How to Remove Smoke Smell from Leather Car Seats–7 Smart Hacks

Leather car seats are attractive, durable, and comfortable but may often get a bad rap for smelling–this would require some extra care to clean the leather. One unwanted smell that lingers on car accessories and parts is cigarette smoke, and removing such a smell from your car’s leather upholstery can be quite tricky.

Please don’t freak out; it can be fun and less stressful. If you are eager to know how to remove smoke smell from leather car seats, it will interest you to know that numerous home tools can help you achieve such.

With that in mind, the following are powerful hacks on how to get cigarette smoke out of a car’s interior.

How to Remove Smoke Smell From Leather Car Seats

how to remove odors from leather car seats

Vacuum and brush car seats

The first step to getting rid of the smoke smell within your car is vacuuming the seating surfaces and carpets. Using a vacuum cleaner and suitable attachments, remove old cigarette ash, dirt, and debris, focusing between crevices and underneath the seats.

Leather cleaner

Leather cleaners come in powerful formulations that clean and remove mold, stains, and smell from leather pieces. Thus, it would be great to get one from leather stores–there are various options available, and you may check your car’s owner’s manual for plausible suggestions.

Damp a soft cloth with this solution, wipe the leather seat’s surface, and repeat if needed to help remove the smell. Once done, leave the car windows open to let in enough ventilation and dry the seats.

Leather conditioner

Even after cleaning the car seats, if the cigarette smell seems pretty strong, it may still linger on the leather. So, use a leather conditioner, as this solution comes infused with oils that replenish not only the robust texture of the leather but leave a fresh fragrance.

Get a suitable leather conditioner from any leather or hardware store and apply it on the already cleaned surface of the leather car seat using a clean and soft cloth.

Spray with a vinegar solution

This white vinegar solution is one of the oldest methods folks employ to clean urine on leather. However, it is also an effective means you can use to remove smoke smell from your car’s leather seats.

Mix in a spray can of white vinegar and some parts of water, and shake properly. Squirt this solution briskly onto the leather surface of the car seat and wipe using a microfiber cloth. Such an action would effectively reduce the smoke smell on the leather seats. Repeat this process a few times to eradicate the smell effectively.

Baking soda

Baking soda remains one of the common household cleaning solutions that help eradicate the smell and remove cigarette odor from your vehicle’s seats. Get a generous amount of baking soda and sprinkle on the upholstered items in the car.

Let this compound sit overnight to absorb the smell from your leather piece, making it smell fresh again. Then, vacuum the car seats and around their corners to ensure you remove all the baking soda.


The spraying of a suitable deodorizer is how to remove odor from leather car seats, including smoke smell. You would find various deodorizing sprays in stores and purchase one that would effectively remove the smoke smell without causing likely damages or leaving moisture stains on the leather surface.

Apply lemon to remove the smoke odor

Whether you are frantically searching for solutions and easy means of getting smoke smell out of the rental car or a friend’s vehicle, lemon can be an effective remedy. Mix half a cup of fresh lemon juice with warm water and place in a spray can. Squirt on the leather seats and wipe carefully using a soft rag.

how to get smoke smell out of car permanently

Other Expert Tips for Killing Smoke Smell from Leather

While on the road, you benefit from sufficient fresh air within your cars, and the smoke smell is something you would most definitely want to get out of.

Does cigarette smell stay on leather?

Even after the smoke clears out, the chemicals from cigarette chemicals would often stick to surfaces, including leather. This unwanted smell stays put for a while unless you take drastic actions to eliminate such. Here are a few tips to help you out.

  • After smoking, it would be beneficial to air out your vehicle. So, keep the windows down on a clear and breezy day for sufficient ventilation.
  • Get dry sheets and wipe the leather seats of your car after smoking.
  • Kindly keep opened peels of citrus fruits like oranges, lemon, and limes to aid in cleansing the smoke smell from your vehicle’s interiors.
  • Boil some cinnamon sticks and place them in your travel mug – this should clean and cool the air within your car.
  • Avoid using some products like Febreze on leather car seats, which could leave some water stains that could be bad for your leather car seats.


Q: How do you get cigarette smoke out of leather seats?

If your car upholstery smells of smoke, start by vacuuming the top, sides, and beneath the leather seats. Such action would help remove the residual smoke ash and remove other debris. Then, get a suitable cleaner and apply the solution on a soft cloth to wipe the leather surface.

You may need to repeat this action to eliminate the smoke smell from the car seat effectively. Applying a good deodorizer would also help; you can check for excellent options that work well for leather or use household supplies like vinegar solution, lemon, or even baking soda.

Q: Does the smell of smoke stay in leather?

The residuals from cigarette chemicals would often leave an unwanted smell on leather, as the material absorbs such even after the smoke clears out. However, you can do a few things to remove such lingering odor.

One effective remedy is baking soda; spraying a generous amount of baking soda on the leather surface and letting it sit overnight can help get out the smoke odor. Once done, you can dust off the leather surface or vacuum to get out the baking soda particles.

Q: Does vinegar get rid of the cigarette smell in the car?

Vinegar remains one of the commonest household supplies that come in handy for cleaning and eradicating smell. If your car smells of cigarettes, you may want to vacuum the seats and carpets and clean them afterward with a vinegar solution.

Dab a mixture of vinegar and water on the leather surface, and wiping it off with a soft cloth can help get rid of the smell. Mix the solution in a ratio of 1:4 within a spray can and shake properly before applying.

Q: How do you get nicotine out of car upholstery?

Whether smell or stains, a few effective remedies can help you eliminate nicotine from your car’s upholstery. Kindly follow the steps below:

  • Start by vacuuming the car’s interior to ensure you remove likely residuals of this unwanted element.
  • Clean the seats using a suitable cleaning solution and wipe dry with a soft cloth.
  • Spray some white vinegar solution onto the seats and wipe while focusing on nicotine stains.
  • Spray some baking soda and leave it on the car seat overnight if the smell lingers. Then, vacuum the baking soda residual the next day.

Q: How long does smoke smell last in a car?

Cigarette smell can linger within your car for at least two days, and you can expect the cabin air filter to help remove the smoke. However, the leftover from cigarette chemicals can further cause a persisting smell, which may appear harder to get out.

Such a smell can last for a long time if you don’t seek effective remedies to lay it off–hence, the need to clean and deodorize the vehicle’s interiors.

Q: How do you clean car seats with hydrogen peroxide?

You can lift smell and stains from car upholsteries using a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Get a spray bottle filled with hydrogen peroxide and water in a ratio of 1:3 and squirt on your car seats.

Then, get a soft and clean cloth or soft sponge and wipe your car furniture to remove the stains and smell. Move further to wipe with a dry cloth and let the car seats dry.

Q: How do you use baking soda to get rid of car odor?

Baking soda is an excellent deodorizer that can help eliminate the smell from your car interiors. Get a handful of baking soda and sprinkle within the vehicle, and let it sit there overnight. This powder should help absorb the odor, leaving a fresh smell and free from cigarette smell afterward.

Use a vacuum cleaner and eliminate the baking soda from within the car, ensuring you work on all crevices.

Wrap Up

Cigarette smell can often linger on your car leather seats, as this material absorbs such an offensive odor. This unwanted smell doesn’t stay well with some people, especially those with allergies; hence, the need to eliminate such. Can a dealership get a smoke smell out of a car? You can find professional services from car dealerships to help remove odor from within your vehicle.

There are some less expensive options, and you can use various household supplies for such a DIY cleaning project. Rather than searching for a “car detailing smoke odor removal near me,” you can follow these expert tips within this piece on how to remove smoke smell from leather car seats.

Evina Naomi

Ewofere, Evina Naomi is a biotechnologist and passionate content writer. As a great lover of leather and various leather crafts, she broadly addresses leather-related issues. She is a writer of many excellent articles on leather. With great knowledge and enthusiasm, readers can access researched pieces on various leather types and the best techniques that work on them. Naomi is here to lead you through the journey of choosing excellent leather products and ensure you handle them rightly. So you can embark on your leather sewing and crafting journey with her and have an incredible experience.

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