How to Eliminate a Smoke Smell from Your Car

How to Eliminate a Smoke Smell from Your Car

Whether you're a recently quit smoker or you've carried passengers who enjoy a cigarette or two, the lingering smell of smoke in your car is unpleasant for anyone who doesn't share the habit.


Not only does the odour take the edge off your driving pleasure, it's also a guaranteed turn off if you want to sell your car. What can you do to freshen up your vehicle? Luckily, you don't need to shell out for a full pro-level detail if you have a few common household supplies to hand.


To eliminate even the most ingrained nicotine smell from your car, you'll need the following:


  • A vacuum cleaner with attachments to reach all your car's nooks and crannies.
  • Ordinary household baking soda.
  • An upholstery cleaner suitable for your car's interior materials.
  • Regular cleaning fluid for filters and the windshield.


Interior Seats


Removing Smoke Smells from Cloth Upholstery


The baking soda is the star of the show for removing the smoky smell from your car. Rather than masking an odour like an air freshener does, it absorbs the chemicals producing the smell to eliminate it completely. Baking soda is particularly good for dealing with acidic smells such as those caused by tobacco smoke.


First, vacuum the inside of your car thoroughly to remove all traces of ash or smoke-infused dust. Next, sprinkle the baking soda evenly over all the surfaces of your seats, carpet, and other fabric areas. It needs to be finely spread to be really effective, but don't try and rub it in - just leave it on the surface, where it will start to absorb the odours.


Leave the baking soda to do its work for at least half an hour, but preferably longer, then vacuum it back up. Hopefully it should take most of the odour away the first time, but you can repeat the whole process as often as you need to leave your car smelling fresh and clean.


Removing Smoke Smells from Leather Upholstery


The process for removing smoke odours from leather upholstery is a little different. While baking soda is a safe odour-reducing agent for almost any surface, it pays to be extra cautious with leather seating and trims.


As with cloth seats, give the whole car a thorough vacuum first, then use a dedicated leather upholstery cleaner according to the instructions on the bottle. A high-quality product will make short work of even the most stubborn smell.


Change the Filter, Wipe Down Surfaces


Lastly, to ensure your hard work isn't wasted, change your car's cabin air filter and clean the mechanism. This will prevent any smells hiding in the system from being reintroduced to your car. For the same reason, wipe down your windshield, mirrors, console, and other surfaces using the correct cleaners as described in your car owner's manual.


This process may seem a little involved, but it's quicker and cheaper than a full detail. If you want to efficiently eliminate the smoke smell from your car, you can be driving in a fresh and clean atmosphere within only a few hours.

Categories: Service, tips