Get the smoke smell out of a car

How to Get Smoke Smell Out of a Car

If you’ve recently bought a used car or are a smoker yourself, you’ll know how difficult it is to get smoke smell out of a car.

Not only is it unpleasant, but it can also be harmful to your health.

NOTE: Fresh Gear machines can sanitize and deodorize pretty much anything. But, even though they’re bigger than a fridge, we realize that not everything can fit inside.
And, even though there are many Sanitizing Centers across 10 countries, there may not be one near you.

So, we’ve gathered a collection of the most popular, non-FreshGear ways of sanitizing and deodorizing to help you out.

In this article, we’ll explore the causes of the smoke smell and provide effective remedies to rid your car of the odor.

Understanding the Smoke Smell in Your Car

The smoke smell in your car can be quite unpleasant and can come from many different sources. It is important to understand the type of smoke odor you are dealing with to determine the best cleaning process. In addition, there are various factors that can affect the removal of smoke smell from your car.

Types of Smoke Odors

Identifying the type of smoke odor in your car is crucial to determine the best cleaning process. Here are some common types of smoke odors:

  • Tobacco smoke – This type of smoke comes from cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. It leaves behind a stale, acrid scent that can be challenging to remove. Tobacco smoke can also leave behind nicotine stains on surfaces.
  • Fire smoke – Smoke from fire damage can leave a strong, smoky odor that lingers even after the source of the fire is gone. This type of smoke odor can be particularly challenging to remove, especially if the fire was severe.

Each type of smoke odor requires a different cleaning technique to effectively remove it from your car.

Factors Affecting Smoke Smell Removal

The level of smoke odor and how long it has been inside your car can vary the difficulty of removing it. If the smoke smell has been present for a long time, it may have penetrated deep into the surfaces of your car, making it harder to remove. Additionally, porous materials like fabric seats can absorb smoke odor and make it more challenging to get rid of. The temperature and humidity level inside your car can also impact how the odor sticks to surfaces.

It is essential to address smoke smell in your car as soon as possible to prevent it from becoming a permanent issue. Regular cleaning and maintenance of your car can help prevent smoke odor from building up and becoming a problem.

By understanding the different types of smoke odors and the factors that affect their removal, you can effectively eliminate smoke smell from your car and enjoy a fresh, clean ride.

Preparing Your Car for Smoke Smell Removal

Before attacking the smoke smell, it’s necessary to first prepare the car. Follow these steps:

1- Clearing Out Debris

Remove any trash, empty bottles, or food wrappers inside your car. Clearing out debris from the car can help you get rid of the source of the foul smell.

It’s important to note that debris can also attract pests and rodents, which can cause further damage to your car. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep your car clean and free of clutter.

2- Vacuuming the Interior

Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the interior of your car, paying special attention to the seats, floor mats, pedals, and other areas where smoke residue can accumulate.

When vacuuming, make sure to use the appropriate attachments for each area of the car. For example, use a crevice tool to clean tight spaces, and a brush attachment for the seats and floor mats.

Additionally, consider using a steam cleaner to further sanitize and deodorize the interior of your car.

3- Inspecting the Air Filter

A dirty air filter can retain smoke odor inside your car. Check the air filter of your car and replace it if necessary.

It’s recommended to replace your car’s air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or as specified in your car’s owner manual. A clean air filter not only improves air quality inside your car, but also helps your car run more efficiently.

Furthermore, consider using an air purifier to further improve the air quality inside your car.

4- Removing Upholstery

If the smoke smell is particularly strong, consider removing the upholstery from your car and washing it separately. This can help remove any smoke residue that has penetrated the fabric.

When washing the upholstery, use a mild detergent and avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals that can damage the fabric.

After washing, allow the upholstery to air dry completely before reinstalling it in your car.

Natural Remedies for Smoke Smell Removal

Dealing with smoke smell in your car can be a frustrating experience. Whether it’s from cigarette smoke or a previous owner, the smell can be overpowering and difficult to remove. Fortunately, there are many natural household products that can neutralize smoke odors. Here are some effective natural remedies:

Baking Soda Treatment

Baking soda is a tried and true remedy for eliminating stubborn odors, including smoke. To use this method, simply sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the carpets, seats, and other surfaces inside your car. Allow the baking soda to sit for a few hours, and vacuum it up afterwards. Baking soda can effectively absorb smoke odors, leaving your car smelling fresh and clean.

White Vinegar Solution

White vinegar is another natural product that can be used to eliminate smoke smells. To make a white vinegar solution, mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the car seats, carpets, and other surfaces. Allow the mixture to dry, and repeat the process if needed. The acidity of the vinegar helps to break down the smoke particles, leaving your car smelling fresh and clean.

Coffee Grounds Technique

If you’re a coffee drinker, you may already have the perfect solution for eliminating smoke smells in your car. Coffee grounds can work as a natural deodorizer. Simply place a bowl of coffee grounds inside your car and leave it overnight. The coffee grounds will absorb the smoke smell, leaving your car smelling like your favorite morning brew.

Activated Charcoal Absorption

Activated charcoal is a powerful odor absorber that can be used to eliminate smoke smells in your car. To use this method, place charcoal briquettes in a container inside your car and leave them there for several days to eliminate the smoke smell. The porous nature of the charcoal helps to trap and absorb the smoke particles, leaving your car smelling fresh and clean.

By using these natural remedies, you can effectively eliminate smoke smells from your car without using harsh chemicals or expensive products. Try one or more of these methods today and enjoy a fresh, clean-smelling car!

Commercial Products for Smoke Smell Removal

Smoke smell is a common problem for many car owners, and it can be challenging to get rid of. However, several commercial products can work well to eliminate smoke odors. These products not only remove the smell but also leave your car smelling fresh and clean. Here are some of the best commercial products for smoke smell removal:

Odor Eliminating Sprays

Odor eliminating sprays are a quick and easy solution to get rid of smoke smell in your car. You can find these sprays designed for cars at most auto supply stores. They work by neutralizing smoke odors and come in a range of fragrances to choose from. Some of the most popular fragrances include lavender, citrus, and vanilla. These sprays are easy to use, and all you need to do is spray them in your car’s interior to get rid of the smoke smell.

Car Air Fresheners

Car air fresheners are another popular solution to mask or freshen up the smoke smell in your car. These fresheners come in a variety of options, including hanging air fresheners, vent clips, and sprays. It’s essential to choose an air freshener with a subtle scent and avoid overpowering options that can be overwhelming. Some of the most popular scents for car air fresheners include pine, new car scent, and ocean breeze.

Smoke Odor Removal Bombs

Smoke odor removal bombs are aerosol cans that emit a mist that interacts with the odor molecules to eliminate them. These products work by neutralizing the smoke smell in your car’s interior. However, it’s essential to use these products in a well-ventilated area as they can be strong and overpowering. Smoke odor removal bombs are easy to use, and all you need to do is activate the can and leave it in your car for a few minutes to get rid of the smoke smell.

Ozone Generators

Ozone generators are another effective solution for getting rid of smoke smell in your car.

These generators work by releasing ozone gas, which reacts with the smoke odor molecules to neutralize them.

Although this method is effective, ozone generators can be expensive and potentially dangerous if used in enclosed spaces.

It’s essential to use them with caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.


Smoke smell can be a challenging problem to deal with in your car.

However, with the right commercial products, you can easily get rid of the smoke smell and leave your car smelling fresh and clean.

Whether you choose odor eliminating sprays, car air fresheners, smoke odor removal bombs, or ozone generators, make sure to follow the instructions carefully and use them in a well-ventilated area for the best results.

Share this post