How to Remove Cigarette Smell from your Car

You have probably been hit by the reality of cigarette smell at a particular point in the course of running your daily routines.

Whether you smoke or not, cigarette smell is always repulsive. No body wants it around thier surrounding. It is always embarrassing carrying your loved ones or sitting  in your car which is full of cigarette smell.

And you might have been searching on how to remove cigarette smell from your car.

Smoking in Car

Especially if you or those you carry in your car are asthma or allergy patients, cigarette smell is the last thing you would want in your car.

Cigarette smoke triggers asthma symptoms. In some cases the irritant particles in the smoke can cause asthma attack. A serious situation that can lead to death!

So how do you get cigarette smell out of your car ?


Well, cigarette can be or is the most stubborn smell you might want to remove from your car. Cigarette smell can be almost next to impossible to remove because it is able to manage to get into the interior part of the car such as the upholstery, carpet and hard surfaces.

Cigarette smoke can literally  conquer the air system of the car.

Below we’ve discussed some general but effective steps you can take to remove that unwanted cigarette smell from your car.

Before you start the cleaning process, it’s important you get the following in place :

– a vacuum cleaner, –
– ‎steam cleaner, –
– ‎a good bottle of deodorizer, –
– ‎vinegar, –
– ‎odor neutralizer and –
– ‎a good number of rags.

Now let’s start .

1. Cleaning;

This includes both regular cleaning and steam cleaning.

When you want to remove cigarette odor from your car, start by getting a well ventilated area or environment. It could be the parking  lot , the driveway or  just any well ventilated area.

Begin by  removing any trash from the car and this include the cigarette ash, cigarette butts, cigars and others. After getting the trash out,  diligently clean the interior part of the car. This is where the vacuum cleaner comes in handy.

Use the Vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clean the interior mats and seat covers.

Now you will need a steam cleaner to clean other interior parts of the car such as the upholstery. But before that you will need to get rid of the cigarette smell that comes from the upholstery.

It is highly recommended  to get an odor neutralizer or remover that makes use of enzymes. This is because the enzymes are able to break down the chemicals or substances that are usually responsible for producing the cigarette smell.


The rags you gathered at the beginning of the process will be important here, use it to thoroughly wipe down the dashboards, the steering wheel and other interior parts of the car that might have been exposed to the smoke from the cigarette.

Alternatively, you can use a combo of half water and half vinegar (white) to clean the steering wheel.

Products for cleaning glass , for example Windex will be very helpful in cleaning or wiping down tar from the interior glass surfaces.

Also, environmentally safe products such as Simple Green can be used for all purpose cleaning.

2. Airing out the duct system :

Before you begin airing our the duct system of your car make sure that the windows are rolled down.

After rolling down your Windows, turn on your air circulation at full fan

We highly recommend you turn on the air condition also but make sure you keep it at the lowest temperature possible.

3. Neutralizeing the air intake system:

The next thing you would want to do is to neutralise the air intake system.

We mentioned earlier that some of the items you will be needing to remove cigarette smell from a car will be a bottle of deodorizer.

You will find a way of getting the deodorizer from the bottle into the vent of the car intake system which is usually done  by spraying directly into the vent.

By spraying the deodorizer directly into the vent, you are combating the smell coming from the air conditioner. So Continue spraying into the vent untill the smell goes away or reduces.

The vent of most cars are positioned just by the wiper blades or below the windshield depending on the type of car you own.

4. Neutralizing the heating system:

If you were able to successfully  complete the cleaning of the air intake system, then you  will have no problem cleaning the heating system. Because the good news is that neutralizing the air intake system of your car is almost practically the same as neutralizing the heating system.

Just that with the cleaning of the heating system,  you will have to set the heater onto full heat. And continue spraying the deodorizer from the bottle into the vent until you are sure that there’s no trace of cigarette smell in your car.

Neutralizing the heating system is neccessary in eliminating the cigarette  smell from the air condition vents and the interior ducts.

So ensure you do this well!

The above mentioned steps are usually the general steps you can take to  remove  cigarette smell from your car. But for some people, these steps might not be enough to completely eliminate cigarette smell from thier car.

Below,  we have outlined some homemade solutions you can employ to completely remove any smell of smoke from your car;

1. The commonest and most interesting homemade solution is using charcoal to remove the smell from your car.

It is this simple; just get a bowl of charcoal and leave it in your car for a few days, it will be able to reduce the smell of cigarette lingering in your car.

2. Baking soda can also be used to effectively eliminate smell of smoke in your car. 

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With this, you will have to sprinkle the baking soda on the interior mats and other open surfaces.

You can get a a brush, a tag or even your hands to push the baking soda into the fabric.

Wait for sometime and use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum it off.

3. You can also use citrus fruits to remove smell from you car.


You do this by leaving the peels of orange, lemon or any other citrus fruit in the car for a couple of days.

4. Finally, you can use vinegar  to combat the cigarette smell.

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Use white vinegar to remove cigarette smell by pouring it into a container, it could be a bowl or even a cup and leave it in the car for a period of 24 hours.

The above homemade solutions are very effective in combating persistent cigarette smell in your car.  Do try them. You will find them extremely useful.

Though It is important to mention to you  that there are  other quite interesting  ways of removing cigarette smell from your car.

For instance Ozium and odor bombs are regarded by some as the best ways of removing cigarette smell from cars.

NOTE; If you are an asthmatic or allergy patient, Ozium might not be the best for you. It contain chemicals and substances that are quite harmful.

In conclusion,

Cigarette smell as we mentioned at the beginning of this post is quite troublesome to tackle.

But we assure you that if you did what we outlined above, you wouldn’t have to worry about cigarette smell in your car again.

And if you are an asthma or allergy patients, we urge you to always try to do away with cigarette smell wherever you find yourself.

We hope this article was educative, let’s know if you have any comment or question below.

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