Potatoes may be a staple in many households, but once they start to spoil, they can quickly become a major source of frustration. And if you’ve made the mistake of leaving a bag of potatoes in your car for too long, you know just how overwhelming the smell can be. The stench of rotten potatoes is not only unpleasant, but it can also be embarrassing if you have passengers in your car. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to get rid of the odor and make your car smell fresh again.
To get rid of the rotten potato smell in your car, sprinkle baking soda over the affected area in your car. Let the baking soda sit for several hours or overnight. Then vacuum to thoroughly remove all of the baking soda from your car.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to get rid of the rotten potato smell in your car, so you can get back to enjoying your ride without holding your breath.
What Causes Rotten Potato Smell?
The rotten potato smell is caused by a buildup of gases, primarily hydrogen sulfide, produced by bacteria that are breaking down the organic matter in the potatoes. When potatoes start to spoil, they become soft and begin to emit a foul odor that can quickly fill an enclosed space like a pantry, cupboard, or even a car.
The gases produced by the bacteria can be particularly potent and can create an odor that is often described as “rotten eggs” or “sulfur.” This odor can linger for quite some time, even after the spoiled potatoes have been removed from the area.
What Happens If You Smell a Rotten Potato?
If you smell a rotten potato, you may experience an unpleasant odor that can be quite strong and may cause discomfort or even nausea. Rotten potatoes produce a gas called ethylene, which is a natural plant hormone that promotes ripening and can lead to decay
Is the Smell of Rotten Potatoes Dangerous
The smell of rotten potatoes is due to the presence of a gas called hydrogen sulfide, which has a characteristic odor of rotten eggs. Inhaling high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide can be dangerous and even deadly, but the concentration of hydrogen sulfide released by a few rotten potatoes is typically not high enough to cause harm to humans.
However, if a large number of potatoes have rotted, they may release enough hydrogen sulfide to cause symptoms such as headache, nausea, dizziness, and difficulty breathing. In addition, if the potatoes have been contaminated with certain bacteria or fungi, they may produce other harmful toxins that can cause illness if consumed.
Is Rotten Potato Smell Toxic
Rotten potato smell is caused by the release of a gas called hydrogen sulfide, which has a very strong, unpleasant odor. While inhaling this gas in small amounts may not be immediately harmful, exposure to high levels of hydrogen sulfide can be toxic and even lethal.
In addition to the unpleasant odor, inhaling high levels of hydrogen sulfide can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headache, dizziness, nausea, and even unconsciousness (According to Michigan State University, Mt. Sinai). Prolonged exposure to high levels of hydrogen sulfide can also lead to more serious health problems, including respiratory failure, seizures, and even death.
Can the Smell of Rotten Potatoes Kill You
Inhaling the smell of rotten potatoes alone is unlikely to kill you. However, the gas that causes the rotten potato smell, hydrogen sulfide, can be toxic in high concentrations and prolonged exposure to high levels of this gas can be lethal.
What You’ll Need
|Cloth or Sponge
How to Get Rid of Rotten Potato Smell in Car
If you’re dealing with the unpleasant smell of rotting potatoes in your car, there are simple solutions.
This versatile substance is renowned for its ability to absorb a wide variety of odors and is easily accessible at your local grocery store.
To use baking soda, simply place it in a container and leave it in the area of the car that’s emitting the odor. The baking soda will absorb the unpleasant scent and prevent new odors from developing.
Before attempting any odor-eliminating methods, it may be a good idea to apply a deodorizing spray or alcohol-based perfume to the affected area. This technique can be particularly effective if the potatoes have not been in the car for an extended period.
It’s important to note that these methods can be used to eliminate a range of unpleasant smells throughout your home, not just in your car. However, it’s essential to be patient – it may take a day or two for the odor to completely disappear.
Vinegar for Smell
vinegar can be an effective solution to neutralize the odor. Start by creating a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar. Then, use a cloth or sponge to apply the mixture on all surfaces of the car, including the carpets, seats, and dashboard.
Make sure that the vinegar solution isn’t too diluted, as this can reduce its effectiveness. Once you’ve cleaned all surfaces, leave a small puddle of the vinegar solution on any specific food stains that are causing the odor. Allow the solution to sit on the stain for a few hours before cleaning it up.
Another effective method is to place a bowl of white vinegar in the car and leave it open for at least a week. Vinegar has the ability to absorb odor, so this will help to eliminate the smell from the air. If you’re concerned about spillage, you can transfer the vinegar into a jar with holes poked into the lid or simply leave the lid open to allow the vinegar to do its job.
Keep in mind that vinegar has a strong smell, so you may want to leave the car windows open for ventilation.
If you’re struggling to eliminate the unpleasant smell of rotten potatoes from your car, you may need to try a different approach. White vinegar might not be effective in all cases. To tackle the issue, you can try using coffee grounds.
Begin by filling a saucer with coffee grounds as much as possible. Then, place the saucer in your car, ideally in an open area. If that’s not feasible, you can transfer the coffee grounds into a jar with holes poked into the lid. This will allow the aroma to permeate throughout the car and mask the bad smell.
You could also wrap the coffee grounds in an absorbent material like an old piece of cloth or a paper towel. This will allow the coffee grounds to soak up the unpleasant odor. Be aware that coffee grounds have a strong scent, so it’s important not to overdo it.