Severe Odor Elimination Treatment for Cars

At San Diego Select Detailing, we have extensive experience in removing severe odors from all types of vehicles. As you can imagine, this is one of the most common calls we get, so we have the procedure of removing foul odors from your vehicle down to a science. Get your car back to smelling clean, fresh, and NEUTRAL - after trying our odor elimination treatment. We don't cover your car in stinky perfume to cover up the smell, we deep clean your vehicle and kill the source of the smell at its source. For all odor elimination services we recommend that you also have your in-cabin air filter replaced to ensure the success of your detail. We have this service done at Top Care Auto Center in Pacific Beach.

What type of smells can be removed?


This is the most common case for odor elimination services, and has an added layer of complication. We are experienced in removing musty mildew smell from your vehicle. However, in order to ensure the smell doesn't return, its is critical that the car is completely dried out by the time we start the detail. Please give us a call if you need help with a game plan for getting your car 100% dry. If there is any significant mold accumulated in the vehicle there may be increased prices or may need to refuse work for the safety of our technicians. Please give us a call to talk through any mold scenarios.


Believe it or not, odor remediation treatment for cigarette smell is one of the most common issues we deal with, and it is also one of the most treatable. If the odor is severe enough, it is essential that you have the in cabin air filter removed before or after the cleaning service. If you don't want to do it yourself - we use Top Care Auto Center in Pacific Beach.


If you or the previous owner has taken dogs around in the car on a regular basis, the smell is probably very noticable. We can help with an odor elimination service for your car to remove the lingering pet smell. This is also a service that has a high success rate of being resolved on the first try. Refresh your car's interior with our odor elimination service designed to remove the smell of your dogs or cats.


Our odor elimination treatment can help for removing foul odors caused by food or drink spills. These spills can fester and cause bacterial growth that leads to a strong odor in the car. We are able to solve this problem through our advanced methods for removing odors deep set into vehicles upholstery. We can kill the smell at its source and restore a fresh neutral smell to your vehicle.

Vomit & Biowaste

We are equipped to deal with the aftermath of accidents such as urine, vomit, or other messes caused by humans or pets. We typically focus on the removal of lingering odors caused from these types of messes. Bio waste odors can be some of the toughest to remove and requires skilled and professional auto detailers to remove them. Please call to discuss jobs of this nature.

What will my car smell like after?

We don't mask odors with strong perfume - in fact we don't use any perfume to mask smells at all. We deep clean vehicles and crush all odors at the source. When we are finished removing the odors from your vehicle, its should smell like....... nothing. That's right, our goal is to leave your car with a completely neutral smell, like there was never an odor there at all. The most severe cases may require one follow up session to completely remove all odor.

Whats the Process?

We have various tactics, chemicals, and methods designed specifically to help remove any bad odor from your vehicle. We have state of the art process for car odor elimination. We approach the toughest car odors with the 5 steps as follows:

  1. All odor elimination treatments start with a complete interior detail
  2. Shampoo and extraction treatment on seats and upholstery of affected area
  3. Odor specific chemical treatment for smoke/animal smell/mildew
  4. Bio-Enzyme treatment of affected areas
  5. Ozone Odor Elimination treatment
Ozone Machine for Odor Elmination

Are there Any Smells that can't be removed?

99% of severe odors can be removed using the process stated above. The only situations that may not be able to be solved through this process is vehicles that have severe water damage and aren't completely dry prior to the service. Read this article on how to properly dry out your car, if you are a DIY person. In the most extreme odor cases, a follow up appointment may be required to remove the remaining smell.

Kill the odor at the source!

Other Services

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The trained professionals at San Diego Select Detailing are equipped to take on the most intricate details for your vintage and classic cars

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Specialized detailing services for high end exotic sports cars that require an elevated experience.

Verified Google Reviews

EXCELLENT SERVICE! Will at San Diego Select Detailing did a full service on my Chevy truck and everything came out awesome! Exterior, Wheels, Interior seat shampoo, dashboard, lights, etc! Amazing service and super cool guy! Would recommend his services to everyone!

Nick Powell

Link to Google Review ↗
These guys brought my Range Rover back to life.  Scratches i didnt think would come out.  Looks great.  Lots of people do 'mobile detailing' which is a glorified car wash.  These guys are on their game w paint correction and scratch removal which is what i needed.  Will definitely use them again.

vito arminio

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Wow, just wow! I brought my 2008 Ford Escape to Will for an auto detailing, cleaning and full exterior shine and wax and let me tell you my Ford needed some serious TLC. I left the Escape in Will hands and didn't really have any expectation on how well it was going to turn out. Much to my surprise my car looks better than ever! Actually it looks brand new. The interior is back to when I first bought it. It smells fresh and clean and the seats look like they were just taken from the factory. The seats no longer have blemishes or stains, all the dirt and grit is gone from all the nooks and crannies that have built up over time! The outside of the car shines bright! I can't thank Will enough for the tremendous job he did! My warhorse of a vehicle is ready for battle again! Thank you, Will. I'm thrilled about the job you did and would recommend your services to anyone looking to bring life back into their vehicle inside and out! Cheers, keep up the great work!

David Goshgarian

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Will did an amazing job detailing my car! He meticulously cleaned it inside and out and made it look brand new. He even went above and beyond with cleaning the interior and coating the exterior with a protective sealant. I appreciate him being flexible and professional. This is the best car detail company I’ve dealt with. I highly recommend them!

Phillip Walters

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I’ve used San Diego Select Car Detailing for the second time, and their service continues to amaze me. They are convenient and flexible in scheduling which I need. They have everything they need, making the process smooth and hassle-free. The work they do is exceptional; my car came out looking showroom-new. Their Full Detail service is a testament to their commitment to quality, with every inch of my car meticulously cleaned and polished.The team’s professionalism and attention to detail really stand out. They treat your car with great care, ensuring the best possible cleaning and protection. It’s clear they take pride in their work, which is reflected in the fantastic results. For anyone in San Diego looking for top-notch car detailing, San Diego Select Car Detailing is my go-to recommendation. The quality of their service has consistently left my car looking its best.

Jonathan Marden

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Great guys to work with. Got an interior detail and headlight restoration with them first. The results were phenomenal and there are now my go to people for detailing. Just recently got a paint correction due to discoloration on my hood and a fair amount of scratches. I was amazed with how glossy the paint looked. The discoloration is completely gone and the paint seems fully restored. Would recommend them to anyone.

Kobuk Van Houten

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So stoked to write this review for Will and San Diego Select Detailing! I originally inquired about their Paint Correction service through their website and received a text later the same day with their availability and pricing. Will answered all of my questions and was awesome when it came to coordinating a work space. Before getting started, Will and I walked around the car together and talked about my specific needs and wants. He clearly strives to provide a customized, ultra-professional experience for each of his customers and was great at setting expectations and explaining his process. My car looks incredible and I am so impressed with his artisan-like care and attention to detail. My wife and I couldn’t believe how great the paint looked after a Paint Correction service with Will. Will is very personable, extremely detail oriented and passionate about his work. I would HIGHLY recommend him to anyone looking for a quality Paint Correction or auto detailing service!

Kevin Craig

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I’ve been using San Diego Select Detailing for a few years now simply because they are AMAZING! My truck looks good as new after every visit.I’m a professional dog trainer, so you can imagine how much dog hair gets accumulated after a while. And of course there will be the occasional potty accident.San Diego Select Detail will not only wash my seats, but they use a treatment to disinfect and get the smell out.There’s no other detail company I can trust to give me the exceptional service I get with San Diego Select.

Carolina Don

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should I Detail My Car?

Perfection & Protection.

Frustrated with everything that the car wash leaves behind?
Does your paint not shine like it used to?
In love with your car and want to preserve your investment for the long term?

That is why we are here. Not only do we leave you with flawless results, but we make sure that your paint, leather, and other materials are protected for years to come. We will treat your car (and you) like one of our own.

Do I need a "Shampoo Treatment"?

The shampoo and hot water extraction is the best possible care for your FABRIC seats.

We will bathe your seats in thick foam shampoo, agitate it with a fabric brush attachment on a drill, and then extract all the grime, dirt, stains and contaminant from the seats with hot water at 210ºF.If your seats need a refresh, this is as good as it gets. Because the service takes 45 minutes on average, and only a small percent of vehicles need it we charge extra for it. Don't worry - its only $50 extra. Totally worth it.

Will My Scratch "Buff Out"?

Do you have any little scrapes and scratches that bother you?

We can handle it.. to an extent. We are polishing experts - so if the scratch isn't too deep, we can get it out. Ever heard of "The Fingernail Test", this is a great way to know if your scratches are fixable. If you feel the scratch will your fingernail and you can feel a groove in the paint, it it probably a little bit too deep ~in the sections where the groove is~

What is a "Clay Bar"?

A clay bar is exactly what it sounds like, a little ball of malleable puddy.

This is used in the decontamination phase of the detail to prepare your paint for protection.

Every exterior detail has 3 phases: 1. Wash 2. Decontaminate 3. Protect.The decontamination stage is responsible for removing from the paint everything that doesn't come off from the wash.

Remember when you bought your car and the paint was smooth to the touch? That is the goal of this stage. Remove all the crusty junk that is stuck to you paint. This way, when we apply sealant (protection) to your paint it will adhere to the paint itself, rather than the junk sitting on the surface. This will give the sealant its longest possible useful life.

Why "Wax" My Car?

For the same reason that you get an oil change. Engines are expensive to replace (8-15K) so we take good care of them. So is your paint - the average paint job costing around $5,000. If you don't protect your paint with some type of ceramic, wax, or sealant, your paint WILL fail.

In San Diego, our biggest enemy is the sun, or the salt if you live near the beach. Next time you are in a big parking lot, look around at the hoods of the vehicles. You will notice around 1/6 vehicles have completely delaminated clear coat.

That means the paint looks like dead skin on the surface and you could peel it off with you fingers. Not pretty. There is a simple solution to ensure your vehicle never ends up like this. Exterior Detailing. Bonus points for a ceramic coating with is the best protection possible.

Difference Between "MINI DETAIL" and "FULL DETAIL"?

In all honesty, we don't love doing "Mini Details"... That's because they aren't perfect.

If you have the budget for a "Full Detail", we will always try and push you that way. The biggest difference is one thing - TIME.

Since we know full detailing service is a little too pricey for some customer, we have decided to offer a cheaper service - the downside is that we have to compromise on quality as a result. In our experience, it takes 3.5-4 hours per car to deliver flawless results to our customers.

Full Details are guaranteed satisfaction. If we miss anything, or you aren't satisfied with the results, we will be back for a free touch up ASAP. To compensate for the lower price, The "Mini Detail" compresses a 4 hour service into a 2 hour service. Yes, this means we have to cut some corner and cannot guarantee perfection the way we do with our "Full Detail" service.