How to Get Cigarette Smell Out of Car

Published by Jeff Torres

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How to Get Cigarette Smell Out of Car

How to Get Cigarette Smell Out of Car

The smell of cigarettes in the car can be very annoying, even if you are a smoker yourself. The odor can be challenging to get rid of and permeate the interior. This can dominate the driving experience, and every family member that enters your car can have a tough time ignoring the smell. 

While doing our research, we noticed that the odor from cigarettes is one of the harshest and most difficult smells to eliminate from the car.

Keeping your car’s interior clean and free from smoke will help you keep the car’s value and offer a safe ride for your little ones. 

The cigarette smell can be caused by you, your friends, your relatives, or maybe you just bought a used car with a ton of cigarette buds in the glove department. Unfortunately, the smell can not be eliminated by opening a window or just simply putting in an air freshener. Solutions like that will simply mask the smell and will not altogether remove it.

Whatever the reason, we are here to help. In our how to get cigarette smell out of car review, we will provide a list of options that you can do to eliminate the nasty nicotine odor and give your car the perfect shine. 

How to Get Cigarette Smell Out of Car

To remove the smoke smell altogether, you must thoroughly cleanse your vehicle’s soft and hard surfaces. You also need to address every part of the interior. To effectively remove the cigarette odor, you need to pay attention and clean the interior and use an odor-eliminating agent. 

Another piece of equipment that can be very useful for rejuvenating the car’s interior is a car wash steamer. This tool awakens the fibers and prepares them for a deep cleanse. A steam cleaner removes the odor and stains and eliminates other types of dust that can damage the inside of your vehicle. 

Read more: How to Clean Car Interior

Tips and tricks 

The smoke from cigarettes is not shy, and its scent has a way of weaseling into our cars, clothes, rugs, furniture, and what else. We can all agree that it is one of the most unpleasant smells around and comes close to gasoline and sulfur. 

Even people who are smokers sometimes have a hard time staying in an environment that reeks of nicotine. It can be dangerous for the health of the body and can immediately cause a headache. For that reason, it has to go. 

Whether you need a quick fix or a deep cleaning, we got you covered. In our article, we will explain some methods you can do to remove the foul odor and return the original freshness to your vehicle. 

If the smell in your car is not so bad, you can only use an air freshener or drive with your windows open for a couple of hours. In addition to that, you can simply vacuum your vehicle’s interior. If that doesn’t do the trick, keep reading our article to find out how to clean your car’s interior thoroughly.

Cleaning materials

You may not end up using all the cleaning materials; it is better to be safe than sorry. To eliminate the cigarette odor from your car, you should gather multi-surface disinfectant, a vacuum, fabric freshener spray, spray bottle, dish soap, vinegar, air freshener, and a bucket of water. 

Read more: How to Clean Car Carpet

How to Get Cigarette Smell Out of Car

Steps to Eliminate the Cigarette Smell From the Car

Eliminate the culprit 

The first thing you need to do is eliminate any cigarette residue or ash in the car. Sweep your whole vehicle and make sure to clean the content in the ashtray. You should remove the ashtray from the car and spray it down with the multi-surface disinfectant. 

Any disinfectant from a reputable brand should do the trick, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money on it. Just spray and walk away. Allow the product to dry naturally. 


Usually, all the surfaces that absorb the smoke can be vacuumed. We recommend using a portable and smaller vacuum to reach every place and suck up the scent-clinging particles. 

Ensure that you catch all the tiny nooks and crannies by using the hand attachment for the areas that are hard to reach, like, the place between the seatbacks and the bottom. 

You can also remove the floor mats and vacuum underneath them. If you still smell smoke, take the mats outside and wash them with water. 

Circulate the air

To remove the smoke odor altogether, you should spray every place in your car, including the seats and seatbacks. Turn all the vents on, recirculate and open all doors on your vehicle. Allow the air to move through the system for an hour. This is simple and can successfully get rid of the nicotine smell.

Clean the hard surfaces

It may seem unnecessary, but you should also clean your car mirrors and windows. You should combine vinegar, liquid dish soap, and water. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and give it a shake. You should spray the windows and mirrors accordingly and wipe everything down with a microfiber cloth. 

You can use the same mixture to spray any plastic and accessible area of the car’s interior. This will not only remove the cigarette smell but will also protect against any bacteria. 

Put everything back and hang an air freshener

After ensuring that you covered as much ground as possible while cleaning your car and that your ashtray and car mats no longer have a cigarette smell, you can go ahead and put them back in your vehicle. If you still smell smoke, you can go ahead and repeat the whole process but this time, leave everything outside a little longer. 

As a friendly tip from us and a cherry on top of the whipped cream, we recommend you hang an air freshener on your rearview mirror. 

Read more: How to Clean Car Seats


We are confident in all the steps we provided in our how to get cigarette smell out of car review, and they can be used even if you are not a smoker. 

The fresher the air in the car, the more comfort it provides for you and your passengers. Keeping your vehicle free from smoke and any harsh particles is always a great choice.

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