How to get pot smell out of car?

You should be glad you just bought a used car because you have all the rights. While the vast majority of used cars need service and new parts installed after you buy them, some aspects of used cars have problems that are more difficult to deal with than others. . Yes, you can easily spend some money, use your skills and fix any obvious interior, tire, paint, and scratches issues on your newly purchased used car. The smell of smoke, the smell of tobacco, and in rare cases, the smell of marijuana, is one of those things that is extremely difficult to get rid of.

If the previous owner of the car smoked a lot, chances are that the smell of smoke will linger in that car (which you own) for a long time to come, unless you take action!

CarMats has put together all the knowledge you require to remove the smell of smoke from your car. Let’s explore to discover more.

Why is it so difficult to get rid of the smoky smell?

To increase the lifespan and impact of cigarettes on smokers, cigarette and cigar manufacturing companies add preservative chemicals and flavoring agents to their products.

These chemical molecules have a propensity to adhere to textiles, plastic pores, and other surfaces of a similar nature found in car seats, upholstery, carpets, and even the buttons on the dashboard. If you look closer, you will discover that there are a sizable number of chemical smoke odor molecules stuck in any car’s ventilation, heating, and cooling systems.

The bad news is that if you only use the cleaning methods once, the smoke smell will likely return after some time. The good news is that the smoke smell will eventually leave the car with a few additional cleanups and deep neutralization treatments, allowing you to enjoy a fresher interior.

Although we’re not here to lecture you on smoking’s negative effects, we do want to let you know that a significant number (millions) of lung cancer patients each year are caused by smoking.

What Will You Need to Get Started with Smoke Smell Removal From Your Car?

Gathering the required supplies is the first thing you should do, just like a responsible car owner. Utilizing a combination of tools and chemicals is typically how smoke odor is removed from cars.

Please be aware that removing the smoke smell from a car can be hard and take a long time. This is because the cabin filters, ventilation system, clothing, and other parts of the car need to be cleaned, neutralized, and deodorized.

What you need to get rid of the smoke odor from your car is listed below:

The first step in preparing for smoke odor removal from your car is to clean it.

Any car enthusiast gets pumped up right away by car cleaning. We advise you to get ready for this stage if you don’t enjoy cleaning cars. Start by cleaning your car before diving deeper into car smoke removal techniques. This step entails cleaning out your car of all trash from every nook and cranny.

Clean every dirt and grime particle manually or with a small brush, from the footrests to the trunk and the back of the car. Before continuing, take out any personal items or other items from your car that are not necessary.

Useful Advice: Park Your Car in an Open Area to Remove Smoke Odors

It makes sense, I suppose. In order to protect your health and find the right ventilation for odor removal, you must first locate an opened area before cleaning smoke particles, ash, and smoke odor from your car.

Once you’ve located a spot that is cool, shaded, and open for cleaning your car, start the vacuuming process. The main sources of odor in a car are ash residue and cigarette particles, which can be removed by vacuuming the vehicle.

Use the vacuum cleaner to clean the interior of the car, including the center console, cup holders, glove box, and side panels on the doors. When you vacuum the soft and hard surfaces inside the car, like the seats, vents, and carpet, be extra careful.

You can also park your car in the driveway and continue to deep clean it there, as long as there is enough airflow and power to connect your vacuum cleaner.

In this step, carefully open the ashtray and remove any remaining ash particles from the tray’s surface using a small vacuum cleaner. The ash tray can also be taken out, cleaned, and dried for a full day before being put back in the vehicle.

To reduce the smell of smoke from the car as much as possible, it is best to spend money on a smoke diffuser and an astray cover if you smoke.

Introduction to Smoke Odor Removal from Vehicles: Basic Procedures

To completely get rid of the smell of smoke in your car, follow these steps:

First step: vacuuming

Use a vacuum cleaner to perform the second round of interior car cleaning after the first one. The floor mats, carpet, footrests, armrests, headrests, plastic trim, storage compartments, and even the steering wheel should all be vacuumed.

Steam Cleaning, Step 2

You can either purchase a standard steam cleaner or ask a friend who enjoys cleaning cars if they have one. Use the steam cleaner on the headrests, floorboards, and fabric upholstery in the back seats. Using steam cleaning, smoke and cigarette residue must be removed from the pores of porous, difficult-to-clean surfaces.

Step 3: Spray with a mixture of vinegar and water.

Use vinegar and distilled water solution and a microfiber cloth to clean the vinyl and plastic parts of your car. Don’t spray directly on auto parts. Switch between wiping a target area with a damp microfiber cloth and drying it with a clean, dry microfiber towel.

Cleaning the Air Vents in Step 4

Unbelievably, one of the main causes of the smoke smell inside your car’s cabin is the air vents. Many car owners often neglect to do this, then become upset when the smoke smell lingers even after the interior has been cleaned. To access the air vents, remove the dash.

The vents should be cleaned with the same vinegar and distilled water spray mixture and allowed to dry for at least 24 hours before being reattached. Make sure to thoroughly clean the vents, vent tubes, and cabin filter during this step, as well as the vent housing.

Step 5: Clean the vents with an odor neutralizer instead.

Understandably, not all car owners have the necessary tools to remove the dashboard and thoroughly clean the air vents. In these situations, the car’s heating and cooling air vents are thoroughly cleaned using the odor neutralizer method. To use the odor neutralizer method, follow these steps:

Identify the air vents: There are two types of air vents: interior and exterior. Find the interior vents close to the windshield or on the side of the dashboard. Find the vents outside the windshield snakes.
The cabin filter has been removed: Leave the old filter out and clean the vent housing. Installing a new one is not yet necessary.

Close all of the windows: Before you spray the neutralizer, complete this step to ensure adequate ventilation. 

Start the heater: Turn on the heater’s outside vents at full blast. Why do exterior vents? Vents on the outside are simpler to clean than those on the inside.

Directly spray the exterior vent intakes with an odor neutralizer from a reputable manufacturer. To get the neutralizer compound to the interior vents, repeat this step for about 10 seconds. On each vent, repeat this process. 

Clean the Glass: To ensure that there is no smoke residue left inside, use a powerful window cleaner to thoroughly clean all the glass from the inside.

Last but not least, secure the housing and install the new indoor cabin filter.

Ozone treatment is the best way to get rid of a car’s cigarette smell.

Behold! The Ozone treatment is the best method for getting rid of car smoke. This technique, also known as “ozone shock treatment,” is one of the most promising methods for completely eliminating the smoky smell in your car.

However, this approach will be your last resort because of the dangerous nature of the chemicals used in this treatment. If you choose to receive ozone treatment, it is strongly advised that you hire a professional and refrain from doing it yourself.

How is ozone therapy performed?

An ozone generator is used in order to treat cars with ozone and eliminate the smell of smoke. The O2 molecules in this generator were disassembled into individual oxygen atoms using UV radiation.

Due to their interatomic reactivity, oxygen atoms join forces with oxygen to form the molecules of ozone (O3). Due to its instability, ozone will break off and attach to other molecules (mainly the odor molecule). As a result, the O3 molecule breaks down the smoke odor molecules, allowing you to enjoy a fresh interior that is smoke-odor free.

  • How to Use an Ozone Generator to Remove Smoke Odor
  • Take your car in a public area and follow the general car cleaning procedures. 
  • Place the Ozone generator inside your vehicle and attach it to a hose. 
  • Close the doors, roll up the windows, and start the ozone generator. 
  • Make sure that any fans or the heating and cooling systems in your car are off. 
  • Ozone will fill the interior of the car and act to break down odor molecules. 
  • After a short while, turn off the Ozone generator, open the car doors, roll down the windows, and drive around for a while to get rid of any remaining Ozone.

DIY Techniques for Cleaning a Car of Smoke Odors

Even though it’s not something you should attempt on your own, there are some remedies that can help you temporarily get rid of the unpleasant smoke odor. Here are some well-liked home remedies for eliminating the smell of car smoke:

Put a bowl of white vinegar in the vehicle.

All odor-causing substances are sucked away by pure white vinegar. Put a bowl of pure white vinegar in your car and leave it there all night. Ensure that the car doors are shut and all the windows are rolled up. Since pure white vinegar has a potent, overpowering odor, your car may continue to smell like vinegar for a few days.

Driving your car outside for the next few days will help you get rid of the vinegar and smoke smells from it.

If you have allergies or respiratory problems, DON’T USE THIS METHOD!

Using Baking Soda

The king of all home remedies for odor removal is baking soda. You can sprinkle some baking soda on the fabric of your car, let it sit for a while, and then vacuum up the baking soda.

It is clear that this approach will produce a lot of mess, though.

Charcoal or ground coffee

Charcoal is a well-known odor remover used in refrigerators and even kitchens. Put some charcoal in a bowl, close the door, and leave it there for a few days. Be aware that charcoal doesn’t always work and that the results may be different.

Similar to this, you can use coffee grounds in particular, to get rid of the smell of cigar smoke in your car. Coffee grounds only work as a cigar small masker if you keep the grounds inside your car. This approach works well for regular smokers.

Orange Skins

To get rid of the smoke smell in your car, rub lemon, orange, or lime skins on the affected area. The smoke smell will temporarily disappear if you leave the skin inside your car for a few days.

The dryer sheets

Your seats, floorboards, and carpets should all be covered in dryer sheets. For at least 24 hours, leave the sheets on these surfaces. If you’re lucky, you might have a clean car, clean laundry, or even both!


Smoke odor removal procedures are frequently performed on vehicles bought from dealerships. To restore the freshness in your car’s cabin, you will need to take the steps listed above if you are buying it from a previous smoker. Happy Travels!

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