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SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
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Experience:  Senior Information Specialist
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how do you remove rodent urine smell from a carType your question

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how do you remove rodent urine smell from a carType your question here...
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My name isXXXXX own an independently operated automotive detailing service that focuses on the high end market.

This is going to require a bit of time and effort, but the results will be great. Its important to note if you don't eliminate the source, you will not eliminate the smell. So its important to try to find the source and eliminate it.

You may need to do this progressively as well, if there is nesting and waste left inside the vehicle, you will need to clean this to eliminate the odors.

The very first thing you should do is vacuum everything, brush the carpets briskly and re-vac. If there is staining and smelling in the carpet, you should probably think about pulling the carpets and cleaning the sound deadening and padding, cleaning them with a detergent and allowing them to dry COMPLETELY is paramount to prevent the musty mold smell - the sun can help with this. If you have access to a little green cleaner from Bissel, this can help you shampoo the carpets, making sure you are extracting until you pull only clean water only out.

The next part is going to be any sort of disassembly you can handle. Obviously cleaning them at the source of smell is the key. If you can pull the vent covers or get into the ducting first with a vacuum first to eliminate the dry waste then with a steamer or system like DrivePur or another sanitization system is going to be needed to eliminate the odors and the source if there is no improvement.

After cleaning and trying to clean and sanitize the vents, using the DrivePur or whatever elimination treatment of choice, turn the HVAC onto recirculation and run the car for the recommended time for the system you choose.

Cleaning all the hard surfaces, leather, even the plastics and little cubbies is going to be needed because the smell is attracted and does settle into them. Clean the windows and really anything you can get to.

Replacing the cabin filter is also strongly recommended. For this you would need to go underhood, remove the lower windshield cowling trim and wiper arms and you will see the housing.

Obviously this can be quite the project to guarantee elimination but its much easier and nicer than driving around with the smell of animal waste.

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Obviously its a good idea to source rubber gloves, goggles and masks(personal protective equipment, just in case you need to disassemble to keep the dust and smell away from you is a good idea, especially because
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Hi Stephen, Mike again.Due to the labor intensity of cleaning the vehicle to rid it of the smells, you could start with the cleaning of the carpets using a product called Urine off. which is a great enzymatic cleaner alot of people use around the house to eat the source of the odor if it ends up actually being in the carpets and floors.

Start by vacuuming and brushing the dry soil, then treat and scrub, extract again using your extractor of choice making sure to suck up all the solution until only clean water is pulled from the extractor - this will ensure no re-soiling occurs from left over detergent or cleaner(which by nature attracts dirt)

Again though, you should do this in combination with seeking the source.