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Advice on removing smoke odor in a used vehicle

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by openstage18, Aug 3, 2021.

  1. Aug 3, 2021 at 7:30 AM
    #1
    openstage18

    openstage18 [OP] Member

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    Looking for advice on removing smoke odor:

    First let me get this out of the way. 1) On a scale of 1-10 obnoxiousness, this cigarette smoke odor is a 3. 2.) yes I fully knew what I was getting myself into when I bought it. 3.) I prefer to work on this myself than go to a pro - the car is spotless except the smell. And 4.) I have heard the old school remedies: Baking soda, vinegar, change the cabin air filter.

    What I would like help with are commercial products people have had good luck with including Bombs, Shampoos, Ozone generators. Even better if you include the product name and a link.

    Thanks for any advice you can share!
     
    davidstacoma likes this.
  2. Aug 3, 2021 at 7:42 AM
    #2
    Key-Rei

    Key-Rei Well-Known Member

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    Best you can do is remove everything you possibly can, especially textiles (headliner carpets seats seatbelts) and pressure wash them or use a steam extractor on them and then wash everything else with something like dawn dish soap and a rag or scrub brush. Wipe down every surface imaginable front and back with hot soapy water and replace the thicker pourus items like the foam cushions and anything else if you can etc.

    You can try and ozium fogger in the vehicle with the windows rolled up and AC on full blast but results are moderate at best and can leave an odd chemical smell that will linger for a few weeks.

    Honestly cigarette smoke smell is one thing best left to professional removal somebody with a steam powered carpet extractor if you want any kind of lasting meaningful improvement.
     
  3. Aug 3, 2021 at 7:50 AM
    #3
    RedWings44

    RedWings44 Well-Known Member

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    Axe body spray. Every day. :p

    Actually what was stated above is pretty much all you can do. It's a chemical odor that finds its way into everything.
     
    jw_96taco likes this.
  4. Aug 3, 2021 at 4:10 PM
    #4
    gotoman1969

    gotoman1969 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry man. It’s not coming out with any over the counter products. Take it a professional and have them ozone the interior.
     
    Too Stroked likes this.
  5. Aug 3, 2021 at 4:12 PM
    #5
    hyper15125

    hyper15125 Headlight Retrofitting Hobbyist Vendor

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    I know someone who had the same thing and all of the professional treatments in the world didnt work. Sorry, just preparing you.
     
  6. Aug 3, 2021 at 4:17 PM
    #6
    Steves104x4

    Steves104x4 Well-Known Member

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    BUCKLE UP! It makes it harder for Aliens to pull you out of your Truck.
    I always liked this stuff EDC1B75E-A18D-4D23-B797-C48C50AA46E6.jpg
     
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  7. Aug 17, 2021 at 2:14 AM
    #7
    TRD-Troll

    TRD-Troll Smoked Orc 75% off

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    Yea, avoid cig smoke cars at all costs.

    Had family buy a sedan that obviously had a smoker owner and even after cleaning they got rid of it.
     
  8. Aug 19, 2021 at 11:08 AM
    #8
    KissmyTaco

    KissmyTaco Well-Known Member

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  9. Aug 19, 2021 at 7:25 PM
    #9
    cam1967rsss

    cam1967rsss Well-Known Member

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    Try ammonia (be careful not to spill) in a small jar or cup and leave in your console cup holder. Do it when your not in your car for several hours then open your Windows to ventilate before driving
     
  10. Aug 19, 2021 at 7:35 PM
    #10
    joeyv141

    joeyv141 Well-Known Member

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    At my dealer the detail dept has good luck with an ozone machine but if its really bad there is still a trace of smoke it just can't get out. The trade in cars that were obviously heavy smokers just get sent to auction, sales decided it wasn't worth paying to get most the smell out then having the future owner complain about the smell.
    Sorry and best of luck.
     
  11. Aug 19, 2021 at 7:46 PM
    #11
    Southern4x4

    Southern4x4 Member

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    I have had some luck with Febreeze for pets. Close windows run ac on high, fresh air, not recirculating and raise hood and spray into ac intake for several seconds and let car and ac run a few minutes. Doesn’t get rid of it all at once but do this about every two week, Oder gets less noticeable and I can’t smell it at all now in mine. Good luck
     
    AeroCooper likes this.
  12. Aug 19, 2021 at 8:25 PM
    #12
    MGMDesertTaco

    MGMDesertTaco Come on, live a little...

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  13. Aug 20, 2021 at 7:52 AM
    #13
    TRnCO

    TRnCO Well-Known Member

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    when I bought my used '14 just a month ago or so, it was an obvious pre-owned by a smoker. The smell of smoke was obvious to me, as a non-smoker. That was a major concern for me and wanted to make sure that the odor could be removed before I bought it. The dealer used a product called 3213 BIOCIDE system over night before I came to pick up the vehicle the following day. Well, I can say that I couldn't smell smoke any more but for a while I certainly could smell the odor that the BIOCIDE left behind. SO I then bought some of those little "Refresh" auto vent sticks and put them in the cab. Now a month later, I can't smell the 3213 any more and actually the vehicle smells fresh.

    SO I guess the 3213 worked to remove the smoke smell. Just took a while before the cab smelled of something other than "chemical".
     
  14. Aug 20, 2021 at 8:01 AM
    #14
    JasonArizona

    JasonArizona Well-Known Member

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    I have an odd suggestion that worked for me many years ago in a 1991 Mazda Protege. Buy a bag of apples and slice them in half, leave them in there for a day or two with the windows up. The longer, the better. It's cheap and worth a shot.
    That POS smelled like smoke and cats. Apples helped a ton.
     
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  15. Aug 20, 2021 at 8:06 AM
    #15
    Puppypunter

    Puppypunter Well-Known Member

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    Here is my experience. My mom is a heavy smoker, so her minivan always smelled pretty strongly of smoke. Anyway, one summer a couple years back, she went to the grocery store and bought some chicken. This may not sound like it would be effective, but here is the trick. You need to forget to take the chicken inside with the rest of the groceries. After a week or so in a hot summer car, you will never smell the smoke again. Just rotten chicken. Years later, and that is still all I smell….
     
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  16. Aug 20, 2021 at 8:12 AM
    #16
    SR-71A

    SR-71A Define "Well-Known Member"

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  17. Aug 20, 2021 at 8:18 AM
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    TRnCO

    TRnCO Well-Known Member

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    yum, rotten chicken....NOT!!!

    May I suggest using fish next time, can't help to think it would be even MORE effective;)
     
  18. Aug 20, 2021 at 8:22 AM
    #18
    Strostkovy

    Strostkovy Well-Known Member

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    Just catch covid. I haven't smelt anything in months.
     
  19. Jan 6, 2022 at 6:54 PM
    #19
    Knoxtaco20

    Knoxtaco20 Well-Known Member

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    @openstage18 did you have any success? I just got a 2020 tacoma that was smoked in so I’m the in the same boat. I’m probably going to bite the bullet and have a detail shop do the works. I’m also looking at getting Katzkin leather out because the previous owner left a couple cigarette burns and it looks like their dog lived in the back seat.
     
  20. Jan 6, 2022 at 9:55 PM
    #20
    MGMDesertTaco

    MGMDesertTaco Come on, live a little...

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    Try this first...


     
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