Tobacco smell from auto interior

We just recently purchased a station wagon that was owned by an elderly woman who smoked like a chimney. The car is in immaculate condition, with extremely low miles but I cannot seem to shake that nasty cigarette smell. I have shampooed the carpets and doors with an odor reducing commercial solution, but it is still there.
Can you help?

Tobacco smoke is one of the most difficult smells to remove from a car. The smoke permeates everything, including the foam rubber used in seat cushions.
You can successfully remove most of the tobacco smell by shampooing the carpets and upholstery with Kids & Pets Brand ( Stain & Odor Remover, and wiping down all other surfaces with a sponge and Kids & Pets Brand Stain & Odor Remover. After the carpet has dried for 24 hours, sprinkle baking soda on the carpet, rub it in with your hands, and leave it for a week. After a week, vacuum your carpets.
The baking soda will absorb the remaining odor in the carpet. Don’t forget to scrub the headliner, as this is the source of a lot of the smell.

You might need to repeat the baking soda deal a couple of times, and I have even heard of cutting open the side of a box of baking soda, and with double sided tape, taping the box to the carpet under the front seats.

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2 Replies to “Tobacco smell from auto interior”

  1. Blend about 1 cup of vinegar or vodka in 1 pint of water. Add about 12 drops of essential oil or a blend of essential oils (citrus or lemongrass help promote alertness, while lavender is soothing – may eliminate a bit of road rage!). Put these into a spray bottle and shake together. Put it away in a dark cupboard to mellow a little, then spray inside of the car when you want to freshen it up…..if you want to read more about your car grooming go on E:

  2. I had the same situation. I tried shampooing the carpets and nothing worked very well until I steam cleaned every inch of the car’s interior and the smell came right out.

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