The car's engine is in tip-top shape and the body look's nice and shiny. A potential buyer dropped by and had a look at your used car that's on sale. Everything was going was going well... until the car door was opened and the putrid smell of cigarette smoke from the inside filled the otherwise pristine air.
This is a common problem among used car sellers who love to smoke inside their cars. Cars that have the smell of smoke are more difficult to sell because let's face it - not everybody smokes and not everybody can bear its smell. Thus, it is important to get rid of this smell before putting a car up for sale.
The key concept in our crusade for smell eradication is "adsorption". Yes, with a "d". Adsorption is a scientific property of many substances that allow them to attract other particles on their surface. Bad smell, in particular, is caused by numerous odor particles that are suspended in the air. Hence, we will use adsorbent materials as magnets that will remove these nasty particles out.
There are many options in as far as the right kind of adsorbent, each with its advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will list down the two most common agents that are in use today.
1. Baking Soda
By far, this is the most common among all the possible choices. Baking soda is often touted as the "miracle powder" as it magically removes any trace of smell on almost any surface just by getting in contact with it for a considerable amount of time.
There are two ways to administer this chemical: powdered and damp. Damp baking soda is more adsorbent than dry powder so that it is more preferable to use compared to the other. However, damp baking soda may be hard to remove on some surfaces, so that its dry, powder form is preferred. After letting the baking soda sit for a while (as long as you can bear), it can be removed using a duster and a vacuum cleaner, and poof! The smell is gone.
However, baking soda can react to some surfaces, especially those that are slightly acidic, like some types of leather, but this is quite rare. The biggest disadvantage of using baking soda is its color. Baking soda that got stuck in nooks and crannies are not very pleasant to behold. Furthermore, since baking soda is slightly alkaline, it may accelerate corrosion at the point of contact.
This not going to be some rocket science experiment. Charcoal was actually one of the more popular choices for odor eradication before baking soda took the driver's seat. It is known to be an all natural colloid. Colloids are substances that exhibit an adsorbent property, among others. Thus, charcoal is surprisingly effective in removing nasty smells. It is perfect for those places that are painted black, so that any residue
Get some charcoal, powder it (for maximum effect), put it in a coffee filter and let it stay inside the car for about a week. You can also sprinkle it on the car's flooring and also in corners. Witness how the odor of cigarettes slowly go away. Of course, continuous smoking inside the car will defeat the process.
The main disadvantage of charcoal is the speed at which it works. Some people simply do not have the time and energy to wait for a week for results. Furthermore, merely putting adsorbent bags inside the car will only remove the smell that's already in the air, not those that are deep seated on surfaces, thus, using other agents in tandem with charcoal is preferable.
These are two adsorption products that will get rid of that cigarette smell in your new used car.