Can Air Purifiers Clear Out Heavy Smoke in My Garage?

Many modern homes have a garage attached, and various activities happen there. Whether you use it as a storage space, play area, or gym, it’s essential to have clean air to breathe. If you’ve heard of air purifiers, have you wondered if they can clear out heavy smoke in your garage?

Air purifiers can help remove harmful particles in the air, including those in smoke. They not only clear out these toxic particles but also release cleaner air into your garage. However, the amount of smoke they can handle depends on the design, amongst other factors.

This article considers whether air purifiers work for smoke smell and if they can remove heavy cigarette smell from a closed garage. I also discuss eliminating smoke from the air and mention some air purifiers that help with smoke.

Do Air Purifiers Work for Smoke Smell?

Smoke smell is unpleasant, irritating your nose and sometimes causing nausea and headaches. When smoke enters your home, the smell lingers because microscopic particles cling to floors, walls, clothing, furniture, etc. It’ll cost time and money to remove the smell, especially stubborn odors.

Regardless, clean, breathable air is essential, and you should strive for it to enjoy good health. The best air purifiers remove pollutants from the air via filters and a circulating fan. This assures you of breathing in purified air, but does it affect the smell?

The easiest way to eliminate the smoke smell is to remove the smoke’s source. Since resident particles contribute, cleaning them off does half the job. Air purifiers can take care of particles in the air, but those hidden in cracks and crevices might be out of their reach.

With these tools below, you can remove every source of the smoke smell and ensure nothing lingers:

Ozone Generator

You can hire a professional to use or rent and operate the machine yourself. An ozone generator helps to destroy the residual smoke molecules causing the odor. Using the generator may help reduce or eliminate the smoke smell from your home.

They are pretty expensive, and you may have to be out of your house while it works. Of note, an ozone generator won’t do much if the smell has permeated your draperies, furnishings, or carpets. Only removing or replacing them will work for the smell.

Fresh Air

Never underestimate the power of nature taking its course. If it’s summer and the weather is agreeable, open your doors and windows as often as you can. It may take a while, but the fresh air will eventually blow away the smoke smell.

Activated Charcoal

This natural odor absorbent may help eliminate smoke smells. One or two rightly placed bowls in your home will do the trick.


It’s an odor-reducing product containing a chemical compound called cyclodextrin. This sugar-like substance will absorb the smoke smell, leaving your home smelling fresh. Spray the smoke-infested room with Febreze, and it may reduce the smell.

Perfumed aerosols and scented candles are temporary solutions that mask the odor without removing it. Ventilation only dilutes the odor, so removing the source is the only way to eliminate the smell.

Can Air Purifiers Remove Heavy Cigarette Smell from Closed Garage?

Have you ever given thought to the air quality in your garage? It’s probably not at the top of many people’s lists, but I think it should be. It would help if you cared about the garage’s air quality since only one door separates your garage and indoor living space.

If you smoke in your garage because you don’t want to get the smoke inside your home, it’s crucial to remove the smell of cigarette smoke. Your family risks exposure to second and third-hand smoke, and the unpleasant smell lingers. 

Visible and invisible particles and chemicals get into fabrics, walls, and objects in the garage, causing the smell to remain. Installing an air purifier in your garage may help improve the air quality. However, only a special kind can help you remove the heavy cigarette smell from a closed garage. 

With some technology and affordable household products, you can remove heavy cigarette smell from a closed garage. As long as no one continues to smoke in the garage, introducing new odors, total elimination is possible. Here’s a brief description of technological and homemade aids to remove cigarette smell:

Baking Soda and Activated Charcoal

Like they can remove mildew smells, sprinkling baking soda or activated charcoal can eliminate cigarette smell. You can easily find activated charcoal in pet stores, and you don’t have to use it with baking powder simultaneously.

Put the powders in open bowls and set the bowls around the garage or sprinkle them on surfaces. To remove the cigarette smell from a small object, place it in a closed container with activated charcoal or baking soda.

Keep the object in the powder for some days, and if you use activated charcoal, ensure the item doesn’t touch it. 


The strong fragrance that makes your brain alert in the morning may also reduce smells. Fill a few coffee filters with fresh coffee grounds and place them in the garage for several days.

The smell of the coffee will help refresh the area, eliminating the heavy cigarette stench.


The smell of this substance is abrasive enough to remove horrid odors like cigarette smoke. To immediately relieve the cigarette smell, spray vinegar on a towel or cloth and wake it around the garage for a few minutes. You can also combine vinegar and lemon juice in a spray bottle. 

Spray it as a mist— like an air freshener —in the garage or leave bowls of white vinegar overnight. The smell of cigarette smoke may be gone by morning. Vinegar also works as an acidic cleaner to dissolve nicotine residue on surfaces as you wipe them down.

HEPA Air Purifiers

These have HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters that remove 0.3-microns particles. By mechanical filtration, an air purifier with a HEPA filter can trap 99.97% of particles of this size. 

A HEPA filter might not trap the smallest smoke particles, and particles are only half the harmful substances in cigarette smoke.

Carbon Filters

They are very effective at removing the gaseous pollutants in cigarette smoke, like volatile organic compounds (VOC). As the smoke passes through a bed of activated charcoal, the filter traps the gasses via adsorption.

Carbon filters eliminate the smell of cigarette smoke, and the EPA recommends using filters with a substantial amount of carbon. However, you’ll have to change the filters frequently, and you should follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to do so.

Hybrid Air Purifiers 

These purifiers have two types of filtration and are few. With a combination of HEPA and carbon filters, they filter both particles and gasses. Despite this, they might not necessarily be better at removing cigarette smoke. 

According to the EPA, arranging filters in a series can increase air resistance, decreasing effectiveness. As a result, a less effective purifier may not filter some of the garage’s air or deliver enough clean air to the room. 

PECO Filters

Air purifiers with Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) filters can help remove tobacco smell. The PECO technology removes large smoke particles and destroys the gaseous VOCs. It also breaks down pollutants at a molecular level, crucial for eliminating tobacco odor.

Odor isn’t a particle, and some air purifiers aren’t enough to remove cigarette smell. Homemade products are the first line of defense against the stench of tobacco but use filters for long-term purposes. 

How Do You Remove Smoke from Air?

Regular exposure to smoke and its microscopic particles is dangerous for your health. If you live close to a routine smoker or in a wildfire-prone area, it’s crucial to know how to protect yourself. 

An effective way to remove smoke from the air is to use an air purifier. As I mentioned in the previous sections, smoke comprises two primary pollutants: gasses and fine particles. You cannot eliminate smoke without dealing with both.

Particulate matter or fine particles are a mix of solids and liquid droplets. This mixture is suspended in air, with some visible and others microscopic. Gaseous pollutants include carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and organic chemicals (VOCs).

The ideal air purifier for removing smoke must reduce or remove both pollutants. Unfortunately, most air purifiers come with technology suited for only one type of pollutant. For this reason, read the fine print before purchasing an air purifier to eliminate smoke.

What Air Purifiers Help with Smoke?

Many brands make air purifiers for smoke, and these are some criteria you should consider before purchasing:

  • The type of filter and frequency of replacement.
  • The size of the room it can cover effectively.
  • The high smoke clean air delivery rate (CADR).
  • How much noise it makes as it runs.

Here are some air purifiers that help with smoke:

  • Alen BreatheSmart Classic Air Purifier
  • Blueair Classic 680i
  • Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier 2.0
  • Bissel air 220 Air Purifier
  • Molekule Large Room Air Purifier
  • Blueair Blue Pure 411
  • Levoit’s Core 400S

Although air purifiers aren’t precisely eliminating the smoke’s source, having one may help remove some harmful particles. Having little clean air is better than none, but the best air purifier will make your air fantastic, giving you peace of mind.