Are you trying to get rid of your car’s foul smell, but you don’t know how? Do you keep asking yourself, why does your car smell like cat pee? Multiple factors could cause the smell, such as broken AC, mold or some bacteria in your AC, or even a street cat urinating in your car’s wheels. The last one happens a lot, and it is easier to observe it when it rains.
Luckily, the smell is relatively easy to eliminate. If there is mold in your AC, you should clean it, and since you are going to open it, take advantage to check if there is any broken part. However, if the problem is actual cat pee, the perfect solution is to clean your car.
With cats, accidents can happen. Yet, it is easy to notice when a cat pees in your car. Therefore, if you don’t have any cats, the problem is likely the presence of mold in your car, as many car users relate on several car forums, such as the Car Talk Community and the Cars subreddit.
Where Does the Cat Pee Smell Come From?
Cats’ urine odor is unpleasant and easy to spot. Yet, sometimes we don’t know where it comes from. The smell worsens if you don’t treat it, but it is hard to treat when you don’t know what is wrong, right? The truth is that not only a cat pee makes your car smell like that, but also mold, broken AC, or some lost item that has been rooting for a long time. Here are some potential sources of the foul smell in your car:
To confirm if the source of the smell is cats’ urine, you may need to stop and think a bit. Did a cat get into your car recently? Does your vehicle have open access to outside cats? If the answer is no for both questions, the problem is likely something else.
However, if you answer yes for any of the questions, you likely have cat urine in your car, probably on the seats or on the car floor mat.
Mold, Bacteria, or Mildew
Mold, bacteria, and mildew can be a little hard to spot since it is not always visible, and sometimes it is hidden by the car’s parts. Yet, you can spot it if you do some tricks. For example, if the smell doesn’t fade away when you open your car’s windows and vents, it is probably mold, a bacteria colony, or even mildew.
A broken car AC can be the source of the smell because it takes excess moisture out of the car while it is working. When that doesn’t happen, your car becomes the perfect place for mold to grow and some types of bacteria or mildew.
The problem can be as simple as an old item getting smelly because it is rooting. Sometimes, when it has been a long time since you washed your car, you may not know which items are inside the vehicle, especially if you had visitors. So one of the first things you should search for when locating the origin of the foul smell is a rooting item in your vehicle.
Unfortunately, rooting food may lead to mold, bacteria, and mildew, so it is vital to throw away this kind of food safely. It will protect your health since mold can also bring several health complications because of its toxic chemicals called mycotoxins.
How Can I Get Rid of Cat Urine Odor in Cars?
To get rid of the smell, you must first find out the origin of the problem, as mentioned above. Once you figure that out, there are some easy steps that you can follow to successfully get rid of the foul smell once and for all.
How Do I Get Rid of Cat Pee in My Car?
The easiest way to get rid of actual cat urine in your car is to wash it thoroughly. We recommend that you take the vehicle to an expert car wash since the urine may be deep in your car’s seat or floor mat, which makes it hard to clean it yourself.
Also, you can take this opportunity to clean everything inside your car, even the most challenging parts like the AC system. A vehicle needs to be clean not only for aesthetical and comfort-related reasons but also to work perfectly. Sometimes a car problem turns out to be only a lack of hygiene.
Keeping your car clean also saves a lot of money. While maintaining a clean vehicle might sound expensive, it will protect it from damage. For example, keeping your car battery clean avoids corrosion.
Read More: How to Clean Car Seats with Shop Vac
How Do I Get Rid of Mold in My Car?
Mold, bacteria, or mildew can be a little trickier to remove, and most will probably need professional help. The first thing is that you must locate the origin of the mold. Is it coming from the AC? Or from your seat?
If it is coming from the AC, you will have to clean it. Unclog the AC drain line by turning your car on and the AC for ten minutes or so. It is essential to keep the vehicle still during this period. After that, observe if water leaks out of the car to the ground. You will have to manually unclog it if there is no water leaking.
To unclog it manually, detach the drain line and insert a wire into the part. Be gentle, patient, and careful. Push and gently twist the wire slowly until successfully get rid of the clog. Then reattach the drain line and check if it is unclogged by repeating the first step. After that, clean your AC, and check for broken parts.
To save you the trouble of cleaning it, remember to always do your AC maintenance. If you are unsure, study a bit about how the AC works and how to care for it properly before cleaning it to ensure that you don’t accidentally mess with it. Fortunately, all the information you may need is only a few clicks away at this age. If you are unsure, you can contact a professional to help you out.
How Can I Prevent Mold From Growing in My Car?
An easy way to prevent mold is always to keep your car clean. Then, you must always check your car’s AC condition. Maintenance is essential to preserve your car’s value and quality, so don’t overlook it. Some of these daily life tips can keep off mold from developing in your car:
First, try not to park in a damp place, and avoid eating or drinking in your car. Besides helping to keep it clean, not eating in your car avoids food getting spilled and mold growing from it. Always shoot the door and roll up your windows when parking to avoid humidity.
Also Know: How Long Are Car Seats Good For?
A car smelling like a cat pee is uncomfortable, but luckily, this problem is usually easy to fix. You only need to see if the problem comes from a dirty car, a dirty AC system, or even from a broken AC system. Then, all you have to do is clean your vehicle, including your AC system. In most cases, this remedy should effectively solve your problem.
To avoid the smell coming back, always keep your car clean and always do maintenance. Don’t forget to keep your AC clean to prevent mold from developing. You can use a drop or two of scented oil to keep your car smelling fresh and pleasant. Scented dryer sheets are also an excellent option to keep the vehicle smelling fresh for a more extended period.