If you open the door to your car and are greeted with a whiff of iron, or worse, rotten meat, you need to get the smell of blood out of your ride – pronto. The odor assaulting your nostrils comes from the iron content in the blood. If the blood is fresh, it will have a metallic quality to it. As it dries, the makeup of the smell changes takes on a musky quality.
Whether you had a mishap with grocery items or need to clean up after taking an injured friend to the hospital, the sooner you can deal with the situation, the better. The smell will only get worse the longer it is left, and this guide will help you get on top of the situation quickly.
The first step in dealing with blood smell in your car should be to inspect the inside of your vehicle thoroughly to locate the source of the stink. Check under floor mats, look under the seats, and anywhere else you suspect blood might have dripped onto the inside of the door, the upholstery, or the floor. If you spot any dark splatters, clean the surface and allow it to dry thoroughly. Once you are satisfied you have removed all traces of bodily fluid, you can turn your attention to getting rid of the smell itself.
A bacterial enzyme cleaner for pet odors will remove the smell of blood from the upholstery in your car. Check with your local pet supply store to find a heavy-duty one. Some of the products on the market can be used for deodorizing body bags, and this type will be able to handle the smell of blood in your car.
Be sure to use as directed and let the car air out well before you decide to drive it. The enzymes in the spray are designed to eat the odor-causing bacteria, but that doesn't mean you want to be inhaling it in a closed space.
This solution will work if you are planning to park your car for the night. Pour white vinegar into a dish and place it in the car. You can also soak a piece of white bread in vinegar and leave it in the vehicle for several hours. The vinegar will absorb the odor. Just throw out the dish of vinegar or the bread in the morning.
Baking soda is another great product for absorbing odors. If you decide to try the Baking Soda Solution, make sure the surface is dry first. Sprinkle it liberally in the area where you have noticed the smell and leave it for several hours before vacuuming it up.
Don't throw out the grounds after you brew your morning cup of java. Let them dry out to make an effective deodorizer. Place a bowl of grounds in your car to absorb the smell of the blood. You can even add a few drops of vanilla to give your car a fresher smell.
Activated charcoal will absorb the smell of blood and other odors. This product is available in bulk at hardware stores and online. Place the pellets in a bowl and leave them in the car to get the smell out.
The non-clumping type of cat litter has great odor-absorbing properties. Many brands are made from zeolite, a microporous mineral. You can pour some kitty litter into a bowl and leave it in the car overnight or make your own hanging deodorizer by pouring the litter into a stocking. (If you choose the latter solution, take it down before you hit the road.)
Dilute a few drops of Lemon Tea Tree oil in a spray bottle filled with water and apply the solution to the stinky areas. This essential oil is an effective deodorizer and can help to ease stress and anxiety. Anyone dealing with a car that smells like blood is going to be stressed out an anxious, so this is a good choice for dealing with both issues.
Photo credit: Patrick Slattery