Removing Rotten Food Odor from Truck?

I am embarrassed to admit this, but my truck smells like rotted food and wet dog (don't ask). I have bought air freshener after air freshener. I have vacuumed and thoroughly cleaned the truck, but the smell lingers. It's making me a little crazy because my truck is clean, but still smells dirty!


By Mary Steger

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July 23, 20120 found this helpful

Okay Mary. This is going to sound totally beyond belief, but if you are desperate it might be worth considering.

I honestly can't remember where we found this hint, but after one of our very ill, huge breed dogs (think huge breed "bladder") peed & soiled the carpet, interior and leather seats of our Jeep as we were transporting him to the vet hospital, someone suggested drenching the carpet with wintergreen scented rubbing alcohol. (I didn't even know such a product existed, but it can be found near the regular rubbing alcohol in our local Walmart.)


Not to worry. The dog survived the medical incident - thank goodness. Yet our main vehicle smelled worse than an uber ignored litter box in a house with many, many cats. Because our dog only peed mainly on the cargo area carpet with only random sprays of urine on the leather seats and cargo walls, we doused the carpet area with full strength wintergreen scented rubbing alcohol and used a water diluted mix to wipe down the rest of the interior.

Then, as per directions we read on the internet source of which I can not remember, we kept the windows open for 24 hours to air out and evaporate the rubbing alcohol. The Jeep smelled like Wintergreen Certs Candy Mints for a week or so, but the urine smell completely disappeared in less than 24 hours.

I suspect this has more to do with the mix of urine and rubbing alcohol than it does with dirty dog smell and spoiled food, but it did not hurt the carpet nor did the diluted solution we used to wipe down the seat backs or interior leave any lasting reminders and the awful order went away quickly.


Again, just something to consider if you can't get rotten food and dirty dog smells out of the vehicle. Use at your discretion, only (and follow a better suggestion if you can find such) but it just might help disperse the odors if you can't find a better solution. Gotta love the doggies - dirty smells and all! (Not gonna ask about the rotten food! hee hee!) Good Luck in cleaning your truck! :)

March 2, 20161 found this helpful

Alcohol kills bacteria, the smell is coming from bad bacteria if they are dead, the smell is gone.

September 9, 20190 found this helpful

We left our car closed up and went away and didnt realize there was bananas in the back. It REEKED. We just got in the car to make a 4 hour trip.


I found this post in pure desperation. Its been two minutes and 100% improvement. So thank you!!!

April 5, 20170 found this helpful

Borax and baking soda does wonders.. mix it well (i suggest a dry food sifter) sprinkle it as on the carpet, brush it in, leave it sit for an hour or so.. then vaccuume it out, shampoo if needed..

As for vinyl areas, i use a product called Simple Green, available on amazon, walmart (automotive department) car part stores, almost anywhere really.. it comes in a spray bottle or concentrate.. simply spray and whipe (some elbow grease helps)..

- Your neighborhood friendly detailer man


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