How to Get the Smell of Weed Out of Your Car

By Anthony Pellegrino Updated March 8th
get the weed smell out of your car.

It's common knowledge that marijuana has quite the smell. You may find that sometimes the scent lingers in your car for various reasons. Maybe you drove a passenger that smoked recently, or perhaps that top-shelf bud you picked up from the dispensary left its mark while you were bringing it home.

Obviously, smoking in your vehicle will really cause a pungent smell. But we have to remind you that it is illegal to consume marijuana in your car. You can face DUIs or OUIs if you do so. It also makes getting the smell out of your vehicle very difficult.

Besides, it's never a good idea to attract unwanted attention. Police know what marijuana smells like, and you can face serious legal problems if your vehicle smells like weed, even if you're a medical marijuana patient. Aside from legal reasons, you may not want your friends or family to know you're a medical cannabis consumer, and a skunky car can give away the game.

So, how do you get the smell of weed out of your car? Let's find out!

How to Get the Weed Smell Out of Your Car (From Least to Most Effective)

1. Essential oils/Scented oils

essential oils
Essential oils with an essential oil diffuser may help mask the cannabis smell in your car. (Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash)

If you've ever visited a yoga studio, you're already familiar with the lovely scent of essential oils. Many people prefer to use essential oils instead of candles that may produce potentially harmful carcinogens while they're being burned. The best way to use essential oils is with an essential oil diffuser, which is basically a humidifier designed to diffuse water mixed with essential oils. To use these scented oils to remove the smell of weed from your car, you can use a car diffuser

2. Air Fresheners

air freshener
Car air fresheners are probably the least effective way to get the weed smell out of your car. (Photo by Luigi Manga on Unsplash)

If you're looking to tackle the various odors in your car, there's always the classic air freshener. Whether they be the Little Trees you can pick up at the local car wash or a Febreze dispenser, air fresheners are a great way to mask or remove the smell of weed from your car. Just like the essential oil diffusers, there are many air freshener products built specifically for your vehicles. All you have to do is plug them into your A/C or heating vents.

3. Activated Charcoal

activated charcoal
Using activated charcoal to remove odors from your car could leave a messy stain on your seats. (Photo by Adrien Olichon on Unsplash)

If you've ever used a sploof or a SmokeBuddy, you may be aware of activated charcoal's ability to absorb odors. It can also be used to remove the smell of weed from your car. More often than not, the bulk of the weed odor is absorbed in your car seats, and activated charcoal can be used to remove it. Simply sprinkle an amount of charcoal over your car seats and cushions and allow it time to absorb. The particular length of time depends on how much you use, but activated charcoal can absorb odors relatively quickly. Afterward, you can vacuum the charcoal up, removing much of the weed smell in the process. It's probably not a good idea to try this on white, or light-colored upholstery.

4. Sprinkling Baking Soda 

baking soda
Baking soda can be an excellent odor remover for car carpets. (Michael, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

‍Sprinkling baking soda on your carpets and seats works in the same way as activated charcoal, except it won't mess up your white upholstery. Many people are surprised to learn how effective baking soda is at eliminating nasty odors. Ultimately, its efficacy has everything to do with the chemistry behind baking soda. Baking soda is an alkaline substance, meaning it can neutralize strong, acidic odors. If your car smells like weed, you can try sprinkling baking soda on your carpets and seats. Allow the baking soda to sit for 24 hours before cleaning it up with a vacuum to remove much of the marijuana odor.

5. Ozium

Ozium is a type of heavy-duty air freshener that is specifically designed to eliminate smells from smoke or airborne bacteria. If the weed smell in your car came from smoking, Ozium could be a more efficient choice than a typical air freshener brand because of its design. It consists of micron-sized particles that attach themselves to the airborne particles that cause various odors, especially those particles from smoke. It's available in both a spray and a gel form. It can be used simply by spraying throughout your vehicle or applying the gel to the affected surface.

6. Ozone Generators

ozone generator
Never use an ozone generator in a car while people or animals are inside it. (Vaniacornejo, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons, cropped for size)

Some suggest using Ozone Generators as an odor eliminator. There is little scientific consensus at this time regarding its real efficacy. However, researchers have suggested that it is plausible for it to be effective at eliminating some odors, especially those caused by second-hand smoke.

If you're thinking about using an ozone generator to remove the weed smell, be sure to keep these things in mind: Ozone at the ground level is considered hazardous to your health and is classified as an air pollutant by the EPA. If you decide to use one to remove odors from your vehicle, be sure you are not inside the car while it's running. Also, be sure to allow your vehicle to fully ventilate before driving.

7. Deep Clean Your Car

deep clean your car
Nothing beats a deep cleaning to get the smell out of your car. (Photo by Stephen Andrews on Unsplash)

Giving your car a full cleaning detail can be the best way to remove any cannabis smell. This may include using a wet vacuum throughout the interior and cleaning all the surfaces inside your car with the appropriate cleaners, including Windex for the inside of your windows and windshield, and Armorall for your dashboard and consoles. Because all odors are technically gases, there are all sorts of places for that weed smell to cling to in your vehicle. It's plausible that a marijuana odor is clinging to nearly every surface within the interior of your car, especially your head lining. If the odor is strong, a deep clean may be needed to actually remove it. Not only will this help remove the smell of weed, but it will also make your car smell clean and tidy.

8. Avoid the Smell in the First Place

avoid the cannabis smell
Bringing your cannabis home from your dispensary can leave a smell in your car (Photo by Cova Software on Unsplash)

‍Now, nothing works quite as well as completely avoiding any smell in the first place. Quite frankly, your car will never smell like marijuana if you never smoke or transport weed in your car. This is difficult if you drive to the dispensary to pick up your medicine. You can reduce the risk of lingering odors from your purchases if you only buy tightly sealed vapes, concentrates, or edibles. But, many consumers prefer flower, which leaves a distinctive smell in your car even if you aren't smoking it. You can avoid this smell by placing your purchase in an airtight canister, bag or jar for the trip home. Alternatively, you can use a marijuana delivery service or a designated caregiver to shop for you.

RELATED: Best Ways to Store Cannabis Long-Term Without the Smell

And, there you have it. That's our list of the many different methods you can try to remove the smell of weed from your car. Just another reminder: it's illegal to smoke or consume cannabis in your car, even if you're not the one operating it. And please NEVER get behind the wheel if you're under the influence of marijuana. There's never a good excuse to drive while high.

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