The best way to avoid having your vehicle smell like weed is to not smoke weed in it, obviously. However, for many people that live with others who do not approve of smoking cannabis, their car may be the only place they can go to for a toke.
If you are visiting someone that does not allow smoking in their home, you may have to retreat to your car to indulge.
One major piece of advice:
Do NOT smoke and drive.
It is not only illegal but potentially dangerous.
Like tobacco smoke, the smell of weed can permeate everything in your car. However, you can get the smell out of your car and keep it out if you use the right products and follow a few simple tips.
What causes weed smell to linger?
People who smoke weed in the car and want to keep others from smelling the evidence often smoke with the windows up. If you do this (known as “hotboxing”) smoke fills the vehicle. It permeates fabric surfaces like upholstery and carpeting. It can seep into every crack and crevice, leaving an odor on everything it touches.
Even if you roll a window down, the smell of weed is powerful. It is not going to just float peacefully out the window. When the smoke is gone, the smell of dank sticks around.
Transporting cannabis, even sealed in a bag, can also make your car smell like weed. So smoking it is not the only way to have a smelly car.
There are a lot of options in this category, some more effective than others when it comes to getting rid of weed smell. Masking fragrances are strong scents that temporarily cover other odors. Febreze is a masking agent, as are colognes, incense, and body sprays. You can even make your own masking fragrance utilizing essential oils, water, and a spray bottle.
Most masking fragrances only last about 4-6 hours and will need to be regularly reapplied in order to cover the smell. So, if your mom wants a ride or if you have an encounter with law enforcement, you will want to try something more long-lasting, or something to help get rid of the smell rather than just cover it.
Activated charcoal is a very effective odor absorber and works well to eliminate pet odors, cooking odors, garbage, and the smell of cannabis. The carbon in charcoal (carbon filters are frequently used at dispensaries to keep odor to a minimum) has a negative charge, which attracts dissolved gases and toxins to its surface.
The charcoal itself has no smell and is non-toxic. In addition to keeping your car free from odors, it prevents mold and bacteria build-up, and removes allergens plus harmful pollutants, a bonus if you are lighting up in your car. Odor absorbers like activated charcoal are also very eco-friendly and cost-effective.
Speaking of eco-friendly and cost-effective, you may already have the next odor absorber in your refrigerator. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, has a long-held reputation as an excellent odor absorber. To use it in your car, sprinkle a fair amount on the seats and carpet – wait for 10-15 minutes – and then vacuum up. Another option would be to place a bowl of baking soda in your car overnight.
Other odor absorbers that have stood the test of time are white vinegar and isopropyl alcohol, or in a pinch, vodka. To get the smell of weed from your car using these ingredients, there are a couple of options: you could pour a cup of one or the other into a container and leave in your car overnight. Or you could mix one cup of each with one cup of water, add to a spray bottle, and spray down porous surfaces.
If you have some time to treat your car for cannabis odor and then wait a day, the industrial strength Ozium Air Sanitizer could be for you. By utilizing potent chemicals like triethylene glycol and propylene glycol, Ozium attaches to airborne bacteria, thereby reducing odors and pollution, and purifying the air. However, it is a very potent chemical concoction, so it is recommended to wait several hours after application before returning to the treated space.
Stash boxes are another great way to eliminate any smell left behind by leaving unconsumed cannabis in your car. By storing it in an odor-proof container specifically designed to carry cannabis products, you can not only keep cannabis stashed away, but under lock and key to ensure the safety of any young passengers (this is also a law in many states).
Storing cannabis in mason jars and placing them in the trunk is another simple hack to help keep your car cannabis-odor free.
Preventing new weed smells in your car
Once you get your vehicle smelling clean again, you might want to think twice before you smoke weed in it. However, the time may come when you need to smoke in your car. Here are a few more steps to take to prevent your car from smelling like weed.
- If you can, while smoking in your car, turn your fan on, and keep the windows down. When you run the air conditioner or fan, it prevents the smoke from being sucked into the insides of the air conditioning and heating system, which helps keep the air units cleaner.
- There is an air filter, (usually located underneath the glove box) that can be changed out. Refer to your car owners’ manual to find out where your car’s filter is located. Keeping this filter clean can help rid your car of unwanted smells the filter has absorbed.
- Use products that absorb smells. Keep an open box of baking soda in your car, just as you might do in your refrigerator. Baking soda will lose its ability to absorb after a couple of months, so replace it regularly. You can leave them in the vehicle overnight, or even for a couple of weeks, but they need to be changed regularly. Charcoal air purifier bags are also helpful.
- Another option is investing in a small car air purifier. They are very affordable, and connect to DC 5v power supply with a USB cable. Using an air purifier will reduce smells immediately, and can be one of the most effective ways to keep weed smell from permeating your car’s surfaces in the first place.
Keeping your car clean and free of smells can help retain its resale value. A strong smell of weed can make it harder to sell or trade in your vehicle, so keep your car, truck or van free from smoky smells.
Vaporizers are much better for your health than inhaling combusted smoke from joints. Additionally, vaporizers do not leave any traces of cannabis odors in the car. When smoking in the car, this is definitely the way to go. There are all kinds of vaporizers on the market.