Driving is pleasant when your car smells nice. Imagine going on a road trip with the scent of bleach in your car. It is quite unsettling, but with the right tips, you’d have it gone in no time. Here is how to get rid of the bleach smell in the car.
To get that bleach smell out of your car, first identify the source of the smell. If spilled bleach is the cause of the smell, rinse the area with water, then clean it with a vacuum or an extractor before leaving it to dry. Using baking soda on the surface or affected spots, and leaving it to sit overnight in the car helps to absorb the odor. If it is a coolant leak in a car’s tailpipe that emits a bleach-like odor, visit the auto mechanic.
Clean diesel has also been known to cause bleach smell in cars. This is why it is important that we are able to easily spot where the bleach odor is coming from. Read on to find the different solutions to the smell of bleach in cars.
Foolproof Steps to Get Rid of Bleach Smell in Your Car
Here we’ll be discussing the different ways to rid your car of bleach smell
Step 1: Identify the Origin of the Smell
The first thing to do in clearing out the bleach smell from your car is to find out where the smell is coming from. Remove the problem when you are sure it is indeed bleach and not any other substance.
If you are sure you have not spilled or poured any bleach-like substance in your car, turn on the car and observe if the water begins to drop from the exhaust immediately white smoke escapes the exhaust. If this is the case, there is a huge possibility of a coolant leak in your engine.
To confirm if you are truly dealing with a coolant leak, perform these two checks. First, check the radiator to see if oil is floating on the water. Secondly, pull out your dipstick and check for an antifreeze and oil mixture. It will look like a milky emulsion.
Step 2: Solve to the Problem
If there is a coolant leak in your car’s tailpipe, take your car to the mechanic as fast as possible. It is a potential fire hazard. While on the go, roll down your windows and hang up an air freshener for relief.
However, if there is any spill on the carpet or in the trunk, clean it up. When cleaning up bleach spills, you need
- hot water, as pure as possible,
- baking soda,
- mild washing soap or liquid,
- an air mover,
- an ionizer,
- an extractor, and
You don’t need to use all of the above to clean spilled bleach, only a few of them at a time. Here are a few ways to wipe off spilled bleach in your car:
1.Flush with Lots of Water
Bleach evaporates off the water very quickly. If there is spilled bleach on your car’s carpet, rinse the area with ample water as many times as necessary. Then suction out using an extractor or shop vacuum. Leave to dry, and the odor will be gone.
Alternatively, flush hot water to hyper-dilute the bleach using a hose spray, then suction out the product with an extractor.
2.Wash Your Car
Wash the affected spot with mild soap and water. Rinse with lots of water and leave to dry. You can also blot dry and use an ionizer or an air mover. If you use an ionizer, roll up your windows and leave them to sit overnight at high speed. A simple cleaning job, followed by proper aeration, works well in getting that distinct chlorine smell out of your car.
Another way is to bake your car in the sun for an hour or two after washing it. Exposure to sunlight and fresh air, after a thorough clean-up, works great in neutralizing noxious odors, even chemical ones.
3. Pour Some Baking Soda
Baking soda works well in absorbing odors in cars. This housework agent is called the holy grail in cleaning routines, and for good reasons. Apart from its efficacy in stain removal, cleaning, and scrubbing, it effectively eliminates bad smells. It absorbs odoriferous particles while balancing the pH of the air in your car.
Sprinkle ample baking soda over all surfaces or on the affected spot. Please leave it to sit overnight and vacuum it up first thing in the morning. Alternatively, you can leave open jars or boxes of baking soda in your car overnight, hidden in specific places like under the seats and in the trunk.
You can add drops of your favorite essential oil further to improve the scent of your car’s interior. Avoid putting baking soda on wet surfaces to prevent them from getting clumped.
4. Use an Air Purifier
For a strong smell like that of bleach, use air purifiers like an ionizer. These are compact electronic units you plug into the car’s cigarette socket. An ionizer works by ionizing odoriferous chemicals in the air, making them attach to surfaces you can clean. To use one, roll up the windows. Allow it to sit in the car overnight. Then, vacuum.
Vinegar is also useful in removing your car’s bleach smell but must be used with caution. A chlorine-based bleach product and vinegar combo is dangerous as the vapors released are harmful. You don’t want to breathe such gas in.
If you must, leave a cup of vinegar open in your car overnight with the windows slightly cracked open. You can also run an ionizer to increase the neutralizing effect.
6. Air Fresheners
Air fresheners can help mask unpleasant smells in your car for a short while. To get bad odors gone, clean the car thoroughly and use an air purifier to get the funky smell out before putting on an air freshener.
Are there any Dangers Associated with Inhaling Bleach?
Inhaling bleach poses no serious health problem because the levels of chlorine in the vapors are not considered toxic.
The table below shows the various levels of chlorine gas exposure and their potential effects on the body.
|The concentration of chlorine vapor in the air||Level of toxicity||Potential effects on the body|
|0.1–0.3 ppm||Low; non-toxic||None.|
|1–3 ppm||Mild; threshold level||Slight irritating; annoying;Usually tolerable for about an hour|
|5–15 ppm||Moderate||Moderate irritation of the respiratory surfaces|
|>30 ppm||High||Cough, shortness of breath, and chest pains in the lower chest.|
As you can see, the level of chlorine gas in the perceivable bleach scent is 0.002 ppm which is about 500 times less than the threshold level of 1 ppm. This is why the smell of bleach is not considered hazardous to health if inhaled. The problem with this smell is its overbearing nature and the discomfort it causes.
Bleach smell is not the kind of scent you want in your car. If, by chance, you perceive that peculiar chemical smell, do not forget to identify the source of the smell and most importantly, apply the steps we discussed.