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Can You Use an Ozone Generator in a Car? 4 Steps

Ozone generator inside the car

An ozone generator can provide effective treatment for stinks. The device produces ozone gas, which helps to neutralize and remove air pollutants. This includes nasty odors from tobacco smoke and gasoline, which can be hard to remove by scrubbing, cleaning, or even using common remedies like baking soda.

So, can you use an ozone generator in a car?

Yes. However, it’s best to exercise caution because ozone gas has adverse health effects on both humans and pets. But you face no risk of harmful exposure if you allow your vehicle to air out for about half an hour after treatment.

If you want to take your auto detailing to the next level using an ozone generator, here is everything you need to know.

car and road divider

Ozone Car Treatments & How They Work

Using an ozone generator, you can produce O3 (ozone gas), effectively breaking down odors produced by viruses, bacteria, and other microbes. O3 is a clear or pale blue gas with volatile molecules that quickly reach all those nooks and crannies, including inside vents and speakers, into upholstery fibers, and far under your seats.

Ozone gas is a powerful sterilant that breaks down the cells of air pollutants through oxidation. An ozone generator works by emitting electrical discharge to break down oxygen molecules into single atoms. Treatments have long-lasting effects because instead of masking or filtering air pollutants, the ozone gas destroys them, leaving your car with a clean and fresh scent.

Ozone machine treatment in car
Photo Credit By: Jesper Rude, Shutterstock

Benefits of Ozone Car Treatment

Ozone disinfects and neutralizes smells to give your car interiors a pleasant scent. The main perk is that treatments are pretty effective, irrespective of whether you want to eliminate stinks from smoke, vomit, milk, urine, feces, mold, or other harsh air pollutants. The gas permeates all the hard-to-reach areas, including inside the fabrics and behind the panel, to instantly destroy odor sources.

Is It Safe to Use an Ozone Generator in a Car?

Whether it’s musty air from the air conditioning vents, pet odor, or a stink you can’t quite decipher from your upholstery, you can get rid of it by running your ozone generator for a few minutes weekly!

But is using an ozone generator in your vehicle safe?

Ozone is toxic to humans and pets. Inhaling the gas can cause respiratory distress, triggering symptoms like difficulty breathing and coughing. To be safe, let your car air out for 30 minutes to an hour before use.

Furthermore, ozone is corrosive. Using your ozone generator too enthusiastically can cause damage to plastics and rubber seals. You can prevent damage by treating your car for shorter periods more frequently.

car and road divider

The 4 Steps for Using an Ozone Generator in Your Car

If you are using an ozone generator for the first time, here are the steps to take:

1. Read Your Ozone Generator Manual

Ozone generations differ in size and power. While some devices are rated at 3500 mg/h, others have high maximum ozone outputs of up to 28,000 mg/h. Read your manual to ensure your machine is suitable for cars and to estimate the proper duration to cure typical vehicle stinks.

Man reading a book
Photo Credit By: Pexels, Pixabay

2. Thoroughly Clean Your Car

Next is to clean your vehicle interiors to remove any visible dust, dirt, and trash. Wipe the hard surfaces and vacuum thoroughly. Also, remove your personal belongings like your laptop and phone. Remember, ozone gas can cause cracking or fading of any plastic components left in the car during a treatment.

3. Run Your Ozone Generator

If you have a wired ozone generator, connect it to a power outlet and use an extension if necessary. Wireless units are easier to use, although you must ensure the machine is fully charged before use. If the generator does not come with a flexible duct, attach one and feed it into the car through a partially open window.

It would be best if you closed the doors and windows to keep the ozone gas trapped in the vehicle. Also, seal the open gap on the partially open window. Once done, run the ozone generator for 30 to 120 minutes but don’t exceed the device manufacturer’s recommended timeframe. Set a timer to be on the safe side.

hand switching on the ozone generator
Photo Credit By: Red_Shadow, Shutterstock

4. Air Out Your Car

You should air the vehicle for at least 30 minutes after a treatment. Open the doors and windows to allow the ozone to dissipate. It is common to have hints of ozone smell in the car, which might take up to four hours to clear. You can expedite the process by turning on fresh air mode on your vehicle’s AC to help with ventilation.

car and road divider

Final Thoughts

When investing in an ozone generator, ensure you keep your expectations realistic. Many sellers are not shy of using slippery marketing gimmicks. Generally, an ozone generator will not perform miracles to treat decades of stinks from your truck in two hours.

But are ozone car treatments really worth it?

Yes. Even a single treatment can make a huge difference in the scent of your car. Start by attempting to address all possible sources of stinks before you up your auto detailing game with an ozone machine.

Featured Image Credit: Syabika, Shutterstock


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