Posted on: January 6, 2009 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 3

Smokers do the nasty habit just about anywhere. For some chain smokers, a “No Smoking” sign is not enough to stop them from smoking packs of cigarettes a day. Many smokers smoke literally everywhere, including while driving or riding a car. While it may look cool and feel convenient to drive a car while smoking, it’s quite unsafe. Not only would you risk serious injury, but your car interior will pretty much smell like tobacco. (Learn how to get rid of cigarette smoke damage)

Smokers’ cars don’t have that fresh new car scent. Tobacco has such a strong odor that it sticks to just about every part of your car interior. Cigarette smells can also irritate the respiratory systems of asthmatics and non-smokers who ride your car. It’s very easy to prevent and get rid of cigarette smells from your vehicle with these simple hints and tricks. (More tips on how to get rid of cigarette smoke smell)

Don’t Smoke Inside Your Car

Smoking inside your car may seem like a convenient way to get your dose of nicotine, but it is a very risky and dangerous prospect. You run the following risks when you smoke inside your car:

  • Fire. Gasoline leaks from the fuel line and refrigerant leaks from the air conditioner are flammable. A lit cigarette can ignite these gases, and potentially set the stage for fires and even explosions.
  • Asphyxiation. For people who prefer to drive with their windows up, smoke can cause you and your passengers to suffocate. Cigarette smoke is made up of many toxic gases, including carbon monoxide and other carcinogens. Once smoke builds up inside your car, you and your passengers will find it extremely difficult to breathe.
  • Vehicle accidents. Smoking divides your attention between your cigarette and the road. You may run the risk of crashing your vehicle, or getting it out of control.

When you do need to smoke, pull over before lighting up. Not only would you be safe from any vehicular accident related to smoking, but you also minimize the risk of catastrophe for yourself and your passengers.

Use the Ashtray

Some smokers have the habit of flicking cigarette ash into the floor mats or on empty seats. Cigarette ashes may not seem like much, but they do add up to the burnt, noxious smells that build up inside the vehicle. All vehicles come with a retractable ashtray at the center console of the dashboard, meant for smokers to flick their ashes in. If you smoke inside your car, make sure to use this ashtray instead of flicking your cigarette all over the place. Remember to empty the ashtray once it’s full.

Maybe you’re one of those people who just can’t resist the urge or the need to smoke inside your car. While there’s pretty much very little you can do about your habit without giving up smoking, the best thing to do would be to drive with your windows down, and blow cigarette smoke out the window.


If the cigarette odors inside your vehicle are strong, you need to find ways to mask, neutralize, or absorb the odors. There are many tools and ingredients that you can use to remove the cigarette odors from your car interior:

Spray Deodorizers

Spray deodorizers are the most convenient way to neutralize the smoke odors from your vehicle. Spray deodorizers do not remove the odors themselves, but they mask the strong odors of the cigarette smells. Here are some reminders that you should keep in mind when using deodorizing sprays:

  • Use just enough spray to mask the odor. Some sprays have a very strong scent that may cause a whole new problem with odors.
  • A few short pulses of the spray is usually enough to get rid of odors from smoking inside your car.
  • If you don’t like to use a spray, car deodorant canisters work just as well as sprays.


Sprays mask odors, but charcoal absorbs and eliminates them. What makes charcoal an effective deodorizer and odor neutralizer is that it has a very broad surface area. A single gram of activated charcoal has a total surface area of 500 square meters, which is a little under the length of five football fields laid end to end. Charcoal is also cheap, and is readily available from supermarkets or farmer’s markets.

To use charcoal to deodorize your car, follow these steps:

  • Place a few damp saucers on the dashboard, the seats, and the floor of the car.
  • Add a small amount of dampened activated carbon or wood charcoal on the saucers.
  • Leave the saucers and the charcoal inside the car for at least 12 hours.

The damp charcoal will absorb much of the cigarette odor, without leaving any odd smell. The longer you leave the charcoal inside the car, the better it absorbs the cigarette smells. With a charcoal treatment, you can get that new car smell you get the day you bought your car.

Interior Detailing

Auto detailing is the process of cleaning and restoring your vehicle. While most people associate a detailing job with the car exterior, interior detailing is also a very important part of auto maintenance. Interior detailing is the best way to get rid of cigarette odors; at the same time, it is also time-consuming and expensive. Detailing involves washing seat covers, restoring carpeting, and removing odors from caked-in debris.

  • Professional detailing is convenient, but will set you back hundreds of dollars depending on the kind of detailing job you want. You simply leave your car in the auto detailing shop, wait a few days, and they’ll take care of the rest.
  • Detailing at home requires a lot more time and effort than taking your car to the auto detailing shop. You’ll need to have your seat covers washed, the floor pan cleaned, and the fabric linings of your car interior restored. Auto interior detailing products are available from auto supply stores or auction houses on the Internet. You’ll need to free up time over a weekend to complete a thorough auto interior detailing job.

Interior Air Filters

Many newer cars have air filters built into the air conditioning system, although they do not work as effectively as a separate unit. Separate interior air filter units can be bought from auto supply stores, although the best ones do not come cheap. They can also be installed easily, or with help from the dealer. Interior air filters work by re-circulating the air inside your car, and passing it through a carbon filter. Interior air filters also help reduce harmful and allergenic particles from the air circulating inside your car.

The best way to prevent cigarette smells from stinking up your car interior is to make your car a smoke-free zone. Whenever you feel the urge to smoke, pull over, and take your puffs outside. That way, you can prevent cigarette smells from ever making it to your car in the first place.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you’ll surely enjoy reading more how to get rid of stuff articles.

Click here for more information on how to get rid of cigarette smell in a car.

3 People reacted on this

  1. Just because your car smells like smoke doesn’t mean that you actually smoke. This site is very critical I never have smoked and never will i bought a used car and it has a slight smell but i guess after reading this site i am a chain smoker and need to be told that i need to stop.
    “The best way to prevent cigarette smells from stinking up your car interior is to make your car a smoke-free zone. Whenever you feel the urge to smoke, pull over, and take your puffs outside. That way, you can prevent cigarette smells from ever making it to your car in the first place.”

  2. We have used odorknockout for years to remove cigarette odor from vehicles we are detailing. Odorknockout is a fogger that works because of its killing the bacteria that are actually the problem.

  3. The best way that I found to get rid of smoke odor in a car that I bought used, was something called autoVACCINE. I had tried everything from vinegar to ozone machines and nothing worked, until a friend recommended it.
    Hope this helps

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