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DOSSIER: How to clean a car invaded by the harmful effects of tobacco?
DOSSIER: How to clean a car invaded by the harmful effects of tobacco?

DOSSIER: How to clean a car invaded by the harmful effects of tobacco?

If today you are a convinced vaper, it is possible that your car will continue to suffer from your years of active smoking. But good news, it is possible to remove the harmful effects of tobacco from your car, here is a tutorial for that. 


A stubborn and very unpleasant smell of cold tobacco hangs in the cabin? A yellowish veil, residue from the combustion of cigarettes, has formed on the supports? It is possible to make all this disappear with a complete cleaning but be careful, it should not be done in any way. To hope to get rid of the tobacco that creeps into every nook and cranny, it is above all necessary to bet on effective products and methods.

A) Take out anything that can be removed from the vehicle 

First, remove the ashtray and all easily removable plastic covers from the vehicle. These can be put in the dishwasher. The floor or trunk mats should be brushed vigorously and rinsed with plenty of water. If these are inexpensive models, it is better to replace them.

B) For windows, only one solution: Alcohol!

It is the easiest medium to process. But to get rid of the nicotine layer and not leave a streak, use household alcohol. It is a denatured version of methylated spirits, therefore odorless, and extremely effective in degreasing and disinfecting. Just apply it to a soft cloth and rub the glass surfaces. Remember to go over and in the joints.

C) Plastics: Steam stripping (water of course!) And black soap!

Two actions must be combined. First, steam stripping to loosen the dirt. To do this, there are small inexpensive devices (Kärcher SC1, around 100 €), which can also be used in the house. Then, brush the elements with a black soap-based preparation. Prefer it as a paste. It is then sufficient to place a little of it on the brush previously dipped in hot water and to rub the interiors of the door and central console (do not forget the sun visors). A clean water microfiber finish is required.

D) A thorough cleaning of the dashboard

Very exposed, the dashboard conceals many interstices, so many tobacco soot traps. To overcome it, you will have to arm yourself with patience. Steering wheel, gear knob, stalk ... are in direct contact with the smoker's hands, and therefore contaminated. But before cleaning them with microfiber soaked in household alcohol, treat all the gaps. To do this, soak woolen threads in alcohol and pass them through the slits.

Aerators, dashboard controls ... also store grime in the nooks and crannies. To dislodge it, use toothpicks and impregnated cotton swabs.

E) Deep wash the seats and carpets

To recover tissue, nothing like an injector / extractor. It is a device that injects cleanser diluted in water before immediately sucking them up with the dirt. Some service stations have it. You can also rent one, for 25 € per day. More tedious, you can also proceed to brushing by spraying a mixture of very hot water and fabric cleaner. If the weather permits, open everything and ventilate as much as possible after cleaning.

F) Clean the roof sky by taking precautions

This coating is thin and glued. It must therefore be carefully cleaned with a soft brush. The use of the injector / extractor, too powerful, would take it off. To make it easier for you, prepare your mixture of fabric cleaner and water in a sprayer and work in small areas. And to prevent moisture from attacking the glue, it is best to immediately dry each area cleaned with microfiber.

G) It's not sufficient ? Don't hesitate to take out the heavy artillery!

If, despite your best efforts, the smell of cold tobacco still permeates the vehicle, you can try to capture it. To do this, place a terry towel in a basin and soak it in a mixture of water and white vinegar. Place the basin in the center of the vehicle and leave to act for several hours. The interior should be ventilated for a while after treatment. You can also dust the seats with baking soda, which you will remove with a vacuum cleaner after a few hours.

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