Ford F-150/F-250: How to Eliminate Bad Odors

Bad interior odor could ruin the fun in driving your Ford F-150 or Super Duty. Here is how to eliminate any foul smell in your truck's interior.

By Carrie Franklin - December 2, 2014

This article applies to the Ford F-150, F-250, and F-350 Super Duty.

This simple guide will illustrate some tried and true methods of eliminating odors from your F-150, F-250, or F-350 Super Duty truck. If your truck has a foul odor, professional cleaning is not always necessary. The truck can be cleaned with a little effort and simple ingredients.

Unfortunately, odors are rarely eliminated by just one application of anything. Thus, even hiring a professional will require more than one visit. In the instance of urine for example, crystals are formed and are heat activated. So, when you encounter hot weather, or use the heater, the odor of urine is re-activated. The clean-up job requires some effort and long-term attention. The best advice is to get to it immediately, and then stage a secondary attack.

Materials Needed

  • Hand Broom or brush
  • White Vinegar
  • Clean Spray Bottle
  • Sponge or scouring pad
  • Clean rags
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum
  • Unused coffee grounds
  • Clean coffee filters

Step 1 - Get ready for cleaning

This is just preparation. Remove everything from the vehicle including: floor mats, seat covers, loose items, etc. The area should be void of every item so they are not contaminated from the cleaning process. Sweep and brush away as much dried dirt as possible.

Step 2 - Spray with vinegar in the spray bottle

Vinegar is a powerful odor remover, disinfectant, and deodorizer. Fill the spray bottle and really soak the entire area. Use the undiluted vinegar on everything: hard surfaces, floor mats, seats, etc. Let the vinegar sit for at least half an hour. The vinegar should effectively remove the actual substance from the truck, but now the focus will be on the stench itself. When the vinegar has dried completely, move on to Step 3.

Step 3 - Use baking soda

Baking Soda is key to neutralize not just the odor, but the vinegar smell, too. Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the entire area, and rub it in slightly. If the smell is particularly bad, the baking soda needs to remain there for a day or two. If this is not possible, then leave it as long as you can. Lastly, vacuum up the baking soda. Unfortunately, the vinegar and baking soda steps may have to be repeated up to three times for a serious stench.

Step 4 - Coffee grounds

If it is possible to keep the truck closed for at least two days, coffee grounds can be extremely helpful. Lingering smells can be eliminated further by placing filters with coffee over the area where the odor originated. Coffee has a pleasant smell and a strong disinfectant quality as well.

Pro Tip

Using a protectant, such as Scotchgard can be preventative maintenance against offensive odors.

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