When there’s smoke odor in a vehicle, I always ask the following questions; how long was it smoked in? How much was it smoked in? How harsh of a smoke odor is there?
This is because how much we can remove is dependent on the severity of the condition. After a certain point, if it was heavily smoked in, removing 100% of the odor may not be possible because the nicotine and tobacco have “soaked” into the fabric material like your headliner, seats, floor mats, and carpeting.
If your goal is 100% smoke odor removal, then depending on the condition, you will have to replace certain material like the headliner. However, we’ve handled some heavily smoked-in vehicles and we were able to dramatically reduce the odor. Not perfect, but much more manageable.
First we start by thoroughly cleaning the interior. It’s just like our Full Interior Cleaning process, but more thorough and specific to smoke. For instance, even if the interior looks immaculate, we’ll vacuum the entire interior and all fabric surfaces, which includes the headliner.
Next we pre-spray the fabric with a strong (but safe) carpet cleaner. We’ll then agitate the surfaces and shampoo with our hot water extractor. This process in itself takes up half a day because we get every square inch that we can.
After the fabric is taken care of, we move on over to the leather and plastic surfaces. Here again, we’re using a tobacco-specific cleaner on every surface we clean.
Lastly, depending on the condition, we’ll move into the thermal fogger and/or Ozone machine treatment to eliminate or reduce the odor.
Yes! Based on the condition, we might use a thermal fogger or an Ozone (or both) in order to reduce the odor. We use a very powerful Ozone machine that will neutralize severe odors at the source. This isn’t a $14 odor bomb you buy at your local auto parts store.
If there’s still smoke odor in your vehicle, even after it’s been cleaned, that means there’s still a layer of tobacco and nicotine in the interior. So we would have to start from step one and go through our deep interior cleaning process.
Yes, it’s highly recommended to change your cabin air filter since there might be smoke odor in it. If you have an odor-free interior, but turn on the AC with a dirty air cabin filter, you’ll just push all that smoke back into your interior.
It can take up to 2.5 days to complete depending on the condition and severity of the smoke odor. This is a very comprehensive process and we make sure we do everything we can to eliminate or reduce the smoke odor for you. On top of the process, when we start running the Ozone machine, for just one treatment, it can take up to 2.5 hours to complete. For customers that also want to get some form of paint correction completed, the total time can take up to 5 days.
In order to remove any odor from the interior, not just smoke, you have to remove or eliminate the source of the odor. If there’s still nicotine and tobacco in the interior, even with an odor bomb and airing it out, the source of the odor is present and will continue to cause odor issues. In some instances, if it’s very minor, that might be enough.