View Full Version : How to Get Smoking Smell out of a Car - Fast?

06-27-2012, 03:05 AM
I have a rental car that I have to use tomorrow. It's supposed to be a non-smoking car but it smells like someone was smoking in it - not a lot, just a bit recently. Does anyone here have any suggestions as to how I can try to get the smell out of it overnight?

Alex Forrest
06-27-2012, 03:10 AM
Febreze has those things you attach in front of the vents. Otherwise just regular Febreze. It's hard to get smoke smells out of a car since it gets into everything.

06-27-2012, 04:05 AM
Are you in a place where you can safely leave your windows down tonight? Even if they are just cracked? As long as it is not raining that might not be too bad and should really go a long way into getting rid of that awful smell. Otherwise, Febreze the hell out of it.

06-27-2012, 06:24 AM
Was someone actually smoking in the car? If not, what is the smell from?
If you are not responsible, is it your problem to take care of?

I second the advice to open the windows and Fabreeze the hell out of the car.

Some years ago Mr. Japanfan and I actually did smoke in a non-smoking rental car and used this method to get rid of the smell. It worked, as the car was considered to have been returned in acceptable condition and we did not get fined.

We also used Windex to clean the windows, etc., and I think that may have helped. Windex is a wonderful cleansing agent, in addition to having a nice aroma.

06-27-2012, 07:25 AM
Maybe put a lot of baking soda in a bowl and let it sit in the car? Newspapers are supposed to absorb odor too. Maybe a bowl filled with vinegar left on the car floor overnight?

06-27-2012, 02:55 PM
Coffee (not yet brewed...) and charcoal briquettes also do a nice job of absorbing odors. I prefer the coffee, because it adds a nice, natural smell.

But in general, you'd need to clean the interior of the car, and then Febreeze it, then air it out to get rid of the Febreeze smell.

Why are you trying to remove the smell?

06-27-2012, 03:35 PM
I would return the car and ask for one that does not smell.

06-27-2012, 08:41 PM
Why are you trying to remove the smell?

Because it bothers me. If you mean why am I trying to remove the smell and not the rental car company, it's because this car is basically all I could get in the size/price range I wanted. All the locations in my area seem to be short of cars for the long weekend, and it was either this one or a Chevy Impala Classic that drove like a tank.

I tried the bowl of vinegar (actually two bowls) overnight and it seemed to work pretty well. I'll see how it is once I get the car going and run the AC. If it's still smelly then I'll go for the Febreze.

Thanks for all the suggestions! Wish me luck (or a clean nose).

06-27-2012, 09:30 PM
If you mean why am I trying to remove the smell and not the rental car company...

Yup! I figured for some reason you might *have* to use this car rather than return it, so figured I'd ask.

06-27-2012, 10:41 PM
Since you have the vinegar, get a newspaper and clean all the windows with the vinegar.
It will remove the tobacco film and make the windows sparkle. Also, wipe down the dashboard and other plastic parts. Again, get rid of the film, get rid of the smell.

I guess you could give the seats a rubdown with the vinegar and a towel/rag, but make sure it's just damp (not wet) and leave the windows down to let it thoroughly dry and air out.

06-27-2012, 10:42 PM
Glad the vinegar worked. Febreeze makes me sneeze, so I would rather smell the smoke :lol:.

06-27-2012, 11:42 PM
I don't like Febreeze either. It makes me cough and choke.

06-28-2012, 12:56 PM
^^ Yeah, I don't do well with fragrances. Many, like Fabreeze (which I think is cloying) make me sneeze and give me a headache.