How To Remove The Smoke Smell From Your Car

Friday 19th May 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Driver smoking cigarette in a car CONTENTS

A smoke odour in your car is not just unpleasant for you and your passengers. It can put your health at risk and, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, could reduce its resale value by 7.7%.

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer vehicle odour neutralisation services. Our odour removal specialists can use non-toxic, non-abrasive chemicals to get rid of any kind of odour, including a cigarette smoke smell. They are available wherever you are in the UK, 365 days a year.

Read on to find out why you must have a cigarette smoke odour removed from your car, and how to get rid of it. 

How smoking reduces your car’s value

Firstly, smoking in your car will permeate every surface with cigarette smoke. To many buyers, the smell can be very off-putting, reducing demand for your car and lowering its value.

The cause of the odour is thirdhand smoke. This is where the pollutants that are released by the cigarette settle onto the hard surfaces and embed themselves soft surfaces, like the upholstery.

When these particles mix with gases in the air, they change and can become very dangerous substances. Thirdhand smoke can contain arsenic, formaldehyde, cyanide, and lead. The particles will continue to emit harmful gases which put people’s health at risk.

No matter how long you leave the windows open or how many air fresheners you use, the odour could linger for several years because the pollutants sinks deep into surfaces.

Smoking might also leave physical damage in your car. Dropping ash on a car seat could cause burn marks in your upholstery which can be expensive to repair.

Removing all traces of the smoke odour – and any other unpleasant smells - can quickly boost the value of your car.

The dangers of thirdhand smoke

When you touch contaminated surfaces, ingest thirdhand smoke particles, or inhale the gases it gives off, you could be vulnerable to many serious health problems including:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Insulin resistance
  • Pulmonary fibrosis

Children are especially vulnerable to thirdhand smoke exposure. This is because they could put their hands in their mouth after touching surfaces and breathe nearer the floor which may be contaminated. A professional smoke odour removal service will keep yourself and others safe.

How to remove thirdhand smoke from a car

Although there are lots of home remedies from getting rid of odours, such as leaving out coffee grounds and baking soda, these will not get rid of the odour. Air fresheners will also not be much help as they just mask the scent.

Instead, you need to get rid of all the thirdhand smoke particles in the car. Unfortunately, cigarette smoke odour removal is very difficult without specialist equipment.

Hard surfaces, where the particles settle like dust, can be washed and wiped down repeatedly to get rid of them. However, most of the particles will be embedded deep into car seats, carpets, and other soft surfaces.

Professional cleaners have the tools required to get rid of all the particles, like HEPA Air Scrubbers and electrostatic technology, and properly remove the car smoke smell

How to keep your car smelling fresh and smoke-free

To stop your car smelling like smoke, the most obvious solution is to stop smoking in the car. But there are lots of other ways you can keep your vehicle free of unpleasant odours.

  • Regularly clean air vents to remove any debris and dust that has built up before it starts to smell
  • Clean the air conditioning to remove any bacteria and mould that is growing which can produce musty odours
  • Keep your windows open while driving to circulate fresh air, particularly if you smoke, to get rid of as much of the pollutants as possible before they settle
  • Deep clean your car frequently and make sure you get into small nooks and crannies to remove any bits of dirt and grime that could cause the car to smell
  • Avoid storing damp items in your car as they may lead to a mould problem which does not just smell but can also be dangerous to be exposed to

Get in touch

Our odour removal specialists can quickly make your car safe and clean-smelling. They have experience removing even the most stubborn smells from both vehicles and properties including fire smoke and cigarette smoke odour removal.

For your free, no-obligation quote for our vehicle odour removal services and smoke smell removal services, contact our friendly team on 0208 066 0360 or send them an email at

Sydney Bowell

Sydney Bowell

Operations Assistant

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