Keeping it Cool – DIY Car AC Vent Cleaning

Feb 2016

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What else could be more embarrassing than a bad smelling car? No matter how much air freshener you spray, if your AC vent is not clean, the bad smell will not leave your car. AC Vent cleaning is very easy so don’t waste money and do it yourself with our DIY guide.

Cleaning with Q Tip

Proper AC vent cleaning needs removal of air vent grill, which is often impossible especially in recent car models. You will need a Q tip to clean the front without removing the vent grill. Soak the Q tip in a cleaner, or if it is a spray, then spray it into the tip. Taking the Q tip to all corners, clean every section of the AC vent. Try to take it as far as possible in the vent for deeper cleaning.
Under the dashboard, we have lower car vents which throw hot or cool air on our feet. Don’t forget to clean them as well.
Tip: Use an odorless AC cleaner or the smell will circulate through the vent every time you use the air conditioner.

Removing the Smell

Many car owners clean the AC vent only but forget to de-odorize the car. For fully eradicating the stale or musty smell from the car, use a pine smell air freshener and leave the car windows open for a few hours. Spray air freshener again before closing the windows.
Also, check your car’s service manual to know the location of cabin air filter in the engine. Don’t forget to change it to keep the bad smell off for months.

Cleaning the Drain

Finally, check your car’s service model to find the AC drains. In most of the modern car models, they are located in the corners of the fenders and framed with black rubber tubing. Squeeze the tubing to remove accumulated dirt or pollutants. Using a straight wire, remove the remaining debris from the tube. Squeeze again to remove any residual dirt.
AC vent cleaning not only removes the bad smell but also increases the life of your AC. Once these three steps are followed, all the bad smell will be removed from your car for several months. Remember that when you spray air freshener in the car, open the windows after ten minutes as air fresheners are toxic.