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My Car Smells Like Nothing


It’s confession time.

My car stinks. I mean, it’s a great car, and I love it, but it smells.

The smell is partly due to my kids Grace treating the back seat like her personal locker/trashcan/junk drawer (smelly shoes, sweaty clothes, used napkins, toys, books, you name it) and partly due to the humidity of summer and I don’t know what else.

It might also have something to do with my forgetting a wet diaper or a stale drink now and then.

In addition, we live in a ruralish area in Pennsylvania. There are a lot of farms, and (if you don’t already know this) farms sometimes smell like manure. And Pennsylvania is pretty much one big road construction zone in the spring, summer, and winter.

In short, I was not surprised to learn that the air inside my car is probably six times dirtier than the air outside.

Six times?!

No wonder it stinks.

About two weeks ago, Joe installed a FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filter in my car. The installation process took about ten minutes, and he said it was pretty easy. Neither of us realized that my car already had a cabin air filter, nor that it should have been changed (um, ever). The old filter was gunky and disgusting.

The next day, I didn’t think about the filter.

The second day, I drove through a construction zone with dust all over the place and didn’t notice.

A few days later, I realized the car didn’t smell like anything at all. Nothing! No funk, no stale manure, no stinky anything.

Every time I open the door, I marvel at the lack of smell. It’s a beautiful thing.

Just to be clear, the FRAM Fresh Breeze filter doesn’t perfume the car or remove my kids’ funky stuff, but it does filter out 98% of dust, dirt, and allergens that enter through the ventilation system. It also uses Arm & Hammer® baking soda to remove odors. Thus, my car smells like nothing, and I love it.

To get a $3 off rebate for your own FRAM® filter, visit They are available at, Walmart, O’Reilly Auto Parts, or Meijer.

To learn more, follow FRAM Fresh Breeze on Facebook and Twitter.

Enter to win a $100 gift card!

BlogHer and FRAM are offering a $100 gift card to one lucky Feels Like Home reader.To be entered for a chance to win, answer the following question in a comment: What are your favorite simple tricks to keeping the air in your home and car healthy, clean, and fresh?


No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

“b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “”#SweepstakesEntry””; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post”

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d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 7/1/2013 – 7/31/2013

Be sure to visit the FRAM brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

© 2013 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

151 thoughts on “My Car Smells Like Nothing”

  1. I have a dyson vacuum that does a good job, when I run it regularly, of keeping the dust down, but about 6 months ago, I also bought our first ever air purifier. I can tell as soon as we turn it off. The air in the house is completely different. For my car, I do change my cabin filter. I can always tell when it needs changed because I start smelling dust & dirt when I turn on the heat and air conditioning.

  2. I open the windows as much as possible to let fresh air in and I try to use natural cleaning products to keep the air my family breathes healthy and fresh.

  3. We have several allergy/asthma sufferers so opening windows very often is not an option. Too much pollen int the air usually. So we use as Air Purifier in the house. We keep an air freshener in the car to keep odors down.

  4. I keep small trash bags in the car for clean ups with kids garbage,extra food etc,an I make them take it out when we get home,,it helps the smell a lot ,,unless they hide food,which has happened,but then THEY get to clean it up

  5. I dust weekly I also deep clean my car out every 2 weeks. we change are filters in our home and we use air purifiers

  6. Hardwood floors seem to help. Before we tore up the carpets, they trapped and held onto odors and dust, etc.

    I also use air fresheners here and there to help mask the odors. But I hear ya about rural Pennsylvania. Leave the windows to the house open when the wind is blowing just right…you need a whole lot of air fresheners to get that smell out of the house!

  7. I love to air out my house whenever possible. We have a screen door to filter out bugs, and fortunately, the air surrounding our home smells fresh. I love riding in the car with the windows down and the sun roof open. Those things seem to help air out the “kid smells” of the car!

  8. I didn’t even know my car had an air filter. I keep my house and car smelling good by using air freshners and opening the windows when the weather is nice.

  9. Open windows, don’t smoke inside, dust with vinegar solution, and maybe use febreze.
    junerlisle at gmail dot com

  10. I try to keep both my car and home clean and humid free and smelling fresh, I spray air fresheners and lit up candles. I also turn on the air purifiers sometimes.

  11. I mix lemon juice and water in the spray bottle and spray around our home and car once a week to help.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  12. Wet wipes to clean the dash and surfaces in the car often. So you don’t blow dust around when you decide to use AC

  13. We always have the windows open when the weather is pleasant to let the fresh air inside.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  14. I wouldn’t call myself exactly on top of the clean air thing. I change the air conditioner filter when I think of it; not often enough I am sure.

  15. We recently had our home’s air ducts cleaned. Now THAT was gross–seeing what came out. And this filter in the car? Who knew there even was one?

  16. I try to keep the air fresh by keeping it circulating Open windows to let in an outside breeze. Use fans to spread that breeze around, pushing new air in and old air out

  17. I keep my windows(with screens) open often to naturally air out my house. Nothing replaces fresh air. I also have my car cleaned out and detailed once a year, vents and all!

  18. How nice you’ve got a little helper to wash your car! Priceless. My favorite simple tricks to keeping the air in my home healthy, clean, and fresh is vacuum often. FOr the car, I think I need to get the FRAM for help. I don’t like the air on the road at all and I think it’s nice to have FRAM in my car. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  19. In the house, we change the air filters regularly. In the car, we try to clean it out often and not let trash accumulate. Fast food trash can really make your car smell funky!

  20. Do extra cleaning – treat the problem, not the symptom. You don’t need lots of aromas if you’ve removed the source of the odor.

  21. I like to wipe down and vacuum my car as much as I can. With the house, I vacuum, spray Lysol and dust quite often.

  22. I’ve never tried it in a car (here in Florida they would fry) but I have loads of plants in the house, naturally keeping the air fresh.

  23. PLANTS!!! NASA did a study and found that pathos, one of the easiest plants to grow (there is a full list of all the plants online but this is my fav), is one of the TOP VOC absorbing plants you can have! 1 6inch potted plant per 100 square feet (10×10 room) will keep your air nice and clean. My bedroom alone has 9. LOL For your car, I recommend investing in a high quality air filter for sure.

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