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My car smells bad - mice urine odor reeks - help!


krauseheim
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I have only myself to blame, but after four years in storage, my '53 Buick Super reeks of mouse pee. It's been a challenge finding all the nooks and crannies where these guys hung out, and I've taken apart everything I've dared to, shopvac'd, shampoo'd and sprayed/brushed with OdoBan (available at Sam's Club). The car still reeks. My next stunt will be an ozone generator. Other stunts I've heard of that are supposed to banish the odors include vinegar, Febreeze, charcoal and garlic...I haven't tried these, and don't want to until someone tells me they'll work. I suspect, however, that I haven't located all the "odor sources", i.e. dead mice and mouse nests. I pulled the back seat and seat back and back side panels off, and took care of the two vent inlets under the dash too, spraying every surface I can find with OdoBan. Where else should I be looking? The car smells, and when it's moving, it REALLY smells. Anyone know of the Grand Cure for getting rid of the smell? It stinks so bad I have to drive with my head hanging out the window like a hairy dog on a hot day. By the way, did I mention that my car smells?

Tom Heimerman

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My wife has the solution for you take a pot of Hot VINIGER and Cinimon (sp) and boil it them move it to the car close the doors and let it do it's trick.

If you see where the stainis just wash it first with viniger.

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Sorry - not much help in the cleaning department - but when you do get things taken care of you can use moth balls to prevent the little critters from returning. Just put an old sockfull inside your vehicle and it should do the trick laugh.gif Good luck and please share the solution that eventually does the job!

Thanx

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I tried pretty much all of the above to get rid of a musty odor that was caused by a broken a/c condensation drain in my wife's cars. All were partially effective, but there was really only one thing that finally worked.

[color:\\"blue\\"] FRESH AIR!

Expose the interior to the most moving air you possibly can. Taking the car on as many trips with the windows down as possible will be the best thing you can do.

And it's a heck of a lot more fun than scrubbing with cleansers! smile.gif

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After cleaning go to a leather shop and get as many bags of leather scraps as you can. You may want to cut them up in small pieces. Bag them in some kind of netting, close the windows and put them in the car. Every 2 to 3 weeks rearrange (stir) the leather scraps or replace with a new bag. It may take awhile but before too long your car will start smelling like and hopefully stay smelling like leather. Good luck!

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As I type this, a bowl of vinegar with cinammon is cooling off in my odiferously challenged Buick. Hey, I'll try anything. Something tells me, though, that it's gonna take a lot more than this. I'm sure I'll have to keep pulling apart the inside of my car in search of more Mouse Hotels.

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Breathe through your mouth.

A dead skunk in the trunk would only MASK the dead mouse smell, and only do it when the car is stopped or you're driving in reverse.

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Thanks, T&A, and everyone else too. I've got an ozone generator arriving next week (I'll also use it on musty old farmhouses, which I restore for a living), and will let you know if/when/what works. If nothing works, then that match and gasoline idea will start to make more sense...

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I would really like to know what eventualy works! I won't go there with the dead dear carcas that I was thinking of when my boys and I roared about the skunk idea!!! grin.gif

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OldCarNut was correct as far as the pet store remedies are concerned. Having pet dogs and cats all my life, the only thing I ever found that work on their 'accidents' was a product called "Simple Solution' made by a company called 'The Bramton Company' and available at most good pet stores. It even eliminated the odor in the plywood subfloor! It's worth a try.... smile.gif

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Reading all the posts generated by my original sad tale of mice and their byproducts, I've now got quite the mix of creatures and/or substances on my mind to keep me awake tonight, including but not limited to mice, mice pee, mice poop, mice nests, mice carcasses, vinegar, cinammon, apples, hunks of leather, charcoal, OdoBan, AtmosKlear, ozone gas generators, methane gas generators (human), skunks (living and/or dead), bleach, chlorine gas, a deer carcass possibly hanging from my radiator, pet store odor killers, spiders, garlic, moldy drippy air conditioners and gosh, the list goes on. When I hit on The Cure, I'll let everyone know.

Tom Heimerman

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Well, I consulted with the expert, <span style="font-weight: bold">my</span> girlfriend. She says the ozone generators will work just fine, shouldn't take long at all. She use to sell them and they were often used to remove the odiferous annoyances caused by all manner of creatures and beings no longer with us.

Rich

PS: You can keep the skunks, we have enough of them occuring naturally down here.

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My ozone machine should arrive next week... it's a big'un, one of those "shock treatment" kind that you plug in and run for cover. Someone told me not to overdo it, or it'll bleach/fade my car interior and make it rust faster. Well, if it gets rid of the stench, I'm all for it. Convey my thanks to your odor-expert girlfriend. You didn't mention where "down here" is that is home to skunks, but we've got 'em "up here" in Minnesota too. They seem to compete with the raccoons for most road kills.

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If it does do the job I for one would really like to know. I have a 17 year old who's bedroom hasn't been habitable (from his parent's perspective) in about 5 years. Thanx

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Bought a '21 Overland once. Previous owner took it apart to bebuild the engine in 1937, installed new pistons, gave up on the job, shoved the car in the barn but never reinstalled the sparkplugs....I removed the head and apparently a few hundred generations of mice lived, played, and peed (peeed?) in # 2 cylinder, eating a hole completely thru the aluminum piston...now if we could just bottle that stuff...

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Doe's she have her license? Our rule for ours is if she doesn't have the room clean and relatively scent free then she can't have the car for 'personal' trips. We didn't want to punish us, so she can still drive to school, and to work if the room is a mess, but nowhere else. She's figured out (took a couple of months) that we monitor the mileage on the car. Of course that still doesn't explain how we just "happen" to be where she is when she isn't where she should be. Some parental things just are not meant to be understood by the kids grin.gif

Rich

PS: Colleen says the ozone will definitely work, but do not overdo it, keep an eye on it, a car is not like a house it won't take nearly as long for the car. Also in the meantime if you can circulate air through the car to help it 'breathe' it might lessen the odor as well.

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You've probably already thought of this but have you checked the large vent tubes located on each side under the hood? Those are big enough for a colony of mice, one cat overstuffed with mice to the point of not being able to escape the tube, one small to medium sized dog with cat in it's sights or possibly all three. Shame on you for parking a nice Buick for 4 years anyway!

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Yep... I checked the two vent channels you mentioned, although the one on the right contains the heater fan; when I run the fan, no smell emits, so I think I'mj safe there. The left vent is indeed large enough to accomodate the various critter configurations you described. An earlier poster suggested that a dead skunk would get rid of mouse pee fragrance, and I'm thinking a skunk would fit easily in the left vent if I remove the grill. I'll let you know how that goes.

Yeah...four years. When I took it apart, I figured it would be four weeks.

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  • 13 years later...

So what happened Krauseheim ??? Were you able to get the smell out?? I'm having the same problem and I don't know what to do. I cant even breathe in my car its so bad. I know this post is really really old but I'm hoping a notification will return you to this site. 

Edited by Ms-Vai (see edit history)
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On 9/16/2002 at 7:46 PM, Guest said:

A dead skunk in the trunk will eliminate the mouse smell.

 

After reading this post I don't feel quite as bad as I first did when I thought to recommend some fly bait (which is the smell of a thousand rotting corpses).

I will say that one could always become a heavy smoker, but that would be equally callous.

So, I suggest repeated application of copious amounts of 'Smells Be Gone'.  It differs from other products in that it does not introduce another scent to mask the offending one.  Generally it works. Alas though, it's effects are temporary, just like any other product of its ilk. 

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Our elderly cat started refusing to use the litter box after we had her teeth cleaned. She started peeing on the bedroom rug. After we had her put down,I shampooed the rug four times. Still it reeked so bad I had to start sleeping on the couch. We tried all the pet store sprays but nothing worked. Finally, the vet suggested a product called "Urine Away" by Ceva Animal Health"

Their phone number is 1-800-999-0297 It worked miracles! Not perfumey, just a natural freshness.As far as my car, I use Bounce Dryer Sheets slid under the seats!

Edited by cutlasguy
misspelled (see edit history)
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My dad went TDY so we rented our house out for 3 years.  When we got back we found that the renters had let a cat pee over and over in one area of the living room.  We tore out the carpet and pad but it was soaked into the plywood subflooring.  We washed it again and again with everything we could think of - vinegar, pinesol, bleach, you name it.  Nothing worked.  Finally dad got a bottle of his Mennen deodorant and poured it all over and let it soak in.  It worked.  They don't seel that type deodorant any more.  It was a liquid in a squeeze bottle. 

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I'll try to stick to your actual question.  I have used coffee grounds to absorb odors in cars.  Also charcoal.  Although I have not tried on mouse urine (which I know can be incredibly strong especially if they hibernated there), both have been effective on other odors.  Of course, soap and water on the actual source, if you can find it, helps too.

 

Good luck!

 

Andrew

 

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  • 1 year later...

I suspect this thread is long dead ... but hopefully someone else adds to it.

My suggestions, only partially effective, are below.

 

My car (1941 Buick Roadmaster Touring Sedan) has this same problem. I was

able to get / reduce most of the smell. Then I goofed up this winter and failed to

properly protect against mice. Late in winter I finally figured out where they were 

coming in by placing traps at the two ends of the garage door and at all four wheels. 

They were entering by the edge of the garage door where a couple inches of weatherstripping

was missing. I put all my traps there and have since caught 3 mice. If I close that

opening they will just find another. I'm better off leaving it as is.

 

I put moth balls in the car, especially under the seats. It did not help. I put Walmart

dryer cloths in the seats and floor. It did not help. My only solution has to been to 

remove the seats and clean out all the cotton fill that is inside the springs.

(Does this stuff belong there or did the mice deposit it?)

I wear gloves and yank the stuff out and also use a vacuum cleaner. The fill is

sprinkled with mouse feces. I have even removed complete desiccated mice from the

spring cavities.

 

I don't know if that fill is supposed to be there but removing that and leaving the seats

in the sun does help. I also scrubbed under the seats with powdered cleaner (Ajax?).

 

Next stop will be new seats and more mouse traps. Some photos attached.

 

Rear seat cleaning station.JPGDown the mouse hole sm.JPGMice feces in springs sm.JPG

Edited by Roadmaster71
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Disturbing the dust and cotton can cause cognitive damage to your brain. After being exposed to the old seats do you find yourself looking at cars for sale and thinking about buying another one?

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