How to Get Rid of Weed Smell EVERYWHERE
The complete guide to eliminating cannabis odor.
Weed smoke, weed smoke –– at once pernicious and soothing, vilified and lauded for what it represents and how it smells. Personally, we believe in freedom of fragrance: Smell how you want. But, facts are facts. And, even if we like that familiar funk as consumers, it still holds a position in the minds, and olfactory sensibilities, of most law abiding people.
Whether you’re worried about an authority figure getting hip to what you’re puffing, or just don’t want to smell like that fresh, dank, sticky stuff, OR, generally, you’re curious about how to get rid of weed smell; we’ve got you.
The following articles break down how you can get weed smell out of just about everything. We know what you’re thinking: ‘don’t these guys make a weed odor eliminator? Surely they’re just going to shamelessly shill their own solution here’. Yes, Veil is the best odor eliminator spray on the market in our humble opinion, but we’re not here to hawk our goods. Veil is perfect to get rid of the weed smell after you smoke, and making a habit of spraying it every session will save you a lot of work down the road. For older, set-in odors, though, you might need more than some spritzes of Veil.
If it’s not in here, email us and we’ll do some testing. This exists as an ever-evolving resource for any and everyone who is 4/20 friendly. So, light something and settle in.
If you’re reading this, then you’re a real head. Congratulations. Let’s get into this.
First of all, the cannabis we smoke is a flower. It’s important to remember that. Cannabis Flower refers to the smokable section of the cannabis plant, also known as nuggets, nuggies, sticky icky, cheeba, ganj, kind bud, loud, or buds.
In the common parlance of combusting cannabis, users grind Flower before smoking, packing, or decarbing it. Ground cannabis burns more evenly and can be much more easily manipulated, be it in a bowl or measured into a cup and poured onto a baking sheet. Don’t forget, combusted cannabis is why we’re here. More on that later.
As a flower, female cannabis plants tend to have an aroma. This aroma is the result of terpenes, which are the primary components of essential oils — aromatics responsible for a plant’s regeneration, oxygenation, and immunity defense. Essential oils have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and extracted from a variety of plants and foods (not just cannabis!).
Terpenes are created by plants to protect against herbivores, insects, and other environmental dangers. That dank smell not only deters some critters from chowing down on cannabis plants, but also attracts the right kind of insects to pollinate and spread cannabis pollen grains from flower to flower – i.e. mating ~~far out~~.
Terpenes are also what attract us to various strains of cannabis. The appealing aromas and flavors we experience when we consume cannabis are all thanks to terpenes. Think of cannabis like a flower (because it is one). Different flowers have different fragrances, and even consumptive qualities. A rose is a rose is a rose, but cannabis is not cannabis is not cannabis. Different cannabis flowers = different fragrances = different tastes = different effects.
Back to fragrance though. Remember when we said terpenes are the primary components of essential oils? Have you ever experienced an oil diffuser? Not that kind, like the kind that would be in Anthropologie. It’s the same idea. These essential oil components, when combusted, disperse tiny droplets of oil into the water droplets contained in smoke. Those droplets contain fragrance.
Water? Smoke? Fire? What’s happening here?!? Wikipedia, bless it, defines smoke as, “A collection of airborne solid and liquid particulates and gases emitted when a material undergoes combustion or pyrolysis, together with the quantity of air that is entrained or otherwise mixed into the mass.” Liquid! Yes. And that’s where the root of this “weed smoke sell is contained.” Get some air in there, and you’re smelling loud.
In sum, terpenes are the building blocks of essential oils. Essential oils contain fragrance, also liquid. When combusted, these solids become liquid and gas. This fragrance sticks to teensy weensy water droplets, which are then dispersed via air. That air circulates; it enters your nose. Bang, there you have it: smoke smell!
Now let’s get rid of it.
There’s no place like home (to smoke weed). One of the best parts of being a grownup is the ability to light up in the comfort of your own abode. Lots of folks enjoy blanketing their place with that comforting aroma. Even for the headiest of heads, though, there are times when you want (or need) to get rid of the weed odor in your home.
It bears repeating: if you want to avoid big deodorization moves, you should spray Veil after you smoke to get rid of the weed smell. We’re not here to Monday-morning-quarterback ya, though. If your place is reeking of the devil’s lettuce from many Veil-less sessions, there are 5 areas you gotta attack: Air, Furniture, Rugs/Carpet, Floors, and Walls/Ceilings.
The stanky air in your home is an obvious place to start, as this is probably where the majority of your weed odor is living. To clear the air, you wanna keep two things in mind: circulate + absorb.
This isn’t rocket science. If you want to get rid of odors in the existing air, the logical first step is to bring in some fresh air. Open all the windows you possibly can and crank up whatever fans you have around — ideally you have some windows on at least two sides of your home so you can get some cross ventilation going. The absolute ideal setup for maximum new air circulation is as follows:
On one side of your home, open the available windows and place a fan pointing inward in front of one window. On the other side of your home, open those windows too, but place a second fan facing out a window.
The last and oft-overlooked aspect of air circulation in your home, for those who are lucky enough to have central heat/air, is your air filter(s). According to the so-called experts, surely in the pocket of Big Air Filter, you’re supposed to change your air filters every 60-90 days. If you’re anything like us, you’re just now learning that you may have something called an air filter and that you should have changed it three or four times already this year. These things trap all sorts of particles like dust, mold, and dander that are constantly floating around your home. All those pesky particles can have rank smells themselves, but they can also hold onto the odor from your cannabis smoke.
The above begs the question: what kind of moneybags have two fans on-hand, let alone central air?! As minuscule Brooklyn apartment-dwellers ourselves, we certainly don’t have either. Which brings us to the second aspect of air de-skunking: absorption.
There are many substances that, when left out and uncovered, will essentially absorb the odor in your environment. Absorb is a bit of an oversimplification, as the science of how each of these household items deodorizes varies quite a bit:
Baking soda – most (bad) smells tend to be acidic in nature, so baking soda, which is naturally alkaline, acts as a pH neutralizer. One of the oldest household tricks in the book is to leave a box of baking soda open in your fridge to keep it from funking up. While this might work OK in a small, confined space like your fridge, for larger, open spaces, you really want to spread the baking soda out in a thin layer to maximize it’s odor absorption powers. Let it sit for up to a few hours, then vacuum it all up.?
Coffee – spreading out coffee grounds (like baking soda) can also absorb the weed smells in your atmosphere. You can thank your other favorite drug, caffeine, for this — caffeine is rich in nitrogen, which chemically combats a wide array of stank.
White Vinegar – lots of folks despise the scent of vinegar, but depending on why you’re trying to get rid of your marijuana odor, you might not be so concerned with that. Leaving some white vinegar out in an open container will help some, but simmering it on your stovetop will really crank up its odor removal powers. Simmer the vinegar vaporizes its acetic acid, which then bonds with the molecules responsible for the weed smell.
- Activated charcoal – definitely the most expensive option on this list, and also the one you’re least likely to have laying around the house. That said, you can get decent prices on activated charcoal by buying it as loose granules (rather than more expensive pre-packaged products) and then putting it in a porous fabric like muslin, cheesecloth, pantyhouse, etc. The ‘activated’ in activated charcoal means that it’s been infused with more oxygen, which makes it more porous — giving it more surface area to absorb your marijuana odor.
Let’s start with the obvious: if you spill some bong water on your coffee table or accidentally ash on an arm rest, those mishaps are gonna make your place smell like weed. Even if you’ve been racking up days-since-last-accident in your home, just the smell from your smoking habit can become ingrained in your furniture.
Start off by dusting everything – dust particles just mean more stuff for that pesky odor to cling to. Furniture that is made of a hard or synthetic material – wood, metal, plastic – is all going to be pretty easy to clean. Just use soapy water and wipe it down thoroughly. Bonus points for bringing in an additional cleaning agent after you’ve done your wipe down to really lock-in that clean smell. And make sure you use a cleaning agent that is formulated for whatever material you’re cleaning, so as to avoid any degradation of your furniture.
That was the easy stuff, now let’s talk fabric. Fabric is pro-level, go-to-school-and-get-a-masters-in-cleaning type stuff. But that’s why we’re here. Best case is if your fabric furniture has a layer that can be removed, then run through the wash. For fabric furniture that can’t be machine washed, try applying baking soda, leaving it for a day, then vacuuming that off.
A couple of other fabric furniture cleaning options, for your consideration: The first, a homemade solution of dishwashing liquid, water, white vinegar, and baking soda (easy on those last two components). Dip an absorbent rag or sponge into the solution and gently blot smelly areas.
The second, and our preferred method, is a wonderful, beautifully scented, spray called Veil. Spray liberally over – or directly on – fabric furniture. It’s colorless and non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about it negatively affecting your furniture. We recommend spraying over the course of a couple of days to really let the fragrance sink into your furniture and mask the smell of smoke. We recommend pairing Veil with one, or multiples, of the solutions we mentioned above – especially the baking soda technique.
Carpets / Rugs
Just like with your furniture, your carpets and rugs can hold a lot of odor. Start by vacuuming everything thoroughly – this will catch any bits of lint, dust, ash, or dirt that could also hold odor (or be producing odors of their own).
After a healthy vacuum, try applying a cleaning solution to any particularly perniciously odorous sections of carpet. We’ve had a lot of success with Nature’s Miracle. Technically a product for cleaning up “pet messes,” but also extremely effective at knocking out odor. Nature’s Miracle is also an all-purpose disinfectant, which is especially relevant right now.
For smaller area rugs, the washing machine is always an option. Just remember to hang dry as most rugs were not sewn with the intention of being run through a dryer. Big rugs and carpets can also be sent out and dry cleaned or steamed. This will likely run you upwards of $100, but is certainly worth it for a surface that may seem beyond reproach. There are a number of companies who do only rug cleaning (Stanley Steemer, anyone?) and they’re dang good at it.
If you prefer a more natural approach to cleaning, our homemade solution of dishwashing liquid, water, white vinegar, and baking soda works just as well on rugs as it does on fabric. Dip an absorbent rag or sponge into the solution and gently blot smelly areas.
Let’s pick up where we left off with rugs: Our homemade, dishwashing liquid and vinegar-based solution! This works especially well on hardwood and stone flooring. Rather than using a sponge or rag, grab a mop and go to town. After you’ve mopped the floor with a wet mop, run it back with a dry mop to finish the job. Then, if you want sparkling clean AND completely odorless floors, we would recommend closing things out with a few spritzes of Endust. It’s definitely a product of Big Cleaning, but boy does it work.
A good ol’ fashioned mopping, regardless of your preferred cleaning solution, will always do wonders on a floor – whether hardwood, stone, or synthetic. Products like Pine-Sol and Fabuloso are cheap, come in bulk, and actually don’t smell half bad. Once again, Big Cleaning – but, typically, general opacity of chemical formulation and product efficacy are negatively correlated; so take your pick.
To that end, some start-up and direct-to-consumer brands have been popping up recently promising the effectiveness of the big, legacy brands with fewer nebulous chemicals and sketchy corporate fundamentals. Blueland is one of our favorites. Their product is effective and smells great, not to mention made without parabens, phosphates, and other esoterica. Their subscription service also makes for easy re-ups!
Walls / Windows / Ceilings
If you’ve made a regular habit of smoking in your home, then it’s likely that the walls, ceilings, and windows have all absorbed the weed smell as well — so we’re going to need to clean them too. Again, we’d like to take a brief moment to remind you that you can avoid all this hard work by making Veil a part of your session routine. A spritz of Veil in time saves nine… hours of scrubbing every surface of your home to get rid of marijuana odor. That’s the end of this edition of shameless self-promotion, now back to our regularly-scheduled programming.
That homemade concoction of water, dishwashing liquid, and white vinegar that we used for our furniture, carpets, and floors will work just as well on getting the weed smell out of your walls, ceilings, windows, and window sills. Be careful, though, if you have wallpaper, as this mostly harmless solution may not be tolerated by some wallpapers. To avoid destroying your wallpaper, test the solution first on a small, lesser-seen section of the wall (like behind a piece of furniture) to make sure it’s not going to be an issue.
It’s probably overkill in most cases, but the completionist in us requires that we inform you that odor-defending paint is a thing you can buy in 2020. Perhaps you’ve been hotboxing your apartment continuously since the Bush administration, we’re not here to judge (no matter which Bush administration). Smoking weed or cigarettes continuously in a super confined area can not only cause the cannabis odor to become ingrained in the walls, it can also cause discoloration of the walls as well. You may have seen a yellow accent on the ceilings of some particularly divey bars in your day. That authentic look is hard-earned from years of patrons’ chain smoking.
If you look up from your screen right now and see some discoloration on your wall or ceiling, no amount of scrubbing is going to totally solve your problem — you’re gonna need a fresh coat of paint. Odor-defending paint, like the aptly named OdorDefender brand, is specifically designed to seal in whatever smells your stanky walls are already emitting + block the walls from absorbing more odor and discoloration.
Our honest take: a coat of odor-defending paint might make sense if you’re a landlord or homeowner looking to remove and prevent weed smells from accumulating in your property once and for all. It’s not cheap, though, so in most cases a good scrubbing + a fresh coat of regular ass paint should be sufficient to get rid of your marijuana odor.
Cabinets / Drawers
Sure it’s 2020, but you probably still don’t want your stash of bud out in the open for all to see. Any self-respecting pothead has some sorta designated drawer or cabinet for her substances and paraphernalia. Wherever you choose to store your weed, it’s possible for the odor of the yet-to-be-smoked flower to seep into that small environment. Because it’s usually not finished on the inside as it is on the outside, the porous wood in your cabinets and drawers absorbs smells incredibly easily.
First things first: get yourself a decent stash jar or container that’s airtight and smell proof. Not only is this going to prevent the raw weed smell from accumulating, it’s going to protect your precious nugs from drying out or molding. You’re going to want to avoid anything plastic, as it’s porous so it’ll let the smells out and let air in, slowly draining your weed of potency. There are lots of fancy jars on the market that are specifically made to keep your stash fresh and contain the smell, but we swear by a simple glass jar with a hinged, airtight lid. They’re affordable and easily found at a variety of general stores or kitchen supply shops. Keep in mind, though, that UV rays can degrade your bud, so if your container isn’t opaque, you’re going to want to keep it in a dark place… hence the drawer or cabinet.
Assuming you’ve got your storage sorted, you still might have some weed smell to get rid of in your drawers or cabinets. Either your previously-subpar stash situation caused the odor to seep in, or more likely, you’ve been smoking in the vicinity of these storage areas of your home. These small, enclosed spaces are the perfect use case for baking soda, coffee grounds, or activated charcoal. Sprinkle one of those substances in your drawer or cabinet and let sit for a few hours, then vacuum it up. Alternatively, you can pace an open container of baking soda in these spaces for ongoing odor absorption.
Despite what the title might suggest, let’s be clear from the get-go: do not drive stoned. You should absolutely not drive while under the influence of cannabis, and, we don’t endorse doing so whatsoever. With that (hopefully) obvious disclaimer out of the way, let’s face some facts: there are the inevitable times where you might store or smoke weed in your car. Home for the holidays or going to the movies with friends? Speaking from personal experience, it is way too cold to smoke outside where Veil is headquartered – in New York City – for, like, ¾ of the year. And, our life partners have instituted a “don’t ask, don’t smell” policy when it comes to pot in and around the house.
Whatever life circumstances have led to you smoking in the backseat of your Corolla, the smell of marijuana will likely linger there for quite awhile. While you might not mind that distinct cannabis odor, your friends, your mom, or your local law enforcement probably feel differently! Never fear — we’re here with some helpful tips on how to get rid of weed smell in your car, ranging in intensity depending on how stinky your problem is.
Masking Weed Odor
Don’t take a fire hose to a water balloon fight. If you’ve merely been transporting your stash or have just taken a few discreet hits from a small piece or a vape in your car, you probably don’t have to go to any great lengths to get rid of the smell of weed. Before running out to buy a new product or undertaking a big odor removal project, try simply masking the odor with something far more pungent first to see if that does the trick.
In these circumstances, when the cannabis odor I’m trying to remove isn’t especially strong, I’ve had success with personal fragrances like cologne or perfume, your standard car fresheners or plugins, or my favorite strategy: strong-smelling takeout food. What better way to get rid of the faint marijuana smell in your car than with some chicken tikka masala or shrimp pad thai (or both, no judgment here). Or, crazy idea, how’s about we keep it simple – open your windows and go for a drive?
Eliminating Weed Odor
I get it, you’re at the point where you’re looking to the internet for solutions to the weed smell in your car, so the above suggestions for merely masking the odor probably won’t cut it. If you’ve done any significant amount of smoking in your car, you’re going to have to go to greater lengths to get rid of the smell of weed smoke.
The part of the cannabis plant that you actually smoke is the flower, and much like other types of flowers, it’s packed with ‘terpenes’ that produce intense odor (especially when burned). When you smoke marijuana in such a small, confined area like your car, these smelly molecules essentially get trapped in the air and surfaces of your interior. To truly get rid of the smell of weed, you’ll need a chemical reaction — that’s where odor eliminator sprays come in handy.
There’s no shortage of sprays on the market that claim to eliminate cannabis odor. Proceed with caution when shopping though, as most of these products are largely ineffective. That’s not the case with one spray that stoners have sworn by for years called Ozium. In fact, Ozium is traditionally marketed as an odor eliminator for your car. While Ozium might be more effective than other products, the reason why it is so efficient is because it is packed with chemicals and toxic ingredients that can be super harmful to humans. There are intense warnings on the Ozium label about inhaling or getting the product on your skin, and it even instructs you to wear protective eyewear when you spray it!
Because I couldn’t find an odor eliminator spray that was both effective and safe, we actually created my own: Veil. Veil is the weed smell spray for the modern cannabis consumer, made with non-toxic ingredients that actually eliminate the odor of marijuana and fragranced with organic essential oils that smell delightful.
Veil bonds with the odorous molecules in marijuana and changes their complexion, making them odorless to the human nose. After you smoke, spray it in the air and on the interior fabric in your car to get rid of the marijuana odor.
Absorbing Weed Odor
If you’ve made a habit of hotboxing consistently over an extended period of time, even the most powerful weed odor eliminator spray probably isn’t going to totally get rid of the smoke smell in your car. And that’s coming from the creator of a weed smell spray! The reality is, it’s going to take more than a spray product to eliminate deep-seated cannabis odor from the fibers of your car’s interior — you’re going to need to treat the fabric and surfaces with a substance that’s going to absorb the smells.
There are a few options that you probably have at your immediate disposal at home: coffee grounds or baking soda. Baking soda is the more powerful odor absorber (you’ve probably used it before to absorb unwanted smells in your fridge), but use whichever you have on hand. A lot of folks say that you can rid your car of smells by simply placing a large, open container of baking soda or coffee grounds in your car and leaving it overnight, but I’ve had more success generously sprinkling either substance all over the inside of the vehicle. It makes for quite a bit of cleanup, but hey, you want to get rid of the weed smell right? With this method, a powerful handheld vacuum is going to be your best friend — leave the baking soda or coffee grounds that you’ve sprinkled around to sit for at least 15 minutes, then vacuum it all up.
If you’re really motivated to get rid of the weed smell in your car, you can also try the same method but with more expensive substances like activated charcoal or pet odor removers. With pet odor products, though, be extra careful when applying and cleaning up, as they typically contain some pretty gnarly ingredients that can be toxic for humans or animals alike.
Get Ahead of the Problem
Aside from not smoking in it at all, the best way to get rid of the weed smell in your car is to stay on top of the problem. Don’t let the odor build up session after session until you have a serious stank on your hands. As we never say at Veil but will start saying now that we just thought of it, a spritz in time saves nine.
Pot smokers come in all shapes and sizes: Dabblers (and dabbers), recreationalists, novices, professionals, med-heads, and straight up stoners. Despite different walks of life, means to ends, preferred combustibles, and overarching aesthetics all of these people have one simple thing in common – weed stanks.
Without getting too scientific, terpenes are released from dried cannabis when combusted, creating that familiar odor that we all have come to know. When weed is smoked, that smoke becomes your classic stage five clinger. The terpenes from marijuana smoke attach to all different types of fabric and fibers; furniture, carpets, furry walls (if you’re into that), hair, and, most typically, the fibers in the clothes you wear. Here we unpack that last point in great detail!
To start, try to wear items of clothing that are manufactured with natural materials rather than synthetic. Many argue you should do this anyway to help with the *ahem* environment, and, added bonus, there’s less of a chance for icky chemicals to seep into your skin. More broadly, when it comes to lingering smells, synthetic is a no-go.
Synthetic fibers allow for smells to attach to them more easily than natural fibers do, even after a couple of washes. You may know this from that Nike Dri-Fit tee shirt sitting in the back of your dresser that still smells like the mat from that experimental workout class went to that one time because they were doing a free class thing. You could also always go with the option of birthday suit smoke sessions as well; added bonus if you’re out of doors. At Veil we are absolutely not ones to judge.
If you’ve reached the point in your weed-smelling and / or smoking life wherein you have arrived at this article, we’re going to jump to the wild conclusion that you’ve tried washing the weed smells out of your clothes. If not, DO THAT! But, if so and there is still a lingering odor, there are ways to adjust your wash to get rid of odors more easily.
First, try washing your clothes in extra hot water…just make sure to read the tag on your clothing to prevent them from shrinking, bleeding, or otherwise. Another method is washing your clothes with your white vinegar – whatever you have around the house will do – along with laundry detergent. Vinegar has a component in it called acetic acid which can help to remove overpower unwanted smells. If the vinegar doesn’t do the job, we’re calling in reinforcements! Adding either baking soda or hydrogen peroxide to your wash are said to do the trick, when all else fails.
Outdoors and Filters
Going back to the basics, smoking a blunt outside in fresh air, or hanging clothes outside to air out are also easy ways to allow the terpenes in cannabis smoke to diffuse. If the great outdoors are not your thing, smoking inside a bathroom while running the shower is always a good go-to. The steam from the shower combines with the smoke – water molecules diffusing those of the smoke. If your bathroom has a fan or good ventilation, that smokey steam will glide right out of there like the ghost of Mr. Burns.
An alternative to smoking in a homemade steam bath is smoking into a sploof; that is essentially a DIY air filter. If you aren’t about getting your hands dirty, our friends at Smoke Buddy make a portable, reasonably-priced, easy-to-use device that has mucho R&D behind it. That said, sploofs inherently get quite a lot of wear-and-tear over time, so we certainly recommend the DIY option for ease of construction as compared to price.
We worked our butts off to figure out the best ways for our product to remove the smell of weed, on a molecular level no less. So along with spraying the area that you are smoking in, try spraying your clothing. Real talk, we have even had customers review our product by saying that when they or their friends are “too weedy” they will do a Veil “spraydown!” And poof – no more weed stank.