Your Complete Resource for Eliminating Car Smoke Odor

An in-depth tutorial on how to make your car smell like new

Smoke from cigarettes doesn't hold back Its odor sneaks into our linens, carpets, and upholstery without permission. Many people find the odor to be extremely unpleasant, ranking up there with that of gasoline and sulfur.

For this reason, eliminating the lingering odor of cigarettes in your vehicle is an absolute necessity. In any case, we have compiled a list of options for eliminating the odor.

We've got you covered whether you're looking for a quick solution that provides temporary relief from the odor or a more permanent solution that involves a thorough cleaning. Aside from the obvious (hello, professional cleaner), you can also vacuum, deodorize, and even take out your cabin air filter to thoroughly clean your car. In no time at all, you'll be able to make your car smell pleasant enough that you and your passengers won't mind being in it.

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The immediate priority is to... The time has come for us to deal with your problem. Check out our Quick Fix Tips and Tricks if you need a quick refresher (i.e., your car is likely to experience smoke again). Your car's odor will improve noticeably without much work, to the point where you can drive your friends around the block without feeling embarrassed.

To remove the odor permanently, however, a thorough cleaning is required. (Smoking shouldn't be a lifelong banishment for any reason. So, read on for some in-depth advice on how to give your car a real second chance without spending a fortune: (Yes, you should still pay attention to our Quick Fix steps, but afterward scroll down to our Deep Cleaning Tips and Tricks.

The first step is to assemble a cleaning kit that includes:

Smoke and ash must be removed from every crevice of your vehicle. Yes, empty your ashtray's contents into the trash and give your car a good sweeping. Place the ashtray in a well-ventilated area outside of the vehicle and spray it down with a multi-surface disinfectant such as Microban 24 to kill 99 Kills 99.9 percent of bacteria for 24 hours* when used as directed All you have to do is spray the product and set it aside to dry in the air.

As a second step, we will vacuum.

Car smoke can easily be absorbed by the car's soft surfaces. Use a handheld vacuum to remove any lingering odor-causing particles. Be sure to use the hand attachment to reach places like the space between the seatbacks and the bottoms, as well as any other tight crevices you find. Use your non-dominant hand to open up the seams in the car seats, and then use your dominant hand to press firmly down on them with the vacuum cleaner, removing all of the dust and debris, including the ones you can't see. Take out the mats, vacuum the carpeting underneath, and then put the mats back in the car once you've determined whether or not the stale odor of smoke has been removed.

Spray Febreze Fabric Auto on the seats and backseats to help remove the smoke odor. After that, throw open the car's windows and doors and set the air conditioning to recirculate. Air should be allowed to circulate for at least an hour throughout the entire system.

The fourth step is to clean the hard floors.

Use a homemade solution to wipe down the windows and mirrors in your car. Mix a quarter cup of vinegar and half a teaspoon of liquid dish soap like Dawn in a spray bottle. Then, dilute the mixture with two cups of water. Give the bottle a good shake before using it to spritz your windows and mirrors, and then dry them off with a microfiber cloth. After that, spray some Microban 24 on a cloth and wipe down the plastic parts of your car's interior; this will not only clean the plastic but also protect it from bacteria for up to 24 hours if used as directed*.

As soon as you've made sure your car's ashtray and floor mats don't smell like smoke, you can put them back in the vehicle. The addition of a car air freshener to the rearview mirror is a sensible safety precaution to take.

Methods for Thorough Cleaning

If you want to get rid of the lingering smell of cigarettes in your car, you should use every available method. For an even more thorough cleaning, try some of these methods in addition to the ones already mentioned.

To begin, round up your resources:

  • An example of this is baking soda.
  • Internal cabin air filtration system
  • Deodorizer spray can for automobiles

In the first place, you'll need to sprinkle some baking soda.

A great medium for odor absorption is baking soda. Spread it around the carpeted areas of your vehicle to begin with. This includes the floor, the backs of the seats, the ceiling, and anywhere else that might be soft. It may feel a bit like vandalizing your own car, but just go with it. Baking soda should be left for about 36 hours before being vacuumed up. Baking soda tends to stick to upholstery, so you'll need to vacuum it up more than once.

The second step is to change the cabin air filter.

The amount of dust, dirt, and odors that an old air filter can hold may surprise you if you've never had one replaced before. To swap it out for a new one, you'll need to empty the glove compartment first, then slide the box off its hinges. In most cases, you won't need any special equipment to do this. Take out the soiled air filter and replace it with a new one. So simple!

Clean your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system's air filters

Using the car's air conditioning to distribute deodorizer is an effective method of removing the odor of smoke. Open every window and find the air conditioning intake first. (It's probably near the bottom of your windshield. Just turn on the key and switch to the recirculation mode. You should turn the temperature down to its absolute minimum and crank up the fans to their highest setting. It's best to turn off the engine and spray the deodorizer directly into the HVAC intake (or vents, if you have an extension tube) before starting the car. Keep the windows down and the deodorizer in the car for a while. Boom A new aroma has been installed in your vehicle.

So long Your only remaining option is to relax and enjoy your trip without having to worry about a bad odor. We think you and your passengers will appreciate the extra effort.

*When used as directed, it kills Staphylococcus aureus and Enterobacter aerogenes in the air for up to 24 hours. Microban 24 does not offer continuous virus protection.

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