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Old 10-27-2019, 03:14 PM
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Default Deodorizing an original interior?

Many old original cars can have a typical odor to the interior. Some are your standard old car smell while others can be a bit more aromatic lets say? The car I just acquired has an odd odor to the interior, but not like anything I have smelled before? It's more stringent than the typical old car smell and that's part of the reason I pulled back the interior yesterday to inspect it.

There no evidence of any mice ever having been in the car and the odor is nothing that resembles any kind of rodent nesting. It's more unique and somewhat resembles the small of moth balls? Perhaps the original owner had something in there at one point to fend off rodents, but its left it's own scent behind. I have the seats out of the car now and they are beautiful originals as is the carpet and headliner. I'm wondering if there's an odor neutralizer that I can use to spray the seat bottoms and the carpet with before reinstalling them? Something to neutralize the odor or at least lessen it? Perhaps something I can also spray onto the headliner and belts since I'm sure it's permeated through the fabric. And please, not something scented in an attempt to simply mask it. I dislike the smell of most car fresheners and prefer the old car smell to some degree. Just not into moth balls if that's what it was?

Got any tips to deliver a clean smelling survivor interior?


Hoping to spray the burlap backing, headliner and carpets with something to neutralize them?
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Old 10-27-2019, 03:39 PM
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I have a vehicle that I bought and the smell is musty. I have tried many things from airing out to scrubbing interior w white vinegar and lemon water. It’s better but have heard ozone generators can be effective and am ready to try. I’ll keep you posted
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Old 10-27-2019, 04:26 PM
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Febreze is a quick fix. I think its the carpet.
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Old 10-27-2019, 04:57 PM
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I talked to an upholsterer buddy this morning and he said there's a Wurth product that he's heard of and referred me to look at. I'm going to confirm this with a detail girl I know here in town and might give this product a try.


Wurth Deodorizer
Suitable for almost all textiles
• Universal usage
• Leaves no residue behind
• No specking
• Colorless

Specially selected combination of raw materials
• Fast and long-lasting effect
• Odor molecules are not covered as with air freshener products, but are removed completely in a natural way

Fine-mist hand-spray bottle
• Fine and even spray covering the entire surface without soaking it
• Very short drying time
• Quick application

AOX-free

Areas of Application:
Neutralizes all unpleasant odors, such as cigarette smoke, sweat, animal, mold and cooking odors, which may occur in a vehicle interior, driver’s cabs, on upholstery, carpets, curtains and clothing.
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Old 10-27-2019, 06:10 PM
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I have also heard that ionization is the way to go. I’d be checking out the headliner for nests if you can’t find anything anywhere else. The heater core is another favorite hidden spot...
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Old 10-27-2019, 07:36 PM
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Graeme, Here is a product my friend uses in his detail business and does a lot of insurance claims as well including removing the odor from a car where a dead body was found.
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Old 10-27-2019, 07:57 PM
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You trying to tell me something about the car Jeff.

Just kiddin...thanks Jeff
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:54 PM
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IF you take out the carpet and wash it with a rented steam cleaner or just out hanging on the fence spray with carpet cleaner and the rinse out and allow to dry. Just don't go crazy with pressure or brushing.
Carpet and underlayment along with the headlines hold most of the smells.
I too have found great luck using baking soda in a pie plate in the closed up vehicle to absorb smells. My dad bought a RED/RED 62 impala one time which I thought had gold anodizing on the aluminum inside trim -NOPE - residue from smoking... NICOTINE? took a long time to get the smell out... not to mention all the sticky goo off.
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:40 PM
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I bought a bare bones ozone generator a few years ago to get rid of a particularly funky smell in a used RV we bought. I've since used it for a variety of reasons, the latest being when some contractors working in the house decided to use my garage for their smoke break area.
The generators work by having air moving across the ozone generator plate. The bare bones models don't have a fan, , it's just a transformer with an ozone plate on top so I just place an air mover behind the plate and let it do it's thing. For the $50 I spent it was a pretty good bet.
Keep in mind I've heard it can accelerate the break down of certain plastics. You also cannot be in the space you are treating as the air becomes unbreathable.

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Old 10-28-2019, 01:34 AM
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Good to know. A friend of mine was over today and said they use the ozone generators in their airplanes to eliminate odors. Might spray the interior with an active neutralizer first and if needed, i'll try an ozone generator with a built in fan. Will report back once its done its thing. Thanks for the replies.
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