How to Get Rid of the Weed Smell in Your Car

Cupcake Air Freshener
Photo by: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

The smell of pot is a tricky companion to lose. More often than not, the giveaway scent sticks; wherever you go (or more specifically, wherever you light up), it follows. And some places are more inconvenient than others when it comes to lingering odors.  

Your car is a place that should remain free from weed smells, for various reasons. While getting high is a blast (as long as you are not driving under the influence of pot) and your parked car is a convenient and discreet place to do so, the aroma is a dead giveaway, it can be distracting, and it can lead to uncomfortable conversations with anyone who gets a whiff. 

Most users have heard this tired advice: The best way to avoid the smell of marijuana in any area is just not to smoke it there. And while yes, that is true, it isn't necessarily helpful. 

Keep reading to find out the best ways to get rid of the weed smell in your car.  

Table of Contents


Air Fresheners

The go-to for most people looking to remove odors from their car are air fresheners. Air fresheners, including aerosol sprays, Little Trees, candle-imitation screw tops, and other finds from convenience and grocery stores, are best for masking strong smells. And while they do a decent job of layering a more pleasant scent over the weed fumes, they do not do anything to remove the smell. This method works best in conjunction with other methods, as a finishing touch. Get rid of the smell first, then top your hard work off with a fun shape to hang off your mirror. Viola.  

Air Neutralizers

Air Neutralizers do what air fresheners cannot: They capture odors rather than covering them up. For any pothead, air neutralizers are key. Examples include charcoal bags, ozium, and ozone generators.  

Charcoal bags passively soak up any weed smells by using activated carbon. They are usually made from coconuts or bamboo, and they can sit in the back of your car, soaking up all the scents, allergens, and pollutants in the vehicle. Ozium, advertised as an "air sanitizer," does just that; in both gel or spray form, ozium can be spread or sprayed on the car seats and floors to eliminate any traces of marijuana smell.  

Ozone generators are used by professional car detailers to clean interiors; this method is strong, a little dangerous, and very effective. The generator releases ozone gas, which then reacts to the molecules causing the weed smell within the car and breaks them down. Make sure to not be inside the car when this goes down, as ozone can damage the lungs when inhaled.  


Many powders work as great neutralizers and are often made from materials that are both inexpensive and easy to get. These work really well for anyone who has been smoking pot in their car long enough for substantial smell to build up. Powders are an effective way to draw out the weed smells that have seeped into the fabric of the car.  

One of every household's favorite cleaning items is baking soda; cannabis enthusiasts can also take advantage of its power by using it in the car. Sprinkle the baking soda nearly everywhere in the car (including the seats, floor, and even mats) then rub it in. Let it soak in for as long as possible before vacuuming up the remains. 

Coffee Grounds
Photo by: melei5/Shutterstock
Coffee grounds are an additional powdered resource. While messy, the aromatic properties of coffee can be a lifesaver for weed-infused car fabrics. Sprinkle coarsely ground coffee beans throughout the vehicle, leave for at least a day, then vacuum it all up. You'll be replacing the marijuana scents with the rich aroma of coffee, so be sure to pick a flavor you love. 

Perhaps one of the most effective solutions is pet odor remover. These powders (and often sprays) are designed to battle some of the worst smells known to households, including urine and feces. Against that kind of power, weed smells don't really stand a chance. For the best results, combine pet odor remover with baking soda, and go through the same process of letting it sit before vacuuming it up. Another option is to get baking soda made for sitting in the fridge and place it throughout the car. 

Combine to Maximize 

For the best results (i.e., weed smells being completely removed from your car) it's a good idea to combine several of these methods. When in doubt, reach for both an air neutralizer (whether as a spray, bag, or powder) in addition to the finishing touches of an air freshener. Keep in mind, these solutions are not necessarily one-size-fits-all; for more practiced users who have used their car as a hotbox for years, a little more effort will be necessary.  

Clean and fresh smells await.