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Discussion Starter #1
I have had my 2003 Impala base for a few weeks now, and it should be warming up around here soon. When I bought the car it was filthy inside and out, and had been owned by smokers. I used some aerosol carpet cleaner to clean the seats and carpet (too cold outside to steam clean, I would have ended up sitting on an ice cube for a week), but something had to be done, the seats were so filthy that you could not see the pattern (yeah, that bad), and the carpet had stains everywhere. I used a scrub brush and some old (but clean) rags, and made it at least presentable, although the seats are pocked with cigarette burns. I then moved onto the windows and interior panels, I ended up using 91% rubbing alcohol to remove the tar/nicotine from the surfaces. Why people would ever smoke in their car is beyond me, it holds onto the smell worse than anything, and severely hurts the resale value. I have never smoked in any of my vehicles and I never let anybody else smoke in them either. I would like some advice on removing the odor from my car (right now I am just keeping some strong air fresheners going), and what products you have used to clean carpets/upholstery. I have a Hoover carpet shampooer with a hand held tool. I am still getting brown/yellow tar/nicotine off of the dash when I clean it. I really wish there was a way to undo the damage smokers do to a vehicle. Also, what can I use on the dash/plastic trim/steering wheel to remove the film/dirt buildup? I dont want to damage it, but I can see a dirty film even after wiping everything down with alcohol.
 

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I use baby wipes to clean my dash... Works great. I don't smoke though but my steering wheel is often covered in grease from where I work.
 

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Storm Trooper Ralf
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The only way to totally remove smoke smell is with an ozone machine. Other wise you can only mask it. Also to clean the dash and steering wheel, just get a decent over the counter interior cleaner.
 

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For that car, I would give it a good interior cleaning. Avoid 'sprays' and other products that only mask odors.

Pull the seats/console, etc.
Buy a good carpet cleaner and scrub the carpet per instructions.
Clean all plastic items, I use simple green, but use the product of your choice.
Clean the vents and hard to reach areas with cotton swabs/qtips, etc.
Clean the glass.
Reassemble the interior.
Finish off the plastic/trim with a good protectant, I use Aerospace 303.
Consider scotch guard (3M) on the carpet and cloth interior (if you have that).

enjoy the ride!
 

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I feel sorry for ya Dustin , probably many repeated steam cleanings will do it , but you will need to clean under the seats as well (maybe take them right out when the weather is good. Is your headliner vinyl or cloth ? I'm sure glad my 30 year old car has never had a single cigarette in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I will try all the suggestions, I will most likely pull the seats out when it warms up, unfortunately my headliner is cloth, so it will probably need to be left as is. I do have an air purifier with an ozone option, I think I will put it in the car overnight or so. Unfortunately smokers who smoke in their vehicles don't notice the smell, everyone else thinks it smells like a stale ashtray, and the tree fresheners dont cover it up. Smokers who don't smoke in their vehicles get into their car and think "Wow it smells clean in here!" (complete nonsmokers have the same reaction) I am not about to destroy the resale value of any vehicle, offend nonsmokers, or smell like an ashtray myself. Smoking is to be done outside only, if you are smoking in my car, you better be on fire. If you smoke you die..smoke in my car and you die sooner. (and I do smoke occasionally, just not in my car, I dont like the smell and I dont want it lingering.)
 

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Storm Trooper Ralf
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Steam cleaning wont get that smell out. It is embedded in everything..yes you can clean it out but that only goes so deep. It gets into the foam, head liner, all the AC ducting everything. Clean as best you can then use the ozone machine. Most big detail shops will have this.
 

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Good point about the headliner, forgot about that. I uses simple green on a damp cotton or microfiber cloth. Rub it on the headliner, that (with the ozone machine mentioned previously) is about as good as you can get. Don't want to get crazy up there or the cloth may separate from the backer board on the headliner.

You can successfully clean a smokers car, I've done it a few times myself. While not 100%, you can get pretty close with a lot of meticulous work :)
 

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OEM LOL
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For someone who smokes once in a while you sure do have a hard on for smokers:rolleyes:

Try industrial strength air sprays. Dealerships use them on cars that come in from smokers. You spray it in the air inlet while on recirculated and let it run for a good hour. Takes about half a can.

You can not purchase it anywhere being a civilian but your local dealership might hook you up with a can. Or a local detail shop will.

The stuff works great and will get rid of the smell is used correctly.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just do not like the smell of cigarette smoke, and I like even less the smell it leaves on clothes, car upholstery, and everything in your house. If cleaning everything doesnt remove the smell, I will check into getting a can of that spray. I have used a similar product (probably not as strong), called Ozium, when we moved into our house 6 months ago, It smelled heavily of cigarette smoke (and dog). I sprayed it in all the rooms and down the cold air returns while the furnace was running, and repeated it a few times over a couple weeks, now you would never know how bad it smelled when we moved in. I would imagine I could use the same idea in my car.
 

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OEM LOL
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Ozium works great but disappears very quick in a car. I have tried it in the car and it doesn't work very long.

This weekend I'll be at my girlfriends and I'll look in her garage and get the name of the stuff for you if you like.

Her family owns a huge dealership up here and it's what they use on all their used cars that come in and it works great.

Like I said me or you can't buy it from the company but a detailer or dealership might hook you up with a can.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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We have something called a smokers kit that gets the smoke smell out of our cars
It's a can and tablet that you add water to and leave in the car a few hours

I'll see Where we get them from and let you know
 

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Agree with Mixed Imp.
Ozone machine is all that will work.
Just be sure to put some silicone grease on all the rubber weather stripping as the Ozone kind of dries them out. A light coating or armourall ( I know it's ka ka ) on the dash to protect it for the same reason. You can clean the armourall off after the treatment.
The company that will ozone it will run the car and put the HVAC on re-cycle and on high and let it run for 30 minutes or so. They should cycle it from hot to cold a few times.
It really does work quite well.
Had a Prowler from a guy that the mice had pissed/shit/lived in for a year. It was friggen gross. The Ozone treatment worked the best of everything that we tried. I think the treatment was $60.00.
Good luck
 

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Storm Trooper Ralf
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Agree with Mixed Imp.
Ozone machine is all that will work.
Just be sure to put some silicone grease on all the rubber weather stripping as the Ozone kind of dries them out. A light coating or armourall ( I know it's ka ka ) on the dash to protect it for the same reason. You can clean the armourall off after the treatment.
The company that will ozone it will run the car and put the HVAC on re-cycle and on high and let it run for 30 minutes or so. They should cycle it from hot to cold a few times.
It really does work quite well.
Had a Prowler from a guy that the mice had pissed/shit/lived in for a year. It was friggen gross. The Ozone treatment worked the best of everything that we tried. I think the treatment was $60.00.
Good luck
This ^^^^
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks a lot! If it ever warms up here, I will get outside and start cleaning it really well, then I will see what needs to be done to remove the rest of the smell. I wiped the headliner and all the trim/ dash panels with simple green, and it seems to have helped a bit, but when I park in the sun, the smell still comes out.
 
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