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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 01-05-2009, 07:43 PM   #1
gray325
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car smells like hot garbage...can't get rid of smell!

front passenger side carpeting stinks like a rotten, moldy sandwich (no idea why- carpeting got really wet from recent snow storm but it doesn't smell like mildew, it just smells like rotten food!)... Had the carpeting shampooed and then a few days later had the interior steam cleaned... still smells awful! just the passenger side carpeting (mostly front, smells a little in back but not sure if it's just wafting from the front).

I have two boxes of baking soda sitting on the carpeting itself and am going to vacuum it all up tomorrow... but if that doesn't work I need help with ideas of how to eliminate this odor.

I'm even considering replacing the carpeting completely- has anyone done this? (or have better ideas?)
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:44 PM   #2
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sounds like the episode of Seinfeld and his smelly 5 series
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gray325 View Post
front passenger side carpeting stinks like a rotten, moldy sandwich (no idea why- carpeting got really wet from recent snow storm but it doesn't smell like mildew, it just smells like rotten food!)... Had the carpeting shampooed and then a few days later had the interior steam cleaned... still smells awful! just the passenger side carpeting (mostly front, smells a little in back but not sure if it's just wafting from the front).

I have two boxes of baking soda sitting on the carpeting itself and am going to vacuum it all up tomorrow... but if that doesn't work I need help with ideas of how to eliminate this odor.

I'm even considering replacing the carpeting completely- has anyone done this? (or have better ideas?)
Dead body?

That sucks, pull the carpet up perhaps and check?
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:45 PM   #4
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:56 PM   #5
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:00 PM   #6
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:30 PM   #7
gray325
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sounds like the episode of Seinfeld and his smelly 5 series
That's exactly how I feel... i'm getting paranoid that I smell like rotten sandwich whenever I drive it now!!

anyone know where I can find replacement carpeting (curious to see what it will cost)... and also how hard is it to take up the carpeting...?
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:38 PM   #8
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You need to stop gettin' booty in that back seat. You should learn how to leave the windows down to let the stink out!
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:38 PM   #9
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Change your cabin filter?
The filter where your windshield meets your hood/dash?
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:53 PM   #10
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Lift up your carpet and clean up the pool of "hot garbage" from the floor pan. Might as well pressure wash you entire carpet too.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:02 PM   #11
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Remove the front seat since most of the smell is from that area. It comes out with just a few bolts and allows you to make sure you get this done once and for all. Do all of your cleaning stuff again but make sure that you get the carpet and pad as dry as possible.

Leave too much water in there and it will get nasty smelling again. Anybody that has accidentally left a load of washed clothes in the washing machine for a couple days knows what I mean. All that wet fabric without a way to effectively dry gets stanky no matter how clean it was when wet.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:04 PM   #12
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Remove the front seat since most of the smell is from that area. It comes out with just a few bolts and allows you to make sure you get this done once and for all. Do all of your cleaning stuff again but make sure that you get the carpet and pad as dry as possible.

Leave too much water in there and it will get nasty smelling again. Anybody that has accidentally left a load of washed clothes in the washing machine for a couple days knows what I mean. All that wet fabric without a way to effectively dry gets stanky no matter how clean it was when wet.
yea bacteria likes water
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:06 PM   #13
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:34 PM   #14
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Had a convertible once and left the top down overnight. Cat got and pissed on the passenger floorboard. Replaced the carpet. Nothing worked to effectively get the smell out. You will most likely have to do this, because now you are over-sensitive to the smell and it's gonna drive you crazy.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:44 PM   #15
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The smell should come out of the carpet, no need to buy a new one. Remove the passenger seat so you can really get at the carpet.

Mix OxyClean with a little dish detergent and a lot of water in a bucket. Use a scrub brush and scrub the **** out of that carpet. Then scrub with fresh water to get rid of any soapiness left in the carpet. The carpet should be pretty wet now. Lift up the carpet and clean underneath. Now blot the carpet and the floor underneath with lots of clean towels. Dry it with a hairdryer. That should do the trick.

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Old 01-06-2009, 12:48 AM   #16
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I had some weird fish smell in my carpets before and it went away over time and if its hot then just leave your windows open a little to air it out, it may take a week or so but it will eventually go away or you could just leave it outside in the sun. Thats what I did to my carpets in the summer.
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:24 AM   #17
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Had a convertible once and left the top down overnight. Cat got and pissed on the passenger floorboard. Replaced the carpet. Nothing worked to effectively get the smell out. You will most likely have to do this, because now you are over-sensitive to the smell and it's gonna drive you crazy.
you sure it was a cat and not some jealous yaris owner?
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:13 AM   #18
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Someone threw up in my car and that cleaned right up. It took all summer but the smell went away. I cleaned the hell out of it and she later rented a carpet shampooer and went to town on the carpet on the passenger side. Like I said, it took some time but it went away once it was cleaned thoroughly. Are you sure it's the carpet? You may want to thoroughly inspect the car and find the source of the smell before you start "fixing" what aint broke.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:08 PM   #19
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Change your cabin filter?
The filter where your windshield meets your hood/dash?
DIY in sig or gtfo

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean96gsr View Post
The smell should come out of the carpet, no need to buy a new one. Remove the passenger seat so you can really get at the carpet.

Mix OxyClean with a little dish detergent and a lot of water in a bucket. Use a scrub brush and scrub the **** out of that carpet. Then scrub with fresh water to get rid of any soapiness left in the carpet. The carpet should be pretty wet now. Lift up the carpet and clean underneath. Now blot the carpet and the floor underneath with lots of clean towels. Dry it with a hairdryer. That should do the trick.

<---- worked part time at a detail shop in college.
+1
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:27 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by sean96gsr View Post
The smell should come out of the carpet, no need to buy a new one. Remove the passenger seat so you can really get at the carpet.

Mix OxyClean with a little dish detergent and a lot of water in a bucket. Use a scrub brush and scrub the **** out of that carpet. Then scrub with fresh water to get rid of any soapiness left in the carpet. The carpet should be pretty wet now. Lift up the carpet and clean underneath. Now blot the carpet and the floor underneath with lots of clean towels. Dry it with a hairdryer. That should do the trick.

<---- worked part time at a detail shop in college.

+1 - should also check to see if the insulation in and around that area is affected as well - you can clean the carpet all you want, but if the insulation is nasty then you are still going to have the smell for quite a while ...
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