How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Car: 5 Working Methods

How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Car: 5 Working Methods

It is not easy to remove the pungent smoke smell in your car. It is clingy and requires rigid removal strategies. Fortunately, we got you covered. Read on so that you can learn how to make your car’s interior scent-free again! 

Driving your vehicle is a pleasant experience until it reeks of a bad smell. Of course, there are a lot of potential culprits for this. But most of the time, it is usually cigarette smoke. 

While it is true that you might like smoking, its smelly residue remains undesirable. It simply ruins everything–your mood, focus, and comfort. Once your passengers pick up the smell, they will react unpleasantly. That’s a guarantee. 

In this blog, we will teach you some of the methods of removing the pungent smoke smell from your car. Among these strategies is the use of high-quality, portable air purifiers. Read on to learn more. 

Where Does Smoke Smell Come From?

A man smoking while driving
A man smoking while driving

Image Source: iStockphoto

Obviously, the smoke smell in your car is derived from smoking cigarettes or tobacco. If you like to smoke inside your car, then the prevalence of this pungent smell is inevitable. 

If you are a non-smoker, but the scent is still present, then it is likely that one of your passengers has smoked in your vehicle. This is a reminder that you should tell anyone who rides your car or truck that they shouldn’t smoke inside. 

Cigarette smoke can cling quickly and tightly to surfaces. Once it sticks in your car’s interior, you can’t remove it without proper odor-removal methods. 

Is It Normal to Have a Smoke Smell in the Air?

A smoker with his dog inside his car
A smoker with his dog inside his car

Image Source: Unsplash

No. Your house and car aren’t built to smell at all. The odorous scent comes only whenever you are smoking. If you don’t smoke, then you will never have to deal with this problem in the first place. 

Of course, we understand that some people like to smoke, and we can’t control that. But keep in mind that there are repercussions in doing so. In the long run, it will not only harm your health but the rest of the people around you. 

Your car should be free from the stench of cigarettes. Proper removal methods should be employed to ensure that it will no longer be perpetuated. One of these strategies is by putting AHAM-certified air purifiers

Can Smoke Smell Be Dangerous?

A person having coughing problems
A person having coughing problems

Image Source: iStockphot

Of course, knowing that the smoke smell is bad doesn’t require too much knowledge. After all, the smell signifies that the toxic residues of cigarettes and tobacco are present. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that smoking can cause disabilities and diseases. Interestingly, it doesn’t only harm your lungs but all other organs in your body. 

In actuality, over 16 million Americans have diseases caused by smoking. For every single death caused by smoking, around thirty people live but are dealing with severe smoking-related diseases. 

Smoking results in heart diseases, lung diseases, and cancer. It also increases the risk of a person developing serious health conditions, such as tuberculosis and several types of eye diseases. Even secondhand smoke is bad, as well. 

Keep in mind that it contributes to roughly 40,000 deaths among non-smoking adults. If your non-smoking passengers inhale the smoke smell, they will suffer the same respiratory problems as smokers–or even worse. 

Common Areas in Your Car Where Smoke Smell is Present

A woman smoking in a car’s front seat
A woman smoking in a car’s front seat

Image Source: Unsplash

Unlike other airborne contaminants, smoke can stick to any surface. In an area with limited and enclosed space, such as your car, the potential of the smoke to cling to any surfaces is high. 

Technically, cigarette smoke can cling to the soft surfaces of your vehicle’s interior, such as the upholstery and mat. You will immediately smell the foul odor in your car seat. 

Even the hard surfaces, such as the mirrors and windows, are not safe. They can also stick there. Rigorous cleaning might be required to remove the smell completely. 

Don’t ever think that the floor mat is safe. When the ashes of the tobacco and cigarette fall on the floor, the stench would also emanate there. Your car’s dashboard is also prone to smokey residues since it is where cigarette trays are often placed. 

Why is Smoke Smell Purification Important?

As mentioned, cigarette smoke has short- and long-term effects on our health. It can cause several potentially lethal illnesses, such as lung cancer. 

Breathing second-hand smoke is much more fatal. It endangers the one who inhales it more than the person who is smoking. Again, this reminds us that we shouldn’t smoke while there’s a non-smoker around us. 

Of course, this highlights the importance of purifying the cigarette or tobacco smoke in your vehicle. You wouldn’t want other people to inhale the toxic residues of your smoke. At the same time, the after-scent of smoke can be pungent. It can make your car’s interior unbearable for you and your passengers. 

Adding Air Purifier to Get Rid of Smoke Smell Out of Car

A portable air purifier in white background
A portable air purifier in white background

Image Source: iStockphoto

If your car is reeking with a bad smell due to cigarette or tobacco residue, investing in a car air purifier is a must. Here, you will learn the importance of these air purifiers, their mechanisms, and how they can address the pungent problem within your car’s interior. 

Why is an Air Purifier Important for Improving Air Quality?

The air you breathe is vital to your health. Basically, if you inhale clean air, your entire system would benefit. Oppositely, if you breathe bad air, you are at risk of acquiring different respiratory illnesses. 

Air with contaminants, such as allergens and pathogens, can degrade your health and minimize the livability of your space. In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is being said indoor transmission is as prevalent as outdoor transmission. Hence, you would really need something that can keep the cleanliness of your indoor air. 

Air purifiers are designed for this particular job. Specifically, these devices can eliminate common airborne contaminants present in your house, building, and other properties. They can even be used inside your cars. No other appliances these days can perform this job. 

If you care about your health, you need to ensure that your living spaces have breathable, fresh air. Air purifiers can help you achieve that. 

Air Purifiers for Smoke Smell Removal

You can try several methods to remove smoke from your car or property. But one of the most effective approaches available today is the use of air purifiers. 

Air purifiers aren’t just a product of rocket science. They are tested-and-tried devices that use the traditional filtration system to capture different contaminants in the air. However, the filters within these air purifiers aren’t ordinary. 

For instance, the carbon filter of these devices effectively removes odor-causing substances, chemicals, gaseous compounds, and VOCs from the air. This is the very filter that also addresses smoke and other related problems. 

Hence, if your car’s interior is smelly due to the residues of cigarette and tobacco smoke, having an air purifier is a must. 

Are Air Purifiers for Smoke Smell Removal Safe? 

Yes. Filter-based air purifiers are harmless. They don’t generate emissions or residues that could pollute or affect the air quality of your spaces. These air purifiers are safe to use even when there are children or the elderly around. 

The only type of air purifier that you should be wary about is an ozone air purifier. Ozone air purifiers generate ozone, which is a gaseous compound. Accordingly, ozone can neutralize certain contaminants in the air. 

The issue here is that ozone is a lung irritant. Exposure to it for prolonged periods can affect your pulmonary health. At the same time, there is no conclusive evidence that suggests that ozone air purifiers are effective in maintaining the cleanliness of indoor air. 

How Do Air Purifiers Work to Remove Smoke Smell Out of Cars?

Filter-based air purifiers are effective in removing airborne contaminants. However, not all of their filters can effectively eject the particles or molecules that cause odors. For smoke, the one filter that you need is an activated carbon filter. 

An activated carbon filter uses the process called adsorption (take note: it’s adsorption, not absorption). The surface of the carbon filter attracts the contaminants to stick to it. It is the same way as magnets automatically attract metal fillings. 

The more porous the surface of the carbon filter, the more effective it is in trapping contaminants on its surface. Moreover, carbon filters serve as a catalyst that converts the composition of some contaminants, effectively neutralizing them. 

Removing Smoke Smell Out From Car by Air Purifier: Step-By-Step

The process by which these air purifiers remove contaminants is straightforward. That simplicity enables these air purifiers to effectively eliminate airborne pollutants that exist within a given space or room. 

Here’s how air purifiers work in removing smoke and other contaminants. 

  1. Air purifiers have fans that draw the air inside its body. There are inlets into which the air can enter. 
  2. Once inside, the air will be pushed through several layers of filters. Standard air purifiers have pre-filters, HEPA filters, and carbon filters. 
  3. The particles that cause odors–such as gas, smoke, and gas residues–will be screened in the carbon filter. Normal filters can’t remove these contaminants, so it is essential that the air purifier has a carbon filter if you wish to remove smoke and odors.
  4. After the air passes through the filters, it will be released back into the room. 

The process is repeated until such time the presence of contaminants is under control. This is how air purifiers remove chemicals, gaseous irritants, and volatile organic compounds. 

How Long Does It Take for Smoke Smell to Settle After Removal?

It doesn’t take too much time before cigarette smoke disappears. For instance, using air purifiers with air fresheners would instantly convert the scent of your car into something more pleasing to your nose. 

But even an air purifier can already help in addressing the smell. Once the source of the odor is removed, you can expect that your car’s interior will no longer be pungent and insufferable. Cleaning your vehicle thoroughly can also hasten the speed at which the scent of tobacco and smoke disappears.  

As much as possible, you need to clean your car’s interior regularly, especially if you like to smoke inside or if you bring items and food that generate unwanted odor. 

Things to Consider Before Buying an Air Purifier for Removing Smoke Smell Out of Car

Not all air purifiers have the same quality and performance. At the same time, some air purifiers are more suitable for a particular application than others. It’s logical that you prefer air purifiers from reputable manufacturers. 

Moreover, you need to consider the following aspects whenever buying an air purifier for your car. 

  • Clean air delivery rate – The Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) specifies the capability of an air purifier to process air in a given period and setting. If the CADR number is high, this means that the air purifier can purify large volumes of air. As a result, such an air purifier would be able to remove high quantities of airborne pollutants within a time frame. 
  • Activated carbon filter –  An activated carbon filter is the very filter that you need for removing odor-causing elements and substances, such as cigarette smoke. This filter captures the particles through the process of adsorption. Their molecules are trapped on the surface of the filter, preventing them from circulating back in the air. 
  • HEPA filter – Another filter that you need from an air purifier is a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are designed to capture microscopic contaminants that are as small as 0.3 microns in size. Some cigarette ashes may break down into tiny pieces, preventing ordinary filters from capturing them. At the same time, this filter is beneficial for capturing other small particulate matters inside your car. 

Air Purifiers That Are Best for Getting Rid of Smoke Smell Out of Cars

Certain air purifiers excel for purifying the interior of vehicles. Among your options, the air purifiers of HisoAir can really get the job done. Check out the following air purifiers and see which one works inside your vehicle!

Coverage Types Of Filters
HisoAir Model HA-138 904 square feet HEPA filter, activated carbon filter, pre-filter, UVC light
HisoAir Model HA-139 516 square feet HEPA filter, activated carbon filter, pre-filter, UVC light
HisoAir Model HA-1601 1011 square feet HEPA filter, activated carbon filter, pre-filter, UVC light

1. HisoAir Model HA-138

HisoAir Model HA-138
HisoAir Model HA-138

Image Source: HisoAir

One of the most prolific portable air purifiers that you can install in your car is the HisoAir Model HA-138. This particular air purifier features a powerful Clean Air Delivery Rate of 707 m3/h, so it has no problem removing various contaminants in the air. It also excels in removing odorous particles and substances in the air, thanks to its high-quality activated carbon filter. 

The usability of this air purifier is quite impressive, as well. It is easy to use and has highly configurable controls. Basically, even new users won’t have difficulties using it. It is also worth noting that this air purifier has other filters that enable it to remove a plethora of contaminants. It has a pre-filter, HEPA filter, and UV light that keeps pollutants in check.

  • Equipped with a highly efficient carbon filter
  • Low-noise operation
  • Simple and easy to use
  • No noticeable drawbacks

2. HisoAir Model HA-139

HisoAir Model HA-139
HisoAir Model HA-139

Image Source: HisoAir

Next, you have to check out the performance and capabilities of the HisoAir Model HA-139. This unit excels in removing chemicals, gaseous substances, and odor-causing particles in the air. Thanks to its activated carbon filter, those particles, and their molecules are easily trapped on their surface. As a result, your indoor air would become fresh and free of foul scents. 

Moreover, this air purifier works in large spaces. Therefore, it doesn’t have any problems removing contaminants in confined spaces like in your car’s interior. Specifically, its Clean Air Delivery Rate is 403 m3/h. At the same time, this air cleaner is capable of dealing with pathogens and microbes. It is an important feature since disease transmission can also take place within your vehicle. 

  • Excels in removing odor-causing substances
  • Includes an air quality sensor
  • Features intuitive controls
  • No downsides

3. HisoAir Model HA-1601

HisoAir Model HA-1601
HisoAir Model HA-1601

Image Source: HisoAir

The HisoAir Model HA-1601 is an impressive air purifier. First, it has been designed for large spaces, which is evident through its high Clean Air Delivery Rate of 800 m3/h. This capability enables it to extensively purify spaces up to 1,000 square feet. Of course, you think that it might be overkill for your car. But it is a great utility if the cigarette stench inside is too severe already. 

Because of its massive performance, it doesn’t consume a lot of time before it can eliminate the pollutants in the air. Aside from that, it is complete with the necessary filters for airborne contaminant removal. From cigarette smoke down to bacteria and viruses, they won’t be able to escape this air purifier. That’s how good the HisoAir Model HA-1601 is. 

  • Ideal for both large and small spaces
  • Comes with powerful airflow system
  • Controls are fairly easy to use
  • No downsides

How to Prevent Smoke Smell After Removal

If you don’t want to deal with cigarette smoke in your car, the best thing that you can do here is to stop smoking inside. The problem wouldn’t exist anyway if you had not been puffing cigarettes and tobacco in the first place. 

Prevention is better than cure, right? So if you really want to smoke, step outside your car and do it there. It will save you from lots of hassle and rigorous clean-up. Even an air purifier would only do much if you keep on smoking.

Hence, for your benefit and the benefit of your passengers, quit the habit of smoking inside your car. If you can, you should just stop smoking entirely!

Other Ways to Get Rid of Smoke Smell Out of Car

Cigarette smoke often sticks tightly, especially if you don’t address it right away. If you like to smoke in your car, there’s a likelihood that its interior is riddled with the distinct pungent smell of cigarettes. 

Aside from using air purifiers, you can try other effective methods to get rid of the smoke smell from your ride. Try the strategies below:

Remove the Source

To remove the smoke smell, you need to get rid of the source first. Cigarette or tobacco smell can be generated by residues, such as ashes. Hence, if your vehicle is filled with this powdery stuff, it is possible that a smokey odor would reek. 

Cleaning the ashes should do the trick. Remove the contents of the ashtray first, and spray the latter with a disinfectant. Let it dry after. Next, sweep your car’s interior. Make sure that you can run through the upholstery, as well as the carpets. Ash tends to stick there. 

Vacuum the Interior

Keep in mind that the soft parts of your vehicle are good at absorbing smoke and gaseous scents. Because of this, you need to vacuum them regularly. In this way, you will be able to suck the odor-causing particles that are clinging to the surfaces.

Don’t forget to run the vacuum in the crannies and nooks. Using the hand attachments, you will be able to clean those hard-to-reach areas in your vehicles,such as the spaces between the seatbacks. You can also remove the floor mats so that you vacuum what’s underneath. 

Natural Ventilation

You can get rid of the smoke smell in your car through ventilation. By opening the doors and windows of your vehicle, the air inside would be pushed outside. 

Furthermore, you can also activate the recirculate function of your car vents–if it is available. You should keep this on for an hour or two so that the air in your car’s interior would be able to move and cycle. 

Additionally, there are odor neutralizers that you can spray on the interior components of your vehicle. While the air is circulating, you should use these commercial sprayers, as well.

Sanitize the Hard Surfaces

Removing the smoke odor in your vehicle is plausible, especially if you regularly clean the mirrors and windows. Of course, you don’t have to use sophisticated cleaning methods here. You simply need a commercial cleaning solution. You are also free to make a DIY cleaning agent. 

To do this, mix 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap, 1/4 cup vinegar, and 2 cups of water into a spray bottle. After that, shake the spray bottle before you spray it on the windows and mirrors. Once finished spraying, wipe the solution with a clean microfiber cloth. 

You can do the same thing with the plastic components of your car’s interior. Just follow the process so that you will be able to remove whatever cigarette residue is clinging to them. 


It is important that you can get rid of the smoke smell from your car. You wouldn’t be able to drive properly if there’s a pungent scent inside your vehicle. At the same time, the odor could also potentially harm you and your passengers. 

One effective means of smoke removal is through the use of air purifiers. And among the air cleaners today, the products of HisoAir are the ones that you should trust first. After all, HisoAir is a reputable manufacturer of highly effective, ergonomic air purifiers for various applications. Visit our website and learn more about what we can offer. 

Check other informative blogs on our site!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top