For any number of reasons, your car interior could start to smell. Maybe you’ve just purchased the car and it smells like smoke, or perhaps you’ve left a stinky gym bag in your car for a little bit too long.
These smells aren’t easy to remove unless you take a different approach to cleaning. What is ozone treatment for cars, and will it work for these problems?
In this guide, I cover the basics of ozone treatment for automobiles and show you how to do it. I also discuss when you should perform this treatment, the benefits of using it, the average cost, and I illustrate how long it should take.
What is an Ozone Treatment for Cars?
Ozone treatment utilizes ozone gas (O3) to reduce bacteria, viruses, and odors from the car’s interior. An ozone generator is placed in the vehicle, allowing the gas to permeate the odors and neutralize them. It’s an effective treatment to remove odors that can’t be treated with conventional methods.
The gas is able to reach places where other cleaners can’t. Ozone can get inside the vents, under the seats, inside the fibers of the upholstery and into every cranny of the vehicle. As one of the most powerful sterilizing agents, ozone can break down molecules to destroy them.
When Should Ozone Car Treatment Be Done?
There’s no regular interval when ozone treatments should be performed. This job is best used when needed. For example, if you’ve purchased a used car that has been smoked in, you might need to do one ozone treatment and then never have to consider doing it ever again.
Tobacco smoke smell is a top reason to choose ozone treatment. Phenol is an unseen chemical that’s found in smoke. It can lead to irritation of the respiratory tract and eyes. With the help of ozone car treatment, the phenol is completely neutralized. Not only will the odor be gone, but all of those molecules will also be destroyed.
Benefits of Using Ozone in Car
1. Neutralizes Odor
There’s no better way to remove odors from a car interior than an ozone generator. You can purchase cheap air fresheners or clean the interior with baking soda and still have trouble getting rid of stubborn odors.
Ozone, on the other hand, can neutralize some of the worst smells. It gets rid of smoke, pet smells, mildew, urine, body odor, vomit, and so much more.
2. Reaches Tough Places
Odors can hide in places where conventional cleaners can’t get to them. With the help of ozone, odors are sought out and destroyed, even in the tightest areas.
Ozone can permeate the air vents and fabrics. It’s also great for getting deep into the upholstery, roof and carpets.
3. Kills Bacteria/Microorganisms
Where there is odor, there are bacteria. Generally, it’s the microorganisms that are creating the odor, which is just a byproduct of a larger issue.
However, ozone treatment will destroy any bacteria that linger in the vehicle. You aren’t just masking odors with a fresh smell; you are killing off the microorganisms that cause it.
4. Keeps the Car Fresh
You can spray some air freshener or get the little trees to hang on the mirror, but that scent just masks what is underneath. It never fully makes your car smell fresh, as if it was new.
The only way to get a fresh-smelling car is to remove everything causing the odors. With ozone treatment, you know the smell is neutralized, giving you a fresh canvas to work with.
How to Do Ozone Treatment in Car?
To do an ozone treatment in your car, you need an ozone generator. Then you need to clean out the debris and dirt from the car and clean it with a vacuum cleaner. Place the ozone generator inside the car and let it run until it’s done.
Here are some more detailed steps on how to do an ozone treatment in your car:
1. Rent/Buy an Ozone Generator
If you plan to clean out cars on a regular basis, it’s best to buy the ozone generator for future use. Otherwise, if you only need to use it once, you might prefer to rent it from a local company.
Renting the ozone generator won’t be cheap either, but you won’t have to foot the entire bill. Just be aware of how much time you are given to use it, so you don’t incur any late charges.
If you don’t have an ozone generator at home or find it too expensive to buy for one-time use, you’ll probably want to take your car to a professional detailer instead.
Using an ozone generator the wrong way can actually cause damage to both you and your car, so it is recommended that you have a professional dealer do the job if you lack the knowledge. It is important to follow the ozone generator’s instructions. I will talk more about this further down in the article.
2. Clean Out the Car
Before you can neutralize odors, you want to remove anything that doesn’t belong in the car. Take out any trash you find and remove your personal belongings. Items can be discolored by the ozone generator, so don’t leave anything behind that matters to you.
Vacuum out the car to get up any crumbs or debris. It’s also helpful to wipe down all of the surfaces with an interior cleaner and rag.
3. Set Up Ozone Machine
The ozone generator requires a flexible duct that gets installed to the end. Most machines come with a flexible duct, but you can easily purchase one at a hardware store if needed. Make sure the duct fits securely so there’s no leakage.
Seal off the vehicle. You must make sure that the doors and windows are all closed, aside from the one that has the duct running through it. Seal up the open window with duct tape and cardboard. The generator itself must remain outside of the vehicle.
4. Run Ozone Generator
Turn on the ozone generator and run it according to its directions. It’s helpful to read the owner’s manual before you get started.
Most of the time, it’s best to have it running at full power anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours. Don’t get inside the car while it’s running, and keep all animals away from the vehicle.
5. Air Out Vehicle
Once you turn off the ozone generator, you need to give the car time to air out. At first, there will be an unusual smell from the ozone. It’s normal and will disappear completely after a few days.
Open up all of the doors and windows to allow for fresh air to soak the interior. If you still smell harsh odors, you can repeat the treatment once the vehicle has been aired out completely.
How Long Does Ozone Car Treatment Take?
How long an ozone treatments take depends on what ozone generator you are using and how noxious the odors are, but it usually takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours. For starters, you want to read the instructions for the machine to determine the appropriate running time.
It could take you an hour or so to clean out the car and get the ozone generator set up. Beyond that, the generator should run anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours. Give yourself four hours total to make sure you have all of the time you need for cleaning. On top of that, you won’t want to drive the vehicle right away, as it needs time to air out.
What is the Cost of Ozone Car Treatment?
If you want to get the ozone treatment done by a professional detailer, you can expect a cost of between $50 and $100. If you want to purchase a machine to use more than once, you could spend anywhere from $75 to $500 on a decent-sized generator.
Renting an ozone generator might be a little bit cheaper, but you won’t be able to use the machine more than once.
Does ozone get rid of smoke smell in a car?
Yes. Ozone treatment helps to get rid of smoke smell in a car, but it may not be 100% effective. However, if the smoke smell is relatively new or has only been in the car for a short time, ozone treatment will most likely remove all the tobacco smoke smell.
Will an ozone generator damage the car’s electronics?
There is some evidence that ozone can damage car electronics, but it is not clear how much ozone is required to do this type of damage. If you use an ozone generator made for cars and follow the instructions, the risk of damage is very low.
Will an ozone generator damage my car’s interior?
An ozone generator can potentially damage your car’s interior, but it really depends on how the ozone generator is used and what type of material is in the car. However, if you just use an ozone generator to get rid of bad odors in a car and follow the instructions, it is not very likely that there will be any negative effects.
Talk to a professional detailer if you are worried that it will damage your car’s interior or electronics. They will help you ensure there will be no damage.
Are car ozone generators safe?
Ozone generators can be safe if used properly, but can also be dangerous if not used properly. Ozone is a powerful oxidant and can be harmful if inhaled in high concentrations, so it is important to follow the ozone generator’s instructions and avoid inhaling the ozone gas.
Ozone treatment is an excellent way to clean your car and get rid of any unpleasant odors. The process of ozone treatment for cars is simple, but there are some dangers involved. Therefore, it should only be done by someone who knows what they are doing.
If you feel you don’t have the right knowledge or are worried about damaging something, it’s better to let a professional dealer do the job. They have most likely done this process on thousands of cars and know what will work and what won’t, and it’s also quite affordable most of the time.