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How To Get Rid Of Smoke Smell In Cars


Cigarette odor isn’t only annoying, but it’s also long-lasting. And it’s not good news when car buyers sniff just even a wind of it. So when you sell cars, here are some tips on how you can get rid of smoke smell in cars.

We’ve worked with thousands of car dealerships across the United States for almost three years now. And one thing that we’ve noticed is that one of the reasons why car buyers won’t push through is because the cars smell like cigarettes. Ash, tobacco leaves, and all. And what’s even more annoying is that the scent of tobacco permeates every corner of the car. It can go anywhere, from rugs to chairs and even windows! Of course, you can get rid of the smell by spraying on some deodorant and car fragrances, but these are only temporary. Pretty soon, your customers may smell the cigarette odors lingering back, and they either give you a one-star review or bring back the car for a full refund. We don’t want that.

How-To-Get-Rid-Of-Smoke-Smell-In-Cars- woman covering nose

That’s why we’ve come up with this list of ways to eliminate the smoke smell in cars. These solutions are pretty much varied, but these are way better than just using a simple air freshener. In fact, some of these tips won’t even just get rid of smoke smell in cars, but they are also effective in getting rid of unpleasant smells, such as pet odors, food, and mold/mildew smell. If this is creating hindrances to your used car dealership business, read on. Car owners can use these tips, too.

Quick Fix: Vacuum It Up

If the smoke smell in the car is evident but not too strong, this tip can get rid of it quickly. But first, you need a multitude of things. Most of the items can be found in your home, so you don’t need to go to the nearest shop. You will need; a vacuum or shop vac, multi-surface disinfectant, fabric freshener (preferably in spray form), vinegar, water, dishwashing liquid, air freshener, and spray bottle. When you have all these things, you can now continue and remove removable objects you can find inside the car. Next, search the entire car interior for some ashes and cigarette butts you can find. Pick or sweep them out of the vehicle. Don’t worry if there are ashes stuck on the seats and compartments. We’ll deal with them next.

You can now start vacuuming after cleaning the surface. Start on soft surfaces because they are the most susceptible to taking in smoke and its odor. Make sure to vacuum all nooks and crannies. Also, use an industrial-strength portable vacuum so you won’t miss a single space, taking away all those particles hiding within. After that, spray a fabric/air freshener around the interior. Include soft surfaces such as seats, headrests, and seatbelts. Then, keep all the doors open while the vents are on. This way, the air recirculates, allowing the air to move through. Do this for at least an hour.

What About The Hard Surfaces

Don’t worry; they’re not forgotten. You can use a DIY solution with windows and mirrors (yes, nicotine and smoke stick to these surfaces). Combine a quarter cup of vinegar, half a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, and two cups of water. Make sure to shake it well and place it in a spray bottle. Next, spray on hard surfaces to get rid of smoke residue and wipe them off using a dry microfiber cloth. To finish it up, you can use a sanitizer spray and leave it to dry. Use this process for your car mats and ashtray but do it out of the car. Once they don’t smell like cigarettes anymore, you can bring them back to the car.

More Thorough Deep Cleaning

If the used car you’re trying to clean smells like a chimney, a surface-level cleaning won’t do. Why? Because you may be able to get rid of the foul odor on the surface, most of the smoke residues are most likely kept hidden underneath. And they’re just waiting for the scent to wear off, and they’ll be back again to annoy people. So when doing this to get rid of the smoke smell in your cars, you can also make sure that the bad smell is gone for good.

You need to have baking soda, a can of deodorizer, and an in-cabin air filter. First, you need to sprinkle baking soda on surfaces where smoke residues are likely to stick. Baking soda is effective in seeping the odor out. That’s why it’s one of the active ingredients you’ll find in cleaning agents. Next, start sprinkling on soft areas like the seats and the spaces between. Don’t forget the lining on the interior side of the roof. Leave the baking soda there for 36 hours and vacuum it up. Baking soda may stick on soft areas, so be sure to vacuum at least twice or thrice.

Use An Ozone Machine

Warning: When you’re planning to use this to get rid of smoke smell in automobiles, use this with great caution. We’ll explain later on.

You’ve already done the first and second tips. Still, the smell keeps on lingering, as stubborn as a five-year-old that wants an ice cream sundae in the middle of the winter. We know this is some of the many troubles car dealerships often undertake. And if you have to do surface or deep, thorough cleaning all over again, you’re going to waste a lot of time, effort, and money. Thus, this may cause your production to become slower than usual. So if all else fails, what can one do? You can use an ozone machine.

What Is An Ozone Machine?

An Ozonator is a machine that converts oxygen to ozone (03) and circulates it in a particular area. The ozone will then seep into every corner and crevice, terminating odor-creating compounds that regular washing and freshener spray can’t do. 

Why Is An Ozone Treatment Effective?

You may be familiar with the term ‘ozone’ back in your 3rd grade Science class. If it doesn’t ring a bell, it is the one that protects our planet from the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UV). Without it in our earth’s atmosphere, we won’t be able to exist entirely. But who would have thought we could use it to take away foul odors such as smoke smell from our cars?

Ozone won’t be called “nature’s purifier” for nothing. When we breathe the air, 20% of it is made up of ozone. And now, we use it to get rid of the smell. Some soaps and cleaning agents have “active oxygen” in their formula to effectively clean clothes, fabrics, and surfaces. Now, we can use an Ozonator to get rid of the smell, molds, and mildews in rooms, houses, and cars.

So how does an ozone machine work? First, the device converts oxygen to ozone. Once the machine disperses the ozone, it will reach odor molecules, creates a reaction, and transfers the extra oxygen atom to the said molecule. This will then change the composition of the odor molecule, causing it to oxidize and eliminating the chemical makeup. Needless to say, it’s practical to get rid of any odor, not just the cigarette smoke smell. Plus, it’s handy, so any of your mechanics can carry it anywhere.

Simply place it inside the car and turn the machine on while it’s still unplugged. Next, close all the doors and windows while turning the ventilation and AC on. Then plug the device so it will start functioning.

Word Of Caution

When using the ozone machine, you need to be extra careful as it can be fatal. When using it to eliminate smoke odors in cars, make sure no one is inside the vehicle. Plants, pets, and people shouldn’t be inside the car when the ozone machine is on. Also, you prefer to use the machine outside, such as the parking lot. Here’s a video tutorial we found on Youtube to learn more about how to use one.

Now That You Know How TO Get Rid Of Smoke Smell In Cars…

Selling cars would be much easier. You can now get rid of the worry your vehicle might be returned because it still smelled funky. We always strive to give the best service we can provide, and doing these tips might help a lot in that aspect. Imagine selling used cars that smell like brand new – you get a plus point for that! And when car sales go faster, you will need a tool that can make each process much quicker. Click here to learn more about this game-changing recon tool in the market today.

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