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How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Car

To prevent any problems with third hand smoke, it is very important that you get rid of tobacco that lingers inside of your cars. In this guide we’ll teach you how to get smoke smell out of car with a few simple household items along with some important tips.

According to information published on, tobacco residue from cigarettes and cigars is not only offensive but contains dangerous toxic gaseous substances like arsenic, cyanide, and lead.  

Because there are several different types of surfaces in your vehicle that smoke smells can linger onto, you need to learn as much as you can about how to get smoke smells out of car.   Keeping these things in mind, let’s get started. 

1. Cleaning Items

Basic Cleaning Items Needed:

  • Steam Cleaner
  • White Vinegar
  • Cleaning Rags 
  • Ozium (Odor Neutralizer)
  • Vacuum Cleaner

2. Move Vehicle to a location that’s Well Ventilated and Remove the Cigarettes butts

After collecting all of the cleaning items that you need, move your vehicle to a location that is well ventilated. Cleaning your car inside of your garage is highly discouraged since you need extra ventilation to air your car out. 

Once the car has been moved to the best-ventilated location, throw out all cigarette butts, cigarette ashes, and any other types of tobacco substances. 

3. Clean out the Interior of Your Vehicle  By Removing All Vehicle Accessories

Remove all of your car’s accessories out of your vehicle so that you can clean them separately.  The car accessories that you need to remove include the following:

  • Floor mats
  • Removal Floor Carpeting
  • Seat Covers
  • Other Miscellaneous Items

Once all of the accessories have been removed, vacuum your vehicle with a dry vacuum cleaner to remove all dirt, dust, and debris.

This part of the cleaning process should be done thoroughly before moving to the next step (steam vacuum). 

4.  Steam Clean the Interior of the Vehicle

After you have vacuumed your vehicle with a dry vac, clean your car’s upholstery with a steam vacuum.  The steam vacuum will help to pull out any lingering smoky smells and other types of odors from your upholstery. 

Based on the type of steam vac process that you use, these vacuums can also be used to remove offensive smells, while also leaving back clean and fresh smelling fragrances.

5.  Wipe Down All Surfaces with a Moist Rag

After steaming the upholstery inside of your vehicle, wipe down the other areas of the car with a moist rag.

For instance, remove the smoky substances from your vehicle’s dashboard, steering wheel, vinyl or leather seats, and console by wiping them with a wet rag.

This rag can be soaked in a number of different types of cleaning products, including white vinegar. White vinegar is good for removing odors and neutralizing smells. 

Special Note: Read your owner’s manual to determine the best cleaning agents to use on your leather seats. 

6. Remove Smoky Smells for Your Car’s Air ducts and Car heating Systems

1. Roll all of the car windows down on your vehicle to allow the smoke smells to lessen. 

2. Turn on your car’s engine but do not remove the car out of the park position. 

3. To clean out the air duct system, let the air conditioner systems blow on full blast. 

Spray neutralizer (Ozium) into the air intake system to neutralize all of the offensive smoke smells. ( i.e. vents are normally located by your vehicles’ wiper blades)

4. To clean out the heating system, let the heating systems blow on full blast. You will also spray the neutralizer into the heating system.

7. Draw out and Neutralize the Remaining Smoke Residue and Chemicals Out of Your Car with one of these 5 Best Home Remedies

After you have cleaned your vehicle thoroughly using the steps provided above, you can use one or more of these 3 home remedies below to complete the job. 

1. White Vinegar

White Vinegar is an excellent home remedy for many different things. In this case, it can be used to get rid of smoke smells. To start this process, all you have to do is leave a cup or bowl of vinegar on the inside of your vehicle overnight. 

2. Soda

To get rid of the remaining smoke smells in your vehicle, sprinkle baking soda liberally on your carpeting and on your floor mats. Vacuum the remains of the baking soda up to further freshen your interior. 

3. Charcoal

Charcoal is also an excellent home remedy that many people are using to neutralize different odors in a vehicle, including getting rid of smoke smells. Again, all you have to do is leave a bowl of charcoal in your vehicle overnight. 

Bottom Line

Getting rid of smoke smells out of your vehicle is not only about removing offensive smells from your vehicle today.

For most people, removing smoke smells from your vehicle is also about reducing exposure to third-hand smoke and its dangerous chemicals.

Therefore, when you start this job, you need a plan that will remove all of the smoke smells from every part of your vehicle strategically, including neutralizing smells with the best home remedies. 

So now you know how to get smoke smell out of car. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below and make sure to check out some other important guides!

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