My husband got into a car accident on February 27th. Although my husband did have a mild case of whiplash, he was barely in any pain after the accident. Our car, however, was deemed totaled. As a result, my husband and I had to buy a new car.
While we were test driving the car, I noticed a heavy cigarette smell but I thought it was the Salesman. I had noticed he smelled like cigarette smoke as I handed him my driver’s license. Unfortunately, as I was driving the car off the lot to take it home, I realized that the smell wasn’t going away.
It’s nearly impossible to get rid of the smell of stale cigarette smoke
Cigarette smoke gets into and sticks to, every surface it comes into contact with. That is because it contains tar. The tar might be invisible to the naked eye, it embeds itself into fabric upholstery, plastic, leather, etc. According to AMMO NYC on YouTube, a professional Car Detailer, cigarette smoke causes bacteria to build up. He uses steam to disinfect vehicles that have a cigarette smell. He said it’s one of the most effective ways to permanently get rid of cigarette smells in porous surfaces (e.g., plastic, seat belt fabric, leather, cushions, etc.).
Although steam is effective, he also warned that the high temperature of a steamer could melt or otherwise damage certain materials in the vehicle. As a result, he recommended taking extreme caution when using steam.
Another way to remove cigarette smell in a vehicle is to use an Ozone Generator. But this process is incredibly dangerous because … well … it creates Ozone, which is toxic to everything that requires oxygen. Despite the danger, using an Ozone Generator — according to multiple sources on YouTube — is another way to permanently remove the smell of cigarette smoke. According to the various YouTubers I listened to, the science involved is all about molecules. From what I understood, the ozone molecules bind to the smoke molecules and make them heavy enough that they “fall”. Then, I think they said you could vacuum them up? But you have to use the Ozone Generator in a well-ventilated space and you need to keep from inhaling ozone as you open your vehicle.
If that sounds like a lot of work, you’re not wrong
And car dealerships most likely agree. If a car dealership can use odor neutralizers, even temporarily, to disguise the smell of cigarette smoke then they probably will. It’s cheaper. Period.
Unfortunately, cheaply-ran car dealerships aren’t the only ones who can’t get rid of cigarette smell. If the operation is small enough, they may not be able to afford to hire a professional Car Detailer. Most likely, it’s the Owner and/or one of the Salesmen who vacuum out the cars before they’re sold. If a car smells like smoke, they may not even know how to get rid of cigarette smoke. Or, if they know, they may not be able to afford the equipment.
There are a lot of reasons, but the bottom line is that I don’t want cigarette smoke in my car. Thankfully, I don’t think that the car dealership used a temporary method. I think they just didn’t get the smoke residue off the glass because, since we wiped down the inside of the windows, the cigarette smell has decreased immensely.d
Regardless, I’m still self conscious about the smell. Not only because I detest the smell, but I know that others also do not like the smell of cigarettes. Especially people who do not smoke any type of plant in any form.
What’s so different about cannabis smoke?
Currently, cannabis smoke doesn’t contain tar or any added toxic chemicals. So much like when you burn popcorn in your house: the smell may linger for days at a time, but eventually, the smell goes away on its own. It dissipates.
Unless, of course, you spill bong water or ash. In my experience, bong water and ash — especially cannabis ash mixed with burnt paper — will leave more of a smell. It’s because there’s more than just smoke. Bong water often has cannabis residue, is mixed with ash, and becomes stale. Cannabis ash — with or without paper — is a substance that can get smashed into a porous surface, so it can be harder to clean.
Even still, if you spill bong water on your seat or accidentally dump ash onto the floor, you can use cleaners that will get the smell out. For ash, it can be as simple as vacuuming your car. With bong water, a once over with an odor neutralizing spray will be enough to kill the smell (until the next time). Ideally, however, you aren’t smoking in your car unless you are both in a non-public place and you are not going to drive while intoxicated.
Cannabis smoke also smells better
Occasionally I will join the smokers in the backyard during a family event so that I can get a few hits of cannabis without seeming suspicious, but that’s the only time I purposefully expose myself to secondhand cigarette smoke. Otherwise, I hate the smell. I don’t even like to hug chain smokers. If my husband were to start smoking, we wouldn’t stay together.
All of that is to say: I hate the smell of cigarette smoke. On the other hand, I really enjoy the smell of cannabis smoke. That’s because cannabis is biologically designed to smell good. Terpenes make cannabis smell like candy, lemons, blueberries, or pine trees. Even if raw-tobacco has terpenes (I don’t actually know), those smells are completely masked by the smell of tar and other toxic additives.