How To Get Rid Of Pizza Smell In Cars

How To Get Rid Of Pizza Smell In Cars

Pizza smells so good when fresh, but the same smell can become nasty if left unpreserved for hours. If you’re in the car and something stinks like stale pizza, your sense of smell is spot on. It would be best if you found a way to get rid of that smell quickly, else it will worsen. Thankfully, we have the solution penned down in this piece.

The easiest and most effective way to get rid of spoiled pizza smell in a car is thorough aeration. Roll down the windows to let out the funky smell. This way, fresh air can circulate in the car. You can opt for some air fresheners, spray odor-eliminating products, or run an ionizer.

Small spaces like cars tend to become smaller when there is a nasty smell. These odors, like everything bad, stay in circulation longer than pleasant ones and are difficult to remove. Thankfully, with the few tips and tricks we’ll discuss, you’d have them gone in no time.

Foolproof Ways of Getting Rid of Pizza Smell in Car

Here’s a detailed explanation of some ways to get rid of pizza smell in a car.

Let Fresh Air In

Switch off the air conditioning unit. Set your vent fan to fresh air. Drive with your windows rolled down. When you park your car, leave the windows cracked open a little at night and there you have it, proper air circulation is a simple way to clear out nasty smells, including pizza’s.


An exhaustive cleaning job will help eliminate the pizza smell, especially when you clean where the pizza box stayed. Clean the affected area with warm soapy water, car shampoo, steam cleaner, or any appropriate cleaning product.

Also, vacuuming the whole car before using any products will help clear out some odoriferous chemicals in the air and those trapped in the carpets, upholstery fabric, and headliners.

Using Charcoal

Charcoal soaks up odoriferous substances from the air and can be used to eliminate the pizza smell. Put some charcoal balls in a porous material like a paper cup and place them in specific places like in the trunk, under the seat, in the glove box, or any other spot.

The Vinegar Solution

You can use white vinegar to get rid of the pizza smell from your car. Open and leave an open vinegar jar in the car. Allow to sit in for a while, depending on the strength of the smell. 

An alternative way is to dip a cloth into a dilute vinegar solution. Squeeze out the excess and wave it around in the air. This simple method works well in clearing out strong food odors.

The Baking Soda Method

This tested and trusted household agent effectively eliminates nasty smells from your car.

Baking soda clears the pizza smell by absorbing odoriferous chemicals, leaving room for fresh air to circulate. Leave an open container of baking soda in specific spots in your car out of reach, like under the seats or in the trunk, for about three days. 

Ground Coffee to the Rescue

Having an open cup or container of coffee grinds in the car can also help remove the smell of pizza. Allow it to sit in for three days, or keep it open during your car ride. All you need to do is ensure it is kept in a secure place so it doesn’t tip over; otherwise, you would have more than an odor to worry about; there’d also be a stain to clean.

Air fresheners

Odor-eliminating products like Ozium odor-eliminating gel, Moso Natural air purifying bags, and FRESHfX spray can help clear out the pizza smell or at least mask it while using the car. Combine this with a thorough cleaning and proper aeration to increase the odor-eliminating potential.

Ozone Treatment

This should be your last go-to when cleaning, scrubbing, and other methods fail. An ozone generator uses electrical discharges and ultraviolet light to radiate oxygen atoms, producing and releasing ozone gas.

This unstable gas is a powerful oxidant, sterilizer, and deodorant. It permeates the vent system and fabric of the car seats and gets into every corner of the car, especially those beyond your reach. It is very effective in eliminating foul odors permanently.

Step 1: First, identify and remove the source of the smell. Pretreat your car by cleaning it thoroughly. Allow drying completely.

Step 2: Run the ozone generator into your car and run it at high speed with the windows slightly cracked open and the doors shut.

Step 3: Leave it for about 15 minutes or more, depending on the odor’s strength.

After a while, your car will smell better with the odor permanently removed.

Here’s a video detailing the proper way to use an ozone generator

Key Video Takeaway

  • The best way to set up your generator is outside the car with a connecting pipe placed high above the headrest and close to the headboard of the car. 
  • An ozone generator requires a steady circulation of oxygen (O2); hence an outside setup is better than running it inside your car.
  • Ensure you open all surfaces in the car so the gas can permeate every single one of them.

Safety Measures to Remember when Choosing Ozone Products

Ground-level ozone harms animals and humans, so you must use an ozone generator with caution. If getting an ozone treatment, there are some measures you need to take:

Follow the Instruction Guide

Before an ozone treatment, ensure you read and understand the manufacturer’s guide on using the generator. Even before the pretreatment, ensure you read and follow the instructions on using each product. So, you don’t cause more harm to your vehicle while solving a problem.

Do not Breathe Ozone in

Do not sit in or stay close to your car during treatment or immediately after one. This is because the oxidizing effect of ozone on bacteria and odoriferous substances is the same effect it has on body cells and tissues.

It has been found to affect the respiratory, cardiovascular, and central nervous systems. Stay as far away as possible from your car while using an ozone generator to avoid conditions like asthma, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Proper Air Circulation Post-treatment

After using an ozone generator, allow your car to air out. Due to its instability, ozone dissipates quickly in the air under sunlight. Leave your car to bake in the sun for the same time it took for the treatment. Proper aeration of your car after an ozone treatment would reduce your gas exposure risk.

Clean with mild products

Do not use car cleaners with strong fragrances in pretreating your car before ozone treatment. Instead, clean with warm water, mild soap, or washing liquid and a microfiber towel.

When used correctly, ozone generators are safe and effectively clear out strong food odors like pizza. You only need to apply caution. Better yet, contact professional detailers to handle your car’s ozone treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Causes Stale Pizza to Smell So Bad?

A: That delicious smell you perceive as pizza smell is tiny oil droplets from the pizza floating in the air. These droplets latch on dust already present in the air. Instead of floating, some of these particles sink and permeate into the surfaces of your car. Over time and with heat, decay sets in, and you have an odor problem in your vehicle.

Final Thoughts

The pizza smell is only tantalizing when it is fresh; the smell of stale pizza is not inviting. Clearing out such a strong odor is necessary because it worsens over time. Hopefully with the help of our article, you can ensure your car is free of pizza smell!


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