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Nah ... easy diy to swap filters
You mentioned “cleaned up” though since these are not washable elements do you mean vacuum the heck out of them?
 

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the likely reason is mildew.
When that happened, what I did is:
get a new cabin air filter. They are fairly cheap.
Take the old cabin air filter out, (passenger side footwell, look up)
Spray AC Cleaner (or even Lysol) into the vents, and outside on the air intake (right where windshield water sprayers are). I also sprayed up from the footwell, circulation intake.
Turn AC on full blast. Keep car windows open.
Optional: you can also turn the AC to full heat, aircon service might help as well.
Smell gone.. at least for a while.

For proper cleaning, you need to get to the evaporator and apply a product like 1Z Klima Cleaner to that. That's a better solution, but more complicated due to reaching to evaporator.
You sound like you work in the line of aircon repair and aircon servicing. Do you?
 
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