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Old 01-13-2013, 10:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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OT: Hey Nobby - My pilot carpet smells like wet dog

My wife took her car to the car wash because the car smelled like a dirty diaper was left in there, I mean really smelled like a turd. She asked the car wash guys to clean it out and even gave them a tip after the $30 cleaning where they didn't even vacuum up the Cheerios on the floor of the back seat. We rode in the car just a few miles last night and had to ride with the windows down in the 40 degree weather is was so cold. We were leaving the windows open in the car at night and it has been pretty foggy moist like 100% humidity here for a few days now.

The wife said she found a water dippy cup dripping onto a moldy cracker between the 2nd row seats, and was pretty confident mildew/mold was the culprit. But I know the mildew smell all too well from my bath towel after a few days and never thought mildew was the culprit. I noticed the smell changing a bit from the poop smell just into a wet dog smell. I cleaned the whole car and all the junk from the car is laying in the driveway right now.

In the end after all my vacuuming, sniffing and scratching, it seems like the worst odor comes from under the floormats on the floor of the third row, which distinctly smells like wet dog. The heat vents under the second row seats blows hot air on this moist carpet (now all moist from the dippy cup and wet weather).

So about two years ago now (I think) we bought this (at the time) four year old car that had two previous owners, but had meticulous Honda maintenance and less than 40k miles. But when we bought it I noticed incredible quantities of some slime or shampoo on the rubber undersides of the floormats. My wife says she remembers a slight odor when we test drove the car (prior to its detailing). I guess that detailing they did held up pretty well since we haven't had odor issues for the first two years, but I never got into a cleaning fit like this on the car, especially not in such wet weather.

So, I guess what I am asking of the best darned car forum in the world is: "what's the best way to remove wet dog odor from carpeting?"

- baking soda
- car carpet shampoo
- "get serious" pet odor remover
- some fabreeze product?

I just thought I would ask.

And as Nobby suggested, change the cabin filter often!




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Old 01-13-2013, 10:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The approach kind of depends on how long it has been.

Try a product called, "The bad air sponge," and leave it in there for however long it takes. I've gotten rid of minor mildew with it before. If it's really bad, you could look into renting an ozone generator.

Charcoal in a paper bag or cat litter may help. Baking soda can help too, but it can be pretty hard to completely get rid of.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention that I should probably make sure anything edible is non toxic since we have a 14 month old that will surely crawl around in the car and eat old Cheerios off the floor. I am not sure how non toxic kitty litter is. I guess it is probably fine as long as it hasn't been pooped in.


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Old 01-13-2013, 11:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Eh I guess I wouldn't risk it for the kid if you can't keep him or her away... probably some fine silicates or whatnot in kitty litter. It probably would'NT hurt the kiddo, but still, best not to risk it... Anyways, your first priority with the mildew should be to get the moisture out if there still is some.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Once you get everything clean and dry, do a search for 'ozone generator rental' in your area.




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Old 01-13-2013, 01:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Bi carb is good for bad smell.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Supposedly, the best thing for absorbing odors is activated charcoal. You can get it in quantity from aquarium supply stores, it's used in the water filters of freshwater aquariums. Back when I was actively playing with fish, it was very inexpensive.

It's non-toxic, in fact the poison control centers recommend giving it to patients in some situations (depending on the substance ingested). It may take a few replacements of the stuff, if what you've got in your car is particularly nasty, but it is safe and efective. But it may be a bit messy on exposure to small children, so watch for that.

You may want to hit the underlayment/padding with a strong bleach solution to kill off any small nasty critters first, but that may be difficult at this time of year if you don't have a place to dry the interior out after treatment. Just put a fan in there to blow fresh air through with the windows down, if you can.




Alternatively, there's always the "park it in a bad neighborhood for a couple days and collect the insurance" option, but that's sort of a last resort. Although there is a chance of it being returned with a full tank of gas and a sympathy card, if things are TOO bad.

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Old 01-13-2013, 04:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioTek View Post



ust as a warning to everyone out there: I've decided to say "F**k It". I've got too much shit going on, so I'm dealing with everything by letting my sense of humor totally off the leash. I'm starting my radiation treatments this week, and I have to deal with it all somehow. If things start getting too weird, say something, otherwise, enjoy the show. -S
Thanks for the heads up. I will remember to duck.
Good luck.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Are you certain this car wasn't serviced by the guy who took care of Seinfeld's BMW? I'm sure you recall the episode!
BTW, I vote for the activated charcoal..cheap, effective and non-toxic.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, I never left the house today to buy anything and Lysol and fabreeze seem to have given me a temporary solution. The section that smells bad is under the second row seats and covered by the rubber-backed carpet for the third row that is almost always folded down. I left the floormat carpets out in hopes of the section totally drying out with the floor heat through the winter. I will be prepared when the smell comes back. I am pretty sure it will. Lysol and fabreeze are nice, but I never think of them as long term solutions.

Oh. The rubber side of the floormats is now actually sticky, probably from whatever carpet shampoo eating into the rubber for the last two years. That whole set of floormats went to the basement for a while.




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