How Do You Get Rid of the Smoke Smell in a Car?


Quick Answer

Get rid of the smoke smell in a car by thoroughly shampooing all of the fabrics inside the vehicle, cleaning all of the hard surfaces and using baking soda to absorb residual smoke odors. Remove any odors that persist after cleaning by using an odor-eliminating spray or pet odor eliminator. If smoke smells still persist, clean the car's ventilation system with a spray cleaner, and replace the cabin air filter.

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Full Answer

Most of the smoke smell in a car results from smoke penetrating into the vehicle's upholstery. If a frequent smoker used the car, the upholstery may contain several years' worth of smoke odors. Cleaning the fabric is the most effective way to eliminate smoke smells. Clean the vehicle interior using a high-quality automotive shampoo formulated for eliminating odors.

Smoke residue can cling to interior plastic and wood surfaces as well as windows. Use an automotive hard surface cleaner to remove smoke residue from consoles, dashboards and steering wheels. Remove smoke residue from windows and windshields using a household glass cleaner.

Baking soda is very effective at absorbing unpleasant odors. After shampooing the car's fabrics, apply a dusting of baking soda to all of the upholstered surfaces in the car. For best results, leave the baking soda on the upholstery for at least a week to fully absorb any residual odors. After a week passes, vacuum the used baking soda off the upholstery.

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