How can I remove the smell of the mouse house that was located in my car's blower housing?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Sep 01, 1998

Dear Tom and Ray:

My 1985 Honda Civic stinks. Last summer we found mice in our Honda. They were
living in the blower housing. We knew this because when we turned the fan on, it
sounded like the car was going to reach a resonant frequency and explode. Also,
the air from the ventilation system stank of dead mice. So I opened up the
blower housing and found approximately three dead mice. I say approximate
because they had been mangled by the blower and I could not ascertain just how
many there were. I did, however, count 11 mouse feet.

I also found the mouse nest filling the blower housing and vents shafts. The
nest was not pretty, as it contained the mouse bathroom facilities. I wiped out
all of the crud and expected the problem to be solved. Nope. The car still
stinks, but only under the following conditions: The heat must be on and the air
coming out must be warm. How can I get rid of the smell? -- John

RAY: Well, first we want to thank you, John, for one of the most disgusting
letters we've gotten in some time.

TOM: I think the smell is coming from that missing mouse foot. You found three
mice, but only 11 feet!

RAY: Actually, what you really need to do is take apart the ventilation system
again. And this time, don't just wipe up the mess, disinfect it. Isn't there a
liquid disinfectant called Mice-ol?

TOM: No, that's Lysol. But that's the kind of stuff you need, John. And you need
to scrub down as much of the inside of the ventilation system as you can get to.
In fact, do it twice. And any parts you can't reach, spray with disinfectant
from a spray bottle.

RAY: That should help significantly. But dead mice produce a very strong and
long-lasting aroma. So the other thing you may want to do is allow the heat to
dissipate it faster. Obviously, the heat carries the dead-mouse odor out of the
vents. And you probably don't use the heat much because it's, what? Disgusting!
My advice would be to blast the heat. Once the primary source material is gone,
the heat should eventually break down what's left.

TOM: And you don't have to be in the car while this is happening. Turn it on,
roll down the windows, and blast the heat for a few hours. And don't worry about
theft, John. Who's going to steal a car that smells like yours?

* * *

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