Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on December 28, 2022

While it’s never a good idea to drive your car and smoke weed because it’s dangerous (and not to mention illegal), if weed is legal in your state, it’s perfectly fine to smoke a joint inside your car in your parking spot. In fact, some people use their car as a space where they can relax and enjoy a quick weed session before entering their house after work on a Friday evening.

However, as you smoke more and more in your car, the upholstery starts to have a strong smoke odor which isn’t really nice if you have a rental vehicle, you’ve borrowed it from a friend, or you use your car for work – as the lingering marijuana smell doesn’t really convey the message that you’re a professional due to the stigma that still surrounds it. So, if you’d like to learn more about how to get rid of the strong smell of cannabis in your car, keep on reading. 

What Causes the Lingering Weed Smell in Your Car?

If you’ve never heard of the term hotboxing, you’re probably unfamiliar with cannabis lingo. Hotboxing refers to smoking a joint or a bong in the comfort of your car with the windows rolled up. The weed smoke fills the whole car and people inhale it even after the joint is finished, and the terpenes that burn off as you light your joint are responsible for the strong weed smell. Similar to how cigarette smoke lingers in the car long after you’ve finished your cigarette, so does cannabis smoke.

This is, in fact, the reason why smoking weed inside makes your car smell like weed even days and weeks after your session. While you can smoke with your windows open, the weed odor that will linger in your car is inevitable. So, what options do you have if you want to get rid of weed smell? Read on to find out.

How to Get Weed Smell Out of Your Car?

There are a number of ways to remove smoke odor from your car without breaking the bank and we’ll cover a few of them in the following paragraphs.

Masking the Smell

The easiest way to get rid of weed smell from your car is to mask the smell of weed with an air freshener which will act as a neutralizer. You can use Febreze, one of the most popular masking fragrances on the market, or any other freshener that you enjoy the smell of. But you can also use colognes, body sprays, incense, essential oils, or other masking agents which you can find in stores or online sites such as Amazon.

If you want an even more budget-friendly option to remove the smoke smell, you can even make a DIY deodorizer by combining water and essential oils in a spray bottle and spraying your car with it. Remember that the masking fragrance will last between 4 and 6 hours after which you’ll need to reapply it. For longer-lasting effects, try some of the following methods.

Odor Absorbers

Another way to get weed smell out of your car is to use odor absorbers. These products get rid of a number of odors such as cigarette smoke, pet odors, cooking odors, and even cannabis smoke. 

Activated charcoal is a highly effective odor absorber that attracts dissolved toxins and gasses to the surface and keeps the odor to a minimum. Not only does it have no smell and isn’t toxic, but it also prevents the formation and build-up of mold and bacteria, while also removing harmful pollutants and allergens.

Baking soda is another great option if you want to go for a budget-friendly option that’s highly effective in absorbing odors. To absorb weed smell, sprinkle a fair amount of baking soda on all of the upholstery, leave it for 24 hours, and then vacuum it. You can also leave a large open bowl filled with baking soda overnight (in your car) if you don’t want to vacuum your whole car. Some users report that using coffee grounds also works for this purpose.

White vinegar is also an inexpensive odor absorber that’s eco-friendly and effective. To get rid of the weed smell, pour a cup of white vinegar into a bowl and leave it inside your car overnight. You can also combine a teaspoon of white vinegar with a cup of water and spray it on the upholstery with a spray bottle.

Odor Eliminators or Odor Removers

If you’re looking for another option for removing weed smell from your car, you can always try an odor eliminator. A popular odor eliminator is Ozium, a product made up of various potent chemicals that attach to airborne bacteria that are responsible for the smell and eliminate it so you end up with a fresh scent inside your car.

Be careful when using this product, though, as excessive use can cause eye, skin, and lung irritation, as well as cause a fire if it comes in contact with an open flame (or a spark from your lighter). It’s also important to leave the car for a few hours after you’ve sprayed it with Ozium to avoid inhaling the chemicals. 

Ozone Generator

Turning on an ozone generator inside your car will disintegrate the odor molecules and remove the lingering smell. Smaller generators will be cheaper, and if you’re used to smoking in your car regularly, they will definitely come in handy. Remember to leave the car when the ozone generator is on since it can cause shortness of breath. You can leave it on between 1 to 12 hours, depending on how much your car smells like weed.

Making a Sploof

Another DIY way of reducing weed smell in your car is by using a sploof when smoking weed, which is similar to a store-bought smoke buddy intended to reduce the smell of weed. To make a sploof, you just need scented dryer sheets, a toilet paper roll, and a rubber band. Fill your toilet paper roll with dryer sheets and add a dryer sheet to the end of one side and secure it with a rubber band. While smoking your joint, make sure you exhale the smoke inside the sploof which will make your car smell like fresh laundry. Remember not to inhale through the sploof, though, because you risk inhaling harmful chemicals.

A Deep Clean

If the smell of weed has already set in, having your car professionally cleaned will definitely remove the weed smell. This will be a more costly option, but it will be worth it once you smell how fresh your car is after you get it back.


If you’re worried about weed smell, using a vaporizer when smoking marijuana will significantly decrease the smell that lingers inside your car. There are tons of vape pens on the market today at various price points, so you can choose the one that fits both your budget and your preferred aesthetic.

Final Thoughts on Preventing Your Car From Smelling Like Weed

Keeping your car smelling fresh and clean even if you occasionally smoke weed inside is not so hard to do if you follow the advice we provided in this article. Another way to reduce the possibility of your car smelling like weed is if you keep your cannabis in an odor-proof container. It’s also a good idea to open the windows while you’re smoking your joint inside the car, and turn the fan at full blast so the air will circulate. Prevention is always the best idea, so always keep an odor absorber in your car during your smoke session. You can also use an odor eliminator after the smoking session to eliminate the lingering weed smell. So there – enjoy the next weed session inside the comfort of your own car without having to worry about weed smell.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.