How to Remove Smoke Stains from Car Interior
January 30, 2017
Smoking inside the car has become a habit for many, but this has repercussions such as polluted air, a lingering smoke smell and smoke stains in the car interior. Smoke stains will appear in the form of dark, black residue or yellow nicotine stains, especially on the car ceiling and also on the upholstery and other vinyl surfaces such as the steering wheel. If you are in the habit of dropping cigarette ash on carpets, you will find stains on them, too. So what is the solution for this problem? Here’s DetailXPerts’ guide on how to remove smoke stains from car interior.
Keep in mind that smoke stains are among the hardest types of stains to remove, especially yellow nicotine stains. Don’t keep scrubbing on the same spot again and again if the stains are not coming off because that will weaken and damage the area. Also, stubborn stains like that could likely be permanent or you might need a more aggressive, industrial grade cleaning solution, possibly containing ammonia!.We also recommend steam cleaning these smoke damaged areas, because steam breaks down molecule-binding stains efficiently. It is also good for getting rid of smoke smell.
A 6-step guide on how to remove smoke stains from car interior
Step 1 – Gather all the supplies you will need for this project:
- A Vacuum
- Interior detailing product – Choose an all-purpose cleaner that will work on upholstery, rubber and also vinyl surfaces if necessary. But for leather upholstery, make sure to choose a product specific to this type.
- Soft-bristled brush for scrubbing the affected areas
- Hair dryer
Step 2 – Vacuum the interior thoroughly. Take out the carpets and vacuum them as well if there are ashes. Vacuuming will speed up the cleaning process by removing loose residue.
*Additional step – After vacuuming, use a steam cleaner on the affected areas for best results. Read the manual and set the ideal temperature for interior detailing.
Step 3 – Work on each affected area separately. Spray the interior detailer on each spot and let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
Step 4 – After the interior detailing solution has been absorbed, use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the area gently. As mentioned above, be gentle because harsh scrubbing will damage the affected spot.
Step 5 – Use a damp sponge to clean the spot. Make sure to wring out the sponge properly because a soaking wet sponge will wet the area excessively and cause water stains. If possible, follow up with another round of steam cleaning.
*Additional step – If the stain is still visible, follow step 03, 04 and 05 again. If 2 rounds of cleaning do not have an effect on the stain, it’s best to leave it as it is. Also, it is possible that in time the stain will fade more as the car interior is detailed. The important point to keep in mind is not to clean the damaged area excessively.
Step 6 – Open the car doors and let the cleaned area dry properly. Use a hair dryer on each spot to reduce the drying time and to reduce the chance of water spots.
For home remedies, you can try a vinegar and water solution or baking soda on smoke stains but an interior detailer, coupled with steam cleaning will be more effective than these home remedies. Keep in mind that prevention is always better than cure, so try not to smoke inside the car. If there are new stains, attend to them as soon as possible by following our guide on ‘how to remove smoke stains from car interior’ because if they have been building up over weeks or months, restoring the affected areas back to their original condition is nearly impossible.
Schedule an appointment with DetailXPerts for full interior car detailing. Our professionals will take care of any types of stains marring the beauty of your car interior, including smoke stains.