Maintenance Tips, Tricks And Hacks For Your Vehicle

How to Get Bleach Smell Out of the Car: The Ultimate Guide




Have you ever accidentally spilled bleach in your car? You know the smell can be unbearably strong. But don’t fret – I’m here to help!

Not long ago, I accidentally spilled bleach in my trunk. To eliminate that unpleasant stench from my car, read on to discover how easy and affordable it can be to eliminate the bleach smell.

Key Takeaway

  • To get the bleach smell out of a car, use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda as a cleaning solution, spray it on the affected areas, and allow it to sit overnight to absorb and neutralize the odor.

What Neutralizes The Smell of Bleach?

  • White vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Baking soda
  • Activated charcoal
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fresh air and ventilation
  • Vanilla extract
  • Essential oils (like lavender, eucalyptus, or tea tree oil)

How to Get Bleach Smell Out of the Car

How to Get Bleach Smell Out of the Car: The Ultimate Guide
  • Locate where the bleach smell is coming from.
  • Vacuum the area where the bleach was spilled.
  • Mix one cup of water and one cup of vinegar with one tbsp of baking soda.
  • Add the solution to a spray bottle.
  • Spray the mixture onto the area where the bleach was spilled
  • Scrub the area with a brush
  • Let it dry overnight

When dealing with a bleach smell in your car, don’t try to mask it. Bleach is highly reactive and masking only masks the odor for a short period of time; after that, the smell will return again.

Here’s how to eliminate the bleach smell from your vehicle:

1. Required tools for the job

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Microfiber towel

2. Locate where the bleach smell is coming from

How to Get Bleach Smell Out of the Car

If you know who spilled bleach in your vehicle, then you already know where it was located. But if not sure, open all doors and the trunk to try to locate where the smell of bleach comes from; usually, people carry bleach in their trunks so this is usually where to begin your investigation.

Removing the bleach smell from your car is more important than you might think.

Bleach is a chlorine-based chemical commonly found in many household cleaning products. It’s used for disinfecting surfaces and Whitening laundry but can also have hazardous consequences if not handled correctly.

Inhaling bleach may lead to respiratory problems while skin contact could result in burns if there has been a spillage of bleach on clothing or surfaces; that is why it is essential to identify where it was spilled and clean up any affected areas promptly.

3. Vacuum the area where the bleach was spilled

How to Get Bleach Smell Out of the Car

Before we tackle cleaning the bleach, first let’s clear away any spilled bleach. Use some cleaning solution and a scrubbing brush to rub in some dirt, dust, dog hair, or whatever may have landed there.

Grab a dog brush if there’s fur in there or use your vacuum to thoroughly vacuum away all traces of soil and grime from this area.

4. Mix the vinegar and baking soda

How to Get Bleach Smell Out of the Car

Add one tablespoon of baking soda, followed by one cup of water and one cup of vinegar to a spray bottle. Be sure to mix these ingredients in this order since baking soda and vinegar can cause an allergic reaction if not combined properly; water helps buffer both substances for maximum efficacy.

Baking soda works great for cleaning marks on fabrics while vinegar eliminates odors from fabrics too – combined together they are great at eliminating bleach smells from cars!

5. Spray the mixture onto the area where the bleach was spilled

How to Get Bleach Smell Out of the Car

If you spilled bleach in more than one place on the trunk or other location, make sure you spray the entire area rather than just where it was spilled.

Grab your spray bottle and spray away; don’t worry about getting too much cleaning solution on there as I will share a quick trick for quickly eliminating excess water from the fabric.

After spraying the area where bleach was spilled, let it sit for around five minutes and then begin scrubbing.

6. Get scrubbing

Use a clean scrubbing brush and begin to scrub. The bristles from the brush will get in between fabric fibers and help remove any bleach residue left there. If you feel like you have not sprayed enough baking soda and vinegar mixture on, feel free to add more as needed.

Given that you will be working close to a bleach source, I strongly advise wearing gloves or at least one glove on each hand that holds the scrubbing brush. Bleach can be harsh on the skin so it’s better to be safe than sorry when handling bleach.

7. Let it dry overnight

Once you finish scrubbing, spray some more of the baking soda and vinegar mixture on surfaces and let air dry overnight. Baking soda works effectively for eliminating foul odors due to its natural absorbency; it absorbs moisture and unpleasant odors from fabrics.

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is an easily obtainable natural substance that can be used as both a gentle abrasive and mild antacid. When baking soda comes into contact with an acidic substance, it neutralizes it and releases carbon dioxide gas for release into the atmosphere says AutomPick.

Vinegar is another natural absorbent and it works great to mask the smell of bleach. What’s even better about these two is that they’re both inexpensive and nontoxic!

8. Wipe the area with a microfiber towel

Once the fabric has dried overnight, baking soda should have left white spots that need cleaning. Before beginning any cleaning, smell to see if there’s still a bleach odor present. If so, repeat this entire process again.

Once you are happy with the results, it’s time to clean away any white residue left by baking soda. Use either a vacuum cleaner or a microfiber towel and do an effective clean – even if some water needs to be sprayed on there first!

Don’t worry if the area still looks wet; I’ll show you how to remove excess moisture quickly and easily.

9. Pro tip for removing excess water

If you don’t have access to a hair dryer to completely dry the area you were working on, don’t fret. All that’s necessary is one cup of rice! Rice absorbs moisture from fabrics while also eliminating odors, making it perfect in this instance.

Dealing With Specific Areas in The Car

The bleach smell in the car can be removed using several methods, including the use of white vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and proper ventilation.

Removing Bleach Smell from Carpets

To remove the bleach smell from car carpets, a mixture of warm water and white vinegar can be used. Pour this solution over the affected area of the carpet and let it soak for some time. This process helps neutralize the smell of bleach. Alternatively, lemon juice could also be used in place of vinegar.

Getting Rid of Bleach Odor in the Trunk

For the trunk, similar methods can be applied. The use of white vinegar or lemon juice mixed with warm water can help neutralize the smell. Additionally, opening the trunk to let in fresh air and let odorous fumes escape can also help in eliminating the smell.

Eliminating Chlorine Smell from Car Seats

In the case of car seats, sprinkling baking soda over the seats can effectively absorb the chlorine smell. After allowing the baking soda to sit for a while, vacuum it up. It’s also recommended to leave the car windows open to allow for better ventilation and faster odor elimination.

Preventing and Dealing with Bleach Spills

Preventing and dealing with bleach spills involves taking proper safety measures, knowing how to handle and store bleach safely, understanding the steps to take when a spill occurs, and knowing how to remove the smell of spilled bleach.

1. Preventing and Dealing with Bleach Spills

Prevention and dealing with bleach spills involve wearing protective clothing, handling bleach with care, and having a response plan in place.

Protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, socks, and closed-toed shoes can protect the skin from spills. If a spill does occur, it should be cleaned up immediately with water to dilute the bleach.

2. How to Safely Handle and Store Bleach to Avoid Spills

Handling and storing bleach safely is crucial to avoid spills. This includes keeping bleach in its original container with the lid securely fastened, storing it upright in a cool and dry place away from children and pets, and never mixing it with other chemicals that could cause a reaction and potential spill.

3. Steps to Take When a Bleach Spill Occurs in the Car

When a bleach spill occurs in the car, immediate action is needed. First, ensure your safety by avoiding direct contact with the bleach. Then, blot the spill with a cloth or towel to absorb as much of the bleach as possible.

Next, rinse the area thoroughly with cold water to dilute and remove the bleach. Finally, allow the area to dry completely to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Removing the Smell of Spilled Bleach from the Car

To remove the smell of spilled bleach from the car, ventilation is key. Open all windows and doors to let fresh air circulate and dissipate the strong odor.

Additionally, using odor neutralizers such as baking soda, white vinegar or activated charcoal can help absorb and eliminate the bleach smell.

How Long Until Bleach Smell Goes Away?

The bleach smell typically dissipates on its own within 24 to 48 hours, depending on the amount spilled and the level of ventilation in the area.

While bleach is a powerful disinfectant and cleaner, it has a potent smell that can be bothersome. The rate at which this smell disappears can depend on several factors.

The more bleach used or spilled, the stronger the smell will be, and the longer it will take to fade. Ventilation plays a significant role in this process.

An area that is well-ventilated, with fresh air circulating, will see the bleach smell disappear faster than in a closed-off space.

If the smell lingers past 48 hours, it might be worthwhile to use some of the aforementioned odor-neutralizing substances such as vinegar, baking soda, or activated charcoal to help speed up the process.

Can Bleach Damage Your Car?

Yes, bleach can damage your car. If it gets on your vehicle, the bleach will eat through the paint and cause rust. Furthermore, bleach is corrosive so it may damage any metal underneath so be sure to rinse off any bleach immediately and dry the area to prevent rusting.

If you need to remove tough stains from your car’s paint, you may be tempted to reach for the bleach. But before you do, be mindful of how bleach reacts with car paint.

Bleach that comes into contact with car paint can fade and discolor it, in some cases eating away at it and leading to chipping or peeling. If using bleach for cleaning your vehicle, dilute it with water first to avoid getting it on the paint. If there is bleach left behind on your vehicle, be sure to immediately rinse it away using plenty of water.


Q: Can I use bleach to remove other odors from my car?

A: While bleach is effective at removing certain odors, it is not recommended to use it in your car. Bleach is a strong chemical and can cause damage to the interior surfaces of your car. Moreover, the smell of bleach itself can be quite overpowering.

Q: How long does it take for bleach smell to dissipate?

A: The time it takes for bleach smell to dissipate can vary depending on various factors such as the ventilation in your car and the amount of bleach used. Generally, it may take a few hours to a few days for the smell to subside. Using odor-absorbing methods can help speed up the process.

Q: Is it safe to drive my car with a bleach smell?

A: It is generally safe to drive your car with a bleach smell, as long as the odor is not too strong or causing any discomfort. However, it is advisable to address the smell as soon as possible, as prolonged exposure to the bleach odor can be unpleasant.

Q: Will airing out my car help remove the bleach smell?

A: Yes, airing out your car can help remove the bleach smell. Open all the windows and allow fresh air to circulate through the interior of the car. If possible, park your car in a well-ventilated area and let it sit for some time to facilitate the dissipation of the odor.

Q: Can I use air fresheners to mask the bleach smell?

A: Air fresheners can help mask the bleach smell temporarily, but they may not completely eliminate the odor. It is recommended to use odor-eliminating methods along with air fresheners for better results.

Q: What should I do if the bleach smell persists after trying various methods?

A: If the bleach smell persists even after trying various methods, it is advisable to seek professional help. A professional car detailer or cleaner may have specialized products and techniques to effectively eliminate the bleach smell from your car.

Q: Can I prevent bleach smell from getting into my car in the first place?

A: Yes, you can take certain precautions to prevent bleach smell from entering your car. When using bleach for cleaning purposes, make sure to keep the doors and windows of your car closed. If possible, park your car away from the area where bleach is being used to avoid exposure to the strong odor.

Q: Can I use natural remedies to remove the bleach smell from my car?

A: Yes, there are several natural remedies that can help remove the bleach smell from your car. Some options include using activated charcoal, coffee grounds, or lemon juice. These natural substances can absorb odors and help freshen up the air in your car.

Q: Is it necessary to clean the affected areas in my car to remove bleach smell?

A: Cleaning the affected areas in your car can help remove any residue or traces of bleach that may contribute to the lingering smell. Use a mild detergent or upholstery cleaner to clean the surfaces and then follow it with odor-eliminating methods to completely remove the bleach smell.

In Conclusion

To get the bleach smell out of the carpet, various methods can be employed.

One effective method involves using white vinegar or lemon juice, which not only helps to neutralize the bleach odor but also cleans the area.

Another strategy is to let fresh air in by opening a window, allowing the bleach fumes to escape.

Sprinkling baking soda over the affected area or using a good-smelling cleanser can also help mask the smell.

Lastly, using hot water with vinegar in a carpet cleaner’s tank can effectively eliminate the bleach smell after cleaning.



Vide Polowenski, Senior Mechanic

The information in this article is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest mechanic SOPs.

Please take the time to leave a comment if this article has helped you in any way, you need additional help, or you have a suggestion.

Latest Posts

  • Crankshaft Position Sensor Lifespan

    Crankshaft Position Sensor Lifespan

    Crankshaft Position Sensor (CPS), is a pivotal component in your vehicle’s engine. Often referred to as the engine’s heartbeat monitor, the CPS plays a crucial role in ensuring optimal engine performance and efficiency. In this blog post, we delve into the intricacies of the Crankshaft Position Sensor’s lifespan, exploring the factors that influence its durability…

    Read more

  • Crankshaft Position Sensor Fuse Location

    Crankshaft Position Sensor Fuse Location

    This tiny component plays a significant role in the smooth operation of your vehicle’s engine, influencing everything from ignition timing to fuel efficiency. In this post, we delve into the often-overlooked but crucial aspect of vehicle maintenance and repair – locating and understanding the crankshaft position sensor fuse. The crankshaft position sensor fuse in cars…

    Read more

  • How to Replace Your Crankshaft Position Sensor

    How to Replace Your Crankshaft Position Sensor

    Replacing a crankshaft position sensor might seem like a daunting task, reserved only for seasoned mechanics, but with the right guidance, it can be an achievable challenge for even the most novice of car enthusiasts. This crucial component, often hidden within the intricate labyrinth of your engine, plays a pivotal role in the smooth operation…

    Read more