There’s just something special about getting behind the wheel of a brand-new car and taking in that clean, fresh leather and polish scent filled with endless possibilities. Unfortunately, that new car smell doesn’t stick around forever. No matter how hard you try to keep things tidy, your car eventually starts to smell like a mix of spilled coffee, takeout food, a wet dog that recently went for a swim, or, god forbid, baby diapers. When our cars start smelling funky, most of us turn to the usual fixes: air freshener sprays and those little pine trees for the rearview mirror. But it might be time to ditch the aerosol spray in favor of a natural, do-it-yourself solution to banish those unpleasant car odors.
To pull off this clever car hack, you’ll only need a messy car and a box of your favorite tea! We all know how tough it can be to eliminate certain smells in your car. If you have a furry friend in your life, you’re likely dealing with the scent of a wet pup. Parents and grandparents are no strangers to the lingering aroma of crushed snack crackers and forgotten soda cans hidden in the nooks and crannies. Even if none of these situations apply, your car might have picked up a lingering odor from food runs or trips to the dump. The go-to solution for most is slapping an air freshener somewhere inside and hoping the smell magically disappears. While this works well for a quick freshen-up, it doesn’t address the root cause of the issue. For a seriously stinky car, it’s just a temporary solution.
That’s where the magic of tea bags comes into play. Consider swapping out or supplementing traditional air fresheners with simple tea bags. This method is more effective at tackling deeper odors because tea bags are naturally absorbent, perfect for soaking up moisture from those smelly car corners. The dried leaves and bag are designed to draw in moisture, which can dehydrate and inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Plus, dry tea is highly aromatic, and as moisture from the car enters the leaves, they release more of their scent and essential oils, perfuming your car while eliminating the source of the odor.
Of course, for the tea bag method to work its magic, you’ll need to give your car a good cleaning first. The tea may be magical, but it’s not a freaking Genie. Search every nook and cranny for stray chips, MacDonald’s wrappers, and forgotten popsicle sticks, and have your car thoroughly detailed and vacuumed. This prevents bad odors from making a comeback due to hidden sources. Scatter tea bags throughout the front and back of your car, focusing on placing them under the seats, in the trunk, and even in cupholders and seat pockets. Fresh tea bags are likely more effective, and choosing a tea with a strong aroma, like Earl Grey, Chai, or assorted herbs, will help spread the pleasant scent throughout your vehicle.
If you’re more of a coffee guy or gal, you can sprinkle freshly ground beans all over the car. The effect will be pretty much the same. Have you ever tried these simple DIY solutions? Let us know how that went!