Best Air Freshener for Cigarette Smoke in a Car

Whether you choose to smoke or not, no-one likes the lingering odor that cigarettes leave behind. The smoker can often be made to feel guilty if children or non-smoking passengers have to travel in their car.

To prevent this we have researched and reviewed the best air fresheners for cigarette smoke in a car available at the moment.

Best Air Freshener for Cigarette Smoke in a Car

By choosing the best product you can avoid ever turning up to an appointment smelling of stale smoke again.

Comparison Table of 10 Best Air Freshener for Cigarette Smoke in a Car

ImageProductTypesPrice
FRIEQ Car Air Purifier for Smoke and Bad Odors for Your CarOzone generatorCheck now
NWK Portable Cordless Ozone Generator Car Air FreshenerOzone generatorCheck now
PURGGO Car Air Freshener and Natural Auto Odor EliminatorEco-friendlyCheck now
Enoch Car Air Purifier with USB Car Charger 2-PortOzone generatorCheck now
TwinkleBirds Car Air Purifier IonizerIonizerCheck now
One Earth Health Ozone Generator air Purifier to Eliminate Smoke SmellOzone generatorCheck now
Car Air Purifier 3in1 Premium Stainless Steel Air FilterIonizerCheck now
Ozium Air Sanitizer Reduces Airborne Bacteria Eliminates Smoke & MalodorsAerosolCheck now
Dakota OBNA-5 Bomb/Car Odor Eliminator Neutral AirAerosolCheck now
Car Air Purifier Ionizer, Air Freshener and Odor Eliminator - By Earth-AirIonizerCheck now

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Ozone generator

You don’t have to be a smoker to benefit from this little unit; you can have a wet dog smell or a faulty air-con issue. Whatever the smell, the Frieq will deal with it.

It works by simply pumping safe amounts of ozone into the air which neutralizes mold and viruses, making the car a healthier environment to be in.

Best Feature

It doesn’t look ugly in your car; in fact, it looks cool. The LED light stays illuminated all of the time it is in operation. It makes barely any noticeable noise and needs no maintenance as there are no filters to change.

It couldn’t be simpler to operate, just plug it into the 12v cigarette lighter and for as long as the engine is switched on, it will work.

Odor-causing particles that remain in the air stand zero chance against this air freshener.  The air-quality will vastly improve and even people with the strongest sense of smell will struggle to smell anything.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Will work consistently for months
  • Kills bacteria and viruses
  • Purifies the air
  • Easy to operate
  • For use in a vehicle or indoors

Cons

  • It takes around 3-days for users to notice a change
  • It doesn’t give off any scent, just neutralizes odors

Ozone generator

Sometimes it’s not just your vehicle that has a lingering bad smell, it can be a closet, shoe storage, fridge, it might be a whole room.

This compact machine can eliminate odors and harmful bacteria from any confined space easily.

The operation couldn't be simpler; just 2-presses of the power button and a blue LED will stay lit for 15-minutes to show that it is working.

Leave it inside an empty vehicle for 90-minutes and allow it to discharge Ozone. This will neutralize smells, even those that have built up over time, and it will stop viruses in their tracks.

Best feature

This air freshener requires no maintenance and is cost-effective to run. It is rechargeable and once fully-charge, it will last for around 5-6 cycles. No costly battery replacements or filters to change here!

This unit doesn’t mask bad odors as some sprays do; it removes them and makes the vehicle a much safer and more pleasant environment. It is one of the best cordless air fresheners for a car.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Works in any confined space
  • Compact and portable
  • Doesn’t mask smells, removes them
  • Powerful and effective
  • Cordless and rechargeable
  • Auto-shutdown feature

Cons

  • The area must be free of humans and pets as the unit operates
  • Car/room will need to be ventilated for a few minutes after use

Eco-friendly

If you’re looking for an environmentally-friendly way to remove bad odors from your car, this is definitely for you.

Made from 100% sustainable bamboo charcoal and hemp casing, it is powerful enough to last for at least an entire year. It doesn't cover smells, iT absorbs them from the air and keeps the particles trapped inside safely.

As it is a natural product, it is also totally safe, there are no chemicals used in the fabrication process. It could be of great benefit to asthma and allergy sufferers.

Best feature

It requires zero power, no batteries or recharging to mess with. It just hangs at the rear of the front seat, looking great, and improving the air quality naturally.

Bamboo has been the chief way of purifying air and water for thousands of years, activated charcoal bamboo is 4 times more effective. It acts like a sponge and draws in any harmful particles from the air.

When you have finished with the Purggo, place all of the contents around your plants as it is an excellent fertilizer.

Pros

  • Sustainable and environmentally friendly
  • Lasts 365-days at least
  • Traditional air fresheners typically have a 45-day life
  • Naturally absorbs and eliminates bad smells
  • Child and pet safe
  • Ideal for people with breathing and chest issues
  • Warmth and light from the sun keeps it activated

Cons

  • Only suited to vehicle use
  • Some users noted it struggled with heavier stagnant smells

Ozone generator

If your car has a stale, musty smell about if from smoking or wet pets and you want to purify the air, this is a great piece of kit.

All that you will need to do is to plug it into the lighter adaptor and as soon as the engine is switched on it will begin its work.

It emits Ozone into the vehicle which kills bacteria and it can also eradicate dust. This makes it the best car air freshener for allergy sufferers.

Best feature

Some regular air fresheners leave an overpowering perfume smell. This ionic machine doesn’t, instead you will get a slight fresh smell, similar to that following a summer rain shower.

When people talk of that lovely 'new car' smell, what they are thinking of is a chemical odor. Using this compact unit will make your car smell like new naturally and harmlessly.

We loved the inbuilt USB ports from which you can charge a phone or tablet.

Pros

  • ​1-year warranty
  • Service life of around 1-year
  • Available in silver and rose gold
  • Enhances the interior of the vehicle with a blue LED
  • Simple to operate, plugin and go
  • Can reduce allergies with the removal of pollen and dust particles
  • Safe for children and pets
  • Runs silently

Cons

  • Light can’t be disabled whilst driving
  • Doesn't have an automatic switch-off feature

Ionizer

When unpackaging this device it seems hard to believe that it can live up to all of its claims as it is so compact.

However, it truly does.

It just has to be plugged into the 12v cigarette lighter port and a blue LED will show that it is in operation. If your vehicle has stale odors that have built up over time then you will need to leave it in situ for 5-7 days to work its magic. After this time you will suddenly notice that the air smells fresh and clean again.

It has enough power to kill 99% of harmful dust particles, mold spores, and bacteria in the atmosphere; this makes it ideal if you happen to have allergies.

Best feature

For as long as it is plugged into the port it will remain energized and not drain the car’s battery. The device will last for around a year.

For such a small ionizer it does pack some power. It can eliminate those wet dog and locker room smells whilst helping to keep the air moist on long journeys.

This is one of the top rated air fresheners for cigarette smoke.

Pros

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Comes complete with 2 USB ports
  • Exceptionally powerful
  • Eliminates odors and harmful bacteria
  • Plug and go
  • Helps to prevent respiratory problems

Cons

  • Light cannot be dimmed, may be distracting
  • For older, lingering smells it will need to run for 1-week
  • Emits a barely audible noise

Ozone generator

This machine works by using Ozone to purify the air and get rid of heavy odors, some bacteria, and mold spores. You may have read that Ozone can be harmful when, after it has neutralized the air, it soon decomposes and disappears harmlessly into the oxygen.

One Earth has harnessed this power into a simple to operate device that just needs to be plugged into the wall socket to work. And you needn’t worry about energy usage, it is extremely efficient.

 Best feature

The unit has a fan to blow out the Ozone into the atmosphere. This makes barely a sound, so quiet in fact that it is called Whisper technology.

We love the versatility of this air freshener; it is powerful enough to eliminate odors from rooms measuring 500ft2 and is also suited to tiny enclosed spaces.

There is a timer that allows the user to set it for 30-minutes after which it has auto-shutoff, so it doesn't matter if you forget that it is running.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • WhisperQuiet fan
  • Can be used anywhere
  • Energy efficient
  • Doesn’t require filters
  • Doesn’t mask odors with a heavy perfume smell

Cons

  • More expensive than some other models
  • Only run in an empty room

Ionizer

The first thing we noticed about this ionizer is that it looks sleek and modern. The brilliant white finish will complement any vehicle.

It is compact so not at all intrusive. The blue LED that shines when it is powered on isn’t too bright or distracting as in other models.

It works by emitting safe levels of negative ions into the air which react with cigarette, pet, and food smells and deodorizes them. It can also eliminate the pollen and dust particles that can aggravate people with breathing and allergy issues.

Best feature

Not only will this device ensure that your car smells clean and fresh daily, but it also acts as a charger for all of your technology. There are 2 USB ports that off 3.0 ultra-fast charging. One Earth has also thoughtfully added a 3-way adaptor cable that ensures the correct fit for even the most modern phones and tablets.

When you think of all of the equipment you’re getting and factor in that the ionizer should last for an exceptionally long time you will understand why we think this is the best car air freshener for bad smells.

Pros

  • 1-year warranty with a money-back guarantee
  • Powerful eliminates bad odors and keeps them at bay
  • Simple operation
  • 2 USB ports and 3-way adaptor supplied
  • LED doesn’t distract whilst driving
  •  Purifies the air for a better experience for allergy sufferers

Cons

  • Only suited to vehicle use
  • It may take a few days to notice an initial improvement

Aerosol

It’s time to review an air freshener for your car and any other space where you need to get rid of smoky, cooking, or any other stinky odor.

This is called Ozium and where some sprays just mask an odor; this will eliminate them from the air. With only a quick spray it is immediately noticeable that the bad smell is no longer there.

Best feature

The smell isn't sickly sweet or heavy, instead, it is a refreshingly light, lemony fragrance. It will linger in the air for some time and as it gradually fades, it will take the cigarette smell with it.

As it was designed for hospitals and healthcare facilities, it is easy to understand that it is safe for home use.

This is a 4-pack of 8oz bottles, enough to keep 1 upstairs, 1 downstairs, 1 in the bathroom and 1 in the car.

Pros

  • Lasts much longer than its main competitor
  • Doesn’t mask bad smells, it gets rid of them
  • It reduces any harmful bacteria in the air
  • No power supply required
  • Lasts for a long time, only a small amount needed
  • Sanitizers the airWorks immediately

Cons

  • Spray button can come loose easily

Aerosol

Who wouldn’t want their stinky old car smelling of fresh Napa berries? That is what the Dakota bomb offers.

It won't hide just hide a bad smell, it will eliminate it.

It is an aerosol can that can be used in small bursts inside a vehicle or as a bomb inside a room up to 3000ft3. Just press and lock the nozzle and leave the room, closing all doors and windows behind you. Don’t re-enter for a couple of hours and when you do, throw open the windows and leave it for another half an hour.

You will be amazed at how much fresher the room smells, and how long it remains that fragrant for.

Best feature

Although it is designed as a single-use bomb, to make it last longer or in much smaller spaces, such as the cabin of a vehicle, you can use short bursts. Close the doors behind you and leave it empty for a while. Wind the windows down for 10-minutes and have a good sniff; dirty dog, fries, and tobacco smells will have disappeared.

If you have inherited a vehicle that has been used by heavy smokers for years, this is worth a try.

Pros

  • Fast and effective
  • No power supply required
  • Eliminates odors, doesn’t mask them
  • Easy to use
  • Available in 3 fragrances

Cons

  • The smell can be quite strong until it wears down
  • For harder to remove odors, 2 applications may be required

Ionizer

If your job involves using different cars or you rely on rentals, this is a handy ionizer to have. It is pocket-sized and can be used in multiple vehicles; all that they need is a 12v cigarette lighter port.

Once plugged in it is already working to remove allergens and malodours from the air.

If funky gym kit gets left in regularly or a secret smoker uses the car we all know that the smell left behind can linger for months.

This device uses negative ions to counteract bacteria and particles in the air and leave behind a cleaner, fresher air. It is particularly beneficial to asthma and allergy sufferers.

Best Feature

This is the best car air purifier as it gets to work instantly and keeps on cleaning the air even when you leave the vehicle. Don’t worry about car battery health; it draws such a small amount of power that it won’t be noticeable.

Using this style of air freshener for a car is all-round the healthier option. No chemicals or harmful aerosols are used.

Pros

  • Cleans and purifies the air
  • No harmful gels or chemicals involved
  • Compact and portable
  • Easy to use
  • Cost-effective
  • No cleaning or maintenance required

Cons

  • LED illumination very dim
  • You may need to wait a short while to notice an improvement

Types of Air Fresheners for Cars and How They Work

In our review, we have included 4 types. We didn't include the hanging scented paper trees as we are sure you know how they work and how they just mask a bad odor.

Aerosol

Both of our featured aerosols work by spraying micro-particles that can stay in the air for around 4-hours. They attach to harmful bacteria and odors that linger in the air and kill them. This is how odors are cleared and the air becomes clean and breathable.

Ozone

These devices take oxygen in and charge it with electricity to turn it into Ozone. The molecules attach themselves to harmful pollutants and eliminate them. Machines either use safe levels of Ozone or provide strict guidelines to activate than in empty vehicles/rooms and not to re-enter until it has been well-ventilated. Ozone naturally disperses into oxygen after a short life of about 4-hours.

Ionizer

Millions of negative ions are used to create negative ions. They attach to positively charged ions such as pollen, bacteria and cigarette smoke. They will then be drawn back into the plates of the ionizer to be disposed of.

Natural, Eco-friendly

One of the air purifiers featured in the review is made from 100% sustainable materials. Charcoal bamboo is the ‘filter’ that cleans the air and natural hemp is what the casing is made from. It is highly effective and has been used in Asian culture for thousands of years.

Now that you have some idea of the styles of air fresheners for cigarette smoke in cars, please take a look through our reviews. We hope to help you make the most informed buying decision.

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FAQ

Which is the best type of air freshener for bad odors in cars?

It depends if you favor an aerosol over the plugin type, the choice is purely personal. However, we suggest that if you have regular passengers with chest or breathing issues, choosing one of the air purifiers is a great idea. 

Are Ozone car air fresheners safe?

Ozone in high quantities can be harmful but air fresheners stay within regulated, safety requirements.

Some of the more powerful machines state that no human or animal should be present while they are in operation. The area should be well-ventilated before it is used.

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Do plug in-car air purifiers give off a scent?

Not usually, they just clear the air of any horrible smells and leave it smelling as fresh as a daisy. Users sometimes think that their car smells as it would after a refreshing summer shower or with a hint of freshly cut grass.

Why do air fresheners need USB ports?

Because the air freshener is taking up the cigarette lighter socket that your charger uses! Brands realized that enough people weren't buying their products as they were afraid of losing charging ability.

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Conclusion

No-one should have to sit in a car that smells of stale cigarette smoke, stinky sneakers, or a build-up of take-away food. Using the air freshener for in a car will prevent this in a short time.

Your car will smell new once again and you won’t go indoors with your clothes covered in the horrible stench.

No longer do you need to make do with a paper air freshener that has a fragrance that gives you a headache each time you get in the car.

Instead, you could be breathing healthy, clean and fresh air every day.

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