By Steph.W from Albemarle, NC
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I had the some problem, first I took the mats(vinyl) out and washed them with hot soapy and bleach water and left them in the sun to dry, I then vacuumed , washed the entire interior with a Murphy's oil soap solution (use directions on bottle if you don't feel comfortable without measuring) even slightly swiping the cloth seats,this took about 2 hours,also taking special care to double clean the windshield as this is where most of the nicotine collects. After all this I took about a cup of unused coffee grounds and spread them in an aluminum pie pan then let the car set the rest of the afternoon in the hot sun! Talk about smelling heavenly and clean, unless of course you don"t like the undertone of coffee.
The idea of some citrus is good but how about the febreze including the one that is "fresh car" scent. If you have not done it, and have any fabric, headliner, side panels, seats, as well as floor, that would be my first, and second effort. Then keep windows open a bit as often as possible, and hang a couple good fresheners. You might have to do the febreze again, but if you have not tried it, it would certainly be worth it. We have had good results in any area we have used it. We have never had to deal with smoke residue, so this is just a hopeful suggestion.
Try taking a citur fruit, depending on your favorite smell. Citrus fruit gets rid of lots of smells. Put several pieces in differnt places in the truck. I would suggest under the seats, on the seats (inside a bowl). Leave this for a few hours. Hope it helps.
Had the same problem with my car. My brother in law told me to change the floor mats. Don't wash them, just throw them out and get new ones. It made all the difference.
I'm not an expert, but here are some suggestions: I know you've used baking soda, but pour, and I mean pour, baking soda into all of the cracks, crannies, carpet, seats. shut the door for at least 8 hours then vacuum really well. may have to do this several times.
You can also try this with those dry carpet fresheners that you can buy in the grocery store. They're basically baking soda based, but have scent in them. Use them on all the cloth in the car.
Also, try the kind of activated charcoal that you put in aquariums, I read that you can put it in ash trays hidden in a room during a party and it will absorb smoke smells. Febreeze? Did you try that yet?
I'd shampoo the carpets and seats with a product that removes pet odors and messes. Also, when you're doing these things, don't forget the roof of the inside of the car.
I'd google the manufacturer of your car and ask them for advice. I bet they'll have a solution for you because they'll want you to buy another one of their cars. Take the car to your local dealership and see if they can recommend anything.
The thing is, surely used car companies and car rental companies, and hotels run across this all the time and there must be a solution somewhere.
Did you try cat litter? A pain to use, but it might absorb odors.
There's a product called Damp Rid you can buy in Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, etc. that absorbs the damp. Who knows? Maybe it will absorb smoke smell as well.
Call your insurance company and ask them for advise. They handle all sorts of burning smells.
Visit your local fire department. I'll bet they have a lot of advice. Bring some brownies with you.
Good luck. I hate to tell you bad news, but I hope your car doesn't have leather seats because someone I knew had leather seats in his car, smoked, and tried to sell the car, but the smoke smell never left the leather.
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