How To Remove Cigarette Odor from Your Car

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So you're a closet smoker and you don't want anyone to know? Or maybe you're not a smoker, but a guest in your car was and now you can't get the smell out. There's cigarette odor in your car from the moment you open the door, and when you turn on the fans, it only seems to make the smell worse. If you are looking to remove cigarette odor from your car, try these few tips and suggestions.

  1. Clean your car. The first thing you need to do when trying to remove cigarette odor from your car is to give it a thorough cleaning. Scrub everything down with a strong disinfecting cleaner, and rinse and repeat for good luck. A lot of odors sit on surfaces so this initial scrub-down should remove a lot of cigarette odor from your car. Try sprinkling baking soda into carpets and upholstery and them vacuuming. It will absorb odors without adding any more smells to your car. Once everything has been scrubbed, vacuumed, polished and disinfected, you can move on to the next step.
  2. Deodorize. The next step in removing cigarette odor from your car is to freshen up the air. You need to apply a liberal dose of air freshener, odor absorbing spray (like Febreze) or some other scented spray everywhere in your car. Make a point of spraying under your dash and around your vents while the vents are running to allow it to travel into your ventilation system (what? You didn't think cigarette odor would travel into your vents? Think again!) Make sure you give your vents some time to circulate, or you'll be bombarded by a lovely array of smells the next time you start up your car.
  3. Prevention. While your car probably smells fine right now, you will want to take a few preventative measures. Find either charcoal in a paper bag or an odor absorber (they make these especially for cigarette odor). Place one of these under each seat and leave it there for a few weeks to absorb any remaining cigarette odors from your car.  Keep in mind these aren't air fresheners, they're odor absorbers. They're just meant to soak up any smells. So if you're looking for a fragrance to greet you when you open your car door, you'll need a separate air freshener for your car.

It may seem like a lot of work, but if you've trying to impress someone then a clean car is a definite must. You definitely don't want to have cigarette odors in your car when you're on your way to pick up that special someone. So take the time to make sure you've removed any trace of cigarette odor from your car before venturing out to pick up guests. And next time, resist the urge to light up until you're out of your car. It'll save you lots of time, money and effort in the long-run.


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