How to get weed smell out of a car


Consuming cannabis while driving is not a fresh (or smart) move, but that doesn’t mean you won’t ever smoke weed in a parked car. Maybe you don’t smoke in the house and the weather won’t allow for smoking outside. Maybe you just enjoy the comfort of premium plush seats while listening to the latest episode of your favorite podcast. Or maybe your previously owned wheels came with an inherited stench.

Whatever the reason, if you’re faced with a dank stank you need to get rid of, there are a variety of tools at your disposal. Depending on the severity of said stank, some of these options might be more effective than others. And if it’s an overwhelming type of reek, you might have to resort to a full multi-pronged plan of attack to get the weed smell out of the car fabric and vents.

Classic methods

Getting a strong weed smell out of a car is not a new problem, and cannabis lovers everywhere have experimented with all kinds of solutions over the years. Here are a few classic options.

Air fresheners

Air fresheners are the first line of defense for many and range from the OG hanging trees to sprays and vent clips. These might do the trick if you’ve got a minor smell that needs to be eliminated, but fresheners usually mask odors more than eliminate them. Consider a car diffuser with essential oils — some models plug right into USB ports — or a car air purifier for another hands-off approach.

Odor absorbers

The next line of attack could include odor absorbers like baking soda, coffee beans and grounds, or activated charcoal. Sprinkling these substances on carpets and upholstery could do the trick for a less than totally offensive level of odor, but reports vary. Plus, you will need access to a very powerful handheld vacuum because cleanup will be a whole thing.

Leaving a bowl of white vinegar or vodka overnight to absorb odors is another method that cannabis connoisseurs have tried with mixed results.

Odor neutralizers and eliminators

If fresheners and absorbers don’t cut it, neutralizers and eliminators might be the next step. There are many such sprays on the market and a few products that cannabis lovers swear by — like Ozium — but keep in mind that many are highly toxic, especially in small, contained spaces like car interiors.

Recently, a variety of all-natural and cannabis-specific odor removers have hit the market too. Despite the “neutralizing” and “eliminating” labels, these sprays often tend to be a short-term fix and need to be used periodically to keep up the freshness.

The serious gameplan

If you’re serious about odor elimination, your best bet is to go on the all-out offensive. A concerted deep clean attack or full professional detailing should offer the most long-lasting results.

  1. Remove all clutter and garbage, including any actual weed or stinky accessories.
  2. Vacuum all upholstery, surfaces, and carpets.
  3. Follow up with a light clean using a foam upholstery shampoo or a deep clean using an upholstery machine.
  4. Replace the air filter.
  5. With the car running and the A/C system set to recirculation mode, use an ozone machine to deodorize your car and air out thoroughly before driving.
  6. Finish with an air freshener of your choice.

High-maintenance method

Perhaps when consuming cannabis in your car, consider a vape option instead. Though vapes tend to be a little pricier than straight flower, you’ll be guaranteed a non-smelly car after consuming within. Or, just let your car air out thoroughly after smoking while staying on top of regular cleaning and maintenance.

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