Cigarette smoke smell emanating from your car can be very off-putting. Whether you are the one who was smoking or one of your family members or supposing you bought a second-hand vehicle reeking of smoke, you might have struggled to get rid of the pungent smell in vain.

The good news is that you can easily remove the smell and make your car have that fresh new car smell again.

The process will not even cost you a lot; you can take it to a professional to clean the car for you and part with between $120 and $200. However, you can also opt to do the cleaning yourself, which is a straightforward process that will take you a few minutes to accomplish the task.

Air Filter

The first step will be to empty the ash trash. By doing this, you will remove the source of the odor. When at it, you should also replace the cabin air filter of your car.

The filter might trap the smoke inside as its purpose is to clean the air from outside. The object can be found in different locations inside the car, depending on the model of the car.

It can be either beneath the dashboard of at the back of the glove compartment. The car filter should be changed after covering about 12000 to 15000 miles or at least yearly. After that, you should do a thorough cleaning using shampoos and a vacuum.


Fabric cleaners can also do a good job, especially the ones with antibacterial components, since they can be instrumental in combating unwanted smells in the car. You should use this moment to clean the leather seats and scrub the car mats with a carpet cleaner and a vacuum.

You can even choose to use a pet odor remover on the seats and carpets, and it will work wonders on them.

The detergents will get rid of the smoke smell on the surfaces and in all the nooks and crooks inside the car. To achieve better results, you should consider taking the seats outside the car or incline them to reach the carpet beneath the seats and give it a proper scrubbing.

Fresh Air

You should also ensure that you ventilate your car after scrubbing. At this level, you should also put driers under the seats to eliminate the smell, and when you leave a bowl of baking soda or even kitty litter inside the vehicle for some time to absorb any smoke smell that will still be lingering in the car.

The baking soda should be rubbed on the seats, the roof, and mats, which will be left for about 30 minutes for the substance to work on the materials and then washed out again to remove the baking soda and residual dirt.

You can even hang a vent clip or a car freshener for some days to remove any remaining smell. The technique is usually beneficial and will be worth the trouble.

Car Vents

Also, you can leave your car air conditioner and car heater running for about half an hour. Be sure to spray some Lysol into the vent intake of your car so that you can clean the inside of the vents.

You can also wipe the car’s interior, including the glass surfaces using a vinegar solution. You may also use crumpled newspapers and leave them in the car for about two days to absorb some smell.

Charcoal to absorb the odors

It is also recommended that you can place a bowl of activated charcoal particles inside the vehicle to act as an improvised filter. For good measure, you can also use an ozone shock treatment to get further rid of the traces of smoke.

Other Places

Removing smoke odor from other places such as the house or in clothes will also require you to follow the same basics. At home, however, you can interchange the vinegar with ammonia and use lemon or orange peels to absorb the smoke smell. You can also scrub the carpets using a granulated detergent and a brush.

All the other techniques will also apply at home. You should consider aerating the house and removing the furniture outside to get rid of the smell. The critical thing to note is that the walls might also absorb the smoke smell. Thus a fresh layer of paint on the walls should be advisable. Baking soda and air fresheners will also go a long way in eliminating the odor.

You do not have to get worried about what you will do to remove the smoke smell. The solution to this lies just within your house.