How To Get Rid Of Smoke Smell In Your Car
According to research, vehicles sold by smokers sell for 7% to 9% less than vehicles sold by nonsmokers. Its not a coincidence, either, as 87% of surveyed shoppers indicated that they wouldnt even think twice about buying a smokers vehicle. If you do the math, that means only 13% of shoppers would purchase a car that smells like cigarettes. So, if youre a smoker whos trying to sell your vehicle, it only makes sense to remove smoke odors from your cars interior before putting it on the market.
Easier said than done, right? Getting smoke smells out of a car is notoriously difficult, if not impossible. Upholstery, carpets, seats, ceiling liners, and porous plastic surfaces all trap secondhand cigarette smoke pollutants that produce the infamous stale nicotine odor. While air fresheners, standard cleaning chemicals, and special car odor eliminators temporarily disguise smoke smells in a vehicle, they dont remove those bad car smells completely. So, youre probably always going to have a stinky car, unfortunately.
To deodorize that vehicle as thoroughly as possible, youll have to bring out the big guns. Here are some tactics to try and clean the smoke smell from your car.
How To Get Mouse Smell Out Of Car Vents Useful Tips And Advice
Did you only think that mice seek refuge only in your home or business? Well, they also love cars, especially those that have been seating around for a long time.
Letting mice stay in your car is very dangerous. These tiny creatures can gnaw through wires, destroy your fabric, upholstery, and anything they can get their tiny teeth on.
That aside, mice pee and droppings leave behind a very foul smell. Its even worse than the smell of a dead mouse.
Though a weird place for mice, they love hiding in car vents. And thats why cars infested with mice will always have a funny and foul smell especially when the AC is turned on. This smell will obviously make it hard for you to drive or even step foot in your car.
If you are experiencing a foul mouse smell from your car events, there are several ways on how you can get rid of it. You can use a blower or spray a Lysol disinfectant.
Though these methods are effective at getting rid of mouse smell, they wont offer lasting results. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to permanently get rid of mouse smell on car vents.
Clean Your Cars Interior To Remove The Smoke Smell
Before you start cleaning your cars interior, wed suggest you roll down your cars windows to allow fresh air to enter inside. Next, begin your cleaning process by removing your cars seat covers and floor mats. Deep vacuum them to remove any cigarette or ash residue. If possible, thoroughly scrub the floor mats and allow them to dry under the sun. Next, use the vacuum cleaner to remove dust from every nook and cranny of your car. Using a microfiber cloth and cleaning product, wipe down the dashboard, steering wheel, console, and other surfaces. You can also use steam cleaning to eliminate cigarette smell from the upholstery.
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Household Remedies To Remove Cigarette Smell
- A cup of white vinegar can be used to eliminate the smoke smell inside your car. The process is pretty simple: pour vinegar into a cup and leave it overnight in your car.
- Another excellent household item that can be used to get rid of the smoke smell is baking soda. Simply sprinkle the baking soda on the floor mats, wait for a little while, and vacuum it.
- Placing coffee grounds in your car can help mask the smoke smell. Remember, though, that it cannot eliminate the smell.
- Try placing a bowl of charcoal under your cars seat to remove the smoke smell altogether.
The most significant precaution that you can follow to prevent your car from falling prey to the smoke smell is never smoke or allow anyone to smoke in your car. Were sure your car is your prized possession, and you want to treat it will all the love it deserves.
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How Do Dealerships Get The Smoke Smell Out Of Cars
Sprinkle baking soda all over the floor mats, carpet, and upholstery and let it sit for a decent amount of time. The baking soda is a natural neutralizer and will capture the scent of the smoke from the car. … You can also leave an open box of baking soda in your vehicle to help remove the smell.Read more
The Only REAL Way to Remove Cigarette & Smoke 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.
Does Cigarette Smoke Stay On Leather
Even though the smoke odor lasts a long time if left untreated, it can be removed, no matter what type of leather or how large the object. If using liquid-based treatments, test your homemade odor absorber on an inconspicuous area first to ensure it does not discolor delicate leathers such as suede.
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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.
Remove The Source Of The Cigarette Smell
In order to remove the cigarette smell from your car , you have to remove the source.
Typically in a heavy smokers car, youll find cigarette butts in cup holders and underneath seats, and ash on the carpets and maybe even in the air vents. The last thing we have to remove is the smoke and tar particles found all over the cabin of the vehicle.
In extremely bad examples, you can see tar residue collect around the smokers area, typically found on the driver’s side.
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Wipe Down All Surfaces
Next, wipe down the rest of the surfaces in your car using clean microfiber towels. For this step, there are some options on what product to use. We recommend the All-Purpose Cleaner from CarGuys. It is safe to use on essentially all materials plastic, rubber, vinyl, leather, fabric, and more although you shouldnt use it on glass, as it will cause streaking.
If you want to go the homemade route, you can wipe down surfaces using dish soap and water. Just add a few drops of dish soap to a bucket of water and dip your clean microfiber towel into the solution.
Should You Buy A Smokers Car
- Check the ashtray for burn marks or ash stains.
- Check the cigarette lighter for ash. Most people dont attempt to clean these lighters before selling a vehicle.
- Get your nose in the fabric to see if there are any harsh chemicals or cigarette odors. Chemical or cleaning smells could be a little sus, so ask the seller what the deal is.
- Smell the air vents and be on the lookout for any musty, stale nicotine odors. Even with new filters and chemical flushes, old cigarette odors can cling to air conditioning and ventilation systems pipes.
- Peel back the driver-side floor mat and compare the colors underneath to the headliner and seats. If the headliner or seats are yellow-brown, and the carpet underneath the floormat is not discolored, thats a good indication that the car has cigarette smoke stains.
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Cleaning Cigarette Smoke Residue From Other Car Interior Surfaces
Cigarette smoke unfortunately seeps into porous surfaces like carpeting, upholstery. But it does not end there. Cigarette can also leave an oily residue on other car surfaces. This can contribute to that lingering smoke smell even if you vacuum and use baking soda, vinegar and activated charcoal.
So, focus on the main surfaces of your car. Your cigarette smoke can produce an oily residue that can be on windows, car dashboards and more. So, be sure to use your cleaning agent on those areas and give them a vigorous and thorough scrubbing. You may even find that a good foaming window cleaner will often cut the cigarette smoke residue left on the windows, dashboard, and other surfaces.
It is important to remember that cigarette smoke residue can also enter your vehicles cabin air filter so, change that out too. If you dont, you may risk contaminating the air inside your vehicle whenever you drive it once again.
How To Get Rid Of The Musty Smell From Your Cars Air Conditioner
Few things are as welcoming as a cars AC on a steamy summer day. But what do you do when the air coming out of your vents smells like a sweaty sock?
What youre probably smelling is the condensation that comes from the evaporator inside your heating and cooling system, says Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports senior director of auto testing. Basically, water collects in that area and, if it sits long enough, creates the musty smell.
Most of the water is meant to exit your car via the evaporator drain under the bottom of the vehicle. Youve probably seen a small puddle of water under the bottom of your car on a hot, humid day, says Fisher. But sometimes, some of it collects in the evaporator, and if it sits in there for a while, bacteria and mold are going to form and youre going to smell it in the cabin of the car. Fortunately, its actually a pretty easy fix.
First, turn on the cars interior fan on the low setting and open up the cars windows. Get a disinfectant like Lysol or some kind of AC disinfectant from the auto parts store and spray it into whats called the plenum.
The plenum is a box that connects to your HVAC system, and the intake can be found at the base of your windshield where your wipers are located. You will see vents there, and thats the plenum. Thats where the air comes from that goes into your heating and cooling system.
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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.
The Final Touch: Air Freshener
Now that you have quite literally removed every speck of cigarette ash, its finally time to add some air freshener for the final touch! As weve learned, using an air freshener alone will not get cigarette smell out of a car. But using air freshener after following all of these steps will do no harm. Want your car to smell like fresh citrus? Use the JDM Squash Scent Air Freshener from Chemical Guys. Or hang up a classic Little Trees Air Freshener for the final touch.
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Try These Odor Busting Home Remedies
- White Vinegar: is a very effective odor absorbent and can help neutralize tobacco smoke residue. Pour some white vinegar into a bowl and leave it overnight in your car until the smell improves.
- Charcoal: is another effective odor absorbent. Place a few charcoal briquets into a bowl and leave it overnight for a few days. The charcoal should help to absorb the odors in your car.
- Cat Litter: has several odor absorbing properties and can help to get rid of the smell of smoke. Just leave a bowl full of cat litter in your car for a few nights, and it should help draw out and absorb smoke smells.
- Coffee Grounds: will work faster than some of the other items on this list but are less effective at absorbing the odors. This option is more effective at quickly masking the smell as opposed to eliminating it.
- Dryer Sheets: can be rubbed on the fabrics of your car to help quickly cover up the smell of the smoke. Similar to coffee grounds, this method wont eliminate the smell and only help to cover it up.
- Cinnamon Sticks: can provide a clean smell in your car that can help cover up the smell of smoke. Boil a few sticks and put them into a travel mug to cool, and then place the mug in your car and leave it.
- Citrus Fruits: can help provide a better smell in your car and help absorb some of the odors. A cup full of peeled fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, or grapefruits can sit in your car and improve the smell.
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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Get Smoke Smell Out Of Car Vents
If you have cleaned the entire vehicle and still smell smoke, it might be coming from the HVAC vents. You can purchase an air vent cleaner to get deep into the system for a complete clean.
Spray the cleaner into the vents and turn on the air conditioning at full blast. Make sure the air recycler is also turned on. Allow the system to run for about 15 minutes to remove the odors.
The Problem With Masking Odors Using Air Fresheners And Other Products
Im sure youve seen and probably even used many of the air fresheners found in local stores. They’re cheap, come in a variety of awesome smells, and are super easy to use – but sadly, they don’t really work. Automotive air fresheners and odor bombs just mask the smell of smoke for a few days to a couple of weeks. Your car might smell like a tropical sensation for a week or two, but youll notice that the smoke smell returns with a vengeance, and usually sooner rather than later.
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Thorough Clean All Upholstery Carpets Vents And Under Seat Covers
Getting rid of smoke smells is a process that includes thorough cleaning each and every part of your car. Here is a step by step process on how to get smoke smell out of a car:
First, remove all upholstery and carpeting from the vehicle so that you can clean them with an enzyme-based cleaner. If there are any loose items in the back seat or under the front seats, carefully remove those as well and clean them later. Next, spray the upholstery and carpet with an enzyme-based cleaner that breaks down odors at their source. These cleaners can be bought from any grocery store or hardware store as they are common household products. Make sure to avoid bleach-based cleaners as these will simply mask the smoke smell instead of removing it. Once the cleaner has been applied, let it soak in for 10 minutes before scrubbing with a brush and using a towel to wipe off residue. Repeat the process if necessary until you are satisfied that all of the cigarette odors have been removed from your car.
Finally, clean any upholstered areas of your car using your vacuums upholstery attachment to remove any leftover dirt, grime or debris. This process is especially important if you have pets that ride in your car often as they can leave hair behind even after vacuuming.