Whether you are a smoker or you bought a car from somebody who smokes, you may want to learn how to remove smoke smell from a car. The problem most people face when they try to remove smoke odor from the car interior is the build-up of the scent over the years.
The longer the interior is exposed to smoke, the harder it is to remove the smell. If you are done dealing with the smell, you need to learn how to remove cigarette smell from a car for good. When it comes to removing the smell of smoke from your car, there are several techniques you can try.
These techniques range from simple to complicated, but all have proven themselves to work to some degree. The secret to removing the smell is making sure you follow some essential cleaning tips before you try any of the techniques designed for eliminating the odor. Before you use any product inside your car, always read warning labels and ingredients to ensure it is safe to use on the intended surface.
Amazingly Simple Tips to Remove Smoke Smell from Cars
Many of these easy remedies not only get rid of nasty odors that lurk in the car but they also serve as a DIY microfiber cleaning solution to eliminate stains from food and spills. You probably already have most of the ingredients at home already.
Vinegar and baking soda, in particular, are excellent odor removers and stain removers, too. They easily get rid of sewage smell, cigarette smoke odors and more, with very little effort.
1. Beginning Steps to Remove Smoke Odor from Car Interior
Before you begin to clean your car, you want to choose a well-ventilated area and roll down all of the windows. Cleaning your car out in the open allows your vehicle to air out, which can aid in removing some of the smell.
Being cleaning by removing all cigarette-related trash from the inside of your car, including cigarette butts, tobacco ashes, empty cigarette packs, etc. Next, remove all floor mats and seat covers. Throw the seat covers inside your washing machine and allow the floor mats and rugs to air out in direct sunlight.
Vacuum every surface in your car and clean all leather with an approved leather cleaner. Steam clean car seats and other upholstery and wipe down all hard surfaces, including the steering wheel, with a solution of equal parts vinegar to equal parts water. Use Windex to remove tar build-up from all glass surfaces.
Air out and neutralize the odors coming from your duct system. With the car in park, start it and turn the air conditioner on high using the lowest temperature, and turn off the recirculate setting.
Spray an odor neutralizer in your car’s air intake vents and allow the AC to continue running until the smoke smell fades. Now turn on the heating system and repeat the same procedure. Remove and replace the cabin air filter system.
2. How to Use Vinegar to Remove Smoke Odor from Car Interior
One of the simplest ways to remove the lingering smell of cigarette smoke is with a bowl full of white vinegar. For a simple car deodorizer, pour distilled white vinegar into a bowl or several bowls and place it on the floor of your car.
Allow the undiluted vinegar to sit inside your vehicle with the windows and door shut at least for several hours, but preferably overnight. Remove the containers in the morning and check to see if the smell has faded. Repeat as needed.
To get rid of stains and clean car upholstery and seats, spritz them with vinegar or vinegar and water. Gently rub into the stain and then add clean water. Let it air dry. Repeat if necessary.
3. How to Remove Cigarette Smell from a Car with Baking Soda
Baking soda is another powerful odor eliminator and can help in your quest to remove cigarette odor and other car smells. Purchase a small box of baking soda designed for your fridge to leave in your car, similar to how you use vinegar.
To get smell out of carpet, sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and the floor mats and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes. Vacuuming up the baking soda will help eliminate the cigarette smoke smell.
Follow this same procedure to get smoke smell out of mattress, too. After sprinkling the baking soda, make the powder even more effective by rubbing it into the fabric. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes and vacuum. Smoke-saturated mattresses may require repeat cleanings.
4. Charcoal is an Excellent Car Smell Remover
Purchase activated charcoal to use as an odor eliminator. Not only will the charcoal get rid of smoke smell, but it will also help remove other disagreeable odors. Activated charcoal is not only a proven and effective odor neutralizer; it is also an affordable option. Pour some charcoal into a container and place it inside your car for several days.
5. Citrus Fruits and Cat Litter Help Absorb Smells
Gather together a handful of citrus fruit peels. You can use grapefruit, orange, lemon, or limes as long as they are fresh cut peels. Place the peels inside nooks and crannies inside your car, including inside ashtrays and cup holders. Replace the skins in a few days until the smoke smell is gone.
Cat litter is also helpful in absorbing all kinds of bad smells, including nicotine. Unlike citrus peels, don’t place cat litter in your car randomly. Pour some into several different containers and put them in various spots. Allow the bowls to sit inside the car for a couple of days and then remove and discard the cat litter.
6. Can Coffee Grounds Eliminate the Smell of Smoke?
Some people swear by using coffee grounds to eliminate unwanted smoke odors. Many people also claim this method provides the quickest results.
Place containers filled with coffee grounds inside the car for several hours to overnight. Not always entirely sufficient, this technique will help mask the smell, however, giving other odor eliminating methods a chance to work.
7. Are Dryer Sheets Effective at Eliminating Tobacco Odors?
Dryer sheets will not eliminate the real smell of smoke, but it will aid in deodorizing your car. For cloth seats, wipe each seat down with an unused dryer sheet. You can also try leaving a dryer sheet inside an ashtray or cup holder for further deodorizing.
8. Permanently Remove Cigarette Smoke Odor with an Ozone Treatment
We recommend using a professional detailer who has experience with this odor removal method rather than doing it yourself. Ozone treatment will remove the smell from all interior surfaces of your car, including headliner, floor mats, upholstery, vents, etc.
If you would rather try this option on your own, rent an ozone generator so you can do an ozone treatment on your car’s interior. Clean your car out following the necessary steps we provided.
Once everything is clean, place the ozone generator inside your vehicle and turn it on. Run the generator until the ozone fills your entire vehicle. Turn on your car’s fan to allow the ozone to circulate through the air ducts. Air your car by driving it around.
9. Can Air Freshener Remove the Smell of Smoke?
All too often, a homemade air freshener spray masks the smell of cigarette smoke. What you need is something stronger than a regular air freshener; you need something that will eliminate rather than mask the odor.
You can make as many of these air purifiers that you desire to help rid your car of that nasty smoke smell. Pour baking soda into round containers and add 20 drops of essential oil to each pot. You can use lemon essential oil or a purification blend.
Cover the jars with a coffee filter and secure them in place with a rubber band. Place inside your car in a spill-proof location and replace it when needed.
Thank you for reading our tips and ideas on how to remove cigarette smell from a car. If you found these tips to remove smoke odor from car interior useful, share them on Facebook and Pinterest so others can discover how to remove smoke smell from a car, too.