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How to remove cigarette smoke from your car

If a customer brings you their car and asks you to remove the smell of smoke, explain to them that this will take some time. Although it is possible to remove the smell of cigarettes from your car, it is anything but quick. Above all, several different steps in succession may be necessary. How badly the smoke gets stuck in the car also depends on the materials – for instance smoke is more difficult to remove from fabric seats than leather.

The first step to cleaning a smoker's car

Before you try to remove the cigarette smell with special means, careful interior cleaning is necessary. To do this, first completely empty the car and, of course, empty and clean the ashtray. Pay special attention to the floor – here you will find ash and tobacco crumbs that can spread the bad smell. Remove the mats from the car, beat them out thoroughly and treat them with a special carpet shampoo. This way you can remove burnt odour emanating from small holes that the embers have burned into.

Now proceed to clean the interior carefully, as we have described in this blog. Under certain circumstances, this may be sufficient, but you should also use the wet vacuum cleaner or steam cleaner on the car headlining – otherwise you will hardly be able to remove the cigarette smoke that is absorbed here.

Remove the smell of smoke from the car with odour remover

After you have cleaned the whole car as described, you can treat it with a special odour remover. This contains microorganisms that bind the smoke molecules. This means that they do not just mask the smell, but actually neutralise cigarette smoke. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions exactly when using the product!

Be careful if you remove the nicotine smell with ozone!

You will often hear that you can easily remove smoke odours with an ozone treatment. Although this works well in most cases, you should really take your time if you do. There are several reasons for this: If the car is not completely dry again after the interior cleaning, which is always the first step, saltpetre is formed during the ozone cleaning and this has a very unpleasant odour of its own. The humidity during cleaning should be less than 50 %.

The other reason is even more important. When ozone meets nicotine, tiny aerosol particles can form. They consist of water and solids and are even smaller than fine dust. If inhaled, these can cause breathing difficulties and asthma if they get into the lungs. Accordingly, it is important that the ozone treatment is carried out long enough. The gas should stay in the car for 24 hours for it to react completely. Afterwards, thorough ventilation of the car, preferably with the aid of compressed air, is recommended. Generally, ozone treatment should be the last option for smokers' cars.

Summary: Cleaning smokers' cars requires care

It's not easy to get rid of unpleasant odours in the car. If you want to remove the smell of smoke, you have to clean the car particularly carefully – as well as all objects stored in it. After the initial deep clean, you can use an odour remover with microorganisms, which binds the smoke molecules and thus removes the odour. Ozone treatment should only be used as a last resort to combat the smell of nicotine. It takes a long time, as the cleaning of the interior should always be carried out first. The car interior must then dry completely and the gas allowed to remain in the car for 24 hours before the car is ventilated thoroughly and preferably with compressed air.

All other cleaning products for an all-round successful and professional car wash can be found here!