How to Remove Smoke Smell from Car

How to Remove Smoke Smell from Car


The moment you step into your car, the smell begins to invade your nose. The distinct odor of cigarette smoke is a smell that is both known for its strong aroma and long-lasting presence in an environment – especially one that has obtained major exposure like a car. Cars are known to be odor absorbing environments due to the fact that you are surrounded by padding, material, and cloth seats that will retain and harbor the growing odor presences that come into contact within this small confined space.

In this article, we are going to discuss the impact that cigarette smoke has on a car’s interior and learn the best way on how to remove smoke smell from car quickly and effectively!

Can you get smoke smell out of a car?

Cigarette smoke and odors can be produced from the release of ashes, butts, and even just smoke that is released into the air from the use of these tobacco products in a car. When any of these items are present in your car, it will create the unwanted smell of smoke in the car. If smoke odors are present in your home you may be wondering, ‘can you get smoke smell out of a car?’. The answer is yes, but it will depend on how much cigarette smoke is present in the environment to determine which odor removal method to use in the car.

The most common methods that are used to get smoke smell out of a car will include charcoal odor absorbers, car air fresheners, baking soda, car detailing, and even non-toxic odor removing products. All of these methods work in different mechanisms to contain and hide/remove the odor from the environment of the car. Below we will discuss the pros and cons of each of these methods and learn the best one to implement in your car to remove the smoke smell.

How long does cigarette smoke last in a car

The lingering smell of cigarette smoke in a car can be present for a long period of time after the initial introduction of this chemical smoke into the air of your vehicle. When residual tobacco smoke lingers in a room or environment after the smoking of this product has stopped, it has been coined the term Thirdhand smoke, according to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. Tobacco is composed of a number of different types of gasses and particulate matter that will form this smoke odor in the environment.

The length of time that cigarette smoke can last in the air will depend on how much smoke was released into the air, how small the environment is, and the duration of time in which the smoking has occurred in this space. Typically, however, smoke will last in the air for several hours after somebody smokes, and can become embedded into the fabric that is exposed to the smoke like car seats, floorboards, dashboards, headliner etc.

How to remove smoke smell from car

If you have finally had enough of that nauseating smell of cigarette smoke in your car then it may be time to start using odor elimination methods in the environment to expel the cigarette smell. There are several different methods that are used to eliminate odors from a car, particularly smoke smell that is ingrained into the fabric of the interior of the car and trapped in the air vents. As we discussed earlier, some of the most popular methods to removing smoke smell from a car include charcoal odor absorbers, car air fresheners, baking soda, car detailing, and even the use of non-toxic odor eliminating products to eradicate the cigarette odors in the environment. However, which one works the best for fully removing cigarette smoke smell from your car?

Does charcoal remove odors from smoke

A popular item that is used heavily for odor absorption is charcoal or activated charcoal. Activated charcoal works naturally to absorb odors like vinegar and baking soda and can remove tough odors such as cigarette smoke in a car. This technology works by absorbing and trapping odors on a high surface area – where several holes are poked to retain the odors onto. Although charcoal will remove odors such as smoke, there are potential risks for this odor to become re-released back into the air over time as the charcoal becomes full – working counterproductively in the environment. 

Car air freshener for smokers

A car air freshener is considered a quick fix to odors stuck in your car such as cigarette smoke left behind from smokers in this space. These car air fresheners for smoke work similar to that of room air fresheners, as they use a fragrant wax or liquid that is strategically placed in the direct path of the airflow in the vehicle – located on the vents. The air freshener will disseminate the fragrance throughout the entire car and try to work to shield the putrid smell of smoke.

Baking soda car odor

Baking soda is a known deodorizer that can be used on a variety of surfaces including upholstery, carpeting, refrigerators, and even used in cars. This deodorizer can be sprinkled on to these surfaces and left on for hours to work to neutralize the odors harbored in the material. This odor solution is a non-toxic option, that may need to be applied multiple times onto the odor source to fully eradicate all of the stuck-on odors.

Car detailing smoke odor removal

A more expensive option when it comes to removing smoke odors from a car is to have your vehicle undergo a car detailing. This type of car detailing will include the following;

  • Degreasing of the entire interior using chemical cleaning agents that will be applied to carpets, leather, all hard surfaces, windows, seat belts, etc.
  • Steam and blow out all air vents
  • Replace the air filter in the cabin
  • Degrease and steam headliners
  • Steam clean all interior surfaces
  • Water extract the cloth seats and carpet surfaces
  • And use an ozone generator treatment in the vehicle

Although this odor removing process can be effective, it may not be the best choice for those individuals who are sensitive to chemicals – as there are many chemical agents used in this process.

EnviroKlenz Carpet Odor Cleaner for car smoke odors

Unlike other odor removal processes for smoke mitigation, EnviroKlenz works to actually contain and neutralize the odors – leaving you without the worry of these odors coming back into the environment over time. EnviroKlenz uses a patented earth mineral technology that works through ‘adsorptive neutralization’, which means that chemical compounds and noxious odors are contained and neutralized/broken down by this technology in the environment. This process is both non-toxic and fragrance-free, offering you a true solution to odor mitigation unlike other masking agents used to remove these odors from indoor spaces, acting as an odor neutralizer for car.

The EnviroKlenz Carpet Refresher is a quick and easy way to manage daily odors around the home, specifically on carpets, rugs, and vacuumable soft surfaces. If your car contains cloth seats and carpeting, this product can be swiftly applied as a part of the smoke odor eradication process from the car. Additionally, the EnviroKlenz Odor Eliminating Pad can be cut to size to be placed in a car’s air filter or placed under car seats to eradicate the smoke odor that is stuck in the air and air vents of the vehicle’s interior.

Carpet & Rug Refresher


Patented earth mineral technology works to attack VOCs and break them down on a compound level

No chemicals or masking agents

Easy to use; Sprinkle on and wait approximately 15 to 20 minutes, then vacuum thoroughly

Can be used on carpeting, rugs, upholstery, automobile interiors, and drapes

EnviroKlenz® Medical Disclaimer:

“Any information that is provided on this website is not for the use by any commercial or personal entity without expressed written consent of the blog author. The material and statements illustrated within this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Nor does the author in any way guarantee or validate the validity, totality, or efficacy of any claims and will therefore not be held responsible for the content of any claims. Always consult your medical physician for any specific medical advice or recommendations.”

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