Worst Cleaning Jobs Ever (And Some Good Tips to Help)

"I Once Had to Clean ..."

iStockPhoto.com/AlexDans
iStockPhoto.com/AlexDans

“… minivans rented by an environmental company who would bring the vehicles to rendering plants. Sometimes the smell was so bad that I had to wear a mask just to enter the vehicle.”
Paul Scags, former car rental operator, Toronto

“… a car with six gallons of milk that had broken open in the trunk. The milk had coagulated into a yogurt-like cheese spread across the trunk, spare tire and jack.”
Bob Hecking, founder of KLC Brands cleaning care products 

“… a Ford Expedition where the renter had used the center console cup holder (not one with removable inserts) as a spittoon for chewing tobacco. It was full and overflowing.
Doug Brockman, general manager of Kline Van and Specialty Rentals

“ … a can of paint that opened and splattered in a van. I had to change all the carpet and put in leather seats.”
Isaac Birnhack, owner of E-Z Rental

“… a Bentley Continental Flying Spur that was rented by a regular customer who went out with several “dates.” When the car was returned, there was exactly the sort of mess you’d expect in the back seat as well as receipts from several malls for the clothes and shoes he bought her/them.
Noah Lehmann-Haupt, CEO of Gotham Dream Cars

iStockPhoto.com/Ever
iStockPhoto.com/Ever

“… a rental car that had been in an accident. There was a lot of blood in the car and even an eyeball was found.
John Mitcham, Los Angeles

“… a car where the customer tried to turn the spare tire well into an ice chest. He put salmon in the tire well and covered it with ice. Fish water washed all over the trunk area.
Chris Keller, Anchorage

Cleaning Tips

“To remove dog hair from upholstery, use kitchen rubber gloves. Rub the areas and the hair will clump.”
Channon Mayberry, Atlanta

“Those Febreze commercials where they blindfold people and put them in a stinky car are bullsh*t. You can drown a car in Febreze, and it still won’t get some smells out.”

iStockPhoto.com/Okea
iStockPhoto.com/Okea

“Leaving an open package of coffee in a car overnight can mask a scent. The car will smell like coffee, but it’s better than body odor, weed smoke, child vomit, etc.”
Matt Sonetto, New York City

“The best aerosol spray I’ve come across is a product from Wurth called New Car Scent. This spray can remove a bad smell in about 15 minutes.”
Paul Scags, Toronto

“When cleaning cars, start at the top of the car and work your way down: hood to tires. Don’t forget to clean the cup holders — old coffee loves to hide here.”
Tom Diaz, El Paso, Texas

*Some cleaning tips and horror stories were provided by Frontline Performance Group employees.

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email:  
Comment: (Max. 10000 characters)  
Please leave blank:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

Newsletter: Sign up to receive latest news, articles, and much more.

Read the latest

Auto Focus Blog: A blog covering fleets, auto rental and the business of cars

Why Do We Visit Capitol Hill?

Members of the American Car Rental Association met with U.S. senators, representatives, and their aides last week. Here’s why bringing the message to this forum matters.

The Customer Isn’t Always Right

Not caving to a customer with a blatant agenda may have consequences, especially for a small rental company that relies on stellar Yelp ratings to advertise. But business integrity must prevail.

The Truth Behind Compact Van Depreciation

Why are large van values holding up better than their compact counterparts, and will it last?

Job Finder: Access Top Talent. Fill Key Positions.