How to get cigarette smell out of car?

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After a smoker used my car, I still smell cigarettes. I opened the windows but I guess it is in the heating system. This was a fter a smoker borrowed it. How do I clean the car interior to get the smell out?


  10 answers
  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Dec 28, 2017
    Below are some ideas from Angie's List that should help. Wishing you the best & Happy New Year!

  • Ken Ken on Dec 28, 2017
    I've been using the Bissell Pro-Heat on the upholstery since I bought a car that had been subject to heavy cigarette smoke. Gets a little better each time.

    There are commercial products for use in your car's duct work, but try some Lysol spray first. Turn the blower on high then spray the Lysol in the cowl vents below the windshield on the outside of the car. Change the control inside to each outlet (floor, dash, defrost) and spray again. Let us know if it works.

  • Heather Barton Sturgeon Heather Barton Sturgeon on Dec 28, 2017
    Try spraying the interior with Ozium spray. It's made to kill the bacteria from cigarette smoke, not to cover up the smell.

  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Dec 28, 2017
    I bought a used car a few years ago that reeked of cigarette smoke. I put two disposable aluminum roasting pans on each side of the floor of the back seat and filled them with charcoal briquettes. Then I stuffed the inside of the whole car with as much crumpled newspaper I could get my hands on. Closed the windows and left it that way for several days. I removed the newspapers and stuffed it again with more "fresh" newspapers and closed it up for a few more days. After the second newspaper application, the car was amazingly livable.

    You may not have to be so extreme but I'm just sharing what worked for me.

  • Carol Schultz Carol Schultz on Dec 28, 2017
    Try using newspaper to absorb the smell. You may have to change it a few times to get rid of it all. OR try putting charcoal (pieces, not brickets) into a container under the seats.

  • Lin10454837 Lin10454837 on Dec 28, 2017
    Charcoal in a sock hang up in back

  • Rma30407490 Rma30407490 on Dec 28, 2017
    Use refrigerator freshners under seat or use that left over baking soda on a plate under seat. Throw away after few days. Do it again until fresh.

  • Kit Kit on Dec 28, 2017
    If it is bad, rent an ozone generator. ut will totally remove all smells and worth every penny of the cost. Had a friend who bought a set of seats from a smoker. nothing took the smell out but the ozone generator. Check with your local garage or car detailEr to rent one.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Dec 28, 2017
    Any surface that is material, like the carpet, headliner, etc. needs to be deodorized with something. You could try an extra strength Febreeze or something made for smoke, or vinegar. Check first to make sure it won't change the color or anything. Any vinyl or leather should be cleaned with a vinyl or leather cleaner followed by a conditioner. Do not use Armor All, it can be hard on the surface with continued use. I use Lexol products, they have cleaner and conditioner in one spray bottle that I have had great luck with. Once you clean everything up, hopefully it will not smell like smoke any more. It may end up being time consuming and a little labor intensive, but it should take care of the smell and end up with a clean car interior to boot. Good luck! Once you spray the fabric parts, you may want to leave the windows open and not be in the car for a while, it may get intense. Have a great New Year!