Our van has a particular odor. I like to call it "stank." To say that it "stinks" doesn't adequately capture the true nature of this home-grown funk.
In Seattle, where the weather was often cool, I would only get occasional whiffs. However, once we moved to the humid South, there was no denying it's presence. I tried to blame it on the cross country move, as we had accidentally left two sippy cups of milk and two wet diapers in the back while it made the two week trip to our new home. Whew!
I removed the offending items, Febreezed the whole thing, and left the windows down for days. But it was still there...the Stank.
I used every cleaning product imaginable on the carpets. I assumed the odor was emitting from there, since that is where milk, juice and everything else is spilled all the time. Then I realized I could peel some of the carpet back. What I found below was beyond disgusting.
There is some kind of padding beneath the carpet that looks like the unfortunate love child of dryer lint and a ball of colored yarn. I think it is supposed to be mostly gray. Ours was green, yellow, gray, black and wet. It reeked. I figure it has probably been wet for a few years, growing mold and heaven knows what else. Things simply don't dry out in the Seattle climate, and this mess hadn't dried out in the humid weeks we'd been home either.
I tried not to vomit, figuring that would only make the mess worse, and got to work. Bleach and Kentucky sunshine - a magical combination.
I think the Stank is gone. Of course, I also have a sinus infection that prevents me from smelling anything. Aaron tells me it doesn't smell "bad" anymore. Of course, that doesn't mean it smells good, either. I trust my husband, but just to be sure, I've been watching his face when he gets in to drive on weekends. He doesn't grimace anymore. I'll take that as a good sign.