A Quick Guide to Remove Smoke Smell from Car and How to Keep it Away
Taking care of a car is hard work. Not only do you have to perform regular maintenance on your vehicle and keep it functional but you also have to clean it immaculately. Now, you might think it is not that important to keep your car clean but you couldn’t be more wrong. Stains on your car bring down its market value especially when you’re trying to sell it.
There are a number of stains that can get in your car. Some are easy to clean and some are relatively difficult. However, there is one thing that troubles most car owners because they just don’t know how to get rid of it.
Cigarette Smoke or Smoke Smell
Usually, smokers have this problem. Since they are used to smoking inside the car most of the time, the cigarette odor clings to the interior. Unless they start using vape pens, it is entirely possible that after some time, the cigarette smoke will settle in the pores of every surface and become extremely hard to clean.
But worry not, we have a list of things that have proven to be effective when it comes to removing smoke smell from the car. So, if you’re troubled by the same problem and looking for a solution, you’re at the right place.
Quick-fix Hacks to Remove Smoke Smell from a Car
There are a lot of ways in which you can remove the cigarette smells from a car. The following are the quick-fix hacks that you can perform overnight and drive a clean car in the morning. Not only are these deodorize car hacks green and environment-friendly but they also use common household items that are easily available too.
1. Using Baking Soda to eliminate cigarette odor
Baking soda is well-known for its absorbent qualities. Due to this, it is widely used in numerous cleaning hacks.
- Baking soda – $3 to $5 – anything lying around the kitchen will do
- Vacuum cleaner
- Scrub brushes – $2 to $3 – optional
How to do it
Sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda inside the car. Especially, cover the places that are more likely to trap the smoke such as the air vent, headliner of the car directly on top of the driver’s seat, floor mats, etc. Leave it for a few hours so that the baking soda can absorb the odor. You can also gently scrub some surfaces off if you feel that the odor is strong there. It is preferable if you leave it overnight. After the adequate time has passed, use a vacuum cleaner to remove the baking soda. You’ll instantly feel that air is fresher than before.
Pro tip: Make sure the interior of the car is completely dry before sprinkling the baking soda as it can stick to wet surfaces making it difficult to vacuum. Moreover, you can create pouches of baking soda and keep it inside the car to absorb the smell daily.
2. Wipe everything down with White Vinegar
This method works best if the air inside the car is really stuffy. White vinegar is an excellent cleaning agent and very efficient in removing smoke smell from a car.
- White Vinegar – $5 to $10 – easily available in kitchens and grocery stores
- Cleaning rags – $3 to $7 – any kind of clean cloth is fine
- Water – to dilute the vinegar
How to do it
Make a diluted mixture of vinegar with equal parts water. Take a cleaning rag and dip it on the mixture. Wipe every surface inside the car with this rag, especially the dashboard, seats and the headliner. This also helps remove any stains that were on these surfaces. After you’ve wiped down everything, open the windows and let the car ventilate.
Pro tip: You can also pour a sufficient amount of white vinegar in a cup and place it in the cupholder. Leave it overnight and you’ll see the smoke smell has lessened.
3. Using Coffee beans to Remove Smoke Smell from Car
You must know how popular coffee beans as air fresheners. The strong smell of coffee not only absorbs other smells but also mask it with its own. This method is especially favorite with people because who doesn’t like coffee!
- Grounded coffee beans – $50 to $60 – available at grocery stores
- Filter papers – $2 to $5 – available at grocery stores
How to do it
Take a handful of coffee beans and put them inside a filter bag. You should choose the filter bags usually used for making tea bags. Leave this bag inside the car overnight. Make sure to close all the windows to prevent the aroma of coffee from spreading to your garage. In the morning, your car will smell like coffee instead of smoke. You can also put some coffee grounds inside a cup and place it in the cupholder.
Pro tip: Do not use instant coffee. You need to strictly use grounded coffee beans. If it is too expensive for you, you can just buy coffee beans and ground them yourself.
4. Cat litter is excellent at Absorbing smell
You might have never thought about using cat litter to remove smoke smell from your car. But let me tell you, it is one of the best methods that is guaranteed to work. Cat litter is specifically made to absorb odor and hence, this hack.
- Cat litter – $20 to $30 – only buy what you need, unless you have cats as pets
- A large tub or bowl – $5 to $6
How to do it
Take a good amount of car litter and put it in a tub. Make sure to keep the lid open so that it can work its magic. Put this tub on the floor inside the car. You can put it in the front or the back. It doesn’t affect the way it works. Close all the windows and let it sit for a few hours. Overnight is best if your car smells heavily of cigarette smoke. After sufficient time has passed, take the litter out. Your car will be free of any smoke smell.
Pro tip: Do not worry about the various kinds of cat litter available at pet supply shops. You can use any regular and cheap ones.
Thorough-clean Methods to Permanently get rid of smoke odor
Aside from the quick and easy car hacks that remove smoke odor from your car, there are various deep cleaning methods too. These are best if you’re going to sell your car or if you’ve bought a used car that smells heavily of smoke.
5. Use a Vacuum Cleaner to Remove Smoke Smell from Your Car
Vacuum cleaning is a really effective method that not only clears out the smoke odor but also cleans the car interior.
- Vacuum cleaner – a regular or a handheld one
- Cleaning solution – $10 to $12 – readily available at automotive shops
- Brushes – $5 – large scrub brushes
- Latex gloves – for preventing skin irritation
How to do it
Open all the windows and take out the trash, for example, cigarette butts, etc. Also, take out the floor mats and wash them separately with detergent. Spray the cleaning solution all over the surface. It is better if you work in sections because cleaning solutions are quick to dry. Scrub the surface sprayed with the cleaning solution until it forms bubbles. Wipe it off with a clear rug wet with water. After you’ve cleaned the entire interior of the car. Take a handheld vacuum cleaner and vacuum the car dry. Keep the windows open for proper ventilation otherwise your car will smell stale.
Pro tip: You can also perform this without the cleaning solution although that is less effective. Just keep the windows open and vacuum the inside of your car.
6. Steamer cleans smell as well as Stains
A steamer is a portable device majority used for cleaning upholstery such as sofas, couches, etc. It is also great for cleaning the upholstery of the car.
- A steamer – $100 to $200 – you can purchase it from any appliance store
- Scrubbing brush – $3 to $5 – make sure it has soft bristles to minimize damage to the upholstery
How to do it
Take the steamer and fill it with water. Make sure to read the instructions before operating it. Keep the windows of the car closed while you use the steamer as the outside air car renders the steak useless. Work in sections and steam the surface of the car. Make sure to steam inside the air vents as well as the air conditioner. The hot air from the steamer will not only cleanse the air but also removed stains. Use the scrubbing brush wherever necessary and wipe off the stains. Vacuum the car after using the steamer.
Pro tip: Make sure to not steam a surface for too long as it can damage your car. Open the windows and doors of the car to allow proper ventilation after cleaning it.
If the steamer is too expensive for you and you can’t afford to buy it, look for a store that lends appliances. You can rent it for a day or two at a cheaper price.
7. Using Air Neutralizer inside the Car
One of the easiest methods that also provide thorough cleaning is using an air neutralizer. There are various kinds of air bombs or air neutralizers available in the market which you can use for this purpose.
- An air neutralizer spray – $10 to $15 – you can purchase it from your local drugstore
How to do it
This method is really easy. You only need to spray the air neutralizer in certain places. First of all, make sure the windows are open. Turn on the engine and set the fan to the fullest speed. You also need to set the air conditioner at the lowest temperature. Once it is running smoothly, spray the air neutralizer in it. Keep spraying until you feel a noticeable difference in the air. Similarly, spray the neutralizer in the duct system.
Pro tip: Do not forget to spray the air neutralizer in the heating system as well. It traps a lot of smoke smell.
Featured Image Courtesy: Flickr