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Cigarette Smoke Odor In Car

auntbeaauntbea Member Posts: 18
edited April 2014 in Honda
I have been going around with a co-worker to help her find a good used car. She must have looked at and driven a dozen or more. (She is real picky). One thing I have noticed is that although the ashtrays have been used in many of them, there is no smoke odor at all in the car. Do the prep guys have a special product they use to eliminate the odor? If so, where can I get some?

I once had a LeBaron for sale that had been smoked in daily for about five years. It sat in the carport with the windows down for about two weeks before it was advertised. The first person that test drove it commented, "Boy, you can tell that car has never been smoked in. I have allergies and can pick up on that in a hurry!"

I had to tell her that it had been smoked in, but she bought the car anyway because she said if she couldn't smell it, then it couldn't have been smoked in very much. I warned her that it really had been smoked in quite often. When she came back a couple weeks later to see if I had located the car's manual, she was still happy with the car.


  • bobbis1bobbis1 Member Posts: 2
    A father of a friend of mine owns a used car dealership and he considers this a sure fire method. They put an apple, cut in half, in the car over night. The apple supposedly sucks up all the smell. I've never used this method, but I was told it works.
  • pblevinepblevine Member Posts: 858
    How about cedar wood chips?
  • pjyoungpjyoung Member Posts: 885
    It really does seem to help eliminate odors in fabric. It is safe for fabrics (that's what it was designed for), but you can also set the A/C on recirculate mode and spray it into the footwells - some of the spray will go up into the AC vents and help eliminate odors there as well. Hope that helps.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    Back in high school, I bought a car off my cousin, a smoker. I found a product called O3 at the local auto parts store. It's a small round disk of material in a plastic container. I put that in the car overnight and it worked like a charm. I haven't seen it since, and this was in 1992. If you can find some of that, I recommend it.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Detailing shops use an ozone machine to eliminate odors. Last year I bought a car which previously had a trunk water leak. The trunk had a noticeable musty smell which permeated the car's interior through the back seat pass-through. Mentioned it to the salesman, and he had the clean-up crew put the ozone machine in the trunk for a while. When I picked the car up the odor was completely eliminated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    There's a spray called "OZium" that works pretty well..did someone mention that?

    If the cigarette smoke is really, really heavy in there, you may never get it out short of changing parts of the interior.
  • old_guy_in_txold_guy_in_tx Member Posts: 12
    This stuff seemed to work for me. Have a van and accord. Both had heavy smoke smell. This stuff seemed to work, Ozone mach. will work well but you have to leave the car over night. My Van would have cost $150 to do so tried this first - so far no smell. the Van was bought used about 2 moths ago and even after the dealer cleaning you could smell the smoke- 3 years of heavy smoking. Don't smell anything now. see link below... May require 2 or more treatments if smoke is bad.. Used to use the OZium product in hospitals-has been around for years. seemed to work also.

  • auntbeaauntbea Member Posts: 18
    I will try some of these products and let you know how they do.
  • epr4evrepr4evr Member Posts: 12
    I surely hope that you get satisfying results with the above mentioned methods. None of them would fool me. The smoke forms a chemical bond with fabrics, and while ozone machines clean the air, the smoke slime is still attached to each and every fiber of cloth. Just wear a new leather coat to a smoky bar... see what it takes to get the smell out. Cars are harder to air out because people close the windows and it all stays trapped.

    Fortunately for all of us, smoking is recognized as a very unflattering form of entertainment.
  • auntbeaauntbea Member Posts: 18
    However, I do like to go places with my dear husband once in awhile and while the different products may help, I don't expect them to eliminate it all. He has been smoking for over 50 years and isn't about to stop now. His 999,999,999 other great attributes help me tolerate the smoke odor in his car.
  • pblevinepblevine Member Posts: 858
    How about some cedar chips?
  • zeenzeen Member Posts: 401
    The odor is not in the air so fresheners and deodorizing gizmos will not work. The smoke particles stick to the surfaces in the car and give off the odor. You must treat it as if someone wiped garlic paste all over the inside of the car. It has to be washed off. Every interior surface must be washed and cloth seats, carpets and headliner must be shampooed. It's not like a bathroom odor that's in the air and dissipates.
  • epr4evrepr4evr Member Posts: 12
    Sounds like another excellent reason to tell our smoking friends to "take it outside".
  • auntbeaauntbea Member Posts: 18
    The originator of the post doesn't have smoke odors in her car, she doesn't smoke, she is in perfect health, she has a "made in Heaven" relationship with her spouse, AND she has read the Terms Of Use of these boards about PROFANITY and CIVILITY. So to whom are you asking your question?
  • rayfbairdrayfbaird Member Posts: 183
    I understand they can remove smoke odors well.
  • dweezildweezil Member Posts: 271
    fill the rear ashtray with baking soda. It works the same way it does in your refrigerator.Use some in the ash tray in front and change it regularly.Should make it tolerable if not completely eradicate it.
    Newspapers also absorb scent as well.
  • C13C13 Member Posts: 390
    All those methods help AND nothing works.

    For a really smoke-sensitive person to enjoy a formerly smoke-saturated interior is probably impossible. For an average person to make a not too horribly smoked interior tolerable seems feasible, though it may take constant work. That is, after the initial ozone or whatever treatment, you might need constant maintenance to deal with the film of tar that coats every surface and gets deep into the seats, etc. I'd expect you to have to keep baking soda or cedar in there, leave the windows slightly open when you park, etc.

    I agree with the people who say that every surface that can be cleaned will have to be.

    The cedar idea works great for a lot of odors but I doubt if it would be that effective on tobacco ta. I do recommend it highly for mustiness or A/C stench. I never tried chips. I'm afraid you (whoever it was) might mean cedar mulch. That I wouldn't want. I've shoveled truckloads of that stuff and it taught me that cedar smell is not always a pleasant thing. But I've got a bunch of short sections of cedar branches (pruned from a tree and dried in the sun) sitting in a stored car and they really work great.
This discussion has been closed.