Three Factors in Choosing a Car Deodorizer

With so many different versions of deodorizers for cars, which kind is right for you?

man behind the wheel of a car
Long road trip planned for the backcountry? Do yourself and your passengers a favor by bringing a deodorizor for your truck.Morgan McDonald via Unsplash

It might still be a mystery how that fish got left under the truck seat for three days in 85° sunshine but now that the stink source is revealed what can you do about it? Regardless of whether its old soggy diapers, leftover bait containers, stinky socks or the combined outcome of transporting the kids’ soccer team back from that away game, sooner or later your truck or car will need deodorizing, sometimes on an industrial scale. Consider these factors when deciding what product might work best for you.

Factor 1

odor diffuser
All-natural products such as this one use aromatherapy approaches to car odor control.Amazon

Active odor control products introduce scents, chemical or enzymes into your vehicle's atmosphere via sprays, gels, scent sticks, or hanging scented cards in a wide variety of fragrances. Some hang from the rearview while others attach to vents or sit on the dash. When choosing, consider allergies as well as the chemicals you will be breathing.

Factor 2

Charcoal odor diffuser
This product is chemical-free and made with activated charcoal that re-activates in sunlight.Amazon

Passive odor control products use filtering systems to clean or neutralize the air instead of masking the odor. Some are powered by plugging into cigarette lighters (irony noted) and use a negative ionizer to purify the air, while others use activated charcoal filters.

Factor 3

New car smell
A popular scent is “new car smell,” available in products such as this one as a spray mister.Amazon

The type and strength of scents or fragrances is an important consideration. They can range from "new car scent" to "tutti frutti," ranging from subtle to "drive with the windows down" strength, which you might need depending on how bad the odor situation. Check with your frequent passengers, and avoid the scents that might lead to questions like "where have YOU been?"