There are various reasons you would want to get rid of the smoke smell from your car. It could be that you had a minor fire accident, or (either you or) the previous owner used to smoke in the car and (after changing the fabrics) noticed that your vehicle still had some smoke smell.

While buying a good second-hand car is often a considerable bargain, especially if the vehicle is in excellent condition, some minor secondary issues like smoke smell can make most people feel uncomfortable. The same is true with personal cars. Often, the smoke smell lingers because the smoke particles permeate through the tiny spaces and stick inside your car’s upholstery.

The stuck particles leave a semi-permanent smell that’s quite difficult to get rid of. You’ve probably tried various techniques in a bid to get rid of this smell but haven’t gotten anywhere and are wondering how to get the smoke smell out of the car; you don’t have to worry. We have got your back and are here to help you out. Also, you could be interrested in How to remove tree sap from car.

Let’s dive in and find out how.


Removing cigarette smoke from your car’s carpet and upholstery requires a different approach compared to leather. For instance, if the smell isn’t too deep, you could begin by using baking soda to get rid of the smell.

Here are some of the steps you need to follow.

  • Get rid of the ashtray (if there’s one) and ensure that all pieces of cigarettes (including cigarette butts) are removed from the car. If your seats have covers, it would be good to remove and replace them or wash them.
  • Vacuum your car’s upholstery, carpet, under-seat, and any crevices that may be holding any cigarette smoke. Your car’s smoky smell could result from old ash sitting in between the gaps. You can do two more vacuuming rounds for better results.
  • The next step involves sprinkling baking soda on your car’s carpet and upholstery. Ensure that you sprinkle a decent amount of the product on all fabric materials inside your vehicle. Baking soda is a great odor neutralizer and, thus, is perfect for absorbing all cigarette smoke and any other odors from your car. Let it sit for some time for maximum effect.
  • Next, you’ll need to use a vacuum pump and clean the baking soda after letting it sit for the appropriate length of time. You can repeat the process if the smell still lingers, but you notice a significant increase in air quality inside your car. You could also leave an open baking powder box inside the vehicle to absorb any lingering smell.


While using baking powder is often effective, there are chances that it won’t provide 100% positive results. You could use some of the techniques mentioned below to increase its effectiveness and simultaneously make your car smell better. They include:

  • Letting your car breathe by opening its windows and airing it on a clear, breezy day. However, it would be best to take care that it doesn’t get vandalized or rained on.
  • You could also try wiping down the car’s seats and interior using dryer sheets to get rid of the smell.
  • You could also leave a small bowl of ground coffee to absorb the smell and (simultaneously) leave an earthy coffee fragrance. You could also boil some cinnamon sticks, put them in a mug, and allow them to cool inside the vehicle. That’ll help get rid of the cigarette smoke.
  • Keep some fresh citrus peels like grapefruit, oranges, limes, lemons, and passion fruits to get rid of the smell.

This procedure may take a little bit longer than you anticipated, but you’ll have to remember that getting rid of the smell of smoke isn’t that easy. There is a probability that the smoke took years to accumulate. As such, you’ll have to be a little patient and allow mother nature to fight for you.


As you (probably) already know, smoke penetrates leather and trim. Often, the smoke leaves a layer of residue that can transfer to other objects and fabrics. As such, you must find the correct procedure to get cigarette smell out of car seats. How do you do it?

  • To effectively rid your car of any smell, you’ll need to search for appropriate cleaning materials that suit the fabric and get back ASAP. Therefore, if you have leather seats, it would be best to clean them with products tolerant to leather.
  • You could repeat this procedure regularly for a few days to help eliminate the smell that may have penetrated deep into the material.


You’ll need to go ahead and clean other parts of the car if you notice that the smoke remains after cleaning the carpet and upholstery. You could go ahead and wipe the front and rear windshields, door windows and replace the air filter. Smoke can enter into the vents, and while cleaning the air filter may have trapped some smoke residue that causes the vehicle to have a mild (or even significant) tobacco smell even after washing it.


You may have gotten all the strategies for removing the smell of smoke from your vehicle; however, if you smoke, then it means that you’ll be stuck in an endless loop. However, there are some techniques you could try to minimize or get cigarette smell out of the car after smoking.

They include:

  • Ensuring that the car’s air conditioner/heater pulls fresh air from outside instead of recirculating air from inside the vehicle. Get smoke smell out of the car air conditioner and dispel any excessive smoke that would have otherwise ended up in the fabrics.
  • Crack your window and hold the cigarette there in-between smokes to prevent most of the smoke from getting into the vehicle.
  • Switch to e-cigarettes that provide you with the sensation of smoking while helping you avoid the traditional smell of tobacco. That’ll help get the cigarette smell out of the car after smoking.

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