Purify Your Car Cigarette Smell with Ozone

Purify Your Car Cigarette Smell with Ozone


If you’re like most Australians who likely spend a fair amount of time sitting in your car to and from work, in and between traffic or so on, then car hygiene must not be ignored for you.  Studies have shown that the steering wheel alone of your car can have up to four times more germs than a public toilet seat. You may need to think twice the next time you decide to eat or drink inside your car, right? Look below to see what happened when mould started to grow in the car due to neglection, not a fancy sight – a nightmare to tackle.


Car Mould Treatment
Mould Infestation
Car Mould Treatment
Mould Treatment

You may believe that a simple vacuum and wipe of the interior should keep these germs and mould at bay, but truth is, you will need to do a lot more than that. We are talking about, deep shampoo, loosening of embedded stains through agitation, thorough extraction and of course, the ozone disinfection. Never heard of an ozone generator? That’s okay, long story short, it is a unit popular amongst many hotels for disinfecting rooms and removing cigarette odours and for supermarkets that need to treat their space of unwanted germs and bacteria due to the handling of perishable goods such as rotten fruit and vegetables. For car care, the ozone helps to can help in a similar fashion, air disinfection. The Ozone machine comes in handy to help tackle the invisible i.e. unwanted smells and odours trapped in your car.

Tried absolutely everything from air fresheners/deodorisers and car scent bombs that only last a few short days and have the stinking cigarette smell and so on come back? Well, let us introduce to you the ozone generator/ozone machine/ozone air purifier. Not quite the time machine, but it can definitely strive to take you back to that new car smell like when you first purchased it.

Time to kill the stink and bring back that new car smell again, let’s guide you on how to get rid of cigarette smell with a car odour removal service.

What is an Ozone Generator?

An ozone generator is a machine that converts ordinary air into ozone. Ozone gets rid of toxins in the air as well as odor inside a vehicle. If your car has a bad smell and you have tried cleaning it thoroughly and tried respraying the AC and Cabin Filter, but the scent will not fade, it is time to consider ozone treatment. You do not need to control the ozone generator while it’s working on getting rid of bad odor and dirt in your car. All you need to do is set it, switch it on and then leave it in the car for some time. As the gas fills your vehicle, it neutralizes the cigarette smell hence killing any viruses and bacteria. Before you start using an ozone generator, it is crucial that you properly clean its interior and in detail. Ozone treatment is beneficial if the source of bad smell is unreachable. However, an ozone generator can be dangerous, so professional use is always recommended.

The air in your car can get pretty gross, and the air cleaner your car has when you first buy it isn’t going to last forever. Fortunately, there’s a super effective and advanced way to deal with this problem—an ozone generator. Ozone generators don’t just clean the air in your car, they kill airborne bacteria and viruses, which can help passengers who suffer from certain airborne allergies. A handy unit for Spring when it comes to hayfever and allergy season.

how to get rid of cigarette smell

How Does The Ozone Machine Work?

Ozone contains three oxygen molecules (O3). The third molecule can detach itself and combine with other substances or chemicals, meaning it can alter these substances. Ozone generators add energy to the oxygen molecules (O2), which in turn causes the particles to part ways and temporarily combine with other oxygen atoms hence forming ozone (O3).

It Works In Two Ways

This method has a unit with the following parts: gas dryers, an oxygen source, a contact unit, a generator, dust cleaners, and a torch destructor. The dryers and cleaners clean up oxygen. Through electrical discharge, cleaned oxygen generates ozone. Oxygen molecules split and create single molecules which then attach to oxygen atoms in the atmosphere hence forming ozone.


This methods works in the same way the sun’s UV radiation splits oxygen atoms into single molecules. UV generation uses mercury. The silent corona discharge method is more efficient than the ultraviolet radiation because it produces more ozone.

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car air conditioning smells


Ozone is a powerful sterilant, and it utilizes the reaction of oxidation to get rid of unwanted molecules such as cigarette smell. O3 is an unstable atom, and that is why when it combines with any unit, it destroys it through oxidation. Therefore, when ozone comes into contact with bacteria and viruses, it kills them entirely. Of course, you would still need to thoroughly clean the interior of your car, ideally a car detailing session, to ensure that your surfaces are deeply sanitised. If you have a rotting banana in the car somewhere, it can still cause a nuisance if not properly disposed of and specifically shampooed.

Why Ozone Can't Be Transported

Ozone is an industrial gas; therefore, you cannot create it and then transport it to whichever site you want to use it because it decays quickly (short half-life of generally 20-30 minutes). Ozone oxidizes the metal, and not all metals can contain it except titanium, aluminum, stainless steel and glass. For this reason, the ozone generator will convert existing air into ozone temporarily during the time that is left on and considered with the 20 minute half life period, of when it is a strong disinfectant, after this, it becomes inocuous. 

Why is an Ozone Generator so Effective Against Odours?

Ozone molecules react chemically with the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the atmosphere, viruses or bacteria to kill odours like bad cigarette smell at the source. So, ozone is the best answer when it comes to how to get rid of cigarette smell efficiently. Or for those who live an active lifestyle with the regular gym session outings or weekly sporting events, there is a big chance that your seats are absorbing sweat each time you drive. Similar to your clothing, if you do not wash it, you will leave a stench of body odour and the same would apply to your upholstery seats. Because of its airborne nature, it helps reach areas that are difficult to clean.

You can handle odour in public places such as grocery stores by continuously running an ozone generator which in turn produces ozone. The machines generate low levels of ozone that ensure the odour of spoiled or spilled food is under control. Supermarket operators are aware that customers will not be comfortable in a store that has a bad smell. However, in a fresh-smelling store, they will take their time to shop. Therefore, people use ozone odour control in places you frequently visit to maintain a serene atmosphere. It is worth noting that ozone does not add a ‘nice fragrant smell’ per se, it neutralises the air and then an air fragrance or freshener can be applied afterwards. Generally, ozone tends to leave a slight chlorine like smell while it works its magic. 

You can also use ozone to treat odour that comes from items such as cigarette smell, smoke smell, decaying organisms, pets and even humidity. Places with a humid climate will experience odour problems because damp products produce odour. High concentrations of ozone will help in getting rid of stubborn odours. Ozone will get rid of bad smell, but it will not get rid of beverage stains or rotting food trapped in cracks. They can still cause lousy odour, so you need to remove them

You may also notice that air smells fresh after a thunderstorm. It is because lightning is nature’s ozone generator. It produces large amounts of ozone which oxidize odours that originate from daily human activities leaving the air smelling nice.

Does This Mean My Car Will Be Odour-Free?

Minimise smells, yes, complete removal, well that depends. When it comes to smell, most often you cannot pin point a single source for its cause. Smell can come from the carpet, seats, mats or air filter to name a few and in worst cases, penetrated deep into fabrics unreachable where replacement may be necessary. It could be due to a spill, smoke, decaying food left somewhere, mould or so on. As there are many variables to consider, it is a matter a process of elimination when it comes to addressing unwanted odours and most often, finding the culprit is the hardest part. If odour lingers, chances are, the source is much more deeper and embedded somewhere else. Generally the ozone is super-effective in tackling odours, but it also depends on how well the car has been cleaned prior to its use. The ozone is typically the last phase of decontamination, before a fragrance is sprayed.


Using an ozone generator should be used by a professional because of the health implications derived from its use. During its operation, you should not breathe in the ozone air as it is not good for your health. It is best to wait until it has been flushed out and the half-life has passed time. How long you use an ozone machine typically varies depending on the conversion rate of the unit itself as this can vary significantly, but we find that 20,000mg/hr is a decent rate.

Need Your Car Professionally Treated for Odours & Contamination?

If you need to have your car treated for odour, mould, unpleasant smells or cigarette stench, then you can simply add an odour treatment service to one of our interior car detailing package. To ensure you don’t experience this again, you should really consider applying upholstery/fabric interior protection using a ceramic coating, which lasts up to 12 months. It reduces the absorption of liquids, beverages, dust, dirt and so on, meaning stains don’t get absorbed so easily into your seats, carpet and mats.

Our car detailing technician will arrive at your door to service your car in the comfort of your own home while we work on bringing that new car smell back again. If you’re wondering if this can be used in other places? 

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 Car Care Advice For The Everyday Driver & Enthusiast

As a seasoned author on our team, Chester also known as ‘Gadget’, for his love for all things mechanical, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, particularly when it comes to automotive topics.

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