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


If you’ve ever spilled bleach in your car, you know the smell can be pretty potent. It can be tough to get rid of that smell, but don’t worry – I am here to help!

I spilled bleach in my trunk not so long ago and I know the perfect and cheapest way to remove the bleach smell of the car. Read on to find out more.

How to Get Bleach Smell Out of the Car

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

When you are dealing with a bleach smell in your car, you don’t want to mask it. Bleach is pretty strong and masking it will only work for a short period of time. After that, the bleach smell will take over again. Here is how to get the bleach smell out of your car:

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 are the one that spilled bleach in your vehicle, then you know where it was spilled. However, if you are not sure where the bleach was spilled, this is your first task. Open all doors and the trunk and try to find where the bleach smell is coming from. Usually, people carry bleach in the trunk so it is the best place to start.

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

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Bleach is a chlorine-based chemical and can be found in many household cleaning products. It is used for disinfecting surfaces and Whitening laundry. Although it is effective at these tasks, bleach can also be very dangerous if not used properly. Inhaling bleach can cause respiratory problems and skin contact can cause burns. This is why it is important to locate all of the places where bleach was spilled and clean them properly.

3. Vacuum the area where the bleach was spilled

How to Get Bleach Smell Out of the Car

Before we actually go and clean the bleach, first we need to clean the area where the bleach was spilled. This is mainly because we are going to rub in that area with some cleaning solution and a scrubbing brush. The last thing you want to rub is some dirt, dust, dog hair, or whatever could be found on that. So, grab a dog brush if you have dog hair in there, or a vacuum and clean the area nicely.

4. Mix the vinegar and baking soda

How to Get Bleach Smell Out of the Car

In a clean spray bottle, add one tablespoon of baking soda, then add one cup of water and one cup of vinegar. Make sure you add the ingredients in this order because baking soda and vinegar will cause a reaction and that’s why we need the water in between. Baking soda is great for cleaning any marks on fabrics and vinegar is great for removing odors from fabrics. Mixed together, baking soda and vinegar are great for removing the bleach smell in the car.

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

How to Get Bleach Smell Out of the Car

Now, if you spilled bleach in more than one place in the trunk or other location, make sure that you spray the whole area and not just the spots where bleach was spilled. Grab the spray bottle and spray the location. Do not worry about getting too much of the cleaning solution on there because I will tell you a trick to remove excess water from fabric in no time.

After you have sprayed the area where the bleach was spilled, let the solution work its thing for about five minutes, and then get onto scrubbing.

6. Get scrubbing

Get a nice and clean scrubbing brush and start scrubbing. The bristles from the scrubbing brush will really go in between the fibers of the fabric and will remove any bleach left there. If you feel like you haven’t sprayed enough of the baking soda and vinegar mixture, feel free to spray as needed.

Since you will be in close contact with the bleach, I would suggest you wear gloves or at least one glove on the hand that will be holding the scrubbing brush. Bleach is not good on the skin, so it is better to be safe than sorry.

7. Let it dry overnight

After you are done scrubbing, spray some more of the baking soda and vinegar mixture and let it dry overnight. Baking soda is good for removing bad odors because it is a natural absorbent. It absorbs moisture and odors from fabrics.

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a naturally occurring substance that can be used as a gentle abrasive and mild antacid. When baking soda comes into contact with an acidic substance, it neutralizes the acid and releases carbon dioxide gas.

Vinegar is also a natural absorbent and it is great to neutralize the smell of the bleach. However, the best thing about these two is that they are inexpensive and are not toxic.

8. Wipe the area with a microfiber towel

After you have left the fabric to dry overnight, the baking soda will leave white spots that need to be cleaned. Before you clean anything, try to smell and see if the bleach odor is still present. If for some reason you are still able to smell bleach, repeat the whole process.

However, if you are satisfied with the results, then it’s time to clean the white residue from the baking soda. Grab a vacuum cleaner or a clean microfiber towel and clean it. You might need to spray some water on the microfiber towel if that is the method you are going with. Do not worry about if the cleaning area is still wet because I am going to show you how to remove the excess water.

9. Pro tip for removing excess water

If you don’t have access to a hair dryer to completely dry the area that you were working on, don’t worry. All you need is a cup of rice. Rice helps to absorb moisture from the fabrics. It also absorbs odors from fabrics, making it great for this case.

Can Bleach Damage Your Car?

Yes, bleach can damage your car. If you spill bleach on your car, it can eat through the paint and cause rust. Bleach is also a corrosive substance, so it can damage the metal under your car’s paint. If you accidentally get bleach on your car, be sure to rinse it off immediately and dry the area to prevent rusting.

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

When bleach comes into contact with car paint, it can cause the paint to fade and become discolored. In some cases, it may even eat away at the paint and cause it to chip or peel. If you’re using bleach to clean your car, be sure to dilute it with water and avoid getting it on the paint. If you do get bleach on the paint, rinse it off immediately with plenty of water.

Car Care Hacks

Hi there. I am a certified Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) mechanic since 2018 and a car detailer for 10 years.

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