How to get Smoke Smell Out of Car

Simply cleaning and hanging an air freshener in your car will not get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke. The places that the cigarette smoke smells hide are usually in places you can’t get to.

 The smoke smell can bury itself deep into the vents of your car, down below the fabric, and other places you would never think to clean. We have compiled a list of the top 5 ways to get cigarette smell out of a car.

 If you haven’t done so already it would be wise to go ahead and replace the car’s cabin air filter. Most cabin air filters are located in the glove box area.


These techniques work great on eliminating odors such as…

  • Cigarette Smells
  • Dog Odors
  • Cats Odors
  • Marijuana (Weed) Odors
  • People Odors
  • Food Odors

 1. Ozone Generator

An Ozone Generator is a device that creates ozone to help neutralize the air. Most sprays that smell good will only mask the smell, but really what you need is something that gets rid of it completely.

An Ozone Generator creates O3 which is very reactive and when it comes into contact with the bad odor it will oxidize it away. 

The great benefit of an Ozone Generator is that it is able to get into places that you can not reach without taking the car apart. The Ozone Generator can get into vents, fabric, and many other out of reach areas of the car.

Just place the Ozone Generator in your car and allow it to run. Depending on the smell it might take a while for the odor to disappear. The Ozone Generator is probably your best way to get cigarette smell out of the car.

***It’s best to avoid breathing Ozone. 

Check out Ozone Car Air Purifier 12V Car Air Freshener by KDS| Ozone Generator Remove Dust, Pollen, Smoke and Bad Odors for Your Auto or RV Here



2. Activated Carbon

Activated Carbon naturally absorbs odors. Just place a cup of this in your car for few days to have the carbon absorb the bad orders.

After a few days remove the cup and throw it away. This trick works much like the old trick of cutting an apple in half but instead, this works much better as carbon doesn’t rot.

Check out Marineland Black Diamond Premium Activated Carbon Here


3. Ozium

Ozium works much like the Ozone Generator but instead of a machine, it’s in a convenient spray or air filter.

Ozium comes in many different versions but we definitely recommend getting the spray. It may take several cans because you want to spray the car down thoroughly.

Spray Ozium and let your car sit overnight with the doors and windows closed. If a smell is noticeable, repeat spraying the Ozium and leaving it overnight. Ozium is probably the quickest way to get cigarette smell out of a car.

Think of Ozium as an Ozone Spray.

***Make sure you follow the directions for all sprays such as Ozium.

Check out Ozium Air Sanitizer Reduces Airborne Bacteria Eliminates Smoke & Malodors 8oz Spray Air Freshener Here


4. Odor Bomb Foggers

Sometimes the best solutions is to set off a bomb, an Odor Bomb. Odor Bombs or Odor Foggers work to fill up the car with a mist that goes around and eliminates all odors.

Odor Foggers leaves no residue behind and is safe on the interior.

The Odor Foggers will need to be left in your car overnight and sometimes for days to really get rid of the smells that hang in your car.

***Make sure you follow the directions on the foggers for the best results and safety.

Check out SM Arnold (66-304) Total Release Odor Fogger, New Car Here



5. Steam Clean

Steam Cleaners can be one of the best cleaners you’ll ever have. Steam Cleaners can get deep in the upholstery of your car and really get the smell out.

You do have to be careful with Steam Cleaners when it comes to the amount of heat they put off. You don’t want to overdo it and have the glue in your headliner start to come loose because you kept the steam cleaner in one spot for too long. Leaving the Steam Cleaner in one spot for too long will also create a wet spot, to avoid this make sure you do short passes and wipe clean with a dry cotton rag.

Check out McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner Here


One more thing

After you have gone through all these steps you can pick up a bottle of Odoban which you can spray on anything to help get the spots you missed. Odoban can be sprayed on all your fabrics to help further kill any cigarette smoke that still hangs deep in the interior.