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How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of A Car – What Absorbs The Smell Of Smoke?

How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of A Car

Yuck! What’s that smell? It’s the smell of smoke in your car! The air fresheners you bought from the drug store are doing nothing to eliminate that repulsive, stale smoke order! So, what do you do? We have the information, tips and tricks you need to have a sweet-smelling interior of your car once again. 

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Does Smoke Smell Ever Go Away Car?

Smoke can leave an undesirable, lingering and pungent order in a car.  Smoke is also an odor that can be difficult to get rid of and get rid of for good. But if you give your car’s interior a good cleaning, you should be able to lessen, if not eliminate, that horrific smoke smell. With proper treatments and consistency, you will find over time that the smoke smell can go away. 

Where to Start to get rid of the smoke smell? 

The best place to begin to tackle that smoke smell is by removing and cleaning out any debris that could be contributing to the horrible smoke smell. For example, if you have a passenger that insists on smoking and leaving ashtrays in your car, remove those first. Once you eliminate the source of the unpleasant odor, you’re well on your way to getting rid of the awful smoke smells.  

How Do I Get Rid Of The Cigarette Smell In My Car? What Absorbs The Smell Of Smoke?

When it comes to getting rid of smoke in a car, you want gentle and effective agents that will take that smoke smell and make it a thing of the past. Baking soda, vinegar and even fruit peels are great at absorbing the smell of smoke. We gathered some home remedies that others have found to be successful in removing and absorbing cigarette smoke from a car. Check them out and see which one appeals to you! 

White Vinegar 

White vinegar is a great agent as well as defense against cigarette smoke. You can find it at your grocery store, local “dollar store” or even your drug store. To use, just pour vinegar into a cup or a sturdy plastic bowl and leave it in your car overnight. 

Baking Soda 

Baking Soda is a “tried and true” agent for lots of things, including getting rid of the smoke smell from a car. Baking soda helps in removing lots of other odors too. Just sprinkle some baking soda on the carpet mats of your car and even the carpet floor of your car. Wait a few moments or maybe even a half of an hour and then vacuum out. The longer you’re able to leave it on, the better. 

Fruit Peels 

Many people swear by fruit peels. Fruits such as lemons, limes and oranges have great peels and should be used. Simply cut the fruit up, scoop out the fruit, then cut and leave the peels of the freshly cut fruit in your car for a few days and the smoke odor should disappear. Lots of people find this an effective and natural solution of getting rid of any stale cigarette smells. 


Coffee Grounds 

Coffee grounds you say? Indeed! Another item folk use to get rid of cigarette smoke out of a car. Known as fast-acting technique some people find that the grounds mask the smoke smell than eliminating it. But it is worth a good try. 

Laundry Dryer Sheets 

If you have cloth seats then you may consider wiping down your seats with laundry dryer sheets. Seen as a powerful method, the dryer sheets will deodorize your car instantly. You may however, find that it does not eliminate the cause of the smoke smell. 


Cat/Kitty Litter 

Another home remedy for getting rid of that smoke smell is using cat litter to absorb the lingering cigarette smoke odor. Just pour some litter in a bowl and leave that bowl for a couple of days and allow the agents in the litter to absorb the smoke smell. 



Onions you say? Yes indeed! Many people swear by onions when it comes to removing the smoke smell out of a car. You have to do, is slice up an onion and leave it in a small bowl in the car. Sure, your car will initially smell like onions when you get it a few times, but soon, you will find that the onion will absorb surrounding odors and lose its own onion smell. Once you remove the onion, your car should be fresh and odor-free. 

Newsprint and Newspapers 

Newsprint is also a great way to get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke in a car. Just take a few newspapers, roll them up and then place them under the passenger seats. They will absorb odors. After a few days, the car should begin the smell a bit better. Be sure to periodically change the newspapers out. Fresh new newspapers will continue to keep the car smelling clean and fresh. 

How Long Does Smoke Smell Last In A Car?

For many people, the lingering smoke smell can last up to a few days, a few weeks or even a month. This depends on how deep the smell has penetrated into the interior of the car. With porous carpet surfaces, the smell can linger for a long time, if left untreated. 

How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of Car Vents

We all know that cigarette smoke may smell bad, but the contaminants and chemicals in the smoke will linger long after the cigarette has been put out. We all know that cigarette smoke can get into a car's air conditioning system and vents. This can also aggravate the sinuses of the driver and other passengers who get into the car. So, when you have your mind set on removing the cigarette smoke from the car's air conditioner, you may need a few specialized products. Be sure to read labels and find products that are environmentally friendly and bio-degradable. Check out these steps for removing that smoke smell from your car’s vents: 

First Step 

Park the car and then roll up all the windows. Follow this by spraying a spray that is odor-absorbing and make sure that you direct the spray into the air conditioning vents. 

Second Step 

Take your spray and be sure to spray your odor absorbing deodorant spray on the front seats of the car and be sure to get the floor of the car too. Don’t forget underneath the car seats as well. Smoke is trapped under there too. And make sure that you treat the passenger seats and back seats just as you did the driver seat 

Third Step 

Turn your car on and then turn on the air conditioning unit. Be sure to run the unit while you wait outside of the car. Then, you can turn off your car’s air conditioner after about 10 to 15 minutes. 

Fourth Step 

Gather your tobacco odor-eliminating new car scent spray and then spray it into the air conditioning vents. Don’t forget to spray that odor eliminating spray on the front seats as well as the floor of the driver, back and passenger sides and seats of the car.

Fifth Step 

Next, start your car and then turn on your air conditioning unit again. Run the air conditioning unit as you wait outside of your car- and give it another 10 to 15 minutes.

Sixth Step 

Next, gather a bowl and some white vinegar. You want to make sure that you have a sturdy bowl. Pour your vinegar into the bowl. Place your bowl on the seat or a strong surface inside of the car and leave in the car overnight. Make sure that your car’s windows are rolled up. If you have a few bowls, you can even place a few vinegar-filled bowls in various areas in your car. For example, you may want to leave two bowls in the font of the car, on the floor- one on each side. 

How To Get Cigarette Smell Out Of Car With Leather Seats

Smoke smells have invaded your beautiful leather seats. How will you get rid of them? Check out a few agents we found that help eliminate smoke odors from leather seats. First you want to make sure that your car seat leather can handle these agents. Assuming so, you want to make sure that you are gentle with your leather seats when it comes to wiping. You don’t want to poke your leather, but you also want to be firm with your technique. 

White Vinegar 

It’s important to note that white vinegar is not safe for all kinds of leather. So, if you can do a patch test, please do so. Assuming that your leather seats can handle white vinegar, you want get a spray bottle and fill it with white vinegar diluted 50/50 in water. Take your spray bottle and a gentle cloth (microfiber may be a good choice) and then spray a nice mist directly onto the surface of the leather. Be sure to spray and wipe well. And don’t forget to get into creases of the seats and anywhere else, you deem the smoke has affected the leather. Vinegar is a good choice because it has microbial properties that will go to work on bad smells.  And in terms of our car smelling like vinegar? That smell will dissipate over time, too. Just make sure that you don’t go “overboard” with the spraying. You may even find that doing this method for a few days may help. 


Baking Soda For Your Leather Too

Baking soda is a great agent for removing smells as we pointed out earlier. It is gentle and effective. So, for those car leather seats, sprinkle some baking soda on your seats and leave on overnight. When you awaken in the morning, get a gentle vacuum and then vacuum the baking soda off the seats. 

For smoke smells that are a bit pungent, you may want to take a dry brush to gently rub the baking soda allow that brushing action to be activated by leaving that newly brushed baking soda on your leather- overnight- then vacuum it in the morning. 

Leather Cleaner 

You may find a great leather cleaner that also aids in smoke removal- to be effective. Be sure to follow the directions on the label. 

What Sprays Get Rid Of Smoke In Car? 

We found some sprays that have great and/or decent reviews, when it comes to removing the smoke smell out of car. Check out our list and see if you can find a retailer near you! 


Ozium seems to be a favorite among many, for getting a smoke smell out of car. Many make the claim that the spray is effective in kidding any smoke, cigarette or cigar smell out of a car. Not only does it remove the smoke, but reports indicate that it has anti-bacterial properties as well. Some car enthusiasts indicate that you can spray the Ozium in your car overnight with the windows closed. The next day, your car will be smoke-free. Click here to learn more

A/C Pro Vent & Duct Cleaner 

Another spray we found is the A/C Pro Vent & Duct Cleaner. According to reports, it is effective in cleaning and disinfecting the vents of a car. Once user stated that it did an “amazing job”. The official website of the product states that it directly goes after smoke smells. Click here for more information

Zep Smoke Odor Eliminator Spray Air Freshener

The third popular choice we found for smoke removal is the Zep Smoke Odor Eliminator Spray Air Freshener. For many, this is a great choice for the elimination of smoke odors. It is reportedly a long-lasting and professional grade formula spray that is highly effective. Learn more by clicking here

How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of A Car- Daily Maintenance 

So, whether you’re a driver who is also a smoker, or you have to transport someone who smokes or just does not want to give up their smoking habit, you may want to invest (or ask that smoker!) in some ways to keep the smoke smell at a minimum, so that you don’t have to do a thorough cleaning every month. So, what can you do for daily maintenance? 

Keep a smoke removal kit handy 

Have a smoke removal kit on hand, of sprays and agents that you know will work in keeping smoke out of your car. For example, if you have to pick up cigarette-smoking Aunt Jane each day and transport her and her to work, you can keep a bottle of vinegar in the trunk and spray it each day. You may ask Aunt Jane to even limit her smoking or encourage her to give up the habit all together. 

Clean your vents on a regular basis 

As you clean your car, be sure to maintain those air vents too. You may want to get a great and effective spray, keep in your car’s glove box, and maintain fresh vents by spraying your spray in there daily, monthly or weekly-depending on the amount of smoke smell. 

Need to get rid of a smoke-filled car with other issues? 

Cash Cars Buyer purchases cars with smoke-filled interiors, as well as other issues! 

  1. You can get a FREE offer on that car now! 
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  3. No need to pay anything to sell your smoky car! 

Getting into a car that has a smoke smell can turn a pleasant day into a dismal one. With the tips we provided, we hope that you are able to eliminate the smoke, and encourage those who do smoke to quit! 

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