Car Wash Genie

Got cigarette smoke odors in your car? There are several modes of action you can take to get rid of the smell.

One of the biggest cons of smoking cigarettes is that the smoke has a significant and distinct odor. In a closed up vehicle it can be extremely potent and potentially toxic. And for nonsmokers its unpleasant and intolerable. Not only that, the tobacco smoke can literally be depositing carcinogens into the fabrics of your carseats. Whether you’re a smoker who wants to have a better smelling car or a nonsmoker who has bought or inherited a smoker’s car, that smell can be quite stubborn. There are several modes of action you can take to tackle the smokey cigarette odors in your car.

Vacuum it up: Once you’ve gotten rid of the smoke source, go ahead and vaccum the cloth seats and floorboard mats. If you’ve got a vacuum with a HEPA air filter you’ll get an even better cleaning of the upholstery. Another way to get a boost from your vacuum is to sprinkle baking soda on the cloth elements before you vacuum. Let it sit over night and it will absorb some the odor. Then suck it all up the next day.

Purify the air: Get an air purifier. You may feel silly driving around with an air purifier in your car. But, in some cases, it works. There are models available now that operate on a battery. This will get rid of the particles that are in the air (not in the upholstery).

Steam clean: For a really deep clean you might want to rent a steam cleaner. Be careful not to over do it though. You don’t want to get the upholstery so wet that it will mildew or mold. Instead, lightly steam clean it on a warm day and keep the windows down to dry out. You can get a steam cleaner at most improvement or grocery stores. The steam cleaning will help remove the odor that is embedded in your upholstery.

Bag it: Odor eliminator bags work too. Make sure they’re the nontoxic variety if you decide to drive around with the bags. Otherwise, just one bag over a 24 hour period can help. The odor particles are literally drawn into the bag. You can get these online or at stores that sell natural cleaning supplies.

Spray: Fabric refresher spray or essential oils work really well. You don’t want to overdo with these either. With regular use of fabric sprays, you may eliminate a good portion of the odor. On leather you should try sweet orange oil. On fabric you can spray the freshener spray at close range. If you don’t like the smell of citrus or flowers in your car, try white vinegar instead.

Hire a pro: There is, of course, the option to hire a professional odor removal service. This will be more expensive. But, you’ll save yourself some time. You should make sure they have a satisfaction guarantee. That way you can ensure that they will get the odor out.