How to remove cigarette odors from a car

Written by ehow contributor
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If you smoke, you're not likely to notice the cigarette odors in your car, but if you're a non-smoker and inherited a car from "two-packs-a-day" Aunt Ginny, the smell might drive you crazy. Here's how to remove it.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Glass Cleaner
  • Sponge
  • Baking Soda
  • leather cleaner/deodorizer
  • odor-eliminating shampoo

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  1. 1

    Shampoo the car's interior, including carpets, upholstery and floor mats with an odor eliminating shampoo, available at hardware or home improvement stores.

  2. 2

    Clean all washable interior surfaces with the same shampoo. Put a small amount directly on a damp sponge, work in and wipe down.

  3. 3

    Clean all the windows inside with a glass cleaner. Repeat if necessary.

  4. 4

    Sprinkle baking soda on dry carpet, working it in with your hands. Wait a week and then vacuum.

  5. 5

    Clean leather upholstery with a commercial leather cleaner/deodorizer, available at your dealership or at home improvement stores.

  6. 6

    Vacuum ashtrays to remove residual ash. Place a small amount of baking soda or kitty litter into the ashtrays to absorb odors.

Tips and warnings

  • To freshen the car, keep dryer sheets under the seats, or place a little activated charcoal in a no-spill container (such as a jar with small air holes in the top) and place in car.
  • Whenever possible, keep windows open when smoking in a car.
  • You may need to replace the car's headliner (or "ceiling") if you can't remove the smoke odor from it.
  • Cigarette smoke can be extremely difficult to remove. If you are unsuccessful, consider taking the car to a professional detailer.
  • Air fresheners may disguise the smell of smoke but they won't remove it.

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