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How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of Car the Easy Way

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How to Remove Smoke Smell from Car

Odor Rescue 101: How to Remove Smoke Smell From Your Car

Are you wondering how to get the smoke smell out of your car, and put it in your rearview mirror? Smoke odor or cigarette smell is a monster to get rid of because it clings to the car’s soft surfaces and upholstery fibers.


Luckily, there are a few tricks for making smoke smells go away. These tricks can have your car smelling like it just rolled off the lot again!

The key is to focus on lifting and neutralizing embedded odors instead of simply “covering up” cigarette smell or cigar smell. Everyone who steps into your car will know the difference!

There are several reasons why people want to know how to remove smoke smell from cars.

The first is that they just purchased a new car that is giving off telltale whiffs that the previous driver was a smoker.

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The good news is that you’ll only have to do this smoke-busting routine once if this is you because the odors will evaporate for good.


The second reason why you might be looking up how to get the smoke smell out of your car is that you regularly smoke in your car.


In your case, you’ll be able to use this odor-busting regimen as often as you need because it’s completely gentle and harmless.

You may even be looking for tips for getting smoke smell out of your car if you never smoke in your car.


People who enjoy cigars while relaxing at home, with friends, or at the bar find that the strong, pungent odor of cigar smoke will actually transfer from their clothes to their car upholstery.

These tips will even work for that!

Steps to Remove Smoke Odor Out of Your Car

Step 1: Remove the Source of Smoke Smells From Your Car

Start by emptying your ashtray. Don’t just “tap it empty” as you might usually do. Take the ashtray outside of the car to give it a good spray down.


You can use a product like Whiff Out or Microban 24 to wipe down the ashtray’s entire surface area to get rid of odor-causing bacteria.

Step 2: Lift Smoke Smells From Your Car’s Upholstery and Carpeting

Give your car’s upholstery and carpeting the vacuuming of a lifetime. The trick here is to get into all of the crevices and nooks where old ash could be hiding.


Really get in there to vacuum with your seats in different positions to access tight spots. It’s best if you have a vacuum with slender hand attachments that let you really get into tough-to-reach spots.


This is true to get weed smell out of cloth seats as well. ;)


You’ll also want to pull out floor mats. Go over every inch!

Step 3: Use Deodorizing Magic to Neutralize Car Smoke Odors

Tips on deodorizing your car with baking soda

You just need simple, everyday baking soda for this one. Sprinkle baking soda over your carpeting and upholstery to neutralize any lingering odors that are trapped in fabrics and surfaces.


Allow the baking soda to sit for at least 15 minutes. You can even move on to the next step of cleaning your hard surfaces while you let the baking soda sit for an hour. Finally, vacuum up the loose baking soda.


If you still smell a hint of smoke odor after doing the sniff test, apply some Febreze to the car upholstery for a final punch.


One hack for those who need to keep their stinky cars smelling sensational is to simply leave an open box of baking soda stashed away out of sight as you’re driving around!

Step 4. Don’t Forget About Hard Surfaces Odor in Your Car

While smoke loves to nestle into soft, plush surfaces like cloth car seats, it can also cling to the hard surfaces in your car.


The polypropylene plastic that is used for most of the hard surfaces in cars is pretty porous. 


Take some time to browse car-specific cleaners like Sonax, Armor All, Microban 24, and 303 Multi-Surface Cleaner.


Next, select a glass cleaner like Invisible Glass or Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner to wipe down mirrors and windshields using a microfibre cloth. 


If you have leather surfaces in your car, make sure that you’re using leather-safe products. There’s a “don’t” list of cleaners to avoid when cleaning your car’s interior.


Do not use ammonia, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide when trying to rid your car of cigarette smoke smell. 


In addition to ruining your car’s interior, these agents create strong odors that can be hazardous when inhaled.

Step 5: Recirculate the Air to Remove Smoke Smell From Your Car

You’ve just done quite a bit of work! You may be noticing now that all of the different smells of the various cleaning agents you’ve used are beginning to become a little bit overpowering.


It’s a great time to simply recirculate the air in your car. To do this, open all the doors of your car before activating the “recirculate” function on your air vents.


If you’re not fully satisfied with your car’s freshness level yet, you can even put down another layer of baking soda to let the air recirculate with it in place for some bonus deodorizing.


Do keep out the car floor mats before doing a final vacuuming.


Step 6: Replace Your Air Cabin Filter

Replace your car air filter to help remove smoke smell.

Your car’s smoke-saturated air filter may be trapping debris that’s packed with cigarette smoke odors.


If you’ve just inherited a car that belonged to a smoker, you’ll want to check the state of this “odor trap” right away.


Most cabin air filters are located right below the glove box. In fact, you can probably just slide out your glove box to make the swap without even using any tools.


If your cabin air filter isn’t tucked behind the glove box, it’s probably located under the hood or dash.

Bonus Tips for to Eliminate Smoke Smell From Your Car Fast

You don’t have to do the full routine every time you want to get smoke or cigarette smell out of your car!


There are some easy hacks to remove the smoke smell from your car overnight if you need a fresh car because you’re picking someone up for a ride in the morning. 


These tips can also help to break down odors as they’re created to slow down the “smoke takeover” that happens when you smoke in your car every day. Take a look:

  • Wipe down your leather car seats and surfaces with some fresh-scent dryer sheets before you exit following a smoke session.
  • Put some coffee grounds in a small container in your car to absorb odors.
  • Bring along a mug of cinnamon sticks in boiled water to counteract odors.
  • Make a habit of eating oranges, tangerines and other citrus fruits in your car to counteract cigarette smells. You can even put a “daily lemon” or lemon zest in cabin air filter to suck in bad odors if you need to drive people around regularly.
  • Always crack your car windows when smoking!

There’s one final tip for keeping cigarette smell out of your car that’s very important! If it seems like your car stinks more than it should, there could be a simple underlying problem that’s exacerbating smoke smells.


Make sure that your car’s HVAC system is working properly. When working properly, your heating and air conditioning should be pulling in fresh air from the outside while pulling smoke toward your vents and cabin air filters.

– Jack


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How to Remove Smoke Smell from Car

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About the Author:

Jack Cullum aka "The Box Man" is known to bust a box or two open! He is super into it really! He is also the lead writer for Subscription Boxes for Men. So please connect with him on social and may all your boxes be great!

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