We have all done it right? Bought that dream car only to get it home and find out one week later that the car has a strong cigarette smoke smell that mysteriously wasn’t there when we looked at buying it. (Amazing what masking fragrances can do short term) Dang It you say!
Luckily we have removed cigarette smoke odor from hundreds of cars since 2002 and we have what we believe to be the simplest and easiest technique. So read on.
Oxidise the residual cigarette smoke residues in the vehicle by spraying a 4 part oxidiser solution onto the affected areas such as car seats, behind the sun visors and onto the ceiling and leave for 5-10 minutes. Inject very hot water into the fibres using a power wand then perform a hot water injection and extraction at the same time. Finish with a wide power wand extraction.
How to remove a serious cigarette smoke contamination from a vehicle.
For a strong and old cigarette smoke contamination you first need to treat the fabrics and clean the affected surfaces using an oxidising premixed product . The recommended method is to apply a heavy spray application to the surfaces and then inject and extract to remove the broken down residues. This technique breaks down the residues and makes them easier to extract without leaving any remaining components that contribute to the smell.
Step 1. Wearing eye and breathing protection, spray a heavy application of premix onto the ceiling, seat-tops, behind the sun visor, and onto carpeted surfaces if affected. We typically find that the ceiling fabrics have the worst contamination and we always start with the ceiling as shown. Note the cigarette staining on the ceiling fabric shown in the shot. If you are lucky the ceiling will reduce 90% of the odor after treatment. Use formula 2.
Step 2. Leave the chemical for 5-10 mins for it to work
Once the formula is injected with a commercial spray bottle into the ceiling, behind the sun visors, tops of seats and headrests leave it for 5-10 minutes to work. I use Formula 2 for this purpose.
Step 3. Using the wet vac and injection system, inject very hot water (just boiled is fine) into the ceiling fabric as shown.
The purpose of doing this is to boost the formulation by using heat and also ensure the contaminants are broken down sufficiently.
Step No 4. Extract the residues (hot water and smoke odor control product) with your wet vac (I use the small wand for this). Below is a typical result from extracting a ceiling of a smokers car. These are the waste residues from cigarettes that have built up over many years. Disgusting right? Ceilings get very dirty when smoke particles are penetrating in on regular basis.
Note we have used our formula on most vehicles and never had any issues. If your ceiling is drooping or damaged then we do not recommend using the formula or a wet vac as it could suck the material down. If the ceiling is firm you shouldn’t have any problems. Please note some older JEEP and CHRYSLER brands do have ceilings that are flimsy and floppy and will need care and attention.
We have found Nissans, Toyotas, to be very durable. Please test first in a small area first
*NOTE WE take no responsibility if ceiling damage occurs. Always spot test in an inconspicuous area first
Step 5. Inject and extract with very hot water again and leave to dry.
Step 6. Give 30 – 40 minutes of Ozone Shock Treatment.
Ozone gas is highly effective on light contamination’s and is very easy to use. This is the simplest way to remove smoke and other smells from a vehicle without any heavy duty cleaning needed.
How to use an Ozone machine Inside a Vehicle
Step No Two: Connect Ozone Machine to an extension power cable but first wind two windows down on opposite sides of vehicle approximately 1/2 inch and run the extension cable out through one of them to the power.
Step No Three: Close the doors of the vehicle leaving the windows at 1/2 down and run the Ozone Generator for short bursts (say 30 – 40 minutes) over a 2 hour period. Use a timer with gaps of 5 minutes in between
Once finished open car and air for 30 minutes and then assess if any odor remains.
Craig is going to run us through the process in the video below.
How do you get cigarette smell out of car vents?
Spray raw alcohol into the vents and run the air conditioning on high for 3 minutes while the car is running with internal air selected on the system control. Repeat this process 3-4 times and then finish with outside air on for 1 minute.