That thick stench of cigarette smoke really sticks to everything. But commercial deodorizers can be as nasty as the smoke itself.

Gel air fresheners and deodorizing sprays emit harmful chemicals into the air, and that can be especially dangerous in a small, enclosed space such as a car. Plus, these deodorizers only mask odors for a short time, so the smell just keeps coming back.

Natural Deodorizers Work Better

Breathe easier with vinegar, baking soda, activated charcoal or volcanic rock. In addition to the smoke, these all-natural solutions will also help to get rid of any lingering food and gym bag smells.

How to get rid of the smoke smell

  • Everything in the car will absorb the smoke, so the first step is to remove clothing, trash and other items from the car.
  • Vacuum the carpets, upholstery and ashtrays thoroughly.
  • Using a clean, lint-free rag, wipe down windows and other hard surfaces with a 50/50 mix of water and distilled white vinegar. Vinegar is a safe, natural solution with no known long-term effects, but its fumes are strong, so keep the doors and windows open as you clean.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and upholstery. Let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming.
  • If the smell of smoke still lingers, the car’s air filter may need to be replaced. Air filters made with activated charcoal will be most effective.
  • Placing a few sachets of activated charcoal or volcanic rock throughout the car will absorb heavy smoke smells more effectively than baking soda alone.

Good To Know

  • You can usually find activated charcoal at the local pharmacy and volcanic rock at the hardware store. Otherwise, both can easily be purchased online.
  • The charcoal, volcanic rock and baking soda work by catching and absorbing odors. Vinegar works by killing odor-causing bacteria.

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