A full bottle of jewelry cleaning (links product and material safety data sheet below) broke in my car and went unnoticed for a few days. Now the car has a sulfur-like smell whenever I go into the car. It dissipates within a few minutes, but then returns very quickly once I leave the car.

The primary chemical components are alcohol ethoxylates, and can decompose into carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide nitrogen Oxides, sulfur oxides and other toxic gases.

I have cleaned the area and had the carpet (rear driver) shampooed from a car detailer, but still the smell remains.

What chemical compound can I use to neutralize the smell permanently (enter equilibrium)?

  • Is it possible for you to just air it out for several hours with the doors wide open?
    – jscs
    Dec 20, 2014 at 20:02
  • 2
    It probably isn't dissipating but instead you are getting used to the smell, a phenomenon called Olfactory Fatigue en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olfactory_fatigue.
    – Ed Griebel
    Dec 23, 2014 at 19:19

1 Answer 1


Try rubbing a stainless steel item around the spill sight. Stainless steel has inert properties that take smells away. I use spoons..


Also note you may have to pull back the carpet as it was a spilt fluid. There may still be remains of it under the carpet on the floorboards..

  • Interesting. Do you have a link you can jam up in there? Jan 14, 2016 at 17:06

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