How do I remove odors from new car floor mats?
By FPV from TX
By Deanj 06/26/2009
I would wash them with soap and a scrub brush then hang to dry.
You can try taking them out of the car then wiping them down with half vinegar/half water then leaving this on wet & repeating it again in 5 minutes, then hose them off. Believe it or not, vinegar removes odors... But, I think the only thing that will really work is airing them out & time. You might try removing the mats from the car then leaving them out in the sunshine & fresh air for a day or two (flipping them over throughout the day). The easiest thing to try would be to spray on Febreze, but I don't think it will work. I think the only thing that will work is fresh air & sunshine because it's the plastic/rubber/PVC (& maybe the formaldehyde) that's making them smell. SO it's basically the "fumes" from the plastic/rubber/PVC that's giving off the nasty smell. I think the only thing that will really work is fresh air, sunshine & time.
Except, if you or a friend have an ozone based air cleaner. Ozone always works to clean the air & surrounding area & upholstery.
I once bought some rubber mats from the dollar store. They worked fine, but I couldn't use them because they smelled so strongly of new tires! You know, that really strong smell of rubber. We figured that the mats were made of recycled tires & that's why they smelled so strongly of tires. The same thing happened when I bought a new pair of black rubber mud boots. (they also must have been made of recycled tires) I left them on a shelf in my craft room & they stunk up the whole room for weeks.
Also, I was told by an electrician that PVC can't be used indoors or in a garage because of the toxic fumes PVC gives out. You can only use PVC outside. Who knows what your car mats are made of?! But one thing's for sure, it's probably not a great thing for you to breath. You might try calling the car dealership & ask them if they know how to remove the mat's odor. You may end up hanging them up in your garage & using something else to protect the car's carpeting in the mean time (like that clear roll-out plastic made for high traffic areas. It's sold in rolls in Home Depot's carpeting area).
Just keep a spray bottle of vinegar or liquid Febreeze in your car and spray the mats every day for a few days. I always keep one or the other in my car and do it every now and then for musty odors or if I had a brain fluff moment and let someone smoke in my car. Works best if when you spray them you close up the car while it's sitting in the sun, of course, when you're not in it ;-)
When things have that strong plastic smell, they are giving off gases from the plastic. So it's best to leave those items outside & air them out until all the chemicals have settled down. That's why I like older things - no chemical gases!