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Interior & Glass Discuss All your Interior Issue - Dash - Seats and All the Car Glass Areas - Interior Dressing, Leather etc

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Old 08-03-2018, 09:27 PM   #1
OldskoolRS
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New purchase smells of cigarette smoke...

We recently bought a used Mercedes SLK which due to the open roof on the test drive we didn't notice that the car had been smoked in previously. After we bought it, every time we got into it after being locked up we would notice the smell of cigarettes as we are both non smokers.

I cleaned the interior with various AG leather cleaners and interior cleaners, which helped to at least disguise some of the smell. Of course, like many on here I already have a plan to detail the whole car, so most of this was expected anyway.

To be fair the micro fibre cloths I used to clean the interior didn't show much staining, so I suspect the car was probably smoked in with the windows open (there is no ash tray) and possibly with the roof down. So maybe not as bad an example as it could have been.


Initial research wasn't promising with some links to posts on here and other car forums saying we would never get rid of the smell even with a professional clean/ozone treatment. However I found a few products that seemed to get positive reviews, Airvidox was one of the products and it was easy for me to order it from Amazon. I've been recommended a back up Meguiars deodorizer spray if this fails to remove the smell.

The pack arrived yesterday and comes as two pots, one large and one small both containing powder. Tip the smaller pot's contents into the larger one, then fill the smaller pot with water (60ml, which is marked on the side). Add this water to the larger pot, refit the lid and shake for 30 seconds. The mixed contents turn into a yellow gel.

The next part is to place the pot inside the car and remove the lid off the pot. They recommend standing it on some cardboard, but I couldn't find a flat enough surface and didn't want to balance the pot precariously, so I just put it on the cup holder drawer and got straight out the car and shut the door.

The pot started to smoke (which isn't mentioned on the instructions) and after 5-10 minutes the inside was filled with a 'fog'. I was half expecting a neighbour to knock on my door to tell me my car is on fire. The 'fog' seemed to clear after a while anyway and has to be left for 4 hours, so pick a day when the car won't be needed for while.


After 4 hours start the car and put the interior fan on recirculate. Unfortunately being a new car to us I managed to put the fan on full, but not recirculating at first, so it ran about 5 minutes presumably venting the gas straight out of the car. After I realised my mistake, I switched it to recirculate and left it for the remaining 30 minutes, but I guess I had weakened the gas mix going through the air con due to my error.

Once this is completed the pot can be removed and all windows and doors (and roof in this case) opened to clear the remaining gas from the car.

This morning (as expected based on other posts I've read) it smelled of chlorine, but not hugely overpowering and at least the cigarette smell seems to have gone. Apparently it takes a few days for this smell to clear, but I had a long drive this afternoon with the roof down and fan on high, so this has helped reduce the chlorine smell quite a bit. I also plan on replacing the cabin filter over the weekend.

I'll post back in a week or so to comment on whether there is any smoke smell left once the residual chlorine smell has completely gone, but so far I'm very pleased with the result. Considering that I diluted the effect by not having the air con on recirculate at first as well (possibly mitigated by the small interior space of a 2 seater).

I've attached a couple of pictures, but I don't have a photobucket account anymore (who does? ) so can't embed them in the main text.
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:32 PM   #2
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Kelvin? James from AVF! I’m looking at getting one of these for my sister as she has the same problem with a new to her car from an ex smoker, let us know how it’s holding up!


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Old 08-03-2018, 10:40 PM   #3
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Hi James, yes tis I. I go by OldSkoolRS on the car forums I'm on.

I'll let you know how I get on; hard to be 100% sure while I can still detect chlorine, but does seem promising.
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Old 09-03-2018, 05:26 PM   #4
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Thanks for the write up. I was looking at these on their website and thinking of ordering one myself. Will probably give these a try. Do you happen to try any of their scents?
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Old 09-03-2018, 05:48 PM   #5
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Steam cleaner gets rid of smoke smells too tbh.
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bustanut View Post
Thanks for the write up. I was looking at these on their website and thinking of ordering one myself. Will probably give these a try. Do you happen to try any of their scents?
Haven't got any of their scents; I'm usually not keen on strong smells in a car myself, though I don't mind the Dr Leather wipes.

Still a faint chlorine smell today, my OH went out on a fairly short trip today and has just gone to get fish and chips with our son, so I guess it'll smell like a mix between a chippy and a swimming pool tomorrow.

Every time I go near the car I spot some other little mark that will need polishing out...it's funny how I didn't spot them when it was on the dealer's forecourt. Still it gives me an excuse to polish it I suppose.
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Old 09-03-2018, 07:12 PM   #7
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That's good news, def worth changing the pollen filter as it could be a bit contaminated...

Hope it goes away, but def worth knowing about
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Old 09-03-2018, 10:06 PM   #8
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Yes I've got one on order as it's probably contaminated with smoke smell, just need a dry day so I can swap it over.
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:20 PM   #9
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Just to feedback that after 5 days the smell of chlorine has gone and I've done further cleaning of the seat backs/headlining/carpets & floor mats, the smell of cigarette smoke is now pretty much gone. There is a slight smell occasionally when the heating has been on a while, which I put down to the air con. (I've removed the pollen filter while I'm waiting for the replacement to arrive).

Lesson learnt is that I should have made sure that the air con was set to recirculate after the 4 hour wait. Not doing this has diluted the gas and pushed most of it straight out through the rear vents (and I think possibly via the boot, which smells of nothing at all now).

The pollen filter I removed doesn't really smell of anything; I guess most of the time it is pulling air from the outside, but I've ordered it now so may as well fit it when it comes.

So bar my own mistake I'd say it's been a success. I'll see if I still notice a smell after a few more weeks and if so I might just get another Airvidox kit and retreat it, making sure I set the recirculation controls correctly.

At least now it just faintly smells of AG interior cleaner when we get in it and perhaps that slight hint from the heating might clear up over time. I'd rather it was like this than trying to cover it up with a stronger smelling 'freshener' as I've yet to find one I like.
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:26 PM   #10
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Oh thats good news and hopefully all will go over next few weeks ...
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