How to Get Rid of Weed Smell from Your Cars, Clothes, Furniture & More
Photo by RDNE Stock Project
Cannabis may be becoming more common and even legal throughout the United States. However, there is still some stigma around consuming cannabis. Frankly, that stinks! Cannabis has a distinct smell that can draw negative attention, inspire judgment, and potentially funk up your life. How can you get rid of that distinct weed smell?
The distinct smell of marijuana smoke can draw potential unwanted attention from puritanical types or people overly sensitive to smells. So how can you healthily engage with cannabis without having to worry about smelling like a stoner? This post covers ways to eliminate the skunky smell from your home and possessions.
What Causes Weed to Smell?
Cannabis’s unique smell can often resemble everything from a tasty blend of different fruits to a skunk’s secretions. The reason for marijuana’s unique smell is its biochemistry. Cannabis contains a unique blend of more than 538 biological compounds including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
These chemicals all serve valuable roles in the plant’s survival but they also manage to sync up with the human body to serve various functions. There are not only popular cannabinoids like THC and CBD but also terpenes. Terpenes are the chemicals that give plants their specific smell and taste. Cannabis can contain over 400 terpenes.
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What Gives Weed Its Funky Skunky Smell?
The skunky smell of weed is often attributed to the terpene myrcene. Myrcene tends to have an earthy and musky scent. It’s also one of the most prominent terpenes in cannabis which is why so many of them smell similar and have a distinct “weed scent.”
Often the skunkiness of weed is equated with its potency. However, hops is also in the mix as both hops and cannabis are in the same plant family, Cannabaceae, and produce some of the same terpenes, including not just myrcene but humulene and caryophyllene.
The widespread expansion of legalized medical marijuana is leading to more stringent testing and medical research. Scientists have actually discovered it’s not just myrcene which is often found in mangos that causes the skunkiness but a new family of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) in cannabis. VSCs are also found in garlic and give it that special pungency that people love and hate.
Sulfur-rich compounds called thiols found in skunks are actually also found in cannabis and hops. In skunks, when these organic sulfurous compounds mix they produce the potent, musky scent that scares away other animals and people.Both hops and cannabis produce thiols.
Now that you understand how cannabis gets its funk let’s review how to get that funky smell out of your life.
Photo by RDNE Stock Project
How To Get Weed Smell Out Of A Car?
It’s never fully advisable to smoke while driving. In many states not only is it illegal but it can put you in physical danger. That being said, even casually smoking in your car can lead to a lingering scent that could last.
One good way to get the weed smell out of your car is to prevent it in the first place here are some ways to prevent smells from gathering:
- Open all the windows and air out the car thoroughly after smoking. The more you can ventilate, the faster the odor will dissipate and the less likely it is for all those biochemicals to land on your upholstery.
- Use a portable air filter or sploof or try a weed smoke eliminator spray or scent neutralizer like Febreeze to eliminate smoke from settling in your car.
- Keeping bowls of activated charcoal in the car can absorb odors.
To eliminate the scents once they’ve arrived:
- Leave batches of activated charcoal in your car overnight to absorb as much of the smell as you can.
- Steam clean or shampoo upholstery and carpets or your car which can eliminate many of the compounds holding these smells. The compounds in cannabis often attach to fats so removing these oils can eliminate the scent.
- Weed smells can gather in your air filter so replacing this can help eliminate any pent up smells.
How To Get Weed Smell Out Of Car Vent?
Air filters can help take some of the “hits” of your weed smoking. However, vents and air circulation systems can also easily circulate the weed smell throughout the car. To help cut down on annoying aromas:
- Try using a vent-mounted cannabis smoke eliminator while smoking.
- Detach and clean the vent covers thoroughly using soap, water and vinegar. You can also use rubbing alcohol to cut the fats in cannabis smoke remnants but this may damage plastic vent covers.
- Replace your car’s cabin air filter, odors can gather so by eliminating a spent filter you can eliminate any lingering stench.
- Clip vent sploofs on each vent to purify airflow.
- Place a couple dryer sheets under each vent to freshen air.
- Use a vent clip-on essential oil aromatherapy diffuser to odorize the vents.
Photo by Cottonbro Studio
What Is a Sploof?
A sploof is a way to cut down on some of the fragrant terpenes and other biochemicals that can cause the distinct “weed smell.” A sploof can be as simple as a toilet paper roll covered with layers of paper towels wrapped around one side with a rubber band.
You blow smoke through the open end and the various layers of paper towel catch a lot of the terpenes and other oil-based cannabinoids and chemicals to cut down on scent. Also, given the entire cannabis industry there are various types of odor eliminating products available.
How To Get Weed Smell Out Of Room
Part of the problem of the distinct weed scent is it can inspire judgment. To eliminate the aroma of your medical marijuana or occasional smoke sesh to avoid any drama you may want to not let it settle in your room.
- Smoking out of an open window can prevent the buildup of odor.
- Use a sploof or smoke buddy when smoking to filter out those pesky byproducts.
- Place bowls of vinegar or activated charcoal around the room to absorb odors.
- Spray an odor-eliminating product like Febreeze and leave the room’s windows open for a few hours to allow cross ventilation.
- Change your air conditioner or fan’s air filter if any smells persist.
- Steamclean any fabrics like curtains which can absorb the oils in the smoke and potentially trap the scent.
- Give your walls a wipe down with a blend of vinegar or dish soap to cut through any of those funk-filled fats that can spread the smell of smoke.
Will My Room Smell Like Weed In The Morning?
Sadly, there is no magical way to erase the fact that you’ve smoked weed. The dense smoke you exhale spreads throughout the room which can dissipate but it doesn’t necessarily leave. Also, since most of the chemicals in cannabis are oil-soluble they can linger.
If you’ve ever had to clean your dab rig, weed pipe or other smoking apparatus, you’ve seen the challenge of having to use alcohol to cut through the greasy smoky film.
Yes, your room will often at least slightly smell like weed the morning after smoking. The weed smoke residues will cling to surfaces and fabrics.
To minimize morning-after smell:
- Smoke near an open window, blowing smoke outside.
- Use a sploof and odor-absorbing filter to cut down on lingering smell.
- Burn incense or cannabis smoke-eliminating candles after smoking.
- Place bowls of baking soda or activated charcoal to absorb odors overnight.
- Use an essential oil diffuser with potent scents like lemon or eucalyptus.
- Spray odor-eliminating sprays on surfaces like bedding before going to sleep.
- Run an air purifier with an activated carbon filter overnight in the room.
If you have a lingering scent in the room, be sure to wash any fabrics and give the wall a wipe down with a blend of water, soap and vinegar.
Photo by RDNE Stock Project
How To Get Weed Smell Out Of Your House?
Weed smoke spreads so it can be tricky to eliminate the smell from your entire house. A few tactics to consider include:
- Smoke near an open window and blow smoke outside or opt for smoking outside.
- Close the doors into your room to avoid smoke from spreading throughout your home.
- Aim fans towards the window to help push smoke towards open windows or doors and prevent it from getting too far into your home.
- Place bowls of white vinegar, baking soda, and activated charcoal to absorb ambient odors. (Don’t mix all three as it will just cause a mess and not increase their effectiveness).
- Simmer cinnamon, cloves, rosemary or citrus peels on the stove. This blend of boiling terpenes can overpower weed odor.
- Use odor-eliminating foggers or gels on fabrics like curtains and upholstery.
- Clean all hard surfaces thoroughly with products like bleach or vinegar.
- Replace air filters in air conditioners that can gather smoke particles over time.
- Use air purifiers containing activated carbon/charcoal filters to filter air.
If I Smoke In The Shower Will It Smell?
Yes, smoking weed in the shower does not magically eliminate the scent of your smoke sesh. Also, given the size of some smaller bathrooms or the potential lack of windows can cause the bathroom and connected rooms to smell. Odor-causing particles can stick to surfaces.
To manage smell in your bathroom:
- Exhale directly into an exhaust fan vented outside or a window.
- Use a sploof to eliminate as many scent-filled particles as possible.
- Run hot water and turn on bathroom fans while smoking. Let the shower steam and ventilation dilute some of the scent.
- Clean all surfaces after smoking. The bright side is it’s easy to remove the residue on tiles and glass with bleach, or vinegar.
- Add a smell-absorbing air purifier to the bathroom if possible.
Smoking in the shower may seem like a secret scheme to keep your smoking secret. There is no magic cure all but the lack of fabrics and straight surfaces does mean you can easily and quickly clean the bathroom to eliminate some of the odor-causing oils that can stick to surfaces.
How To Smoke In The Bathroom And Have It Not Smell?
Bathrooms are sites for stinky smells so it stands to reason that to smoke discreetly in a bathroom might not be impossible.
- Exhale smoke directly into an exhaust fan or open window.
- Use an odor-eliminating sploof or air filter to eliminate as many smells as possible.
- Place a towel in the gap under the door to block smoke escaping. Again, these oil based particles can travel and linger longer.
- Burn matches or incense after smoking to mask the smell.
- Flush several times to create a vacuum to remove smoke traces.
- Let hot shower steam ventilate for a while after smoking.
- Use air fresheners, odor neutralizing sprays or candles.
Photo by Александр
How To Stop Weed Smelling In A Bag?
Cannabis has telltale odors that draw unwanted attention. While it’s not advisable for you to hide cannabis when taking a flight there are ways to eliminate odors from spreading to your clothes and items in your bag.
- Storing cannabis in an airtight glass jar or vacuum sealed bag for storage can cut down on scents. Also, eliminating light and oxygen can help weed from going bad.
- Place your bud in a scent-proof cannabis bag or with zip seal bags with coffee beans or tea leaves to absorb smells.
- Freezing your cannabis prior to putting it in your bag can reduce the odor.
- Dousing the outside of your bag or container of cannabis with odor-eliminating spray can diminish.
- Putting multiple smell-proof bags around your stash can secure it from scents.
- Storing bud-filled bags in an airtight plastic or metal bin.
Again, it’s not advisable to try to travel with cannabis because this is illegal and can cause you more trouble than it’s worth. These tips are not advice for how to travel with cannabis undetected but a way to eliminate the skunky smell from spreading to your clothes and other possessions.
How To Stop Weed Smell From Neighbors
Neighbors: love them or hate them you may have to medicate and face the wrath of someone brainwashed about cannabis. Plus, honestly, how many people want a skunky funk in their living space?
The best option is honesty and setting mindful boundaries. Again, medical marijuana is a formal prescription and medically approved treatment plan. Try talking to your neighbors and make an agreement on the general rules around your smoking.
To be courteous and avoid weed odor bothering your neighbors:
- Smoke outside away from nearby windows or doors. Be mindful of drafts that can bring smoke into someone else’s window or property.
- Position fans to blow smoke away from adjoining units or yards.
- Use a smoke sploof to cut down on smells.
- Opt for less pungent consumption methods like vaping or edibles.
- Burn sage, candles or incense to mask lingering odor.
- Use an air purifier and odor eliminating sprays indoors.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
How To Get Weed Smell Out Of Clothes
The odor-rich particles in weed smoke can really cling to clothing fibers. Again they’re often oil-soluble and pretty pungent. Some tips for removing cannabis from clothes are:
- Hang the clothes you’ve smoked-in outside to air them out.
- Wash clothes multiple times adding lemon juice, vinegar or baking soda
- Add activated charcoal pouches in your washing machine to help absorb embedded smells.
- Use extra odor-eliminating detergent and scent beads.
- Hand wash clothes with dish soap which cut the fats and oils that contain the terpenes and other scent causing chemicals.
- Take jackets and outerwear to a dry cleaner.
- Store clothes in sealed bags or bins with sachets of activated charcoal or potpourri to help them get de-odored.
These are just a few ways to help eliminate scents. A bonus: some of the products used to help eliminate cannabis chemicals from clothes can also help clean out your washing machine from lingering scents.
How Long Does Weed Smell Linger?
The smell of smoking cannabis can linger for hours to even days depending on a few factors like intensity, the strain, and circulation in the air. Smoke will naturally dissipate within a few hours in ventilated spaces.
The issue is the traces may cling to hair, clothes and furniture for 24 hours or more. With hotboxed spaces like cars, weed smell can linger for several days until fully aired out. Using deodorizing methods, open air circulation, and cleaning products can help odors dissipate faster.
How Far Does The Smell Of Weed Travel?
Sadly, the physics of cannabis is not a field of adequate study. However, the distance of weed scents depend on a few factors like wind or air circulation, obstructions, and what in the immediate area cannabis chemicals can cling to.
Weed odor can travel 50 feet or more from the smoke’s source. Walls will contain the smell more locally but in open, breezy areas the dank aroma can be detected from relatively far depending on nose sensitivity and potency of the weed.
Vaping and oils produce less pungent odor that won’t travel as far. Part of what compounds the smell of skunk weed is the burning of plant material. This adds to the issue with the smell as very sensitive noses hate the smell of cigarette smoke and weed smoke can be like a funkier version.
Vapes and even dabs eliminate plant material meaning that there’s less burning scents and more a unique blend of terpenes that can occasionally still have some of the VSCs that give weed its skunky aroma.
Photo by Helena Lopes
Does Weed Smell Stick To Walls
Yes, weed smoke can make walls reek for a long time after smoking since the oils stick to paint and textured surfaces or get absorbed by fabrics near walls like curtains.
To remove weed smell from walls you will want to wash your walls way more frequently. To cut down on walled-in wafting scents:
- Clean walls thoroughly with warm water and vinegar, bleach, or ammonia.
- If painting over stained walls, use an odor-blocking primer.
- Use an electric smoke sponge on walls to remove residue.
- Place bowls of baking soda or charcoal along walls to prevent embedded smells.
Does Weed Smell Come Out In Sweat?
Cannabis has hundreds of chemicals that interact with the human body. You may find a subtle weed smell in sweat or body odor after smoking. THC byproducts can be excreted through skin and sweat glands.
To help reduce weed-scented sweat:
- Shower and wash hair after smoking to remove any smoke residue on skin and hair. Remember these chemicals are oil and fat-soluble so anything that can cut those oils will help wash it away.
- Applying deodorant and perfume can help mask any musk.
- Be sure to change and wash clothes after smoking to avoid smell transferring or lingering.
- Use detoxifying body washes to help purge traces of cannabinoids and terpenes.
- Drink lots of water and eat fruits high in chlorophyll like parsley to detox.
- Try activated charcoal to help eliminate remnants in your body.
Weed stinks…literally. While its health benefits are almost boundless there’s still a stigma to the skunky scent of weed. New scientific testing continues to find more connections between cannabis and nature and even why these two share a scent. The potential healing properties of the chemicals within your joint or edible seem boundless.
Hopefully, these tips will help you feel more carefree about indulging in cannabis without having to worry about smells that might damage your home, vehicle, or reputation. If you’d like to legally exercise your right to use medical marijuana get your medical maijuana card with the help of Green Health Docs simply, easily, and without much hassle.
This article has been reviewed by Dr. Anand Dugar, an anesthesiologist, pain medicine physician and the founder of Green Health Docs. Graduating from medical school in 2004 and residency in 2008, Dr. Dugar has been a licensed physician for almost 20 years and has been leading the push for medical cannabis nationwide.