Ways to Get Rid of Weed Smell Out of Your Car

Woman rolling a joint in a car.

Most weed strains have a distinct pungent smell. While a few buds can be more pleasant, most will leave a scent that can stick to all places inside your car. Even a small spliff session inside your car can make your car pretty skunky.

If you’ve ever wondered how to mask or eliminate that weed smell from your car, you’ve come to the right place. In this small guide, we’ve gathered some useful tips to stop odors from lingering around your car and sticking to your upholstery. So keep reading if you want some tips to get rid weed smell!

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Key Takeaways

  • Weed tends to be smelly thanks to terpenes, compounds in the hemp plant that are naturally responsible for different functions, including being pungent to scare predators.
  • There are a few ways to get rid of a smell in a pinch, like opening your windows, removing trash and clutter, using baking soda, and even changing your air filter.
  • If you’ve got a little more time, you can also try masking the odor with things like activated charcoal or heavy-duty air fresheners like Ozium.
  • Homemade solutions like vinegar and baking soda are also good options, whether you keep them in a spray bottle or use the bowl method.


Why Weed Smells like to Stick Around

Weed is often described as “skunky” for a reason. Some weed buds’ smell can be notorious and a hassle to get rid of, but this happens for a reason. Most strains will have pungent odors thanks to terpenes, one of over 400 components found in the actual plant.

Besides cannabinoids, terpenes have different functions in the plant, primarily keeping predators and insects away from the flowers. Others use it to attract or attract pollinators so they can share their pollen.

These compounds are what give each strain its iconic smell, from honey, baked goods, and even mango-like notes. Terpenes are not exclusive to cannabinoids, but they are mostly present in flowers and are usually liberated when the bud burns.

Small terpene compounds love to stick to fabrics and other porous surfaces, which is why most of your hoodies probably have a tiny weed smell, no matter how many times you’ve sprayed Febreeze on them. 


How To Get Rid of Weed Smell From Your Car

Want to get rid of kushy odor in a pinch? There are some quick ways to eliminate the smell, but all of these are usually less effective than a thorough cleaning. However, if you just had a small spliff or had a small toke outside, you might want to stop the skunky smell from creeping inside your car.

Open the Windows and Air Out the Car

The most obvious way to get rid of the nasty terpenes adhering to your car is to laterally let the breeze clear out any smell that’s still lingering around. Opening your back windows are also an option to create better airflow.

Remove all trash and clutter from your car’s compartments and wipe clean

Trash can accumulate terpenes and other smells if kept in a cluster. Some cleaning around and picking fabrics and trash from your vehicle can be helpful, as sometimes smoke can impregnate porous items.

Clean your cupholders

You might be getting the bad habit of using your cupholders to stash your lighter, weed, or even bud grinder. One of the best ways to avoid the smell sticking to your upholstery is to clean it frequently, specifically your cupholders and other spaces you keep your weed around.

Sprinkle baking soda on floor mats and cloth upholstery

While we’ll explore some baking soda methods in the following sections, setting some baking soda in key places like cupholders, mats, or cloth upholstery can help absorb some of the terpenes and particles in a pinch. It works best with longer periods of setting this up, but it can work well in a pinch.

Clear the car’s air filter of dust and odor-producing contaminants

Changing your car’s air filter or taking it out for some cleaning can help get rid of these kinds of smells. Some of the terpenes could be stuck to the filter after you turn on your AC, which might be why that skunky smell is circulating inside your car.

Use an odor-neutralizing spray

Lastly, keeping a spray that helps with odor-neutralizing factors can help with non-pleasant smells. While commercial bottles can help, homemade solutions with vinegar, alcohol, or baking soda can also be helpful. Just make sure to keep them closed in your car to avoid spillage.


How to Mask Weed Odor

Now, if some of the tips above fail and you want a quick solution masking the skunky smell might be the best way out, especially if you are just vaping extracts or moving your stash around for small lengths.

So before going crazy on the deep cleaning of your car, you might want to try some of the next solutions instead. These are in best to least effective solutions we’ve found for this.

Essential oils/Scented oils

Ah, yes, the classic yoga studio smell. Essential oils are a great stinky way to cover up the skunk smell, besides the pleasant natural scents you can get. 

The best way to use essential oils besides the topic used to use a diffuser, which acts as a humidifier that can help your environment with scented vapor.

For car use, we recommend using a car diffuser or getting a pocket-sized roller type of oil so you can apply it in strategic areas after smoking, like your hands or near your neck.

Activated Charcoal

Besides being pretty good for fish tanks and other products, activated charcoal actually has a pretty big chance to help your stinky weed problem. This mineral can help remove odors by absorbing them relatively quickly. You can use a specifically activated charcoal soap or just let it rest on your seats or desired areas and clean the product up.

Just a heads-up, don’t try doing this in white or light beige upholstery, as you might find yourself with black pigment everywhere. So unless you want grey-colored seats, we’d go for other options, like baking soda.

Baking Soda

While this old trick can work perfectly fine with carpets and other fabrics, it works similarly to activated charcoal without the dark pigment. Baking soda is an alkaline base, meaning it will neutralize the acid. This also applies to strong weed smell, specifically skunky and acrid-like notes some strains have.

Much like activated charcoal, the way to apply this is to spread it in the desired area and let it sit for at least 24 hours before cleaning it up. We suggest vacuuming it for the best experience, but washing it up could work too.


Before going with typical pine air fresheners, try Ozium. This heavy-duty product is specifically made to erase the smoke smell. If you smoke inside your car, this freshener could be a better option as it has micron-sized particles that attach themselves to particles floating around.

This means they can bind to some skunky terpenes and other chemicals, causing the kushy smell inside your vehicle. Ozium is available in spray and gel form, which can be applied throughout your car or the area you want to treat.

Air Fresheners

Lastly, car fresheners are always helpful. In a pinch, a dollar store or gas station freshener can do the trick if the smelly problem is not very big, like having a casual smoke every once in a while or using a herb vaporizer instead of bud.

Just don’t go overboard by buying seven different air fresheners that might result in a headache from overstimulation instead of helping the odor problem.


How to Eliminate Weed Odor 

Now, let’s be honest. The best way to eliminate weed odor is to have a thorough cleaning. While using a few tricks to mask the smell, to eliminate the odor truly, you’ll have to get your upholstery cleaned with industrial-grade soap.

Regular car cleaning will always help, but industrial-grade soap and water pressure will help eliminate the sticking terpenes. Remember, most cannabinoids and terpenes are fat-soluble, meaning a good soap rinse will help clean them thoroughly. 

That said, you might want to absorb instead of just masking the smell. While not as strong as having a full clean-out, some products can help with specific spots or troubled areas. Let’s check out some ways to absorb nasty lingering smells.


How to Absorb Weed Odor

Did you have a specific incident in your car with some extract? Or perhaps you messed up and had a spliff in your vehicle and need to get rid of the smell soon. We’ve explained above that some products might mask the odor, but some of them can actually absorb the odor as well. 

Let’s check two of the most effective without being too invasive.

White vinegar

This mild acid is one of the main ingredients of most volcano projects through middle school and is a good odor absorber. The two best ways to effectively use white vinegar this way is either using a spray bottle with a diluted solution or just leaving a bowl.

Using a spray bottle requires mixing a teaspoon of the mild acid with a cup of fresh water. Then, it’s a matter of spraying it through your seats or the smelly areas. You might even get a little pricier spray bottle and keep it in your compartment for easy use.

The second method is more direct. You just pour a cup of white vinegar into a bowl and place it inside your car. Twelve hours will do the trick, but even overnight will give amazing results. Make sure to drive with your windows open so another odor does not suffocate you.

Baking Soda

Lastly, we’ve talked about using baking soda directly, thanks to its neutralizing power. While you can let it sit and then vacuum it, it can be a hassle to get rid of all of the baking soda if you don’t have a vacuum at hand.

You can, instead, use the same method as vinegar. Put at least a cup of baking powder in a bowl or container and leave it inside your car for at least 12 hours. A few hours will do, but up to half a day will guarantee the best absorption.


Best Weed Products Without a Smell

If smell and odors keep you from trying cannabis products, well, you can try a world of options. While stronger than your typical joint, edibles can be a smokeless option that can last even more than just a few tokes. 

For beginners and people starting to experiment with gummies, you might want to start with the Delta 9 Gummies at the Delta Munchies store. These only have 10mg of delta 9 THC with 15mg of other cannabinoids, making the regular buzz a little higher with other cannabinoids like CBD, CBN, and even delta 8 THC. These are delicious and come in six flavors, perfect for enjoying a small bite or trying the whole gummy as a full-on experience.

If delta 9 THC is not your thing, HHC gummies can stay fresh for longer thanks to the nature of the cannabinoid, preventing degradation. Our HHC Gummies have 25mg of sweet HHC extract that you can try and enjoy, even if it is only casually or every now and then. These are available in three fruity flavors. 

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Now for experts and cannaseurs out there, you must try the Green Apple Sour Belt. Besides putting a twist on an iconic candy, each has 300mg of premium delta 8 THC. Perfect to share around at a party or just have a few bites while binging a movie. These are better enjoyed with a little resistance first due to their potency.

Lastly, a tincture can be the best choice for something a little quicker but still smokeless. Our Delta 8 THC Tinctures come with 1000mg of our delicious delta 8 THC extract, which has added terpenes for different flavors. You can try these and dose however you want or get creative with some drinks in the Cherry Lime, Strawberry, Sour Apple, and Mango flavor.