Any smoker who is used to smoking inside his or her own car can tell you that they are guilty of turning their car into a 1940’s VIP lounge or a nightclub. Out of all the odors that get trapped into the upholstery and the carpet of a car, smoke smell from cigarettes are possibly the most difficult to get rid. While the smell may not bother people who smoke regularly, it can prove to be a nuisance to non-smokers or for people who are trying to quit, so you definitely need to know how to get cigarette smell out of cars.
There is actually an effortless way to get rid of the smell from your car, and that is to hand over your car to a professional cleaner. However, we all know that professional cleaning is not cheap plus you need to leave the car for a couple of hours.
That being said, it is not impossible to get rid of the cigarette smell in the car by yourself. It may take some time and will need you to get your hands dirty, but we can guarantee you that the end result is rewarding, and who knows, cleaning your car to get rid of the smell may also help you kick the habit for good!
How to Get Cigarette Smell Out of Cars: The Different Methods
The only possible way of removing the smoke smell from the car is by starting with a clean slate. Meaning, you have to make sure that the car is free from any objects. In this way, nothing will bother you while cleaning.
With all the cleaning methods that can be done, the very first step in order to get rid of the lingering smoke smell in the car is by removing all the ashes and cigarette butts still present in the car. They can either be tucked away in the car’s ashtray or may be lying on the floor.
1. The Simple Method
The smoke odors can easily penetrate and burrow into any surface that is porous, so just getting rid of the ashes and the cigarette butts won’t do the trick. Your next step involves vacuuming the car all over—that is under your seats and those corners that aren’t visible. Vacuuming also helps in drawing out all the lingering odors, but this is still not sufficient enough.
You can hang a car air freshener or put a vent clip inside since their smell will help in masking and in eliminating the smoke odor to a certain extent. Lastly, turn on the car’s heater and let the hot air circulate all over for about half an hour, with the windows and/or doors open, of course. The new air will recirculate and help in eliminating some of the smell.
2. Using Chemical Cleaners
Start off the whole process by shampooing the car’s carpets and seats. You can use a mild brush or a cloth to thoroughly clean the car and then vacuum the remaining with an extractor. You can also use a pet odor eliminator to get rid of the smoke smell.
Alternatively, you can choose to use several dryer sheets. Place several of them all over the interior of the car or just place the opened box of the sheets where it can come in contact with the sun. When it gets exposed to heat, the dryer sheets will release its scent all over the car and will keep your car smelling fresh for a long time and are far more cost-effective than using multiple car fresheners.
If the odor is particularly strong, then you can consider spraying a cleaner that is highly diluted through the car’s heater ducts. You can use Lysol or even a low concentration of bleach water to achieve best results.
3. The Natural Ways
Sometimes, the way to get rid of the smoke smell from the car would just need you to use some everyday home products. These can be highly effective and also be quite cheap. Some of these DIY remedies include:
- A Cup of Vinegar
Using a cup of vinegar in order to get rid of the smoke smell is possibly one of the oldest tricks in the book. Since most cars are equipped with a cup holder, just leave a cup of vinegar in your car and leave it overnight to lessen the smoke smell.
- Coffee Grounds
Wouldn’t it just be amazing to smell coffee in your car instead of smoke? Simply place a bowl of your ground coffee inside the car and leave all the doors and windows closed. Keep the bowl inside overnight or at least for a few hours. The coffee’s aroma is extremely strong and will completely take over the smoke smell.
- Cinnamon Sticks
If you are looking for a sweet smell to replace the smoke smell in your car, you can try using cinnamon sticks. Start off by boiling cinnamon sticks in water and then pour it into a travel mug. Leave the cup open in the closed car till it reaches back to room temperature.
- Citrus Peels
If you are someone who is obsessed with citrus fruits, then this would serve as a great remedy to get rid of smoke smell. Simply peel lemons, oranges, or any other citrus and leave the peels inside your car. The peels will absorb all of the smoke in the car and replace it with strong a citrusy smell.
Newspapers are also an excellent solution to get rid of smoke smell in a car. Just crumple a couple of pages of the newspaper and leave it overnight. The newspapers will absorb most of the smoke smell.
These are all the effective ways on how to get cigarette smell out of cars. As you may have realized, the whole process is achievable, but maybe a tad bit time-consuming. At the end of the day, you are cleaning your own car without spending much, so in the process of getting a smoke-smell-free car, you also get a clean looking car.