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How do you remove cigarette smell?

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  #1  
Old 05-03-2007, 01:19 AM
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How do you remove cigarette smell?

What is the best and proven way to remove, not coverup, cigarette smell from the car?
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:30 AM
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It's very difficult because the smell goes in the headliner, carpets, seats, etc. I use autoglym interior cleaner and Megiuar's Odor Eliminator. Give that combo a try. Spray directly onto carpets. Let sit for a minute and then wipe of with microfiber towel. It all depends on how bad the smell is. Usually a few applications does a great job.
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Old 05-03-2007, 09:46 AM
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I have used a fogger in the past and it killed any odor that ever lived in the car.
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Old 05-03-2007, 10:01 AM
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Ozium kills any smell
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Old 05-03-2007, 10:17 AM
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Smoke odor can be very tricky. Smoke molecules are almost as small as the dye sites on the strands of fiber in carpet. They are also extremely sticky; they don't conform to normal cleaning standards. A solvent will not loosen them; a standard detergent will not suspend them for extraction. The combo of the two will gain some headway but not much. More than any other odor problem smoke removal is a process.

Start with simple cleaning using dedicated smoke odor detergents (some of these are not safe for some car surfaces. do some research)

completely dry

Ozone, ozone

Clean again

Dry and repeat process if needed. Here is a few shots from an audi s8 smoker car i did this last feb. The new owners purchased it for just over 9k under blue book.
Quote:
Some of you may have read that i am dealing with a 01 s8 that was heavily smoked in. Out the many homes, rv's and few cars i have done this is easily the single most condensed smoke smell i have run across.

Here is the process thus far.

I received the car, I did a full wipe down with a detergent capable of removing nicotine from plastics rubber and vinyl. The fabric was left for later. After those surfaces dried i set up the Ozone.

test ozone it at 100% for 20 min. (ozone machine recommendation<personal previous exp says this is always wrong. but we always follow the directions>) Nothing changed odor wise

I ran the machine at two hours at 100%. still 100% smoke smell.

I vented the car thoroughly and fell back on my normal procedure for motor homes.

16 hours at 25 or 50%. In this case i chose 25%

vented car. At this point i noticed a change about 80% of the original smell remained.

16 hours at 50% ozone.

Vented the car. This is where i noticed that i had about 40% of the original odor still there.

16 hours at 100%.

vented the car. Here i have reached the point of diminishing returns. I would say i had aobut 20% of the odor left. It is now time for main cleaning step one.

Since nicotine is very sticky, extremely small (size of house hold dust) it floats in the air. It can stay air borne for quite a while. usually it gets stuck in something that acts like a filter. In this cars case it was anywhere near a vent. to give you an idea of what nicotine looks like here are some shots. look for the yellowing on the pile of the front floor mats.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

You don't see it? well here is what happens. nicotine is so small it will makes its way through any crack or crevice. into any medium that will act as a filter. The foam on the back of the floor mats of the s8 became such a filter. This is an excellent example of how nasty nicotine can be. In this case when you touched the back foam you could feel the greasy nature of nicotine. It literally felt like butter. It also stunk to high heaven. remember we are well over 40 hours of Ozone right now.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

at this point it was time for extraction Using my hwe i extracted the matts front and back, headliner, carpets, fabric, alaclantara and trunk. I used as dedicated a smoke damage removal product i could. (most have now moved into encapsulation instead of detergents) I sprayed the affected areas with a light mist of delimonine (very very carefully with a resporator) then worked that in with a brush. Then sprayed my main preconditioner on and worked it in with a brush. I let this sit for the better part of 30-40 min. I extracted everything.

I then emptied a bit of waste water into a bucket and put it up on the counter to sit over nite.

Here is a pick of the bucket of water i took this morning with out moving it.
Click the image to open in full size.
Nicotine will not fall to the bottom of a bucket. it will stay suspended for the most part in the water. I dipped a stick in the bucket and the nicotine coated it like i was making a candle. This car was not dirty from soil. It had been recently purchased from a dealer in the mid west. This dealer had hwe'd the carpet in front of the buyer and used ozium. In utah the buyer stopped at another dealer because the smell was so bad. This dealer also hwe'd the carpet and used Ozium. I received the car 3 days later. This is what i was able to extract.

Nasty nasty nasty

The car is now dry. and again i think only 10% of the odor remains. I am ozoning it for a further 16 hours at 100%. From their i will re-clean a second time and finish out the job. I have many more pictures to share.
Thermal foggers are smoke generators. They basically burn a chemical or a cake to create a smoke molecule with a particular odor. This is an effective tactic in places that have biological odor problems. IE Cat urine in a house, dead animal under a crawl space etc. It can be used in a car, but you will have issue with re-soiling at later dates. because it is a smoke molecule it will be very sticky. That sticky will attract and hold dust.

Chemical odor products break down into three categories.
Odor maskers, odor neutralizers, odor eliminators

Odor maskers would be most akin to a bathroom air freshener or the hanging pine tree. They simply introduce a new more powerful odor to help hide the smell.

Odor neutralizers are products that chemically change the offending material so that it either creates a new more pleasant odor, or can’t make an odor. Examples of this type of product would be Prochem’s duo, bi-o-kleen’s back out. They interact with biological material that off gasses odor during it’s decomposition process. They introduce a new kind of bacteria that eats and off gasses a different odor.

Odor eliminators are pretty rare. There are only a couple of things that fall in this category. Ozone, and Hospital grade cleaners that kill everything and leave it sterile. The hospital cleaners are not generally safe for homes, and cars. So we are left with Ozone. Ozone is a gas, it literally cleaves odor molecules in half and destroys them. That being said if the original cause of the odor remains it will continue to make the odor. Hence the need for very thorough cleaning before and after.
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Old 05-03-2007, 12:47 PM
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I set my truck on fire once (long story), and the insurance company had an ozone generator put it it to run. Killed everything. Never smelled like smoke again, even on warm damp days. Call a fire restoration place and see if they have one.
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Old 05-03-2007, 04:15 PM
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Very good info grouse....I learned a lot.
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Old 05-12-2007, 07:49 PM
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Update: I had the in-cabin microfilter replaced, and that made it 30% better.
Then I took the car to the detailer and he recommend the following:
* Vacuum Interior Carpet & Upholstery
* Upholstery & Floor Mats
* Blow out Seat Tracks, Air Vents &
Crevices with Airgun
* Scrub all Vinyl Panels, Dashboard,
Center Console and Doors
* Remove Interior Stains & Scuff Marks
* Steam & Shampoo Carpets, Upholstery &
Floor Mats
* Treat Leather with Ph Balanced Cleaner
and Premium Conditioner
* Polish Wood & Plastic Trim
* Clean Inside Windows
If that does not take care of it, then the ozone treatment. I just picked up the car and it does seem much better.
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Old 05-15-2007, 09:56 PM
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Try fogging the car with Thrmal-55, this is a essential chemical for the neutralization of stubborn smoke and fire odors. A special solvent formula duplicates the passage of smoke, neutralizing its effect. while the car is running open the hood and fog by the fresh air inlet. Then open the windows and turn the heat on.
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Old 05-17-2007, 04:57 PM
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wow, pretty involved, had no idea. Had a car with a faint smoke smell once, I got a big container of baking soda and left it in the car when I parked it at home for a couple of weeks and it went away.
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Old 05-17-2007, 04:57 PM
 
 
 
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car, chicago, cigarette, dashboard, detailing, fogger, generator, odors, ozone, removal, remove, rent, smell, smoke, stains, thermal, treatment, york


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