Removing smoke odor from car

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by alphatarget1, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. alphatarget1

    alphatarget1 Diamond Member

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    Any ideas/tips? I did google it but I want to see if people have experience removing it...
     
  2. MagnusTheBrewer

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    Two areas to consider, interior of car and duct work. The interior is pretty straight forward if tedious (don't forget the headliner and dash). Some cars have a duct system you can put tubing down and spray alcohol or other cleaning fluid before vacuuming out. Others have duct work that can only be replaced.
     
  3. nerp

    nerp Diamond Member

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    Couple mesh bags of activated charcoal, throw it under each seat. They'll absorb all the odor over time.
     
  4. amdhunter

    amdhunter Lifer

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    Take the entire interior out, clean everything.

    Probably a days work, but not that hard if you have the space and an easy car to work with.

    What car?
     
  5. WilliamM2

    WilliamM2 Golden Member

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    http://www.meguiars.com/en/automotive/products/g2316-meguiars-odor-eliminator/

    I used this to get rid of odor in my previous car. It does leave a chemical smell, but that goes away in a week or two. Use about half the bottle, spray every carpet/cloth surface in the car. It doesn't leave any residue or stain.

    I used another product in the ducts, forgot what it was called sprayed into the air intake at the base of the window (outside the car). Change the cabin filter when you are done.
     
  6. alphatarget1

    alphatarget1 Diamond Member

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    '07 Lincoln MKZ. Not gonna take the entire interior out, lol.
     
  7. phucheneh

    phucheneh Diamond Member

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    If it's soaked into all the soft interior parts, there's not much you can do other than clean them. I'd probably shampoo then use a little febreeze. Gotta be careful when shampooing...if you waterlog the carpets, they can hold onto that moisture for a long time and start to mildew.

    Make sure you change the cabin air filter.

    You can also spray the chemical stuff into the vents, like you would do to kill mold (supposedly). I think those sprays mostly just neutralize odors. Proper way to do it is to start the car, set it to fresh air, and spray it in through the outside air intake. Then just walk away and let the blower continue to circulate air until the noxious chemical stuff is gone...then put a little febreeze in it.

    Cliff notes: febreeze. :D
     
  8. compman25

    compman25 Diamond Member

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    Put vinegar in a big bowl and leave it in car for as long as possible (at least overnight). It will get rid of the smell.
     
  9. SpatiallyAware

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  10. OILFIELDTRASH

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    Don't smoke and don't buy cars that have been smoked in.
     
  11. NutBucket

    NutBucket Lifer

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    Yeah, ozone generator is the way to go. Call around as a good detail shop should have one. No reason to buy one IMHO.
     
  12. mvbighead

    mvbighead Diamond Member

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  13. Pulsar

    Pulsar Diamond Member

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    You will never get the smell out of a car that was a true smokers car (windows closed, smoking).

    86 Trans-Am, shampooed the interior 4 times, freebreeze it, ozoned it.

    You just can't do it. Pulled the seats out and hosed them off on the lawn... scrubbed them...

    You will NEVER get the smell out.
     
  14. Budbd

    Budbd Junior Member

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    "Knockout" brands of cleaners has a very good cleaner for removing odors, usually specific for either smoke or pet odors. REally all you need is a good brush, gloves, and a wet vac unless you rent a machine to clean carpet and upholstery. Generally, if its seeped into the foam of the seats, you pretty much will never get it all out, but knocking it down with cleaners, using seat covers, a car refreshener will do the trick enough for all but the most sensitive or allergic folks, I mean, I don't care who says it, most folks cars stink in one way or another, even if someone has just bought a new car, for a few days, people sometimes use the most god awful aftershave, or perfume, or laundry detergent, or super strong sports antiperspirant deoderant, apart from sun block lotion, I worked as a car detailer for awhile, and folks alot of time had way too high expectations many times, so, you can clean real well and get that "new car" smell formula from the auto parts stores and apply liberally, errrr, if reselling a car is where you are heading, or a complete reupholstery of the entire enterior, with panel replacements, an allergic person should completely avoid a smokers car, unless it is very cheap and unavoidable.
     
    #14 Budbd, Nov 26, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  15. phucheneh

    phucheneh Diamond Member

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    I don't doubt this. I have seen some damned nasty cars...I can't fathom how someone can sit in a closed car and bake it out with cigarettes. Those cars also usually have overflowing ashtrays, burn holes and melted plastic everywhere...

    Simply opening a window while you smoke eliminates the general 'smoker car' problem. How hard is that? I do it...you can't tell my car is ever smoked in except for the (airtight, kept closed) ashtray in the cupholder.
     
  16. 5150MyU

    5150MyU Senior member

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    As mentioned by Magnus in the first reply-cleaning the headliner can make alot of difference.
     
  17. xapo99

    xapo99 Member

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    It depends where you are, if you live in Canada or Scotland and the winters are pretty harsh, driving about with the wind whistling in can be impossible.
     
  18. mmntech

    mmntech Lifer

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    When I worked at the rental company, we had an industrial version of this. It was the only thing that would really get the smell out. What you've gotta do is put it in the car, close all the doors and windows, set the vents to recirculate and the fan on full blast. Let it work it's magic for about 10-15min. When it's done, open all the doors and windows to let it air out. Don't breath in the ozone.

    You might be able to rent an industrial ozone generator, or find a shop that has one. Most detailers should.

    As for chemicals, in my experience they only mask the odour. Even the industrial strength ones. The smell gets too deep into the upholstery and vents, and just comes back after a day or so. Cigarette smoke contains a lot of tar and oils which stick to fabric like glue.

    I've never quite understood the desire to smoke well driving. If you can't go an hour without lighting up, you have a problem. It's a fast way to destroy a perfectly good car. The people that hotbox them are the worst.
     
  19. WilliamM2

    WilliamM2 Golden Member

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    I gave up smoking a few years ago, but the fact is, you probably aren't allowed to smoke wherever it is you are driving to. In cold weather it's almost the only comfortable place left to smoke.

    Plus most smokers will smoke when they are bored, like when driving.