When a car smells musty it seems dirty, whether it is or not. The musty smell can be caused by a damaged or missing seal around windows or slow-drying moisture from a window inadvertently left down. In any case, it is an unpleasant odor that can be eliminated after the source is found and remedied. Forget about costly store-bought odor neutralizing products. Besides airing it out, try the following easy ways to get rid of a musty smell in a car. It will smell fresh and clean, whether it is or not!
It is a waste of time to attempt to get rid of a musty smell in a car if the source of the odor is not remedied. Take the time to find the source of the odor. Getting rid of the smell will be much easier and longer lasting then simply trying to cover it up or temporarily extract the bad odor. It is also necessary to thoroughly clean and dry the carpets and upholstery before attempting these methods to permanently get rid of the odor.
Try Ground Coffee
Ground coffee will magically get rid of almost any smell if the source has been removed, and it works great to get rid of a musty smell in a car. Truckers often use ground coffee to get rid of bad odors in their tractor-trailers. Anything that works to get rid of the bad smells they haul down the road in their massive trailers and oily smelling tractors will certainly work to get rid of a musty smell in a car.
Place deep open bowls of ground coffee on the floorboards, and keep the windows rolled up. Chances are the ground coffee will get rid of the musty scent overnight. If not, allow it to remain a day or two longer. The smell of freshly ground coffee is far better than a musty smell. Even still, the odor of ground coffee will eventually dissipate and take the odor of mildew with it.
Open Bowls of White Vinegar
Cheap white vinegar will also work to get rid of a musty smell in a car. Best of all, it will not leave behind a lingering odor like coffee. Place open containers of white vinegar on the floor of the car. Keep it in the car overnight or longer. More importantly, do not forget it is in the car and the open containers of liquid.
Place Wadded Newspapers Under the Seats
Something that can work long-term to get rid of a musty odor in a car is newspaper. Wad up sheets of newsprint, and place it beneath the seats of the car as well as on the floorboards. It will work to pull out the musty smell, and unlike coffee or vinegar, it will not create a mess.