a dead animal — usually a rodent — in the engine bay. CIGARETTE ODORS Usually, the customer who complains about cigarettes odors has recently purchased a car whose previous owner was a smoker. Cigarette smell is peculiar. The odor can penetrate the air vents, the upholstery, and into the headliner of the car. This makes its removal more difficult. In this case — in addition to the other parts that must be thoroughly cleaned — we must also take care of the headliner of the vehicle. This must be done with special care. Depending on the manufacturer, some immediately come off with the slightest intervention while others require more extensive treatment measures. CABIN FILTERS Microorganisms and bacteria can grow in the air circuit. This scatters unpleasant odors through the cabin every time we use the A/C or the heater. So, all our previous actions end up fruitless. For this reason, after extensive work it is good practice to replace the air filter with a new one. This will help keep the vehicle cabin clean and odor free. Below is a summary the tools and products that a detailer may use on your vehicle. • Specialized cleaner for fabrics • Specialized cleaner for leathers • Nutrient cream / milk moisturizer • APC • Brushes • Microfiber towels • Vacuum extraction • Steam cleaning and extraction • Ozone generator • Deodorizer – aromatic • Specialized A/C cleaner
For any questions or you are in need of our services please feel free to contact us anytime for an immediate quote by calling us at: 631-403-0474.