HALP! I spilled worcestershire sauce in my mum's new car!
March 24, 2013 3:50 PM   Subscribe

Had a bottle of the stuff tip over on the passenger seat, to the tune of about 2 tablespoons. Fabric seat, brand new car, she's coming home in June so I have a bit of time to get that new car smell back.

I blotted it with dry and moist towelettes that I had in the car. Sprinkled and vacuumed off baking soda to try and absorb the odour. Went at it with stain remover, not that you can really see the stain on dark fabric.

My main concern is getting rid of the smell. Any home remedies? I am happy to take it to a professional as a last resort. Is time of the essence? It happened last evening. It reeks, dudes!

posted by mooza to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
Folex is magical. I get mine at Home Depot.
posted by colin_l at 4:15 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thank you! However I regret to report that I am in Australia, and it doesn't seem to be available here.
posted by mooza at 4:17 PM on March 24, 2013

Ah, so sorry to hear that. If others don't have a better oz-friendly idea, I'd head down to my nearest DIY store and ask them. Probably anything that's good for general carpet cleaning and/or pet smells should do the trick.
posted by colin_l at 4:22 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Car Talk addressed stinky cars last week and this week (someone called about a rancid butter issue) -- last week wasn't that helpful but they list a few products/ideas that listeners had sent in this segment. I'm not sure if this clip is region constrained... if it is let me know and I'll transcribe.
posted by brainmouse at 4:25 PM on March 24, 2013

If the baking soda hasn't worked, I've heard good things about Bio Zapp Odour Stop, which I'm pretty sure you can buy at most hardware stores.
posted by Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo at 4:27 PM on March 24, 2013

For literally "new car small" there are fragrances that I've seen auto detail places offer.

This randomly googled product apparently includes "enzymes" which I suspect might be proteases that can degrade odiferous and/or odour-producing proteins and/or lysozyme that can kill bacteria without damaging fabrics.
posted by porpoise at 4:30 PM on March 24, 2013

The easiest way might just be to take it to a car detailer and get it detailed. They ought to be able to take care of it, especially if you mention it as something that needs to come out.
posted by zug at 4:45 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

If all else fails, replace the seat.

Try the wreckers, it might not be cheap (or even available, especially if the car is a newly released model), but if you are truly desperate, the last resort may come at a price :-(

Good luck!
posted by GeeEmm at 5:09 PM on March 24, 2013

my go-to for any sort of organic stain is hydrogen peroxide - just get a bottle and soak the stain well - it should foam up a bit. I imagine that the sauce must have really dripped through the fabric of the seat, so you may really need to drench the area with it *however* and this is important - do a test first on a part of the fabric in an out-of-the-way place that can't be seen, because there is a chance that it will change the colour.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 6:06 PM on March 24, 2013

YOU GUYS, I am NOT replacing the seat of a brand new car! I'm going to go for bi-carb soda once more, try this bio odour zap business, carpet cleaner, then get it detailed if all else fails. THANKS!!
posted by mooza at 7:18 PM on March 24, 2013

Worcestershire sauce has anchovies in it. You will want that smell gone for sure. But there is hope!

I once spilled the oil from a tin of smoked oysters on the beige carpet of my rented apartment, and the one thing that completely removed the (unspeakably disgusting) odour was Nature's Miracle. (If you don't want to order it online, the internets seem to indicate you can get it at pet shops or vet clinics in Australia.)

I will attest that it worked so well I was able to put my nose right to the carpet and not smell a thing.

Two tips with the Nature's Miracle: 1) The instructions say saturate the area and they are not kidding. They mean soak it. Do not be sparing with it. 2) You must let it dry completely before you'll see/smell the final results. For me this took a couple of days.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:59 AM on March 25, 2013

It may have soaked through the seat fabric and dripped onto the inner parts of the seat and maybe onto the carpet below. You can probably move the seat really far forward or back and use a flashlight to see the floor underneath, but you might want to take the seat out and turn it upside down to look underneath it and see if there is anything that needs to be cleaned from that angle. Bunus: you could apply the best cleaner from the underside and that might help.
posted by CathyG at 8:44 AM on March 25, 2013

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