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Removing Cigarette Smell From Vehicle

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Old 11-17-2005, 12:56 AM
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Removing Cigarette Smell From Vehicle

Anyone know of a good way to get Cigarette smoke scent out of a vehicle?

I think it's coming from my vents, because I cleaned the entire interior of the car several times and it still seems to blow out of the vents.. but I don't smell it too much with the vents off(Maybe just a little).

This is for my truck, so it has no in-cabin microfilter like the G35 does.

Has anyone ever tried a prodcut called Atmosclear?..

Any other suggestions?
Old 11-17-2005, 01:57 AM
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Cigarette odor removal can be tricky. The smell is usually in more places than you think. Even if you replace all the carpet and the seats then you might still smell it when you turn on the AC. So the key is to get it out of the vents as well as everywhere else.

When I do odor removal on a car I typically take out the front seats if I can. If they are powered then I have to leave them in, but if you can remove the seats then it makes it a lot easier. You have to clean every surface of the car to get the smell out and some surfaces are very hard to get to because of the seats. I clean the carpet with a carpet cleaner that I buy locally called Prestone Foaming Carpet Cleaner. I have it reviewed on the site in the product review section. Anyway, they have a new version that includes an odor remover. That really helps clean the carpets. Remember to use it to clean any cloth in the vehicle. That includes the headliner and your seats. If you have leather or vinyl seats then you need to use the appropriate cleaner on them before you use any protectant or conditioner.

I use Meguiar's #39 to clean the plastics and vinyl in the car. It is an excellent cleaner that will take care of the smell on those surfaces. You may have to disassemble certian parts of the car to really get it clean. It just depends on how hard core you are about getting the smell out. Odor removal isn't a product. It is a fairly time consuming project and most of all it is a process.

Even after you have cleaned your carpets, seats, and all the surfaces of the car including the windows, you will want to shoot a couple shots of something like Meguiar's Odor Eliminator down the vents. Also, you will want to spray it under the dash where your feet are. The odors are hiding down there and will come out again when you turn on the heater or A/C. And donít forget to clean the headliner. More smells remain in cars because of dirty headliners than you might think. Smoke and all kinds of smells are trapped up there. Meguiarís Odor Eliminator is great for spraying that kind of area. If itís a cloth headliner then you can clean it with the same Prestone you used on the carpets. They have a version that helps eliminate odors now days that is really great.

After you get the seats back in then I would suggest that you turn on the fan in the car and put it on recirculate so that the smell can get filtered a bit. Open up the car and shoot a couple sprays of the Odor Eliminator in there once in awhile and let that just circulate. Then open the car up and let it air out for awhile. Drive around with the windows down for a day or something. If you can park it in a garage then leave the windows down overnight so it really has a chance to air out.

The smell won't be totally gone unless you can tear the whole interior apart and steam clean everything. However, this process will definitely get the job done as good as it can be done without getting too complicated. You just have to think the simple thought of "If I was a smell, then where would I hide?" Think like the smell and you'll be able to get rid of it all.

(taken from OCD University)
Old 11-17-2005, 02:22 AM
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awesome write up ^-


but if you're lazy like me, use Febreeze Auto. It works good and gives the car a nice fresh smell. But like the article says, get the carpet as best as you can..
Old 11-17-2005, 02:31 AM
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Throw some arm and hammer baking soda on the carpet, let it sit then vac.

Then use that white & blue canned air freshener... forget what its called. Oz... something. Spray that in your vents.

Finally, get a couple pie tins and fill them with some ground coffee. Put one one the passenger side and one in the back.

the coffee will absorb the odor, as well as give you that Farmer's Bros fresh scent. Run the a/c on full floor & with the sun roof or windows cracked to pull in some fresh air. leave it in over night. Change the coffee the next day. you can also use the arm andhammer baking soda if you dont like the coffee smell. Go to Costco for the big daddy box.


As another trick, once you get the cig smell out, place one of those toss in the dryer / fabric softener sheets under the driver and passenger seats. It will make your car smell new & fresh everytime you run the air.

Last edited by SoCalTed; 11-17-2005 at 02:34 AM.
Old 11-17-2005, 05:31 AM
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Carpet cleaner... it's probably embeded in the seats, carpet and roof liner.

Before I sold my honda that I smoked in for 4 years, I cracked all the windows about 1/2" and busted a can of bug-fogger in the car overnight. I rolled all the windows down and let it air out for a week. Tossed baking soda EVERYWHERE, let it sit overnight and then vacuumed it all up.

Couldn't even tell I smoked in it. BTW, carpet cleaner on the roof lining.
Old 11-17-2005, 06:52 AM
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smoke weed instead.
Old 11-17-2005, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdkingka
smoke weed instead.
+1
Old 11-17-2005, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cup0spam
Cigarette odor removal can be tricky. The smell is usually in more places than you think. Even if you replace all the carpet and the seats then you might still smell it when you turn on the AC. So the key is to get it out of the vents as well as everywhere else.

When I do odor removal on a car I typically take out the front seats if I can. If they are powered then I have to leave them in, but if you can remove the seats then it makes it a lot easier. You have to clean every surface of the car to get the smell out and some surfaces are very hard to get to because of the seats. I clean the carpet with a carpet cleaner that I buy locally called Prestone Foaming Carpet Cleaner. I have it reviewed on the site in the product review section. Anyway, they have a new version that includes an odor remover. That really helps clean the carpets. Remember to use it to clean any cloth in the vehicle. That includes the headliner and your seats. If you have leather or vinyl seats then you need to use the appropriate cleaner on them before you use any protectant or conditioner.

I use Meguiar's #39 to clean the plastics and vinyl in the car. It is an excellent cleaner that will take care of the smell on those surfaces. You may have to disassemble certian parts of the car to really get it clean. It just depends on how hard core you are about getting the smell out. Odor removal isn't a product. It is a fairly time consuming project and most of all it is a process.

Even after you have cleaned your carpets, seats, and all the surfaces of the car including the windows, you will want to shoot a couple shots of something like Meguiar's Odor Eliminator down the vents. Also, you will want to spray it under the dash where your feet are. The odors are hiding down there and will come out again when you turn on the heater or A/C. And donít forget to clean the headliner. More smells remain in cars because of dirty headliners than you might think. Smoke and all kinds of smells are trapped up there. Meguiarís Odor Eliminator is great for spraying that kind of area. If itís a cloth headliner then you can clean it with the same Prestone you used on the carpets. They have a version that helps eliminate odors now days that is really great.

After you get the seats back in then I would suggest that you turn on the fan in the car and put it on recirculate so that the smell can get filtered a bit. Open up the car and shoot a couple sprays of the Odor Eliminator in there once in awhile and let that just circulate. Then open the car up and let it air out for awhile. Drive around with the windows down for a day or something. If you can park it in a garage then leave the windows down overnight so it really has a chance to air out.

The smell won't be totally gone unless you can tear the whole interior apart and steam clean everything. However, this process will definitely get the job done as good as it can be done without getting too complicated. You just have to think the simple thought of "If I was a smell, then where would I hide?" Think like the smell and you'll be able to get rid of it all.

(taken from OCD University)
Excellent write up. My business specializes in interior maintenance for used cars at new car dealerships so we deal with it everyday.
Concentrate on scrubbing all the surfaces of the vehicles as suggested. The headliner, seats and carpets are most important. After using a cleaner on them (we have a proprietary dry cleaner) and assuring everything is completely dry try a product like Zep air fare smoke eliminator. It can be scrubbed into those upholstered areas and chemically helps eliminate odors. You can also spray this into the outside air intakes under the hood doing with both the heater and the air conditioner on in the recirculate mode. Be careful with this spraying as this product tends to permanently stain hard surfaces. I would suggest doing the entire process described above and then redoing it one week later. After that you can concentrate on airing out the vehicle.
Good luck.

Last edited by RBull; 12-07-2005 at 08:13 PM.
Old 11-17-2005, 09:19 AM
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ozium is the answer to all your questions
Old 11-17-2005, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by truplay8
ozium is the answer to all your questions
Care to educate the ignorant masses??
Old 11-17-2005, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truplay8
ozium is the answer to all your questions
Perhaps you are referring to ozonating. If I am not mistaken Ozium is an air freshener.
Ozonating is reasonably effective at removing cigarette odor but it leaves a nasty odor that is as bad or worse than the cigarette smell.

I have numerous clients who have replaced that process with mine.

Last edited by RBull; 11-17-2005 at 01:18 PM.
Old 11-17-2005, 10:53 PM
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My great deal...

I found an ad for a 2003 G35 in Febuary for 17,000. I checked it out and found that it reeked of cigarettes. I bought it anyway cuz it's a G for less than $20G's and figured I could clean out the stench. Well...here goes my story

From March until May, I used Armor All Leather Wipes all over; Armor All Citrus on the vinyl, Blue Coral Carpet Cleaner all over the upholstry, Rain-X on the glass; Arm and Hammer Baking soda all over the place overnight--then vacuumed in the morning; Febreeze in the trunk; Replaced the in-cabin air filter.

November and no more stench!

side note: I asked the dealer about the stench and the dealer took a drag from his cigarette and said "what stench?"

Now, the bigger question is how to get rid of the burnt rubber smell from the heater....
Old 12-07-2005, 07:22 PM
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what about changing the in cabin air filter??
Old 12-07-2005, 07:39 PM
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i'd imagine the headliner is the culprit
Old 12-07-2005, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slaytan213
I found an ad for a 2003 G35 in Febuary for 17,000. I checked it out and found that it reeked of cigarettes. I bought it anyway cuz it's a G for less than $20G's and figured I could clean out the stench. Well...here goes my story

From March until May, I used Armor All Leather Wipes all over; Armor All Citrus on the vinyl, Blue Coral Carpet Cleaner all over the upholstry, Rain-X on the glass; Arm and Hammer Baking soda all over the place overnight--then vacuumed in the morning; Febreeze in the trunk; Replaced the in-cabin air filter.

November and no more stench!

side note: I asked the dealer about the stench and the dealer took a drag from his cigarette and said "what stench?"

Now, the bigger question is how to get rid of the burnt rubber smell from the heater....
Good job. My process would do it with two applications and less than an hour of time.

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