Learn how to get rid of the smoke smell in your car with 3 amazingly simple hacks.

Are you tired of your car smelling like an ash tray?


Maybe you scored an amazing deal on a used car. Or you stopped smoking yet your car continues to have a lingering smoke smell.

Sick of the heavy perfume most car dealerships spray to cover up the smoke odor? The solution is here!

I’ve got some super simple ways about how to get rid of the smoke smell in your car for good! Don’t mask the smoke smell. ELIMINATE IT! (It works for other odors and in your home)

Keep reading to find out how! (It’s cheap and all natural to boot!)

how to get rid of the smoke smell in your car 3 hacks

Our Success Story Can Be Yours

We were in the market for a new to us car. An upgrade was in store from my husband’s Saab convertible. Such a fun summer car! But all those problems Saab owners report were catching up to us.

We finally found a car we could agree on – a VW Jetta! My practical side was happy – high MPG’s and 4 doors to transport our kids. He was happy with all the upgrades.

The Jetta was perfect except for one unseen problem. The smell.

The previous owners obviously smoked in the car. The dealership had sprayed some sort of heavy perfume air freshener to cover the smell. Why do dealerships use that stuff?!?! It just makes the smell worse.

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The car was too good of a deal to pass up, smell and all. My husband tried those Refresh vent clips. They won’t hack it!

The solution to get rid of the smoke smell in your car is simple, easy, and all natural!

Here’s how we did it. And how to get rid of the smoke smell in your car too!

Solution #1 – Baking Soda & Essential Oils

I’ve used baking soda and essential oils to freshen stinky boots. I knew I could do the same for the car. It took a little trial and error to figure out the best way.

How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell in Your Car 4

At first, I made fabric bag filled with baking soda. It works well in boots, but left a white powder on the black formats.

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So I came up with an even better solution.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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I dumped some baking soda into each container. Then mixed 20 drops of Edens Garden Essential Oil Purify blend into the baking soda.

The essential oils are important to use. They will eliminate the smoke smell faster than baking soda alone.

You’ll want to use round tupperware containers. Those round containers you get wonton soup in work great! Or an empty fresh salsa container – get creative!How to Get Rid of the Smoke Smell in your car (12)

Cover the top with a coffee filter, papertowel, or piece of fabric. Then secure it with a rubber band.

Look for a short yet wide container to use. You don’t want it to spill going around corners.

Your finished product should look something like this.

How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell in Your Car Naturally

If you’re not up for the DIY, these activated charcoal packs are another great solution.

Solution #2 – Activated charcoal air filter

Changing the air filter was all my husband. And so important to a lasting solution. If you really want to get rid of the smoke smell in your car, don’t miss this is step!

Most people don’t change their air filter regularly, if ever!

Here is the one we took out of the VW. I’d wager it was never changed. My husband said bugs fell out of it everywhere when he took it out. Look at all that dirt. DISGUSTING!! I was grossed out just touching it.

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The cars air filter filters all the air you breathe in the car. You’re breathing all that dirt and stale cigarette smoke smell in over and over again.

A charcoal air filter works even better than a regular air filter. Charcoal is a great deodorizer and removes toxins from the air – aka smoke smells. The odors that go in, don’t come out. A charcoal filter is key step in how to get rid of the smoke smell in your car.

It is a simple DIY to change the air filter. It is usually located below your glove compartment.

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If you’re not up for the challenge, you can visit a local auto parts store. Many of the big chains will change the filter for you if you buy your air filter with them. Pretty sweet deal!

Solution #3 – Vinegar

The cigarette smoke residue is everywhere in the car. It’s important to clean it up. Vinegar is great for this job.

I recommend filling an empty spray bottle with vinegar and spraying all surfaces. Then wipe it up with a microfiber cloth. If you can let the vinegar sit for a few minutes, it will help eliminate smells even further. Be careful on delicate surfaces.

Cloth seats and dashboard have been safe places for me to let the vinegar sit for a few minutes. Just make sure you’re out of direct sunlight.

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Always test surfaces before going wild cleaning the interior. I’ve used vinegar inside my van for years without a problem, but its better to be safe than sorry.

Removing the residue is key to completely eliminating the lingering smoke smell.

For a quick fix overnight, fill a bowl with vinegar and leave it out in your car uncovered. I don’t recommend moving your car with the bowl of vinegar in it – it will be a mess. The overnight vinegar trick will help, but continued treatment will be needed. It won’t eliminate the smell in one night.

How to get rid of the smoke smell in your car with 3 simple hacks

Get Deodorizing

I recommend using all of the above solutions at the same time.  You will experience improvement with one solution. To completely eliminate the smoke smell, all three solutions should be used in together.

We experienced dramatic improvement overnight. The smell was not completely gone, but it no longer took your breath away. Give it a week to experience the full effect.

In less than an hour of your time, you should be able to put all three solutions into action. And regain a fresh smelling car!

Make sure to pin this for future odor removal. It works in your home and on other odors.