Smokey Van

June 16, 2006 at 6:00 pm (Uncategorized)

My van smells like smoke. I asked hubby when we looked at it, "Do you smell smoke?" He said no. And he’s the one that’s super sensitive to smoke. SO I figured it was just me, or something they used to clean the van.

Two days later he opened up the back end and said "Do you smell that? It smells like smoke." Hmm

So somewhere in the recesses of my mind I remembered hearing that charcoal (like you use in the BBQ) absorbs odors. I think it was mentioned in reference to stinky refrigerators but I figured it would work here too. So I bought a bag of charcoal, poured some in a pan and put it in the van overnight.

The next day it smelled like smoke and charcoal.

SO I got online and Googled "getting smoke smell out of car". (I’ll stop right here for those of you who are wondering why I just don’t go get it detailed – I’m too cheap. It’s a last resort.)

So the next remedy seemed to be vinegar. Got that. Poured some in a couple of bowls, put them in the van left them overnight.

The van still smelled like smoke, barely distinguishable over the VERY strong smell of vinegar. My 6yo insisted on driving w/ the windows down while it was 110 outside because it was too stinky.

Two days later the vinegar smell is gone, the smoke smell is not. A guy I work with said "Apples. Cut up some apples." So that’s my next plan.

If anyone has a miracle smoke-obsorbing solution, let me know.



  1. Stacey said,

    Finally my comments are showing up!!

    Just go get the van detailed woman!!

  2. Kelley said,

    Ummm…have you tried baking soda? That’s another thing that absorbs odors in the fridge. Shouldn’t stink up the van though. I don’t have any other scientific basis for this suggestion, just guessing…

    Good luck!

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