Shampoo Your Car Seats
If your upholstery is not leather, the best way to get rid of smoke smell in your car seats is by shampooing and hanging them out to dry. Fancier aftermarket seat covers and headrests may warrant dry cleaning. Meanwhile, those not as smelly may only require you to vacuum the upholstery. Steam cleaning will help further remove the smell, although doing so is often unnecessary. In most cases, a solution of bleach and water, hydrogen peroxide and water, or white vinegar and water will be more than sufficient to eliminate the nasty smoky smell. Remember not to rush when cleaning car seats, and repeat the steps if necessary.
Ozium And Lysol Disinfectant Sprays
Ozium and Lysol can both be used on the inside of your vehicle in order to kill bacteria and viruses while also minimizing odors. Spray Ozium or Lysol inside your vehicle as needed, making sure to wipe away any overspray on plastics and leather surfaces. You can also spray these products in your cabin air filter and AC ducts of your vehicle, which will help further disinfect those areas.
Wipe It Down With Dryer Sheets
If you want a quick and easy solution, grab a handful of dryer sheets from the laundry room on your way out. The fibers have a static charge, so they do a decent job of absorbing some of the mess.
Wipe these sheets all over your seats. The first thing it does is absorb some of the ash particles. The second thing it does is absorb some of the smoke smell.
Finally, the dryer sheet will transfer some of its pleasant smell to your cars seats.
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Check The Car And Leave An Odor
Finally, its time to check and see if youve managed to get smoke smell out of car.
Make sure to dry your cars interior thoroughly before closing it again, as moisture in the interior can also cause a foul smell and molds.
In addition to cleaning the car interior, you can also leave some odor-absorbent substance in your car, especially if there is still a bit of smoke smell left over after cleaning. Below is a list of options for odor-absorbent substances that you can use:
- Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds are a commonly available household item that you can use as an odor absorber. To use coffee grounds to absorb the smoke smell in your car, pour them into a bowl and leave the bowl in your car overnight.
- Baking Soda
If youre a baker, its probably easy to find a box of baking soda in your kitchen. Just open the box and leave it in your car, or sprinkle the powder on smelly areas.
- White Vinegar
Pour some white vinegar in a bowl and leave the bowl in the car overnight to absorb the smoke smell.
- Cat Litter
A bowl of cat litter can also be placed in a car overnight to get rid of the smoke smell. Repeat for another night if necessary.
- Citrus Peels
Peels from citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, or grapefruits can not only remove smoke smell from your car but also leave a nice scent. You can leave a plate of any citrus fruits in your car for 48 hours.
Just be careful not to attract insects by keeping the cars windows closed.
How Does Smoke Affect Your Car Interior
The cigarette odour in a vehicle is caused by all the smoke particles embedding themselves inside the interior surfaces. For example, if youve ever been to a bonfire and smelled your clothes from that night the next day, they smell like smoke. Well, that same exact process happens in your car, but rather than a few hours of smoke, its multiplied by years!
Moreover, a smokers car is affected in more ways than just the presence of odor. Studies conducted in 2010 by researchers from the University of California and San Diego State University show that the presence of TSP can cause third-hand smoke and nicotine exposure. This exposure is not as harmful as second-hand smoke exposure, but it still puts drivers and especially children at risk.
Furthermore, basic cleaning has little to no effect in minimizing total smoke pollutants inside a vehicle. Smoker vehicles need to be properly cleaned and disinfected in order to minimize total smoke pollutants and make the vehicle cabin a safe environment for drivers.
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Ventilate The Duct System
While your car is scrubbed and cleaned, the next step is to ventilate the cars duct system.
The air filter traps the cigarette smoke, which then circulates inside the car next time you switch on the cooling or the heating system. Hence experts suggest airing out the ducts after a full clean.
Air Intake System
Open the doors and windows Turn on the engine, and set the air conditioner to full blast at the lowest setting. Ensure that your windows are down, and the air doesnt recirculate.
Just like the cooling system, you might want to do the same for the heating system too.
Turn the heat on to its maximum setting. Spray the odor neutralizer into the vent. It ensures that the smell blows out of the vents.
Clean Out Air Vents & Replace Air Filters
This step often gets overlooked, and yet this process is vital to remove the cigarette smell from a car.
First, turn your car on. Then, turn your car AC to max cold with recirculation. Once that is set up, use an odor-eliminating spray or disinfectant spray to spray into the vents.
Oftentimes, the car may need to have the AC filter changed entirely. You can find your AC filter location via your owners manual. A new car AC filter is generally inexpensive.
How To Get Rid Of The Smoke Smell In Your Car
Step 1: Identify the sources of the odorreplaceStep 2: Clean out the ashtrayStep 3: Clean the fabrics in the vehiclespreading baking soda near trouble spotsStep 4: Replace the air filtertobacco odor has infiltrated your carâs air systemStep 5: Get an air freshenerair freshenerMOREHow to clean car upholstery and carpeting
Clean The Drivers Side Door
If the driver ashes their cigarette out the window, theres a good chance that ash and smoke are all along the exterior of the drivers side door.
Whenever you wash your car, pay extra attention to this area. Make sure you really wipe it down and get rid of any smoke that could be lingering there. If not, the smell could sneak its way back inside.
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How To Deodorize Your Car Fast
- Turtle Wax Odor products are specifically designed as a complete all-in-one auto interior deep penetrating odor eradicator. It is perfect for taking care of old or concentrated odors without the need to focus on any one car interior area at a time.
- The Turtle Wax Odor-X Fresh Blast aerosol foggers have been tested in both cool and hot conditions and returned excellent results in both cases, hence the process can be undertaken in any conditions, perfect if youre looking to remove odor while on the go or from a rental vehicle.
- The exclusive aerosol formula contains a combination of malodor eliminating chemistries, combined to neutralize deeply absorbed odors in fabric, carpet, headliners and in automotive ventilation systems, which provides a quick way to eradicate smoke smells out of multiple interior surfaces at the same time.
- However, to get the best results, it is advised to also clean the interior surfaces in order to remove the source. When using a cleaning product that is suitable for multiple surfaces, this wont add much time to the odor removal process.
Thorough Clean To Get The Smoke Smell Out Of Your Car
Nothing can beat a thorough cleaning when it comes to removing the stench of cigarettes from any vehicle.
Start in a ventilated place, preferably outdoors, like your driveway on a breezy day. This allows the car to air out and for some of the smoke smell to dissipate.
Your car should be cleared of smoke smell by now, but if any lingers, you can try a few home remedies to clear it off.
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How To Deodorize Smoke Smells From Headliners
A steam cleaner is also the best option for deodorizing headliners. A vehicle’s headliner is the most sensitive part of the interior because its glued on and constantly fighting gravity. It also receives the most odor abuse because smoke rises and gets embedded in the headliner. If you soak the headliner with too much cleaner, youll soften the adhesive, causing it to potentially sag in the future. Steam is a great alternative because it can clean without excessive cleaners and moisture. Just be warned that the high temperatures caused by the steam can also affect the headliner if used improperly.
We recommend cleaning the headliner section by section so the results are consistent. Take your steamer and wrap the headliner with a microfiber towel to avoid excess moisture. After that, lightly agitate the headliner in cross-hatch motions. Imagine as if youre cleaning the headliner like youre polishing paint – with little to no pressure and making sure to cover all the areas until the headliner is complete.
Vacuum Scrub And Shampoo The Entire Interior
We recommend starting with vacuuming the interior, making sure to vacuum out all your carpets, seats, cupholders, and other nooks and crannies. A big tip is to remove your floor mats in order to clean and vacuum as much surface area as possible. Remember, cigarette smoke is airborne and finds its way into all the surfaces of your interior, so it’s super important that we clean everything inside the vehicle.
After vacuuming, we recommend using an automotive interior cleaner in combination with a scrub brush and microfiber towel to clean out your plastic, vinyl, and leather surfaces such as door panels, center console, seats, and the dashboard. Start by spraying your interior cleaner one section at a time, thoroughly agitate it with your brush, then wipe off the grime. After all your hard plastic, leather, and vinyl surfaces are clean, move on to shampooing your fabric surfaces.
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Replace Your Air Filter
Replace the cabin air filter. Many drivers are unaware that there is an air filter for a carâs interior. Many manufacturers recommend that you replace a cabin air filter every 30,000 miles. If people smoke in your car, you will eventually smell the cigarettes. For a cleaner cabin, and to reduce the smell, you may have to change your air filter more frequently.
Other Car Remedies to Remove smoke smell
Free The Inside Of Your Vehicle From Trash And Debris
Before beginning the process of making your car smell nice and fresh again, first remove accumulated debris inside the cabin, as well as any trash, you have been unintentionally hoarding the past few weeks . Do a full de-clutter while you are at it. Doing so not only leaves you with fewer surfaces to tidy up later on but also gives you back cabin space you have forgotten you had. Plus, you will need nothing more than a bin and a vacuum cleaner to make this happen.
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Replace The Cabin Filter
The cabin filter is responsible for removing allergens and contaminants from the interior of the vehicle. If you smoke in the car, this cabin filter is also soaking up the smell from cigarettes.
Even if you arent a smoker, you will want to replace the cabin filter on a regular basis. Find the recommended service schedule in your owners manual.
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Step : Remove Particles And Fallen Ash
- A lot of products mask the odor of smoke, but Turtle Wax Power Out! products eliminate smoke at its source.
- First things first, to remove smoke in a car, all hard and soft surfaces should be vacuumed.
- The smoke particles and fallen ash seep and release odor into carpets, car seats and vents until they are removed.
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Extracting The Scent From Interior Surfaces
The best way to deal with any odor in your car without resorting to harsh chemicals is by using a steam cleaner. Place the nozzle close to wherever you are smelling an odor and switch on the machine. Once it begins releasing steam, let it run for around five minutes before switching it off and leaving the car as it dries out completely. If this doesnt work, move on to something more potent like Febreeze. Spray the area heavily and leave it to work its magic, covering up any other smells if need be or repeating as many times as needed.
How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of Your Car A Simple And Effective Method
If you are here to work out exactly how to get that smoke smell out of your car, then you are in the right place!
We have all done it right? Bought that dream car only to get it home and find out one week later that the car has a strong cigarette smoke smell that mysteriously wasnt there when we looked at buying it. Dang it you say! Luckily we have removed cigarette smoke odor from hundreds of cars since 2002 and we have what we believe to be the simplest and easiest technique. So read on.
If you need to get cannabis smell out of your car, check out our article on How To Remove Cannabis Smell From Your Car.
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How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of Car Vents
If youre not a smoker and can smell cigarette smell in your car, or have purchased a used car from an ex-smoker, the vents are usually the culprit.
- Step 1: For the Turtle Wax Odor-X Fresh Blast to reach deep into vents and car surfaces, turn on the cars air conditioning to the maximum level and turn on the air recycle feature.
- Step 2: Place the can in a cup holder or on the floor of your car and firmly press down on the valve to release the automatic mist.
- Step 3: Leave the car and allow it to run for 15 minutes. The Fresh Blast will enter the air vents, penetrate hard and soft surfaces and remove odors on a molecular level. As a quicker option, spray the Turtle Wax Power Out! Odor-X Spray directly into the vents using the Jet-stream setting.
On rare occasions that this doesnt solve the problem, especially if its an older car or the driver is a heavy smoker, we recommend replacing the air filter within your AC system.
Work On The Floor Mats
The smell of smoke can also adhere to floor mats, so you also need to clean them to get rid of smoke smell in car. Take the mats out of the car and vacuum them thoroughly.
You may also use a steam cleaner and a degreaser to further clean the fabric. Another option is to sprinkle baking soda on the mats. This powder can absorb acidic smells, including nicotine smoke.
How Do You Smoke In A Car Without It Smelling
The short answer is that you cant. With that being said, there are preventative measures you can take to avoid your car smelling terrible.
Always keep your windows down while smoking. After smoking, keep them down for 20-30 minutes. Never leave cigarette butts in your car even if you have a built-in ashtray. And, if you do notice ash after smoking, immediately vacuum and wipe down hard surfaces using the steps above.
Open The Windows And Air Out
The most important step to removing cigarette odors is to open the windows and allow fresh air in the car. Fresh air will naturally remove smoke smells with time, but if you are impatient you can speed up this process by opening your windows or using an automatic garage door opener so that your vehicle can breathe in the open air. If you are not able to leave the windows down, simply turn on your cars ventilation system when you are driving around town for fresh air circulation.
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