Car that smells like cigarette smoke


We just bought a used car from a frequent cigarette smoker. How can we get the odor out of the car?


First clean the inside of all windows with a good glass cleaner. Then take some backing soda and spread some on the rugs under the seats and leave and open box of this in the car someplace.


clean the car using tuff stuff( $5 dollors a can). Next use armoral to help remove smell. last use car febreeze leave car open to air out.


My suggestion is to have a detailing shop take a shot at it. At least you will get it really clean.

When that does not work (It might work) next call the people in the yellow pages who locally do fire restoration work for buildings. They have the equipment and experience to finish the job right. They generally will use a industrial ion generator that will kill the smell.


Baking soda spread for a few weeks seems to work. Just vacuum before touching your feet to it in case they are wet. Otherwise it makes a mess.

Cleaning windows really helps too.

I concur on a detail shop.


Take a dryer sheet and put it under dash on passenger side where air intake is when it is on recirulate, change it every 3-4 days.

                     cheap fix


I guess this is too late, but I wouldn’t buy a smoky smelling car in the first place. I don’t know if you will ever get rid of the smell completely without replacing the interior pieces. As others have said, try a good detail shop.


The ozone generator would be my first choice after a thorough conventional cleaning. The ozone penetrates the entire interior just as the smoke did and it will decompose the smoke particles to carbon ash.

You can buy a 12 volt one ionizer at many truck stops or ask around with the car detailers to find someone with a ozone unit. Overnight with a small unit will usually make a huge difference.

Don’t let anyone spray the interior with a deodorizer such as the car rental companies use. You will regret the chemicals for some time and then the smoke will still be there.


For anyone with allegies and/or asthma, a scented dryer sheet is worse than the smoke smell. I suggest that you avoid using one of these things unless you can be sure that you will never have anyone with the aforementioned conditions in your car.

Anyway, this is merely cosmetic, and adds an additional odor and additional chemicals to the atmosphere inside the car. Using baking soda and an ionizer is much more beneficial–both in terms of ridding the car of odor and in terms of not jeopardizing the health of yourself and your passengers.


Cheap and easy way that I’ve used … put a dish of vinegar in the car overnight with the windows closed ! You might have to repeat two or three times but it works !