Automotive

How to get rid of cigarette smoke smell inside a car?

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  • May 2nd, 2011 2:01 am
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Deal Addict
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Apr 30, 2006
1863 posts
15 upvotes

How to get rid of cigarette smoke smell inside a car?

Hey guys,

So I recently purchased a pre-owned car and I think the previous owner was a smoker so everytime I go into my car, it smells like cigarette smoke. I tried using an air freshener that is mounted on the air vents but that doesn't seem to help. The ashtray seems to be very clean and I have cleaned it myself too so I know that is not the source of the smell. How can I get rid of the smell or even what other good fresheners are out there that will eliminate the smell? I used Febreeze fabric freshener and it seems to help a little bit.
15 replies
Deal Addict
May 2, 2010
1637 posts
142 upvotes
Toronto
Unfortunately the source of smell is probably not limited to one particular item in the car, but rather the whole interior. A lot of smell could be embedded inside the fabric of seat cover so if you can't wait until the smell wears off and disappear (could take a very long time) you could clean everything inside the car thoroughly (dash, windows, seats, everything).
Sr. Member
Jun 2, 2010
517 posts
28 upvotes
I used to detail for a dodge and toyota dealer.

An Ozone machine is the best bet. Depending on severity, it could take up to a whole day, possibly more, to remove most of the smell.

Use an aerosol car stink remover, SPRAY IN TO *RECIRCULATING* VENT (with recirculating on) a tip i learned from a pro. and does help

Shampoo the carpets and seats and *HEALINER*(careful, headliners are sometimes cardboard backed). Twice, maybe thrice.

leave the car to sit outside, for a whole day(warm, windy) with ALL the doors(or windows) open. This will definitely help.

Good luck. Smoke smell is so hard to remove from a car, and keep in mind it may never be completely removed.
Deal Addict
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Mar 10, 2009
2120 posts
71 upvotes
I've heard having a box of baking soda or bag of coffee beans opened and leaving it over night [the coffee might make your car smell like coffee]

or those portable steamers, try steaming your seats [if fabric] and flooring and carpets
Sr. Member
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Aug 13, 2006
664 posts
24 upvotes
Vancouver
you can try cquartz(or Car Pro in the US) cleancair/so2pure, its a photo catalyst that creates ozone when it gets light
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Sr. Member
Jun 19, 2009
547 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto
A good (paid) detailer and your own Ozium perhaps?
Sr. Member
Jan 14, 2007
811 posts
9 upvotes
Edmonton
I had this exact same issue.... What I did was...

1. A full steam clean of the carpet, seats and headliner...

2. See if your vehicle has a cabin air filter. If it does change it.

3. Anything I couldn't reach with the steam cleaner I soaked in automotive febreeze

4. I purchased a small Ozone machine ran it in the car for 24 hours.

5. I purchased "new car" smell air freshners.. cut them up and through them under the front seat.

6. I removed the vents and cleaned them as best I could. Purchased from an auto detailer an aerosol product that they use to spray the vents down in a certain order with the vents on and off.

7. Wiped down all vinyl surfaces with a multi-purpose cleaner that was safe for vinyl.

A pretty long process (took a weekend) but the odor has never come back.
Deal Addict
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Jun 22, 2006
4150 posts
151 upvotes
North York
Go to a marijuana-enthusiast (head shop) store and buy a can of Ozium. Turn your HVAC system to full blast, non-recirculate (take air in from outside the car) and then spray some of the ozium into the HVAC system intake (NOT the engine's air intake). The HVAC intake is usually near the bottom of the windshield under the hood. This will circulate the ozium in the heating/cooling system of the car. You can also spray the interior with the stuff.

The reason I say go to a marijuana shop is because the Ozium is very good for getting rid of the "smell". Also, that is the only place I've been able to find it for sale other than in the States. It comes in a few different scents, Vanilla (yellow label) is my favorite.
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Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2005
4882 posts
490 upvotes
Mississauga
flyingdutchman wrote:
May 1st, 2011 3:00 pm
Hey guys,

So I recently purchased a pre-owned car and I think the previous owner was a smoker so everytime I go into my car, it smells like cigarette smoke. I tried using an air freshener that is mounted on the air vents but that doesn't seem to help. The ashtray seems to be very clean and I have cleaned it myself too so I know that is not the source of the smell. How can I get rid of the smell or even what other good fresheners are out there that will eliminate the smell? I used Febreeze fabric freshener and it seems to help a little bit.

Go to canadian tire and look in the automotive section for a product called Bright Air Odor Eliminator.

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/3 ... ?locale=en
Deal Addict
Oct 30, 2008
2120 posts
53 upvotes
Toronto
My brother used to do detailing. There are special chemicals that are available that will solve the problem but those are available only to detailing and body shops. The entire car basically has to be treated, carpets, seats, panels, everything. Don't waste your money on stuff from CT because those things are absolutely useless.
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Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2005
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Mississauga
liorsyncro wrote:
May 1st, 2011 7:02 pm
My brother used to do detailing. There are special chemicals that are available that will solve the problem but those are available only to detailing and body shops. The entire car basically has to be treated, carpets, seats, panels, everything. Don't waste your money on stuff from CT because those things are absolutely useless.

I have used this product to ged rid of cigarette smoke in a used car i purchased and it worked well. If you haven`t used this product you shouldn`t
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Dec 15, 2004
2474 posts
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North York
Mask it w/a different smell like incense sticks
OR
start smoking cigars
LOL
j/k

Try changing the a/c filter/s and then leave the a/c on MAX w/the car windows/roof open while driving, that should get rid of the smell.
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Deal Addict
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Apr 30, 2006
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Thanks for the reply guys. Well I am a n00b when it comes to playing with the car interior (i.e. replacing air filters, removing and cleaning air vents, etc etc), so if I took it to a professional or to a dealer, what is the price range for them doing a full interior clean of my car?
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2005
4882 posts
490 upvotes
Mississauga
flyingdutchman wrote:
May 1st, 2011 8:22 pm
Thanks for the reply guys. Well I am a n00b when it comes to playing with the car interior (i.e. replacing air filters, removing and cleaning air vents, etc etc), so if I took it to a professional or to a dealer, what is the price range for them doing a full interior clean of my car?

Your better off at a detailing company rather than the dealer. Make sure you tell you want to get rid of cigarette smoke. Phone a couple of places for quotes.
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