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What’s That Smell? 7 Ways to Remove Smoke Smell from Your Car

Smoking is an insidious habit that, any smoker will tell you, is incredibly difficult to quit. As you enter into smoking, you find that more and more areas of life are affected by the smell and the urge to smoke.

It’s something that many of us try once or twice in our lifetimes, but a lot of people find that smoking creeps its way into their lives for long periods of time. One piece of the habit is smoking in the car. 

Hopping into the car and going to or from wherever you’re going is the perfect opportunity to smoke a cigarette. You’ll soon hear about it from your non-smoking friends, however. 

The smell of smoke in a car can be too much to bear for other people. You might not mind it, but others will. We’ll talk a little bit about removing the smoke smell from your car in this article.

How to Remove Smoke Smell from Your Car

Whether you’re quitting, trying to maintain the value of your car, or being considerate of others, you need to find a way to get rid of that gross smell. 

It typically won’t go away on its own, especially if you have cloth seats. We’ll cover some preventative methods as well as some that help to get the smell gone after you’ve finished the cigarette.

Let’s get started:

1. Don’t Smoke While Parked

If you’re going to continue smoking in your car, make sure that you aren’t parked while you do so. Smoking while driving is one way to eliminate a good deal of the smoke smell.

Even if you’re parked with your arm out the window, a lot of the smoke you exhale will wind up sticking to the fabric of your vehicle. Driving serves as a sort of vacuum for the smoke to move out of your windows and dissipate into the air.

2. Air Fresheners

This one seems obvious, we know. Air fresheners are one of the weakest defenses against the smell of smoke. Often times, air fresheners simply cover up and blend with the smell of smoke and it’s still pretty obvious. 

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That said, you can significantly move the smell away from stale smoke and towards summer eucalyptus or whatever scent you fancy.

3. Vacuum Your Floors and Ceilings

The cigarette ash all of over your flours is probably not helping the general smell of smoke in your car. Additionally, we’ve all slipped up and dropped a finished cigarette beneath the driver’s seat a few times. 

One old, stale cigarette can be one of the most disgusting sources of smells in the universe. Take a vacuum to your floors, your seats, even your ceilings and get that surface level of smells out of your car.

4. Deep Clean Your Vehicle

A lot of the smell is contained in the surface level of grime or dust that’s coating your vehicle. Taking an hour or two and deeply cleaning your entire car will significantly improve the smell of your vehicle. 

In fact, this is the first thing that you should do. By no means will this completely eliminate all of the scents from years of smoking in a vehicle, but it will take care of at least 50 percent of that old, grimy, smokey smell that no one likes.

5. Use Absorbents

Things like baking soda are often used to clear up stains and break up stinky materials to get them out of fabrics. Use baking soda or another absorbent as a method to soak up some of the latent smell that’s stuck in your seats, floors, floormats, and whatever other materials you have in your car. 

Simply sprinkle the baking soda liberally and let it sit for a few hours. You can then vacuum it up and wait a while to see if the smell is affected at all. 

You can also leave an open box of baking soda in your car at all times to absorb a good deal of the smell. The nice thing about absorbents is that they’re always absorbing, as the name suggests.

6. Consider Your Ductwork

Sometimes the most prominent smoke smells come from the vents of your car. Turning on the air, we’re sometimes subjected to a litany of ash and stink left over from cigarettes of the past. 

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Even if you’ve deep cleaned your vehicle and absorbed the heck out of the smells in it, you’ll just be pumping that smoke smell back into your car if you don’t take time to consider your ductwork. 

As cars move forward, cleaning out the ductwork gets more and more complicated. Our suggestion is to run your air conditioning for a good amount of time, maybe while you’re on your way to and from work, and see what the smell is like in the absence of cigarettes. 

It might be the case that your ductwork essentially self-cleans and removes the smoke smell after some time. If you find that it’s not helping, we recommend going to a mechanic and seeing if there are filters to be changed or other methods you could use to clear out those ducts.

7. Never Slip Up 

Whether you decide to quit or not, you should be able to hold off from smoking while you’re in the car. One cigarette might not do too much to stink up your vehicle after you’ve cleaned it, but smokers know that one cigarette always leads to another. 

Make a firm stand to quit smoking in your vehicle. Once you get it cleaned, you will be home-free as long as you don’t smoke in your car. Read more here about ways to get rid of the smoke if the above methods didn’t work for you. 

You can do it!

Smoke Not the Only Problem?

If we’ve made the decision to smoke in a car, it may be the case that the vehicle is already on the frits. You’d be surprised to find that, just like cleaning out smells, fixing your car can often be done on a DIY basis as well. 

Explore our site for help dealing with car problems that arise.