The new car smell that comes with a brand new car is something that car enthusiasts dream of, every time you open the door and sit in the cockpit the glorious new car smell hits you and welcomes you to your seat and from that point on all you want to us drive!
Sadly, however as you get used to you new car and as the months pass by the beloved smell fades and fades by around 20% per week for most cars until all that remains is a slight scent you may be able to smell on a hot, sunny day but still only a footprint of what it used to be.
But what if this doesn’t have to be the end, what if there is a way to restore the smell and keep it there for good? Today I’ll be showing you how to make you car smell new again!
What Causes The Original New Car Smell?
As much as we all adore the smell of a new car, the truth is actually a little less attractive than one might have expected. What we call “the new car smell” is actually caused by a mix of 50 to 60 volatile organic compounds such as styrene, toluene and xylenes which is often present in leather seats and leather trim and the other sources can be found coming from the vinyls and plastics in your cockpit.
So the new car smell is actually the result of these chemicals off-gasing, how lovely!
For me personally it doesn’t matter what causes the new car smell so long as I can smell it, if you’re like me and are determined to revive the scent of a new car I’ll talk to you more about the steps which can help you achieve what you desire.
How To Bring Back The New Car Smell
The first part of restoring and maintaining the new car smell is preparing for a proper interior clean up, so now is the time that you need to get rid of any loose rubbish that may be lying on the floor in the rear or hiding in door pockets, wherever it may be you need to get rid of it because food wrappers and rubbish all carry a smell and the more rubbish you have lying around, the more smells are going to be masking the natural scent of you car.
Step One – Vacuuming
First of all, open every window in you car while we’re cleaning so the air has plenty of time to circulate and carry as much of the unwanted odours away with it as possible.
With all loose rubbish cleared out of you vehicle it’s time to thoroughly vacuum you interior, I start with my seats and just work downward from there, make sure you vacuum everywhere, that means car mats, carpets, in between the seats, glove box and anywhere else that dirt may be lurking.
Step Two – Wipe Down The Surfaces
Grab a clean microfibre cloth and a bucket of water and wipe down all the plastic and vinyl surfaces in you so that means you dashboard, doors, steering wheel, centre console and any other surfaces you may have in you vehicle, as your working you will see the water in the bucket turn from clear to black.
Your dash may already look clean but you can be surprised how much dirt can come from a clean looking dashboard.
Step Three – Properly Cleaning The Fabrics & Leather
The next thing we need to do is thoroughly clean our seats, car mats, carpets and leather trim. I have already prepared a full tutorial for each one on how to do this which you can read to give you all the steps and information you need to restore you fabrics and leather. You read the full tutorials by clicking on you type of car seats below.
Step Four – Use An Odour Eliminator / New Car Scent Air Freshener To Enhance The Smell
By now our car has been cleaned out of any dirt, rubbish, dust, coffee stains and crumbs it, our surfaces have been wiped down and our fabrics and leather are clean and smell fresh.
Now is the time for the icing on the cake, to top off all you hard work you need to spray some new car scented air freshener all around you car making sure there’s some on you carpets, mats and seats. My personal favourite that I use on every car I valet is Chemical Guys New Car Smell Air Freshener.
I also like to spray a small amount into the vents because once the warm air is blowing, the smell will be spread all around you car.
Step Five – Turn The Heat Up, Close The Windows & Walk Away
Now what you want to do is close up you windows and if possible (depending on the area you are in) leave the engine running and the heat turned up so the smell is carried all around you cockpit, come back and check it after 10 minutes and you should be welcomed by the new car smell.
Obviously the smell you get from a brand new car will be stronger than this but I’ve used this method on 15 year old cars and I still get people commenting things like “this car smells brand new” and that is definitely better than the alternatives such as buying a cheap, scented air freshener tree.
Additional Tricks You Can Try
- For cars with a strong smell of smoke, sprinkling some baking soda on the fabrics can help remove the smell of smoke.
- Vinegar is often mixed with water and sprayed onto seats and plastic to also remove smells to a great effect.
Maintaining The New Car Smell
Now that you have you car smelling the way you want it to be it would be great not to have to through all of that cleaning process every week. I recommend a full clean out at least once a month but to keep you car smelling fresh throughout the month you need to;
- Get rid of rubbish as soon as your finished with it, do not let it build up.
- Respray the air freshener once every 2/3 weeks.
- Keep a microfibre cloth in the glove box or trunk so you can wipe away spillages as they happen, there and then.
- Your Air Conditioning can become damp and moldy if not used often enough so whenever it gets hot and you need to use it, a foul smell comes with it so to avoid this I recommend using it for 5 or 10 minutes once a week.
What Products Work Best
For me, the air freshener needs to be Chemical Guys New Car Air Freshener, believe me I have tried so many different new car scented air fresheners and I use this over others for two main reasons;
- It delivers the scent that resembles the new car smell the most out of other similar products.
- The product is extremely concentrated so from the 16OZ bottle I usually get around 28 OZ of product.
If you are looking to switch you car air freshener I would highly recommend trying out a bottle of Chemical Guys New Car Scent and at £12.99 it’s not a bank killer either. If you want to check it out I’ll leave a link below for you to do that.
Hope I Helped!
I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading this tutorial and hopefully you now have the results you were looking for!
Be sure to leave a comment below if you have anymore questions or experiences you’d like to share with me and I’ll be sure to get back to you, I love hearing from you! That’s all for today,