How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of Car – Here Are Some Ways How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of Car – Here Are Some Ways

Yuck! To the non-smoker, the stench of nicotine and tobacco can be overwhelming. Sure, we all have our vices – but smokers have one of the most potent vices there is.

But even the regular smoker may sometimes notice the overpowering aroma in certain places. This is especially true in a car. Even the nose-blind smoker can become sickened by the odor because it can permeate in such a confined space.

Whether you smoke in your car every day or you recently dropped off a friend who took part in the habit during the ride, you may have issues with the way your car smells. Luckily, the smoke smell isn’t permanent.

Why Knowing How to Get Smoke Smell Out of a Car Matters

When we’re talking about cigarette smoke, it’s easy to note the odor alone. As pungent as it may be, this doesn’t discuss the main problem with cigarette smoke – it’s dangerous.

We all know that second-hand smoke can be just as bad as puffing the cigarette yourself, but new studies show that even lingering residue can be hazardous to your body. This means it’s better for everyone to get rid of that residue.

Thirdhand smoke, as it is known, can cause a variety of health problems. From asthma and ear infections in children to an increased risk in cancer for people of all age groups, smoke residue can be extremely harmful to anyone in the car. Even if you’re a smoker who can’t resist that puff on the commute home, cleaning out the residue every so often is a smart move.

But before you can do that, there’s the preliminary phase. To prepare properly toward how to get smoke smell out of a car, you should take these preparatory steps before attempting any one of the seven on our main list.

1.     Clean the Trash Out of Your Car

clean trash

When we’re discussing how to get smoke smell out of a car, we’re talking largely about neutralizing odors. The more trash you have in your vehicle, the harder your smoke-fighting solution will have to work. We don’t need to talk about the importance of having a neat car – but less garbage ultimately offers the same benefit as a smoke-free car. It’s cleaner, and thus healthier.

2.     Vacuum and Scrub the Vehicle’s Interior

vacuum inside car

Getting the smoke smell out of your car is like getting any other kind of smell out of your car. If it’s unpleasant odor that’s the problem, a thorough cleaning is good prep work. You just need a quick vacuum to get loose crumbs, dust, and even hidden bits of cooled ash out of the vehicle. That plus wiping down surfaces with a towel soaked in car-safe cleaning fluid can total about a half-hour’s work that goes a long way toward your goal.

3.     Empty the Ash Tray (and Consider Keeping it Out)


For smokers, the ash tray is one of the most important parts of a car. Empty it out before you try to take out the smoke scent as it will make things much easier. But a better idea is to consider keeping it out permanently. If you do plan to keep smoking in your car, you’ll still need a way to put out cigarettes properly and store them safely until they can be properly disposed of. But keeping clumps of ash and butts around will mean you’ll be doing one of our seven solutions below more often than everyone else.

There’s also a good reason to make sure your vehicle’s ventilation systems are working properly. Proper airflow and circulation makes it easier to keep bad odors out. If you aren’t sure exactly what to look for, any issues can be revealed during a routine inspection.

Now on to our seven solutions on how to get smoke smell out of a car!

Getting the Smoke Smell Out: Try These 7 Solutions

White Vinegar: Leave Overnight Then Clean Off


What is it about vinegar that makes it so good against so many strong odors? Thanks to its chemical properties, it can pull the nastiness right from the air, from deep in fabrics, from in microscopic cracks on surfaces, and more.

Leave a cup of this in your vehicle overnight, and the smoke smell will be gone. If the vinegar odor itself is bothering you, give your vehicle a second wipe down and hang a spare air freshener inside. In less than 24-hours and for less than $50, you can keep your car smoke-scent free.

Baking Soda: Sprinkle Around Then Vacuum Away


Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda, 5 lb
  • America's #1 trusted Baking Soda brand
  • FOR MORE THAN 100 YEARS: A versatile, effective and affordable solution that has been...
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Baking soda is another one of those handy materials that can be used to tackle so many different odors. Obviously, the difference here from the first entry is the solution’s consistency. Instead of leaving a cup of it inside, sprinkle a little on your floormats.

This will make the cleanup period a little different. Instead of wiping down surfaces to finish the job, you’ll just vacuum up the material and any lingering residue in the process. Mm – smells better already!

Coffee Grounds: Replace and Mask the Smell


Folgers Classic Roast Ground Coffee, Medium Roast, 30.5 oz
  • Contains 1 - 30.5 Ounce AromaSeal Canister of Folgers Classic Roast Ground Coffee
  • Rich, pure medium roast coffee in a special AromaSeal canister for freshness
  • The Best Part of Wakin’ Up in its most famous form

This is a unique one if you don’t like the smell of smoke but love the smell of coffee. Grounds are more likely to replace the smell with their own strong odor, though they can be an effective masking agent as well.

The benefit of this is that it’s easy and fast. You just have to have an open container of coffee grounds in your vehicle. Not only is it a quick solution, it’s easy to do. Who doesn’t need to buy more coffee? Pick up a spare for the smoke smell.

Charcoal: Eliminate, Not Mask the Odor


Char-Broil Center Cut Lump Charcoal, 11 lb
  • Better charcoal equals better grilling results
  • Clean-burning, 100% natural, hardwood lump charcoal
  • Comprised of organic, center-cut hardwoods only- no limbs, bark, binders or excessive...

If you’re looking for a way to really eliminate that odor instead of just masking it, go with charcoal. It’s another material great for soaking up unpleasant odors completely and thoroughly.

The downside? This one takes a little longer. Since we’re dealing with residue removal and not just odor masking, you could end up having to leave a bowl of charcoal in your vehicle for days to get the full effect. Those with pet cats can improvise with this one. A bowl of cat litter can achieve the same effect.

Dryer Sheets: Deep Clean Cloth Surfaces


Bounce Dryer Sheets Laundry Fabric Softener, Outdoor Fresh Scent, 240...
  • One 240 count box only
  • Helps reduce wrinkles. 1 sheet = Small & Medium loads. 2 sheets = Large & HE Full loads. 3...
  • Controls static cling in fabrics

Dryer sheets might as well be called a miracle tool. They’re another material that’s so handy for removing odors and nastiness, especially on cloth surfaces. If your seats still have that faint odor of smoke after a good vacuuming, follow it up with these.

If you transport a smoker often and want a quick way to clean their seat after they exit, these are easy to toss in your console along with napkins and the other all-purpose cleaning materials most drivers keep on hand. They can even be used on dashboards, making them a car air freshener when you need it.

Vehicle Odor Bomb: Eliminate Tough-to-Remove Smells


Adam's Odor Bomb, Odor Neutralizer for Car and Home, Fights Bad Odors,...
  • Adam’s Odor Bomb uses eco friendly chlorine dioxide vapors to destroy bad odors, with no...
  • Works on even the toughest smells, removes odors caused by bacteria, chemicals, cigars,...
  • This product is not a masking agent, it is an odor neutralizer that cleans the air and...

When you want to eliminate an odor completely, go with a vehicle-safe odor bomb. You may find some work better than others depending on your vehicle’s side or the level of smoke residue you’re dealing with. It’s another solution that takes a little time to work fully, but the result speaks for itself.

Odor bombs are designed to completely eliminate odor. If you’re sick of the smoke smell and all the masking agents you’ve tried, use this to take it out once and for all.

Use Car-Safe Air Freshener Spray


Glade Automatic Spray Refill, Air Freshener for Home and Bathroom,...
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If you’re more about speed and functionality in terms of a solution that makes your car smell fresh, it’s never bad to go back to basics. There are plenty of sprays that can freshen up your car’s interior without doing any harm to any materials.

This one can be used in various ways. You could use a bit on a seat where a smoker had been sitting, or spray the whole car and let the spray settle overnight. Extreme cases may take a few applications of the latter method, but at least as the smoke smell vanishes a flavored odor can take its place.

Getting the Smoke Smell Out of a Car with Ease

Knowing how to get smoke smell out of a car is a valuable skill. It’s a way to keep your car healthier and a way to make each drive more enjoyable.

With proper airflow and proper cleaning methods, your car will stay cleaner which can even help it work a little better or cost you a little less money.

The great news is you don’t need any expensive cleaning procedures performed at your local auto shop. With any number of items you can find at your local retailer or in value packs online, you can combat the scent of smoke.

If your love for cigarettes overpowers your personal health concerns, think about the longevity of your car. With less smoke residue inside, your vehicle could last a little longer. Don’t let that smoke smell permeate another day. Use one of our solutions above and freshen up your ride.

Last update on 2021-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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