How To Easily Get Weed Smell Out Of Car AC (DIY Guide)

If you live in a state with legalized recreational marijuana, you might enjoy a smoke now and then in your car. However, this can lead to a stinky smell in the car vents. Do you know how to get the weed mess out of a car AC system? We will give you the tips you need.

How To Get Weed Smell Out Of Car AC? (7 Effective Ways)

Essential Oils/Scented Oils

Essential oils can be used for a variety of reasons, depending on the scent. It’s a healthier option than using candles, which can produce carcinogens. With an oil diffuser, you can add oils to the car with a mixture of water.

Patchouli oil is one of the most common that isn’t too strong or overpowering. However, you might also opt for lemongrass, lavender or peppermint, as well as a mixed up combination of the listed options.

Air Fresheners

There’s always the option to use air fresheners in the car to mask the smell. These won’t often get rid of it but can help to overpower it. Whether you choose the little trees that you hang from the rearview mirror or you get the more expensive clips that attach to the vents, you can choose from a variety of scents to match your personality.

Activated Charcoal

Charcoal is a great method to absorb odors, not just to mask them. You can sprinkle the powder wherever you feel the odor has permeated, such as the seats or carpet. Let it sit for a short time to absorb odors. When you are ready, vacuum them up to remove much of the smell. However, you shouldn’t use charcoal on light-colored or white upholstery because it can stain.

Sprinkling Baking Soda

You can use baking soda the same way that activated charcoal is used. It also soaks up odors but can be used on lighter colors. The only difference is that you should let the baking soda sit on the surfaces longer, even until the next day. You can also leave a box of the baking soda open in the car overnight to soak up smells.


This heavy-duty air freshener was created to get rid of the smell of airborne or smoke bacteria. This could be the most efficient option because it is made from micron-sized particles that cling to the airborne smells. You can find it in gel or spray form, depending on how you want to apply it.

Ozone Generators

There are conflicting reports on whether ozone generators work, but it’s worth trying if you want a natural remedy. However, you can’t run the device when you are driving because the EPA claims it can be hazardous to you. So before you drive, you want to allow the cabin to air out completely.

Related Article Ozone Generator Reviews

Deep Clean Your Car

If you’ve been smoking weed with the AC on, it’s time to clean your car air conditioning system. Anything in the car could have been affected, so start by removing everything you can. You also want to get the vacuum out and start cleaning all of the surfaces. Before you start hiding the smell with other products, the standard clean-up is a great place to start.

Deep Clean for Car AC

Why Does My Car AC Smell Like Weed?

Most obviously, the weed smell is coming from the cabin because you smoked marijuana in the car. It’s not much different than cigarette smoke in terms of the odor that can be left behind. Weed can infiltrate every surface, from the car seats to the dashboard. It can also get deep into the air conditioning system.

However, you don’t have to worry much about weed smoke and car AC system damage. Still, you might choose to replace or clean the cabin air filter more frequently to reduce the number of contaminants being pushed around.

Does the AC help your car not smell like weed, or will turning the AC on in your car get the smell of weed out? It can. The more you circulate fresh air, the quicker the smell is going to go away.

However, there are smells that you may think are weed that aren’t. If you smell a burning odor, you might have bigger problems to deal with. It’s also possible that a skunk has sprayed your car, which can smell remarkably similar to marijuana in the cabin.

Car AC Smells Like Weed

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Below are the frequently asked questions in getting the weed smell out of car AC.

Does weed smell damage the car AC?

Aside from being able to smell the weed for a short time, there shouldn’t be any damage done. However, you may choose to replace the air filter more frequently to keep the contaminants at a minimum.

How long does it take for a weed smell to get out of the car?

It depends on what method you choose. If you clean out the car in conjunction with one of the air freshening options, you will get the smell out much quicker than if you choose only one method.

Is it possible to get weed smells from people smoking marijuana near my car?

If there are people smoking near your car and the air conditioning is running with the fresh air setting, it can pull the odor into the cabin. You can help avoid this by running the air conditioner on the recirculate setting instead.


My car AC smells like weed, now what? With the tips we’ve outlined, you can have the car cabin smelling better once again. In the future, you might want to enjoy your recreational smoking somewhere else to avoid the odor.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with DIY and improving my family home. HVAC topics can be tricky for homeowners so I decided to share my knowledge on the subject. When I am not working on DIY projects, you can find me at the beach or my local coffee shop.