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How to Remove Urine Odors from Car Upholstery

Submit an Entry: Your Laundry Questions and Answers

By Carol

My Laundry Question

How do I remove urine stains from a car seat, as well as the smell from the car?

Share a Little Background Info

Someone peed in the car seat. Have had the car professionally detailed, but the stain and smell remains.

Tried blotting the spots when it happened. Have aired the car out thoroughly. Really, any suggestions would be appreciated.

Lessons Learned

  • Do not let people pee in your car.
  • Professional cleaning does no good.

Fabric Content of Item (if appropriate)

Car upholstery - cloth

Mary Marlowe Leverette, About.com Laundry & Laundry Rooms, says:

Urine odor in non-washable fabrics can be very difficult to remove. Urine contains salts that attract and hold moisture more than other liquids. This is why the odor is stronger when humidity is present in the air. Unfortunately, once the urine salts penetrate the upholstery and get into the foam underneath, it is much harder to remove the odor.

Since your stain has already dried, you are going to need to wet it again with clear water in an attempt to draw out the odor causing salts. Wet the stain and use as many paper towels as needed to draw out the moisture. When that is done, sprinkle the area liberally with baking soda. Leave this to dry completely. Then vacuum away the powder. You may see more baking soda "rise to the surface" through the next few days as the area continues to dry. Vacuum again as often as needed.

You should also place a box of baking soda in the car to absorb odors. If you are concerned about spilling, put the baking soda in a tightly covered plastic container and punch holes in the top so odors can be absorbed.

Good luck!

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