Cleancast: So Many Terrible Messes Happen Inside Your Cars, My God

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My guest this week on the official Ask a Clean Person podcast is Freddy Hernandez, a/k/a Tavarish, he of Jalopnik, who joined me to answer some of the questions you’ve asked about cleaning up messes and smells that have befouled your car interiors. I was absurdly excited for this!

In part, my excitement over this week’s topic stemmed from the opportunity it gave me to answer a question—about a pound of melted butter that seeped into a cloth car seat—that I can’t run in my weekly Ask a Clean Person column because I’ve already answered a question about melted butter on car seats. What are the odds?!?


The thing about this latest melted-butter-on-car-seats question was that there was a twist, in the form of a mouse invasion. Oh God, things got so very, very real. Ultimately, Freddy felt that our friend with the butter probably should buy a new seat—but he does recommend, for less intensely saturated carseat situations, the Bissell Little Green, which is a handheld carpet and upholstery cleaning machine. He also shared some of his own experiences with what he describes as an “epic amount of mouse droppings” in a used car he bought.

In the second segment, we took a question about eliminating a heavy cigarette-smoke smell from a used car. But you’ll have to listen to find out Freddy’s solution to that vexing problem, which is a thing you can do here, or over at iTunes, where you can also subscribe.


Do you have something you’d like to hear discussed on Ask a Clean Person: The Podcast? Email me at with the subject line CLEANCAST. Do you like what you heard? Please consider leaving a rating in the iTunes store when you head over there to subscribe! Do you like the idea of me teaming up with Jalopnik to cover all manner of car-specific cleaning conundrums? The best way to make that happen is to tell me all about your car-specific cleaning conundrums, please and thank you!

Jolie Kerr is Deadspin’s resident cleaning expert and the author of the book My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag … And Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha (Plume). Follow her on Twitter, or contact her via email at


Illustration by Tara Jacoby.

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