How to Remove Pepper Spray Smell from a Car Interior

Pepper spray is mostly used as tear gas by the police force or as a self-defense tool for individuals. It’s a great deterrent that protects you from attackers as it burns the eyes and skin. 

However, if sprayed accidentally in the car, you have to resort to a quick remedy as soon as possible before it clings to the car’s surfaces.

If this is the case, here are simple solutions to remove the pepper spray smell from a car interior.

Materials required

  • Car shampoo
  • Fabric cloth
  • A water-based upholstery cleaner such as Chemical Guys SPI_993_16.
  • Water
  • Dish detergent
  • Rubber gloves

How to get pepper spray smell out of a car

Below are steps on how to get rid of the pepper spray smell in different sections of the car:

Method 1

  • Open the car doors and windows to allow air circulation in the car. You can also run the exhaust fan to eliminate pepper spray in the air.
  • Spray a water-based upholstery cleaner and use a clean fabric cloth to wipe the car seats and interior.
  • Rinse it off the car with clean water and a damp cloth.
  • Leave the car interior and seats to dry while the doors and windows remain open.
  • Sniff them to determine whether the smell has worn off, or you’ll have to repeat the process.

Method 2

  • Use two drops of dish detergent and water to clean the pepper spray smell from a car interior. You should wear protective rubber gloves and cover your mouth for this process to protect your hands.
  • Rinse the surfaces with a damp fabric cloth and dry them with a paper towel or cloth.
  • Repeat the process if the pepper spray has not subsided.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

These are the most commonly asked questions about pepper spray smell.

What makes pepper spray smell?

Pepper spray contains oleoresin capsicum (OC), an oily resin extracted from the pepper plant Capsicum.

The chemical causes eye irritation, coughing, and temporary blindness.

What dissolves pepper spray?

Pepper spray can be dissolved using a degreasing, non-oil-based soap such as dish detergent.

Natural air circulation or fanning also does the trick in getting rid of pepper spray indoors.

How long does pepper spray in a car?

Since a car often has little or no ventilation, the pepper spray smell may last an hour or longer. 

Therefore, it’s best to open windows and doors and turn on the car ventilator to get the pepper spray smell out of the upholstery.

What is the best way to get rid of the pepper spray smell?

The best way to remove the pepper spray smell from a car interior is by using water and dishwashing soap since it is not oil-based. 

It would be best to leave the doors and windows open to allow the smell to flow out of the car.

Avoid using oil-based solutions or sprays to clean the pepper spray since it is also oil-based and will worsen the problem. 

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