How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell in a Car

Of all of the unpleasant odors that can enter your car, cigarette smoke can be the most persistent. Cigarette  smoke settles on hard surfaces and also penetrates soft surfaces so deeply that it can seem impossible to eliminate. Trying these solutions will help you refresh your car’s interior.

Step 1. Remove Anything That Holds Cigarette Smoke Smell

Man holding carton container near blue trash bag in car

Because cigarette smoke settles on all surfaces, it’s important to get rid of anything in your vehicle that’s removable. Trash, rubber, and carpeted mats and other removable items you may be storing in your vehicle, such as windshield washer fluid containers and snow brushes, should be removed.

Don’t Forget the Glove Box and Trunk

You may not think that cigarette smoke can invade the items in your glove box, but all it takes is a quick sniff of these items to know this isn’t the case.

Go through glove box items, discarding what you don’t need, and set the rest aside, preferably in the fresh air and sunshine to deodorize. Use a microfiber cloth that’s been dampened with soapy water or cleaning vinegar to wipe down your glove box.

Remove all items from your trunk, discarding any items that are no longer needed. Then sprinkle baking soda on the surface and allow it to sit for up to 20 minutes before vacuuming.

Treating Floor Mats for Smoke Smell

Eliminate the smell of smoke on rubber mats by vacuuming and then steaming them. Baking soda is a great odor eliminator for fabric surfaces. If your mats have carpeting on them, sprinkle baking soda over the surface, allow it to sit for up to 20 minutes, and vacuum.

Step 2. Vacuum and Clean Floors and Soft Surfaces

Man using car vacuum cleaner to tidy car.

Because even dirt can hold the smell of cigarette smoke, it’s important to vacuum all the soft surfaces in your vehicle. Do this before the next step, as vacuuming can disperse dust and other particles around your vehicle’s interior.

Soft surfaces include carpeting on floors, all sides of seats, and the fabric located on the roof. Smoke travels upward, so the roof may be holding more smoke smell than most other soft surfaces!

Sprinkle seats and carpets with baking soda and vacuum after 20 minutes. For the roof, a steam cleaner may be best to evict that smoke smell quickly. Upholstery cleaners are also specially formulated to deodorize and clean soft fabrics.

If You Have Leather Seats

Vehicles with leather seats can be effectively cleaned and deodorized with a leather cleaner and conditioning product.

Step 3. Vacuum and Wipe All Hard Surfaces

cleaning the interior of the car with a microfiber cloth

Hard surfaces to be vacuumed and wiped include the dashboard, cupholders, steering wheel, gear shift, and even the plastic trim around windows and doors.

Use a commercial surface cleaner to wipe or make your own cleaning solution with ¼ cup vinegar, ½ teaspoon liquid dish soap, and 2 cups of water. Shake and spray. You can allow the mixture to sit before wiping with a clean, slightly damp cloth.

Window surfaces can also hold the smell of cigarette smoke, so be sure to spray with window cleaner and wipe with a clean, dry cloth until all streaks are gone.

Step 4. Consider Your Air Filter

Clean and dirty cabin pollen air filter for a car

Every vehicle has an air filter located inside the cabin that filters dirt and odors. This filter can be the cause of persistent smoke smell. The exact location of the cabin air filter may be different for every vehicle, so it’s best to consult your owner’s manual. Be prepared to be surprised when you see just how dirty this filter is!

Step 5. Get Smoke Smell Out of Your Air Vents

Man smoking a cigarette in a car

Replacing the cabin air filter in your vehicle can do a lot to eliminate smoke smell, but you can also deodorize your entire air system. How? First, find the air intake by consulting your owner’s manual. Then turn on your ignition and turn the dials to the coolest temperature at the highest fan speed.

Open all windows and spray a deodorizing solution directly into the air intake. This solution can be cleaning vinegar and water, a deodorizer spray made specifically for vehicles, and even steam from your steam cleaner.

After spraying your solution into the air intake, turn off your ignition and allow your vehicle to sit with windows open for a few minutes.

Ensuring you’ve completed all of the above steps will help you clean your car and get rid of cigarette smoke smell.

Other Tips for Removing Smoke Smell

Fresh orange peels on wood

There are many other products that can be effective at removing the smell of cigarette smoke.

Cat litter, charcoal, and baking soda are all effective odor neutralizers. Fill a bowl with one of these products and leave in your vehicle for 24 to 48 hours.

Citrus peels can also be very effective at eliminating smoke smell. Leave fresh peels from grapefruit, lime, or lemon in your vehicle and remove them after 48 hours. Air fresheners and coffee grounds can also temporarily remove smoke odor.

Eliminate Smoke Smell Forever in One Easy Step

Biocide shocker odor eliminator

Chlorine dioxide (Cl02) is a harmless gas that, when released into an area, seeks out and destroys odor molecules wherever they may be hiding, degrading into harmless saline solution when it reaches the air.

Previously, the release of this gas was only available for use in large industrial areas, but, thanks to research and innovation, you can now get the power of Cl02 for your vehicle with AutoShocker Cl02 Odor Eliminator Quick Release from Biocide Systems.

AutoShocker allows you to get smoke smell out of your car without the need for time-consuming deep-cleaning odor removal methods. Simply move your vehicle into a garage or shaded area, close all windows, place AutoShocker inside your vehicle, remove the lid, activate, and allow it to sit for up to 24 hours.

This odor bomb reaches even the most remote areas of your vehicle’s interior, eliminating smoke smell the first time safely and for good.

You don’t have to put up with persistent smoke smell in your vehicle; eliminate it today with AutoShocker Cl02 Odor Eliminator Quick Release.

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