How To Get Rid Of Smoke Smell In Car

how to get rid of smoke smell in car

If you need to find out how to get rid of smoke smell in your car or home, you’re not alone. There are several types of smoke, but for the most part, they all have the potential to leave behind a smelly odor. The smoke from cigarettes is especially notorious because it can permeate every inch of the material inside of your car.

Cigar smoke can do the same. Once the smoke has penetrated all of the interior components inside of your car, you need to get ready to wage war against the odor. Fortunately, we’re going to give you all of the information that you need to banish smoke odors from your vehicle.

Getting Started

The first step is to clean out the interior of your car. It’s quite common for horrendous smoke odors to come from leftover cigarette butts that have fallen into crevices within a vehicle’s interior, which makes it especially difficult to find out where the smell is coming from.

By performing a thorough cleaning, you’ll be able to remove any obvious sources of odor, and when you’re finished, you can take a moment to see where you stand.

Once the interior has been cleaned, you should find something else to do for 30 to 60 minutes away from the car. It usually takes about 10 minutes to become nose blind to odors, so you’ll need to spend some time away from the vehicle and come back to it when your nose isn’t blinded by the smell.

Gauging the Strength of the Smoke Odor

Your car might not be soiled with the smell of smoke nearly as bad as you think. After spending some time away, come back to the vehicle and take a few deep breaths through your nose.

You should be able to determine if the smell is faint, medium or severe. A faint smell could indicate that the smoke hasn’t been able to fully permeate the material.

If the smell is very faint, you might be able to get away with a simple cleaning and deodorizing of the interior. However, for the sake of sanity, we’re going to assume that your vehicle has been fully penetrated by the smoke, and it has a terrible smell.

Vacuuming and Shampooing

The next logical step would be to vacuum and shampoo the interior. If you already vacuumed during the previous step, you can skip straight to the shampoo process. You don’t have to use shampoo if you don’t want to.

It’s not a bad idea to try some fabric and upholstery cleaner. A great example is a product called Scotchgard fabric. This product is quite effective at eliminating foul odors, and it’s very easy to use.

You can spray it onto seat belts, floor mats and more. Just follow the manufacturer instructions on the product and use a soft-bristled brush that is big enough to get the job done.

Remove the Toughest Odors

If you’ve already tried cleaning, vacuuming and upholstery cleaner, the next step is to try a few other deodorizing agents. Some of the best products to try are baking soda, powdered pet smell remover and fabric fresheners.

A great example of a fabric freshener is Febreze, and it’s great for new and light smells. It should be applied liberally to the soft surfaces inside of your car, and it has the potential to make everything smell better.

Baking soda is another option, and it’s great for the deepest cleaning and last-resort situations. To achieve the best results with baking soda, sprinkle it onto every interior surface in your car.

Let the powder sit for anywhere from 12 to 36 hours and proceed to vacuum it up. Since the fine powder can become embedded deep within your interior, make sure to perform two deep vacuuming sessions.

Although tobacco smoke can smell terrible, you don’t have to live with it inside of your vehicle. With enough effort, you can make your car smell almost as good as it did when you first bought it.

Alternative Cleaning Options

If you’re performed a deep cleaning and tried all of our other recommended cleaning options, you might consider using some coffee grounds, activated carbon and air fresheners. Air fresheners are easy to use, and in most cases, they’re designed to hang from your rearview mirror.

Another option is activated carbon. To use this option, place bowls of activated carbon throughout your vehicle and let the carbon do its thing.

You might even consider coffee grounds. Just add one cup of unused coffee grounds to an aluminum pan and let the pan sit inside of your car for several hours in bright sunlight.

Call the Professionals

If your vehicle still has lingering smoke odors after trying all of the recommended cleaning options, you might need to consider calling the professionals.

It can cost up to $200 to have your vehicle detailed, and although this is quite expensive for most people, it might be the only way to finally get rid of the odors.