If you’ve ever purchased a privately owned used car, you may have been left wondering how to get the smell of cigarette smoke out of a car. Some people go the extra mile to detail their vehicles before sale, but if you’re scoping a spur-of-the-moment deal on Craigslist, you may be purchasing an AS-IS vehicle that doubled as a mobile smoking lounge. Not only are the upholstery and instrument panel stained or discolored from cigarette smoke, but the unmistakable odor has been left behind. You need to learn how to get the cigarette smell out of a car if you are a non-smoker who prefers a low-tar automobile interior.
How to get cigarette smell out of a car? It takes effort
Whatever method you use when you’re following these directions for how to get cigarette smell out of a car, it’s going to require elbow grease. Cigarette smell is pervasive. Assuming that you want to do the job as cheaply and safely as possible – you aren’t a professional auto detailer, but an auto loans-bearing consumer – what follows are some DIY tips that don’t require scary chemicals. Yes, hydrogen peroxide will do the job well, but why not use less expensive home methods that are less likely to bleach your skin and cause blisters or irritation? Here are some ideas, courtesy of How to Do Things:
- Vacuum the car. Some of the cigarette odor is attached to the physical artifacts left behind. Use hose attachments that are intended for cleaning upholstery
- Use white vinegar. A bowl left in the car overnight can help the smell a great deal.
- Use citrus peels. Toss a few peels in various places inside the car. This method takes several days, but the magic of orange peels in particular cannot be overstated.
- Use baking soda. Sprinkle it on the upholstery and carpet and leave it for a few hours. Vacuum and see how your car smells. If you aren’t sure how your upholstery will react to baking soda, spot test this first.
- Use coffee grounds. Put the grounds in filters and secure them so they won’t dump the grounds directly onto the upholstery. Place the filters on the most offending areas.
- Air it out. Sounds obvious, right? Keep the doors open for a few hours. For minor lingering cigarette odors, this may help.
- Use charcoal. Similar to the vinegar method, leave a bowl of charcoal in the car overnight.
- Pay attention to the lights. Interior lights attract smoke, which means they’ll be centers for cigarette smell. Scrub these areas with the most powerful cleaner you have. Even bring in a hydrogen peroxide mix here if necessary.
Don’t drive an ashmobile
Knowing how to get cigarette smell out of a car is serious business. Many people are sickened by continual exposure to the smell, which is something nobody wants to experience when they purchase a new car. The above home remedies are easy and inexpensive to apply, so why not give them a try?