Car Smells Like Smoke? Try This!

Many of us have seen the remedies for odor removal circulating the internet that involve coffee grounds, Febreze, and other items that either mask or do nothing to alleviate the odor. Let’s talk about some real options for removing this nasty odor from your vehicle.


The first step to removing any odor is to get rid of the source. In this case, we want to make sure that all cigarette butts and ashes are thrown out. Vacuum any residue that accumulates from smoking in the vehicle. Now that we have the source removed, it’s time to move on to the next step.

We want to minimize the amount of odor that needs to be eliminated before we start our remedies. A great method is to air out the vehicle. You can either open the windows and allow it to air out, or you can open the windows and turn the heat on to make the odor volatile, allowing it to be reduced more sufficiently. Either way, this is going to get you going in the right direction.

There are a few home remedies that can help get rid of the smell of smoke in the vehicle. Try wiping the vehicle interior down with vinegar. Be sure to get the areas where the smoke traveled frequently, like the headliner above the driver’s head. Vinegar works by breaking down the tar and removes it from the fabric. Keep in mind that vinegar is natural, so no nasty chemicals are being used in your home remedy.

Some materials might be more difficult for vinegar to cut the smell. Places like the carpet, rugs, and seats may need something like baking soda. Baking soda works by absorbing and neutralizing odors. Apply a generous amount on the carpet and other materials. Let it set for as long as possible. It’s critical that it set at least a few hours, but one to two days is ideal. Once the baking soda has set, simply vacuum it. If the odor has diminished but has not completely gone away, try the process again.

Depending on the odor and intensity, sometimes household remedies may not be enough to tackle the job. Odors like heavy tobacco smoke, pet smells like urine, mold and mildew, and food are sometimes too tough to handle on your own. We at odorzX want your car to smell fresh and clean, and we can tackle virtually any odor. Simply visit us at


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