4 ways to get rid of tobacco smell in a car

4 ways to get rid of tobacco smell in a car
4 ways to get rid of tobacco smell in a car

If you've just bought a smoker's car that smells like cigarettes or you yourself are a smoker, you can get rid of tobacco odors with the right methods. You just need to quickly clean your car, use a combination of natural and chemical air fresheners, and your car will smell great again.


Method 1 of 4: Do a quick cleanup

Get Rid of Tobacco Odors in Cars Step 1

Step 1. Clean your carpets with a specific product and vacuum them

A classic carpet and rug cleaning product can do the trick, but if the smell is encrusted, you can use a stronger product. Then vacuum the carpets carefully.

  • If you can't clean the rugs, at least vacuum them. This removes the encrusted odor. You will remove small particles of smoke that have been trapped in the fibers of the rugs, and therefore part of the smell.

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Get Rid of Tobacco Odors in Cars Step 3

Step 2. Clean the car's ashtray

It goes without saying, if you want to remove the smell of cigarettes in your car, you have to remove the ashtray and clean it carefully. After doing this, spray deodorant in the ashtray and scrub with a paper towel. You will thus put a small layer of product throughout the ashtray. This layer is not flammable, but is enough to leave a good smell in the ashtray.

Get Rid of Tobacco Odors in Cars Step 3

Step 3. Hang an air freshener or odor diffuser in the car

Of course, if you are trying to hide the fact that you cleaned the car or that the car needs cleaning, then hanging air freshener can arouse suspicion. But if you just want to get bad smells out of your car, hanging an air freshener can make a big difference.

Get Rid of Tobacco Odors in Cars Step 4

Step 4. Turn on the heating and ventilation for 30 minutes

Open the doors, start the engine, and turn on the heating and ventilation while you clean the rest of the car. While you remove the old encrusted odors, the new air will circulate in the cabin and deodorize while purifying effectively.

  • If you really think your car needs it, replace your car's air filter. Change it every 20,000 kilometers or at least once a year. If you can't remember the last time you changed your filter, change it, you will see the difference.

    Get Rid of Tobacco Odors in Cars Step 6

Method 2 of 4: Use chemical cleaners

Get Rid of Tobacco Odors in Cars Step 5

Step 1. Use fabric and plastic cleaner

This kind of cleaner gives good results and neutralizes annoying odors. Spray it on seats, carpets, interior plastics and seat belts. Follow the directions on the package, scrub the product with a soft brush to work it into the fabric.

  • You can choose an antibacterial product, which will be more effective on tobacco odors.

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  • Removing your seats from the car before cleaning them can be inconvenient, but will have a drastic effect on odors. Part of the carpet under the seats absorbs tobacco odors and is difficult to reach if you leave the seats in place. Removing these is therefore a good idea if you want to do a complete cleaning and completely remove smoke odors.

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Step 2. Then spray the seats and rugs with pet deodorant

This may sound strange, but it works. Pet odor eliminators, especially those designed to eliminate urine odors, work wonders.

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Step 3. Use absorbent washing machine wipes

They also work to absorb odors in your car and keep the interior smelling nice. Place a few wipes under the seats or on the rear shelf. When exposed to the heat of the sun, they will release a good smell. A box of wipes will allow you to refresh your car easily and at a lower cost than with several deodorants.

  • The wipes will absorb bad smells. And over time, they release less fragrance. So replace them regularly.

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Get Rid of Tobacco Odors in Cars Step 8

Step 4. If the odor is still encrusted and stubborn, spray the fans with a diluted cleaning product

Use an organic cleaner if possible or bleach diluted in water. Find the air intake (usually outside on the windshield, along the windshield wiper mounts), turn on the ventilation and spray the product into the air intake. This will make it possible to eliminate the odors which stagnate in the ventilation circuits.

Get Rid of Tobacco Odors in Cars Step 9

Step 5. Regularly wash the seats and fabric in your car

Apply shampoo directly to carpets and seats. Work it in with a brush, rubbing gently. Then vacuum up the remaining shampoo with a specific nozzle that you can rent from a car cleaner or your car store.

Method 3 of 4: Use natural cleansers

Get Rid of Tobacco Odors in Cars Step 10

Step 1. Use the baking soda

It is a natural deodorant that has so many uses that it cannot be counted. It works great for deodorizing and purifying car interiors. For encrusted odors, you will need 500 g of baking soda. Here is how to do it.

  • Sprinkle the baking soda on all porous surfaces. Carpets, rugs, seats, the ceiling, and anywhere else the smell is encrusted.

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  • Work the powder into the surfaces. Use a brush, cloth or your hands to work the baking soda into the fabrics.

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  • Wait at least 30 minutes or all day if you can. The longer you wait, the more the deodorizing and purifying properties of baking soda will take effect and drive away tobacco odors.

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  • After you've waited the necessary time, vacuum up the baking soda wherever you applied it. Be sure to vacuum each area at least twice to remove all the baking soda and bad odor particles.

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Step 2. Scrub the interior of the car and the windows with a mixture of water and vinegar

To make the mixture, combine 10 cl of white vinegar with 60 cl of water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and stir. Spray on the windows and fabrics inside the car and wipe off the excess product. When you apply the mixture, the vinegar smell may be strong, but it will quickly disappear when the product dries.

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Step 3. Try placing roasted coffee beans in the car for a day

If you don't like the smell of coffee, this method might not be for you, but it works great. Place six small cups filled with roasted coffee beans in the cabin for a day. Leave the windows down an inch, close the doors, and let the coffee smell in the car for a day. Then remove the cups and enjoy!

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Step 4. Use crumpled newspaper

While not a great way to remove bad smells, newspaper does absorb tobacco odors. Crumple up a number of sheets of newspaper and place them in strategic places in the cabin. Allow 48 hours for the paper to absorb odors, then remove and recycle.

Like most of the methods shown in this article, this method can work in combination with any other. Soak up the odors with the newspaper and then place the coffee beans to spread a good scent

Get Rid of Tobacco Odors in Cars Step 14

Step 5. Place activated charcoal in your car, which will act as an odor filter

You can find activated charcoal in DIY stores or supermarkets, but also in pet stores or pharmacies. Place around 100g of activated charcoal in your car. Wait a day or two and the charcoal will have absorbed all the bad smells of tobacco in your car.

  • Some pet deodorants contain activated charcoal and cost less. Cat litter is one example. You can therefore place a litter cup in your car, it will also absorb odors.
  • Activated charcoal is a natural odor eliminator. If you've tried baking soda for odor removal, but no luck, activated charcoal is a good solution because it's stronger.
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Step 6. Leave a small cup of ammonia or vinegar in the cabin overnight

Ammonia is a very strong and potent product, so make sure you don't stay in the car when it works to remove bad odors. After removing the container, open windows and doors for an hour or two before using the car. Do this every night for a week or two if the ammonia smell has not gone away.

Method 4 of 4: Use other options

Get Rid of Tobacco Odors in Cars Step 8

Step 1. When you have cleaned the car, remove all odor residue using a shock treatment with an ozone generator

Instead of masking odors, the ozone generator will completely remove them. Ozone oxidizes and denatures the organic components of bad odors.

Get Rid of Tobacco Odors in Cars Step 17

Step 2. Consult an auto cleaning professional

Getting your car to a professional cleaner can cost quite a bit of money, but you won't have to worry about how to remove odors, how to clean properly, etc. You ensure that it is professionally cleaned by someone with experience and your car will be returned to its original condition, clean and with a pleasant smell.

Step 3. Stop smoking

The easiest way is still to stop smoking, definitely, so that you no longer have to suffer this kind of discomfort! Consider hypnosis to quit smoking, a technique that is often very effective in achieving this goal.


  • First of all, test all cleaning products in an inconspicuous place.
  • Do not use too strong a cleaner which could damage your fabrics or your dashboard.
  • Although the facts are not clearly established, it is possible to damage the internal components of a vehicle (for example, rubber seals) by too frequent use of an ozone generator. Generators rated at 4000-8000 mg / h are generally effective over a two hour period. Larger generators will also work fine, but for less time. Repeated treatments, separated by periods of aeration, are safer than a long and continuous treatment.
  • Take scent wipes and rub them on the seats. You can refill your wipe with the fragrance of your choice, you will find this in any specialized store.
  • Here is an original method to eliminate odors: 1. Cut an apple into quarters and put toothpicks on the sides to make a kind of tripod that you will put on a cup containing water. 2. Put the apple wedges in strategic places in the car and leave them for a day or night (works best with the windows down during the day). 3. For a good result, it sometimes takes a week, in this case, repeat steps 1 and 2 for a week.

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