Removing Urine Odor From Your Car Inexpensively

by Reader Contributors

Removing Urine Odor from Car photo

If someone has an ‘accident’ in your car, these tips and home remedies from our frugal readers can help get out the urine smell.

Dear Dollar Stretcher,
I have a one-year-old car that I saved up for and love. Recently, I was driving an elderly church member and his wife to his doctor’s appointment when he began getting very agitated. After I got the gentlemen situated with the doctor, I went to the car and discovered it smelled of urine. The poor man had lost control of his bladder. It seems like he got the floor carpet only and missed the seat cushions. Now, my car smells. Is there an inexpensive home remedy for odor removal? I don’t want to pay for a professional cleaning.


Does Removing Urine Odor from Your Car Seem Like an Impossible Task?

Urine can be a tough odor to remove so we asked our frugal savvy readers for their suggestions. Here are the best tips and remedies they submitted to us:

Simple Odor Removal

I potty trained three children at once, so you can imagine the number of “accidents” that there were. I found it best to create a baking soda and water paste. Rub it into the area and apply distilled white vinegar over it. Blot this up with clean white towels, and repeat it no more than two times. Follow that with a good rinsing of water, blotting up the moisture. It will smell like vinegar for a short time, but the urine smell should not come back.

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Wintergreen Removes Urine Odor

Get a bottle of wintergreen scented rubbing alcohol from a dollar store. Just splash it on the stained area. You can be pretty heavy-handed if you want. It dries fast and doesn’t have to be rinsed. The smell of the wintergreen disappears in a few days. I use this for cat urine as well. It’s the cheapest and most effective fix!

Miracle Odor Removal

I recommend Nature’s Miracle Stain and Odor Remover, which is designed to take pet urine smells out of carpeting. It works very well for home carpeting and I would expect that it would work for human urine, as well. She can get it at either a pet shop or her grocery store. Just follow the label directions.

Vinegar is an Inexpensive Option to Try

I found that vinegar works extremely well for banishing odors. I wash stale-smelling towels with vinegar and they smell super-fresh after laundering. Just pour two cups or so into the laundry rinse cycle. I wonder if steam cleaning with vinegar will work for your upholstery? It’s worth a try and not very expensive.
Elaine in Ontario

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Mom’s Urine Odor Remover

The best thing that I have found is KIDS ‘N’ PETS! We have three boys and one inside dog. It worked wonders inside the home and in our Suburban. I get mine at WalMart by the Resolve carpet cleaner.

Remove Odor With Baking Soda

My husband found a way to get rid of urine odors in carpet. First, he sprinkled baking soda on the affected area and left it to absorb overnight. The next day, he vacuumed up the first batch of soda, poured another dry batch on the carpet, and using a wet cloth, rubbed the creamy wet mixture into the area. Then, he rinsed the mixture with clean water. He vacuumed well when it was dry. My own nose could no longer detect the smell, but more importantly, my cats did not. Before doing this, they were always visiting the smell, regardless of what we had used to attempt to clean it. They rolled in it, which concerned me. I thought that they might eventually add their own, but they did not!

Natural Enzymes and Urine Odor

Go get the pet urine cleaner that has the natural enzymes in it. The enzymes eat the stuff in the urine that makes it smell. And you may want to “invest” in a seatcover!

Try Hydrogen Peroxide

You might want to try hydrogen peroxide. I used it on my carpet for odor removal (my cat kept missing his litter box) and it removed the smell. It didn’t remove any color, but you may want to test a small spot first to make sure it doesn’t remove color. Pour it on and let it dry. If you have a home carpet cleaner, you can pour it on, let it sit for awhile, and then pull up with the cleaner.

Listerine for Urine Odor Removal

Listerine mouth wash will remove urine odors. Dilute with two parts water and spray or pour it on the problem area and let it sit for several hours. If you can leave the windows open during this time, it would be best. Then place a stack of newspaper on top to soak up the excess liquid. Vacuum when you remove the newspapers. The Listerine smell will be gone within a couple of days.

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Old Remedies for Removing Urine Odors Inexpensively

My mother is a nurse and knows many of the old remedies for cleaning up accidents of all kinds. When I had my children and one of them wet the bed and it went through to the mattress, she told me to sprinkle corn starch on the area and spray it with water to just dampen it. It is unbelievable how well this removes the urine odor and there is no lingering smell.

Reviewed August 2020

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