How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of Car? 5 Easy Ways

One question arises for car owners: how to get smoke smell out of car? The lingering smell of cigarette smoke can be incredibly frustrating for both smokers and non-smokers. Whether you’ve recently quit smoking or purchased a used car from a previous owner who was a smoker, getting rid of that stubborn odor seems like an impossible task.

In this article, we will guide you through some effective methods to help eliminate the cigarette smell from your car once and for all. Say goodbye to stale smoke and hello to fresh air as we delve into the world of odor-removal techniques tailored explicitly for vehicles.

Effects of Cigarette Smoke on Your Car

Cigarette smoke poses a significant risk to your health and negatively affects your car’s interior. The lingering smell of smoke can be challenging to eliminate and may even lower the resale value of your vehicle. The toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke can stain the upholstery, discolor surfaces, and damage delicate electronic components.

One of the most noticeable effects of cigarette smoke in your car is the stubborn odor that permeates every surface. The smell can linger for days or weeks, even after smoking just one cigarette. This foul smell can be particularly challenging to remove from fabrics like seats, carpets, and air conditioning vents. It affects the comfort of passengers and leaves an unpleasant impression on anyone who enters your vehicle.

How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of Car

5 Ways of How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Car

If you’re a non-smoker or tired of the lingering smell of cigarettes in your car, fret not. We will explore five effective ways to eliminate cigarette smoke and enjoy clean, fresh air once again.

Avoid Smoking Inside Your Car

Smoking inside your car affects your health and leaves behind a strong, unpleasant odor that can be difficult to eliminate. The smoke particles and chemicals from cigarettes can seep into the upholstery, carpeting, and air vents, creating a lingering smell that is hard to stop, not to mention the damage it does to your vehicle’s interior by leaving nicotine stains on surfaces.

To avoid the adverse effects of smoking inside your car, it’s essential to establish a no-smoking policy. Commit to never lighting up while driving or when parked in your vehicle. Doing so protects you from secondhand smoke and prevents your car’s interior from being infused with harmful toxins.

Clean The Windows and Carpet

A practical method is to start by cleaning your windows and carpets thoroughly. Cigarette smoke has the uncanny ability to cling to surfaces, leaving an unpleasant smell and harmful residue behind. By focusing on these two key areas, you can significantly reduce the presence of smoke particles in your home.

When cleaning your windows, using a vinegar solution can work wonders. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, then generously spritz the mixture onto the glass surface. Grab a microfiber cloth or squeegee and wipe away the solution while applying gentle pressure. This will help remove any nicotine stains or grime left behind by cigarette smoke.

How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of Car

Destroy the source.

Cigarette smells lingering in your car can be an unpleasant experience for you and your passengers. Not only does it leave a strong odor, but it can also be harmful to your health, so identify and destroy the source of the odor. By eliminating cigarettes from your car, you will prevent further smell accumulation. This may not be easy, but it is undoubtedly the most effective way to ensure a smoke-free vehicle.

Once you have addressed the source, it’s time to tackle the existing cigarette smell. Start by thoroughly cleaning all surfaces inside your car. Vacuuming and wiping down all upholstery, carpets, and hard surfaces can help remove trapped smoke particles. 

Clean the Air Filter

The air filter in your HVAC system is crucial in filtering out pollutants and odors from the air circulating throughout your living space. The particles from cigarette smoke can accumulate in the air filter, reducing its efficiency and causing unpleasant smells to persist.

Cleaning or replacing it can help improve indoor air quality and eliminate the stubborn odor of cigarettes. Begin by turning off your HVAC system and locating the air filter. If washable, gently vacuum both sides to remove any surface debris or dust. Rinse it under cold water until no more dirt comes off. Allow it to dry completely before reinstalling it.

Empty the ashtray.

The effective way to combat this odor is by emptying the ashtray regularly. Removing all traces of ash and cigarette butts prevents the smell from permeating your car’s interior. Not only will this keep your vehicle smelling fresh, but it will also create a healthier environment for smokers and non-smokers.

Locate the ashtray in your car – usually near the front console or on one of the doors. Gently remove it from its holder and dispose of any remaining ashes or cigarettes in a proper receptacle outside your vehicle. Give the empty ashtray a thorough cleaning using warm water and mild soap.

Our verdict

Eliminating the stubborn smell of cigarette smoke from your car can be challenging, but it is possible with the right approach and caution. It’s crucial to remember that using chemicals for this purpose requires utmost safety precautions.

Researching and choosing cleaning products specifically designed to remove car odors is essential. These products typically contain powerful deodorizers that can effectively neutralize tobacco smells. Always read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully. Failure to do so may result in improper use or mixing of incompatible chemicals, potentially harming outcomes.


It can be challenging how to get smoke smell out of car, but it is not impossible. Following the steps in this article, such as cleaning the interior thoroughly, using odor absorbers, and implementing preventative measures like smoking only outside the car, you can successfully eliminate the unpleasant odour and enjoy a fresh-smelling vehicle again. Remember to be patient and persistent in your efforts, as it may take multiple attempts to remove the smell.


Does baking soda get rid of the smoke smell in the car?

Baking soda is known for its odor-absorbing properties and can effectively neutralize unpleasant smells, including the lingering scent of cigarettes.

How can I make my car smell good?

Use air fresheners designed explicitly for cars. They come in various scents and can easily be hung from the rearview mirror. Keeping your car clean and clutter-free can go a long way in maintaining a fresh-smelling interior.