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Old 10-25-2006, 12:49 PM   #1
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Default Bought a truck, need advice!

I just bought a truck.
'02 Dodge Quad Cab
It's been smoked in and never cleaned.

Options:
1. $150 Pay a detail shop for a full interior job and hope.
2. $200 Buy a home model Vacuum Steam Cleaner (Bissell) and try it myself.
3. Replace entire carpet:
http://performance.thepartsbin.com/b...2&brandid=2147 And headliner: maybe about $150.
4. Still gotta do the seats... still need to buy a steam cleaner. Now I'm off to the NEX to shop for one.

Anyone ever try to get smoke smell out of a car before? What advice?
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Old 10-25-2006, 12:53 PM   #2
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cant you just rent a steam cleaner from uhaul or lowes or something?

I was driving a v10 ford powerstroke yesterday, talk about being the king of the road.
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:13 PM   #3
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I smoke cigars, though never in my cars.

There's been threads asking about this a few times. Take a look through the threads on Herfersparadise.net - you don't have to register.

IIRC, the last time, someone mentioned using an ionizer for a day or so?
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Old 10-25-2006, 02:17 PM   #4
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I worked at a small used car lot in highschool detailing cars. The owner/manager was a real tight ***, so I learned a lot of cheap tricks.

Cig smoke is a pain in the *** to remove. It sets into all the fabrics (seats, carpets, headliners), dashboard, windows, vents, etc. First change the a/c filter if so equipped. Then, the easiest thing to do is take the car to a detailer with a good vapor steam cleaner. Make sure it's a vapor cleaner, not a shampooer. I don't know well a $200 cleaner will work; the good ones are still over $1000.
I never had this luxury, so what I did was remove the vents and clean them with vinegar water. Get into the ducts as best as you can too. Clean the windows, rear view mirror, dash, switches/radio/controls, and door panels several times. Use a toothbrush for the crevices. Don't use chemical cleaners; enzyme based cleaners marketed towards removing pet odors are better--and won't react with the chemicals in the embedded smoke. Sprinkle baking soda on the carpets then vacuum. Sprinkle baking soda, let it sit overnight, and vacuum again. Put a piece of charcoal in a (open) ziplock bag and stick it in the ashtray. Also put a dryer sheet under each seat. Repeat the baking soda and vacuuming and window cleaning every few days. Change out the charcoal and dryer sheets weekly. This should get rid of the majority of the stench in a week or so. It will be tough or impossible to tell it was smoked in after a few weeks. It's a lot of work, but has a near $0 cost.

I have been told that a department store in NY got ride of smoke smell from a fire by sprinkling the carpet with a baking soda and vanilla mixture. I haven't tried the vanilla, but understand how it could work.
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Old 10-25-2006, 03:22 PM   #5
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Ozone machine just keep people away from the car while its going.

http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/ozonegen.html

Keep that in mind, I know cars that have used it.
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Old 10-25-2006, 04:01 PM   #6
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If you buy carpet, buy it from the dealer. I bought one of those aftermarket carpet kits for my Miata. Biggest piece of **** ever. I chucked it and picked up a decent shape OEM carpet off of ebay.
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Old 10-25-2006, 04:17 PM   #7
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I work at autobell car wash and I have detailed cars before...its hard to get that smoke smell out of it....you can try cleaning it, ask a detail shop what they think would be the best option, but it tends to just stay in there.
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Old 10-25-2006, 04:17 PM   #8
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just take it to a detailer, a good one though. Those guys know exactly what to do almost all of the time and will get it done perfectly, especially something tough like smoke.
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Old 10-25-2006, 10:51 PM   #9
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I'll call my local trusted source tomorrow and see what they get for a formed OEM carpet kit. I'm also thinking headliner (you know, smoke rises). I see kits for those too, but I'm definitely not doing it myself. Carpet, yes... headliner, no.
I went out and bought a portable home steam cleaner. It was $80 on sale at the NEX and did way better than I thought. Now it smells like carpet cleaner and smoke. I'm gonna wait a day or two until it dries and go through the home remedies like vinegar, charcoal, and baking soda like mentioned above.

I'm already checking out the basics... intake, cat-back etc... It gets a full fluids change and tune-up this weekend. I'll have pictures up AFTER I finish detailing it.

Thanks for all the good advice. I figure I'll give it a couple weeks of me trying... and if I can't, at least the detail shop will have a much easier time. I found a place today that has an ionizer too, so I'll get the stench out one way or another.
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
I'll call my local trusted source tomorrow and see what they get for a formed OEM carpet kit. I'm also thinking headliner (you know, smoke rises). I see kits for those too, but I'm definitely not doing it myself. Carpet, yes... headliner, no.
I went out and bought a portable home steam cleaner. It was $80 on sale at the NEX and did way better than I thought. Now it smells like carpet cleaner and smoke. I'm gonna wait a day or two until it dries and go through the home remedies like vinegar, charcoal, and baking soda like mentioned above.

I'm already checking out the basics... intake, cat-back etc... It gets a full fluids change and tune-up this weekend. I'll have pictures up AFTER I finish detailing it.

Thanks for all the good advice. I figure I'll give it a couple weeks of me trying... and if I can't, at least the detail shop will have a much easier time. I found a place today that has an ionizer too, so I'll get the stench out one way or another.
A couple of weeks with the windows open should help as well. You need to let the thing air out. In the meantime it will smell like smoke for a while, time is your friend.

Mark
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Old 10-26-2006, 11:28 AM   #11
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Here are a few more methods I found searching around. I just copy/pasted them. Hopefully one of em will do it for you.

Removing smells from your vehicle - Place a pan of vinegar on the floor of your vehicle. Start the vehicle and turn the heat on high, blowing on the floor across the vinegar. Close all the vehicle windows and doors. Let run for about 30 minutes. (Do this outside or in a ventilated area!)


Febreez works wonders - Febreez works wonders. Buy a bottle. Spray it all over the place. Leave the windows open and let it work its wonders.
I have read someplace that if you get the bathroom air freshner Oust(unsecented) and spray it in the car with the windows up for a few seconds than let sit for a while that works pretty good

I've found that taking out the ash tray/lighter and washing them thoroughly helped. Also, when I was done I put baking soda in the ashtray for a few months. For the headliner I did a wipe down with a damp cloth and a mild solution of generic Woolite/water and a soft cloth. Also, if possible leave the windows cracked as much as possible (I left my truck in the garage with the windows cracked for months and it helped rid the odor.)

I'm sure some odor eliminator like Meguiar's would help as well, but I have yet to use these type products. I've also heard of air vent treatments you spray into the HVAC system from under the hood to deodorize them.

An ozone generator is the correct tool for the job.
As far as sprays goes. Try a product called Oust. Don't get the smelly ones, just the natural one. It's hands down the best for getting rid of smells, better than febreeze.
This spring I rented a cabin in the Smokey Mountains. We walked in the door and were hit by the funkiest fishy musty smell, I thought I was going to hurl. We headed back into town and got a can of Oust. I let off about half the can in the cabin and left to get something to eat. Came back a couple hours later and the smell was gone. We spent the week there and never got that can out again.

I also used it to get rid of the air freshner smell that my dealer decided to put in my truck after they serviced it. It was the most horrible baby powder smell. The odor just hung in the truck for a couple weeks. I finally sprayed Oust in it for 10 seconds and killed it all off. Many that stunk!

There is a company out there call Sparkle Auto that sells bombs that you set off in your car and the fumes gets in every nook and cranny and gets rid of all oders. Check it out at sparkle auto.com/oder control.html .
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Old 10-26-2006, 11:46 AM   #12
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I'd take to to a detailer. Those guys work really hard for thier money.
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Old 10-26-2006, 06:02 PM   #13
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Dryer sheets under the seats, change them weekly, they draw out the nicotine (and they will turn brown).
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:50 PM   #14
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i detailed for about 7 years till i was done college. What i would do if you staying cheap is just go out and buy some carpet foam and load up the carpets, seats, and headliner(spray on rag then wipe if the can doesn't work upside down). scrub everything with a brush gently especially on the headliner, let it soak in a little bit and use a shop vac to suck it up, then let it air out whenever you can. repeat in a couple weeks. also wipe down everthing else in the car this isn't fabric down with a mild cleaner. I don't think you'll really need a steam cleaner. How bad is the car, like smoked every day with the windows up or just a little smoky?
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Old 10-27-2006, 12:26 AM   #15
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That's it, I've decided the internet is officially the coolest thing ever.

To summarize. I'm doing everything. Febreeze, oust, charcoal, baking soda, dryer sheets, vinegar, windows, shampoo, steam clean, shop-vac, vent spray, EVERYTHING!!!

It's already been shampoo'd and steam cleaned on the carpets and seats. The headliner just got a good wipedown. I'd say the inside smelled like the shirt you throw on the floor when you get home after spending all night in a dive-bar... you know, the one you pick up in the morning with a bad hangover and it makes you want to puke... pretty bad. But if that was a 10, after the shampoo/steam, it's probably a 3 now... but still very noticeable.

Tonite I used Meguires PaintCleaner/Clay/Polish/TechWax Paste on the fenders and the hood. I didn't have time to do the rest. It'll have to wait. I've never had a full sized truck before. It's gonna take me all day Saturday to detail it and continue with the de-smokification process. AND I won't post pics until it sparkles.

Keep the de-smoking tips coming if you've got'em. Special Thanks to WOT for the research

And worse comes to worse, I do know a place with an ionizer/ozoner... so there's always that.
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