How to Remove Cigarette Smoke From Car

Whether you just picked up a new car or have a friend that likes to smoke in your vehicle, you’ll find yourself needing to remove cigarette smoke from your car.

Cigarette Smoke can fill up your car and hide in places you can never get to, but don’t worry; we have found the best ways to getting rid of cigarette smoke from your car.

Clean the mats and carpet

Go ahead and get out a vacuum and start to vacuum everything you see in your car. Take the floor mats out and dust them off and give them a good sweep with the vacuum. If you have a shampooer, then it would be great to use now to give your car the extra bit of clean.

Clean the Ash Tray

The ashtray will more than likely be full, so let’s go ahead and get that clean. If the ashtray can come out, then place it in a cup of vinegar to further clean and attack the smoke smells. Make sure you clean behind the ashtray, you’ll be surprised by the amount of ash from cigarettes you’ll find. It’s these hidden areas that hide smoke smells.

Replace the Cabin Air Filter

No point in cleaning the smoke smell out if you don’t replace the in-cabin air filter. The Cabin Air filter holds all the bad odors in your car, and neglecting it will show. The Cabin Air Filter is located near the front of the passenger, sometimes behind the glove box.

Fabric Cleaner

Go ahead and pick up some fabric cleaning sprays like Odoban. Spray down all fabrics you see in the car with Odoban and allow it to soak into the fabric for about 15 minutes then wipe clean. If needed, get a scrub brushed and work the Fabric Spray into the interior of the car. Don’t skimp on this step; the fabric of the vehicle is the catch-all for smoke odors.

Don’t forget to reach under the seats, and if you can eradicate the places, then go ahead and remove them as this will make sure you can get them cleaned. Removing the Seats will make a huge difference when it comes to Smoke Odours.

Dryer Sheets under the Seats

Dryer Sheets are heat activated and will release great smells when the car is sitting outside in the sun. Leaving them under seats allows you to have them hidden and have them release the good fragrances where it counts.

Soak up the Smoke Odors

Get yourself some activated carbon from the pet store or Amazon. If anyone has ever told you, the best way to get rid of smoke odors is to cut an apple in half and leave it in the car is using the same process of activated carbon. The benefit of using carbon is that it does not rot and start to smell, but instead will continue to absorb all odors in the car.

Avoid Air Fresheners

Most Air Fresheners only mask the odors; you don’t want that. You need something that can eliminate all odors, and merely by using a spray will not fix the problem. Pick up some Ozium Gel Air Freshener to completely wipe out the smell that your car has.

Steam Clean

The professionals like to use Steam Cleaners because they work! Steam Cleaners get so hot that they kill any bacteria that causes stuff to have smoke odors.

You must be careful with steam cleaners because the amount of heat they give off can cause damage if you’re not careful. Do a pass with the steam cleaner on all different surfaces of your car and then wipe dry with a cotton cloth. Don’t forget to clean the door jams and other areas of the vehicle you get in and out of.

Steam Clean the Windows and any other hard surfaces of the car while avoiding electrical parts. The steam cleaner can clean windows and the dashboard, and you’ll be surprised by how much smoke odor accumulate in these areas.

Ozone Generator

Pick up a Car Ozone Generator. These little things work great to get in the most profound areas of your car, where smoke smells like to hide. Unlock the doors, and roll up the windows, have the AC on recirculate and allow the Ozone Generator to run for 30 minutes.

Then allow the car to air out through the doors open. Make sure you follow the directions of the Ozone Generator, don’t have anyone or animals in the car when you do use it.


  • Make sure the air of your car is set to recirculate before turning on the Ozone Generator.
  • Rub-down the fabric of the car with dryer sheets.
  • Place the Dryer Sheets between the seat cushions.
  • Avoid Ammonia Cleaners as they can destroy some fabrics.
  • Always test new cleaners in an area where people won’t notice to make sure it doesn’t do harm.
  • Never leave an Ozone Generator unattended, some experts say these generators can do damage if not used properly. Always read the manuals.
  • Make sure you clean the areas closest to your head when sitting in the car as this is where smoke smells are likely to have landed.
  • Never cut open a fruit or anything that can rot and mold. This old trick doesn’t work as well as carbon.
  • Always wear gloves when dealing with chemicals and to keep the smoke odor from getting on your hands and spreading the smell even more.
  • If you get the smoke odor on your clothes, then clean them with vinegar and water.