How to Get Weed Smell Out of the Car: 6 Proven Strategies

There’s something sweet and naughty about getting high in the car. But when pot kicks in, the last thing you wanna think about is how to get weed smell out of the car. And that’s not good, because the smell isn’t likely to evaporate quickly on its own. It has a fiendish tendency to embed into the car’s interior and linger on for days and even months, which may get you into trouble with some folks, like the police or your parents. 

The conclusion? We have two of those for you at the end of the article. Before that goes the main stuff: proven ways to eliminate the smell of weed from your car, and a little bit of education (no harm in that!) about cannabis odor – so, read on!

Why Does Cannabis Smell So Strong? 

Terpenes in weed flower (marijuana part that you smoke) are aromatic molecules that give each cannabis strain its specific odor. Their role is to protect the plants from predators, and we use them for their many health benefits. 

Some of the common terpenes include limonene, caryophyllene, myrcene, etc. They are found in other plants such as the citrus fruits, oregano, cinnamon – not just in cannabis.  

Depending on the dominant terpenes in marijuana, they can give a fruity, earthy, heavy, soothing, overwhelming, pungent, or skunky odor. And that odor really sinks deep into your car’s interior when you smoke in it. 

Related: Major Terpenes and Their Health Benefits

6 Best Ways to Get Weed Smell Out of the Car

Before we dive into damage control details, note that there are levels of weed smell, depending on how many of you were in the car smoking, how much you used, and which strain you smoked. People can smell pot in the car even if you haven’t been using it, but just driving someone who has, or storing your stash in the car for a while.

So, here’s what to do to get rid of it.

1) Open the Windows

That sounds too easy. But, in some cases when the marijuana smell is very faint, it can help to simply roll down the windows and leave them down overnight or for as long as you can. If you haven’t been smoking but just carrying it in your car, you can drive around with open windows to see if the smell will evaporate. 

2) Mask the Cannabis Odor with Something More Pungent

If the simplest tactic doesn’t work, the next easy thing to do is use a more pungent smell to override the cannabis odor. Car fresheners, a strong perfume, a car diffuser with essential oils, and spicy food are some of the usual tools for that. 

However, be prepared to sense the same old weed smell after several hours, because the perfume and food smell will evaporate, and the weed molecules that have creeped into your car’s seats, carpet, dashboard, and the air conditioner are more persistent. 

3) Use an Odor Eliminator Spray

When food, perfume, and similar stuff fail, try an odor eliminator spray. On the positive side, it will probably get the cannabis odor out. On the negative side, most of these products are full of toxic chemicals. Ozium is the spray many people with experience cleaning public spaces swear by, but it’s very potent and toxic. 

If you decide to use it, it’s best to wear gloves when you spray it around the car’s interior, leave the car to let the chemicals do their thing, and then air the car for several hours. 

Recognizing the problem of these sprays’ toxicity, some manufacturers have created plant-based, natural products such as Veil and Cannabolish Wintergreen. They are not as powerful as Ozium, but they’re easy to use, so try them out. Just spray the product on the seats, floor mats, in the air vents, and around the entire car. Turn on the air conditioner and check the results. 

4) Neutralize the Smell with Odor-Absorbing Products

Some stoners swear by eco-friendly products that most of us have at home, such as baking soda and coffee grounds. Simply sprinkle them on the seats and floors, leave them overnight to absorb the smell, and vacuum them in the morning. 

Vinegar has the same odor-absorbing potential, so you can apply a mix of vinegar and water over the cushions, dashboard, windows, and carpet. 

Last but not least, active charcoal is becoming a popular cannabis smell eliminator. It is odorless and non-toxic, and you can sprinkle it around the car just like you’d do with baking soda. However, it can stain light-colored fabrics, so watch out for that. 

5) Thoroughly Clean the Car’s Interior 

Weed smell quickly gets into the fabric of the seats and other surfaces. If you’ve got very potent weed, you may not be able to eliminate it with natural odor absorbers. In that case, here’s what you need to do:

1. Take out all the trash from the car. 

2. Vacuum the car.

3. Wash the cushions, cloth ceiling, and floor mats with foam upholstery shampoo. 

4. Wipe the dashboard, steering wheel, windows, doors, and other hard surfaces with half-and-half solution of vinegar and water. 

5. Remove the car’s air filter to clean it thoroughly and put it back. 

6. Leave the windows down overnight. 

6. Place a new car freshener (gel freshener, vent stick, or oil diffuser) in the car. 

Or, if you have money, simply take the car for a professional cleanup. Car cleaning businesses have powerful enough equipment to remove the most stubborn cannabis odor from the seat cushions, dashboard, air filters, etc. 

6) Transport or Store Only Tightly Sealed Weed Buds in Your Car 

Your car can smell of weed even if you just transport it. To avoid this, always carry your stash in airtight containers, jars, or bags. Even that doesn’t guarantee a smell-free car, but it should keep the odor faint or barely noticeable. 

If none of these tips solve your problem, you’ll have to combine them and attack the weed smell with multiple strategies and full force.

Conclusion 1

Unless you’re parked and don’t have any intention of driving afterwards, don’t get stoned in the car. It may be fun, but it’s also dangerous and on the other side of smart, not to mention illegal. We understand peer pressure, living in the moment, and all that stuff life is made of. But whatever you decide to do, always assess the benefits vs. the risks of your behavior (as the nowadays popular saying goes). 

Conclusion 2

If you’ve assessed the risks/benefits ratio and it’s plainly telling you to get high in the car, make sure you prepare everything you need to get the weed smell out of the car before it gets you in trouble. 

Related: Hotboxing: Complete Guide to Smoking Weed in Closed Chambers

About the author
Ana Stanojevic

Senior editor at Greencamp. Graduated Creative Writing at Syracuse University. New to cannabis & pleasantly surprised to discover its many positive effects. Loves books, chocolate, dancing, summer.

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