Join Our Ford Truck Forum Today

Document your Ford truck project here and inspire others! Login/Register to view the site with fewer ads.

Getting rid of heavy cigarette smell

Fellro

Moderator
Staff member
Have a vehicle that stinks badly of cigarette smoke. Suggestions on how to get the smell at least to a barely noticeable level?
 

dustybumpers

don't play well w others
Rent a carpet cleaner that has a hand attachment, And clean anything cloth.
You will have to do this once a month for 3 months
Put a aluminum pan on the floor with baking soda, and charcoal briquettes in it
Change this once a week
Fabreeze the seats every time you get out of it
Wash the windows 2 times a week with windex
It will take 4- 5 months, but you will win

I have done 4 of my trucks like this, one was so bad the windows actually dripped brown tar when I first got it

I HATE smokers
( nothing like being a reformed smoker )
 

taxreliever

Licensed to Represent!
14,695
287
Maine

taxreliever

Licensed to Represent!
14,695
287
Maine
Rent a carpet cleaner that has a hand attachment, And clean anything cloth.
You will have to do this once a month for 3 months
Put a aluminum pan on the floor with baking soda, and charcoal briquettes in it
Change this once a week
Fabreeze the seats every time you get out of it
Wash the windows 2 times a week with windex
It will take 4- 5 months, but you will win

I have done 4 of my trucks like this, one was so bad the windows actually dripped brown tar when I first got it

I HATE smokers
( nothing like being a reformed smoker )

Dang.........pretty gross....baking soda I've heard of, but not the charcoal. Lots of work for sure, but if it's going to be your daily driver, it'll be worth the effort.
 

dustybumpers

don't play well w others
Charcoal acts like a sponge. I use it in my motor home, and travel trailer when we park them for the season.
Nothing like last summer's cooking to greet you in the spring!
 
This stuff looks good just to do a good cleaning regardless.....I'm not clear on how this works though....do you plug this in the AC condenser?

There's two versions of it Ken ....... we used to use this on the Jap import cars that we brought in during our importing days as a lot of Japanese are heavy smokers. One type has the line attached to the can that you squirt into the ac system while it is running - use that for light smells , the other is similar to a "bug bomb" ..... you set the car running with ac on max recycle and hold your breath , pop the tab on the can and leave it on the centre console , shut the doors and leave it for 1/2 hour - then open all the doors and leave the car running on max ac for at least ten minutes to clear. The second one works really well , I remember the worst car we had was a surf (4 runner to you guys i think) which we had to pull the whole interior out of as the nicotine stains were that heavy that they were running down the plastics when you wiped them ...... iirc we actually fitted a second hand headliner to it to finish the job properly.
 
Even when I was a smoker (also reformed for the better), I couldn't stand the smell of it in my personal or work vehicles. Plus it was irritating when other people burned holes in my interior and left me to find them later.
 
I say set it on fire...and don't call it in, let it burn....and I am a smoker...and I don't like it in vehicles,
 

CowboyBilly9Mile

Charter Member
7,118
442
USA
Shampoo and clean with soap and water, and do it to everything you can access on the interior. If the car ventilated through the trunk, then do that too. Repeat this process every few months; if you don't have one of those DIY carpet shampoo machines for the home, invest and use it. Park the vehicle in the garage and leave the windows down. It'll take time if it's bad and it will probably be months, but eventually it'll subside. What I do caution you on is trying to mask it with those little trees. Made that mistake in my TransAm; worse than cig smoke, shampoo and try to air it out and still, 13+ years later you could STILL smell those damn stinky little trees. Horrible mistake.
 
Last edited:

Fellro

Moderator
Staff member
It has reduced some over time with febreeze, just of course keeps coming back. I don't tend to leave the windows open because of cats... We have a bunch of outside cats that think they need in all the time, and if you dare leave a window open, they are in...
 

fatherdoug

Tonto Papadapolous
One thing worse than smoke is cat piss in a car. We attempted to test drive a used car for our son one time. It had been closed up all summer, and it reeked of cat. We closed the door and left.
 

polarbear

just growing older not up
12,878
607
Boring, Oregon
It has reduced some over time with febreeze, just of course keeps coming back. I don't tend to leave the windows open because of cats... We have a bunch of outside cats that think they need in all the time, and if you dare leave a window open, they are in...

Run an extension cord out, put a portable box fan inside the vehicle with the windows lowered just enough so the cats can't get in. This works best after you've shampooed the carpets/seats/etc. Let the fan run overnight- multiple nights if necessary.

BEST WAY- pay a professional detailer a couple hundred to do the interior. A good one will pull out the seats and rugs. Then do the box fan after you get it back to make sure the interior is 100% dry. (If it doesn't dry completely, the smell will never go away). I've bought a number of smoker vehicles over the years. It takes 2-3 times with a rug shampooer to get it out. Hint- use Fabuloso instead of rug cleaner (hard plastic pieces as well), and a steam cleaner works best.
 
Last edited:

taxreliever

Licensed to Represent!
14,695
287
Maine
One thing worse than smoke is cat piss in a car. We attempted to test drive a used car for our son one time. It had been closed up all summer, and it reeked of cat. We closed the door and left.

Forgot about cat piss......now I'm not sure which is worse.....I've been in a position to not have to buy something old enough to have that issue. I suppose if my KR had smoke or cat piss in it, I'd still buy it and consider the cost of a professional detail when negotiating price then leave it with a professional detailer for a few days, week, or however long he needed it to get rid of the smell.
 

CowboyBilly9Mile

Charter Member
7,118
442
USA
Forgot about cat piss......now I'm not sure which is worse.....I've been in a position to not have to buy something old enough to have that issue. .......

Way back when I was attending a community college, I worked for one of the major car rental companies. Someone returned a car, and no, it wasn't old, age doesn't discriminate, the new car was about three month into it's life, and said car had a cat piss in it. Detailed to death 3X, carpet and seats removed, never could get the stink out. That car went to auction due to cat piss. If it were my car, I'm sure that I'd not let that happen to me again, beginning with correcting the offending animal. :guns:
 

smokey

Hitech hillbilly
Staff member
Cat urine is impossible to remove it will come back.
A friend had a new overstuffed reclining chair asked if I wanted it.
I said sure found out a cat pissed on it.Once in the house a day later. I steam cleaned it numerous times. Used a extraction machine and urine removing sprays.
It smelled fresh and clean for a few days then the smell was back. Cleaned it again did this for a week or two every other day. The smell returned after a day or two.

I finally got rid of the smell. I took the chair out in the sunshine and dumped about a quart of lighter fluid on it and burnt the thing. Finally the smell went away.
 

Sparky83

Virginia Chapter member
5,564
217
Norlina NC
friend of mine that details used cars when they come in from trade ins said they use an air ionizer to get rid of those smells.. supposedly pretty good..
 

Fellro

Moderator
Staff member
Damn, used to have a good one too. Don't any more.

I did find an A/C vent cleaner product, and am hitting it with febreeze regularly for now. I will add the fan now that the rains have passed...
 

Recent Forum Posts

Top