There are three main reasons you are reading this blog post right now:
- You just bought a new-to-you car and the previous owner was a smoker
- You borrowed someone’s car and you want to remove the smoke smell before returning the car to them
- You’ve been smoking in your car for a while now and have noticed a distinct bad smell
Regardless of which one you fall into, I’ll share my experiences on what you can and can’t do to remove the smell out of the car.
Note, some will take much more work than others because of what you’re dealing with. For instance, if you have burnt black marks on the headliner or in the interior because of the cigarets, there’s not much that we can do about that.
The material is burnt and cleaning it won’t bring the fibers or color back to its original condition.
All Three Require The Same Level Of Work
I know you wanted to read a quick and simple fix to a few of the reasons you’re reading this blog posts. Perhaps you were hoping I’d mention a home ready that can clean the smell with little time and effort without having to buy anything special.
I guess that’s semi-right. If you wanted to do a quick cleaning and the interior has only been smoked in a couple times, you can buy an all-purpose-cleaner or an interior cleaner from your local auto parts store with a handful of towels and get the scrubbing.
Ideally, you’ll want to clean every single part of the interior since you’re not 100% sure where the cigarette smell is hiding. If you smoke with the windows down wile driving, the most common areas of the residue smell will be the headliner, back seats, and your driving area.
Steam Cleaning Is What You Need
But honestly, for a true cleaning of the cigaret smell, you’d want to go with a steam cleaning on the entire interior. For the same reason as mentioned above, although you have a sense of where the smell is coming from, you’re not 100% sure where the smell is hiding.
The steam cleaner will sanitize and eliminate many of the germs you’ll find around the interior. Especially if you have kids or pets, you definitely don’t want them intaking some of the smell or even worse, touching the infected areas and then putting their hands in their arms while they’re eating food.
Yes, you do have to buy a few products and tools and it can cost you between $300 to $500. But if you want a proper interior cleaning, it’s what you need to do.
Of course, you can always simply hire a professional detailer as well to do it for you. A lot of times, simply paying for a detailer to do it for you can come out cheaper since you’ll save time and money.