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Removing the tobacco smell from a car

Any suggestions for removing the smell of tobacco from a car? I had the car detailed – seats and carpeting shampooed – but there is a faint remaining odor of cigarettes. What can I do to eliminate the smell?

Rent an ozone machine and run it in the car for a day.


Spray every soft surface with Febreze or a generic equivalent.

Don’t forget to clean the headliner and behind the dash plus the air ducts too. How about the exposed bottom of the seats?

Hint: check with your local fire department as to their methods of smoke smell elimination.

Save yourself a little bit of trouble and needless expense. Simply remove the ash tray - the entire assembly - and check the immediate area of the ash tray area for missed butts. I gurantee you will find a butt or two. Former smokers, and never smokers are very sensitive to the smell of tobacco. Even with all the windows rolled up in my car I can smell a cigarette being smoked outside of the car. You absolutely will smell an overlooked butt that is in your car.

The ozone machine is a good idea but if you are poor or cheap or both like me, open a box of baking soda and secure it so it won’t spill, it will soak up some of the stench.

Probably have to change the carpeting and headliner (esp the headliner) as well as have seats reupholstered. My friend got a great deal on an Accord because of tobacco stench and when he had the seats reupholstered he had them done in leather. Cost him about $1600 for the head liner and leather seat covers but it was worth it. Looks great and the stench is GONE!