How can I eliminate the smell of spilled soup?
December 13, 2006 1:17 PM   Subscribe

I've spilled some chicken noodle soup in my car. I wiped up what I could with napkins, but some of it soaked down beneath the surface of the seat. I suspect my car will now smell like chicken broth. What can I do?
posted by ignignokt to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
get it steam cleaned. do you have a carpet cleaner? If not, go to a car wash - they usually have some there that you can use for mere dollars.
posted by Sassyfras at 1:32 PM on December 13, 2006

Febreeze it
posted by ZackTM at 1:33 PM on December 13, 2006

Saturate it with an enzymatic cleaner like Nature's Miracle. It will help kill off any bacteria that grows as a result of the chicken brothiness.

You can buy this at any pet store, it's usually sold to remove odors from pet accidents, but it works on any sort of biological yuckiness, soup included.
posted by tastybrains at 1:42 PM on December 13, 2006

Tastybrains is right, you don't have to worry about the chicken broth smell, it's the rotting chicken smell funkiness that will get to you. Use all the suggestions given above in combination to be sure of getting it out or killing it.
posted by voidcontext at 1:52 PM on December 13, 2006

I used to do this for a living. Here's what you'll need:

-2 drops dish soap
-1 cup hot tap water (not boiling!)
-1 scrub brush (an old tooth brush won't cut it)
-2 more cups warm water
-1 wet/dry vac (at the car wash)

Put your dish soap and hot water in a thermos and take it, your scrub brush and 5lbs (kidding!) of quarters to the car wash. You should have 2 more cups of fresh water left.

Shake up your thermos and pour some of that frothy soap water on the spill. There should be enough to make it look wet. Cover the whole spill plus a bit more. Don't be afraid to use the whole cup.

Scrub for 30 seconds or more. There should be a fine foam when it's ready.

Vacuum your foam slurry out. Rinse with clean water 2 more times, vacuuming in between and after till near dry.

Park the car in the sun with a window cracked, or run the heater for 30 minutes with the blower on high.
posted by kc0dxh at 1:57 PM on December 13, 2006

Get pet stain remover from a pet store (sometimes Wal-Mart has it). That stuff has saved my car many times.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 2:04 PM on December 13, 2006

Heed the old saying, "If life gives you lemons, make Lemsip." Spread the word in the nabe that you're now the proud owner of the Coldbuster. For a nominal fee, give healing rides to sniffly kids.
posted by rob511 at 2:11 PM on December 13, 2006 [1 favorite]

Seconding Nature's Miracle. That stuff gets out some awfully funky smells. It did wonders with vomit on a mattress, I bet it would help broth in a car seat.
posted by mostlymartha at 2:38 PM on December 13, 2006

Also, that oxyclean stuff and some water (or whatever it's called. white powder in a small plastic jar) works well for this type of stuff. Once you've done this, put a rag between your vacuum cleaner hose and the seat to suck up the moisture (warning: prolonged wet sucking will cause your bag to fall apart). I will now await the jokes.
posted by IronLizard at 5:43 PM on December 13, 2006

Ack, I see someone covered the vacuum bit better with the car wash vac. (bad lizard, bad. read first.)
posted by IronLizard at 5:44 PM on December 13, 2006

warning: prolonged wet sucking will cause your bag to fall apart

Oh God. Too many jokes. Can't... think... brain... melting...
posted by billybunny at 8:16 PM on December 13, 2006

warning: prolonged wet sucking will cause your bag to fall apart

[ insert juvenile giggling ]

thank you, lizard, you made my day. :-D
posted by tastybrains at 7:17 PM on December 14, 2006

Mod note: Final update from the OP:
I ended up doing absolutely nothing beyond the initial wipe up. It turned out that it didn't smell the next day. Seven years later, it still doesn't smell!
posted by taz (staff) at 5:00 AM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

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