It can be a real challenge to get smells out of your car. It could be cigarette smoke, mildew, or some other vile odor. These odors can take up residence in your vents, upholstery, headliner, carpets, and more.
They can be difficult to get rid of but an odor bomb or fogger can do an amazingly good job at tackling some of these issues. Odor bombs attack every nook and cranny of your car’s interior all at once.
They typically attack in 2 ways. They usually contain a disinfectant which kills bacteria and other sources of organic smells. Also, they will usually contain a scent that permeates everywhere inside the vehicle which can help cover smells and rejuvenate the scent of an old car or truck.
We set out to find the most effective car fogger to eliminate odors. We researched best sellers, highly rated odor bombs by reviewers, and real customer feedback. After sifting through all of our research we found that the Adams Odor Bomb was the best overall odor bomb for most problem vehicles.
Adam's Odor Bomb
The thing that places the Adams Odor Bomb above the competition is the method for dealing with foul smells. The Odor Bomb uses Chlorine Dioxide which is the most powerful deodorizing product on the market.
Also, The Odor Bomb doesn’t use fragrances to cover up smells which may or may not be a perceived benefit but we love the fact that it is so effective it doesn’t need fragrances as a crutch to help deal with difficult smells. Besides, having the option of a truly clean smell is preferable to us.
If you’re really missing that additional fragrance you can always pick up a new car scent spray or whatever your preferences is for a minimal additional amount of cash and you’ll be able to pick out exactly the scent you desire as opposed to the limited scents available from other odor eliminator manufacturers.
The one real issue with this product is that you need to be very careful removing it from your car or truck. The remaining liquid in the cup can bleach and discolor whatever it may come into contact with. It’s best to place it in a cup holder if possible when leaving it in the car so it is unlikely to spill and when done place the lid back on it immediately.
Aside from needing to take extra care handling this powerful odor eliminator, we really don’t see any major downsides.
Ozium Air Sanitizer
Ozium is a very effective product that kills bacteria and bonds with smoke odors to neutralize them. It is very good at sanitizing the air and turning a stale, smokey, or molding smelling car interior into a fresh smelling space.
Ozium doesn’t claim to treat the source of the smell but it is an economical option that’s also convenient for freshening up the smell of your vehicle for a period of time.
I can solve some smells if the source of the smell has been removed. For instance, if someone had been smoking in your vehicle but a cigarette butt or other source has not been left inside.
Ozium is used in hospitals and other medical environments for its ability to kill bacteria. It may be able to solve some smells permanently if it can get to the bacterial source.
It’s an excellent alternative to Adam’s Odor Bomb but not going to be as effective at tackling the source of smells.
OdorStop OS900/6G Ozone Generator
If you’re tackling a big problem or one that you haven’t previously been able to solve you may want to consider using an ozone generator.
Professional detailers know that the best way to get rid of the most stubborn odors is to use ozone. Ozone molecules bond readily with not only the odor molecules but the source of the odor.
An ozone generator can produce enough ozone to get down into carpets, upholstery, and deep within vents and ductwork.
It’s most effective when using a hose to allow the ozone generator to sit outside the car so the generator can get fresh air to produce ozone. It can still be used to good effect by simply placing it within the car.
Either way, it’s good to run the air conditioner or heater so that the ozone can circulate through your vents and ductwork.
Running it for a few hours will be best. You may want to break it up into 3 1-hour sessions. If you notice that you still have some lingering odors you may want to run it another time or two later.
When you’re finished with a session be sure to let the car air out before spending any time inside. Ozone isn’t healthy to breathe but there’s no need to panic if you get a good whiff. It’s best to not have prolonged exposure.
Do odor bombs really work?
Yes they do, but they won’t resolve every odor problem and you can’t guarantee they’ll resolve the problem that you’re dealing with specifically. The best thing to do is identify the source of the odor and attack it specifically. For instance, if you find the odor is primarily trapped in your upholstery you should spend your efforts using an upholstery cleaner to remove the offending smell. Odor bombs can be great for smells that can’t be specifically identified or may be coming from places you can’t reach.
What is chlorine dioxide?
Chlorine dioxide is used in Adams Odor Bomb and is a common medical disinfectant. It is also an extremely powerful deodorizer. When used as a deodorizer it is used in its gas form to allow it to permeate through odor absorbing materials.
How do I keep my car smelling good all the time?
The best thing to do is to keep your car clean regularly. Over time organics will build up in the carpet and upholstery. You should shampoo both your carpet and seats from time to time to freshen them. Otherwise they will be strong potential sources of foul smells.
A good odor bomb can significantly improve a smelly car problem. Some simply cover up foul odors with fragrances and scents. Good odor bombs attack the problem with odor neutralizers.
We found the Adams Odor Bomb to be the most effective odor elimination product to use when you can’t identify the source of an offending smell. It uses chlorine dioxide as its active ingredient.
Chlorine dioxide is typically used as a disinfectant in hospitals or water treatment plants, although as a gas it is one of the most effective odor neutralizer you can buy.
If you can find the source of your problem you should always attack it head on. For instance, if you have a rotting cheeseburger under your drivers seat you really should remove it before simply setting off a bomb in your car and expecting it to resolve the problem.
There’s only so much these products can do. If you have a particularly difficult to resolve problem and you can’t resolve the foul smell with an odor bomb we recommend getting access to an ozone machine.
Ozone is an excellent odor neutralizer but the machines are not inexpensive so giving an odor bomb a shot first is very worthwhile.