Air conditioning units in cars can build up bacteria and end up not smelling very nice if neglected for a long time. Odours typically build up over a period of time in cars, with the air conditioning system being designed to help clean the air and get it smelling fresh again. If your air conditioning unit has been left untreated for a while, it’s going to stink and will not do its job of cleaning or freshening your vehicle air properly. Car air purifiers are a great alternative for clearing impurities in the air, but they are expensive.
You should start by trying an air con cleaner for your car as they are simple, cheap and effective solutions for cleaning out your air conditioning unit without the need for replacing them or having it professionally cleaned. Anyone can use these cleaning solutions in their vehicles by following the simple instructions provided by the manufacturers. See how we ranked our 5 top air con cleaner picks below, helping give your air conditioning unit a new lease of life.
Best Air Con Cleaners in the UK Reviews
#1. STP Air Con Cleaner
The STP air con cleaner is a simple yet effective solution to cleaning out your air conditioning unit rather quickly.
It works by clipping onto the ventilation panel found at the front of your vehicle. Simply lock it and leave it with your air conditioning running. This will cause the cleaner to circulate throughout your system and effectively clean it.
Not only will you eliminate any foul odours, but you’ll also kill and remove most of the bacteria as well.
It’s made to work in just 10 minutes, so don’t think that the process of cleaning needs to take a long time. You can get it done in no time!
- Cleans the entire air conditioning unit in a short 10 minutes
- Easily locks onto the air conditioning vents as your vehicle does all the cleaning work for you
- Removes odour as well as bacteria
- While it’s a simple and quick solution, it’s not as effective as other cleaners for getting the deepest sanitization possible.
#2. Autoglym Air-Con Cleaner
Similarly to the STP air con clean, the Autoglym also locks in place as it cleans your air conditioning system. Simply lock it and leave it while the work is done for you.
This Autoglym cleaner gives off a fairly strong, springtime smell. If you’re not only wanting to clean your air conditioner, but also give your vehicle a pleasant smell that lasts, use this air conditioner cleaner.
You should take note that this air con cleaner is known to last a relatively long time before needing another leaning. You can expect this treatment to keep your air conditioning system in top shape for about six months. After that, you’ll need another application to ensure it's working optimally and safely.
- Applying this air con cleaner will keep your system good for approximately six months
- Gives a fresh, springtime smell after it’s done cleaning
- Ease to use, simply lock it and leave it
- It takes around 20 minutes to fully clean the entire system
#3. Silverhook SGAC2 Air-Con Bomb Cleaner
The Silverhook SGAC2 Air-Con Bomb Cleaner works by releasing odour eating compounds and bacteria-killing components through a nozzle. As its being released, you’ll need to have your vehicle running with the air conditioning on full blast for around 10 to 15 minutes.
As the cleaning solution is exposed to your vehicle, your air conditioning system will run it through over and over again until it all dissipates. This is what allows your air conditioning system to smell great and be bacteria-free.
You won’t have to do anything special to use this air con bomber. There is no lock it and leave it method, you won’t have to attach or clip it to anything. To use it, simply press the nozzle inward. Pressing it will create the ‘bomb’ effect as it continues to release the cleaning solution until it’s out. Press the nozzle in and toss it into your passenger seat and let it do the work for you.
- Keeps your vehicle smelling amazing for a few days
- Eliminates most odours and bacteria. If your vehicle has a funk to it, expect it to be gone for at least five months
- Extremely easy to use with the press and leave method
- Won’t fix filter issues, only hide them for a few days
#4. Climate Doctor – Foam Cleaner
The Climate Doctor takes a unique approach to clean your air conditioning system. It uses foam to spread the cleaning solution that helps your system.
To use this foam cleaner, simply spray it onto the ventilation panel located at the front of your vehicle. Once you’ve coated it relatively well, turn the air conditioning system on full blast and exit your vehicle. Leave it running for about 15 minutes and you’ll be good to go.
Using foam is preferred by many because it’s easy to use and helps give a more permanent pleasant smell to your vehicle. After the 15 minutes of cleaning is up, simply wipe the excess foam away. No further cleaning will be required.
- Uses foam to effectively clean your vehicle with a long-lasting pleasant smell
- Easy to clean and use
- Functions as both an air freshener and air conditioning cleaner
- It can be a bit of a mess if you’re not careful with the canister
#5. Comma AIRCC 150ml
The Comma AIRCC is a chemical cleaner known to give an extremely thorough clean to your air conditioning system. It eliminates bacteria, fungi, moulds, and different viruses that could live on the surface of your air conditioning system. It’s meant for those who are more concerned about having a cleansed system rather than a gimmicky fresh scent.
The cleaner works similarly to the ‘bomb’ air-con cleaner listed above. You’ll press in the nozzle and the canister will begin releasing the chemical-fueled solution. You must have as little contact with the chemicals it releases as possible, so be sure to immediately put it inside your vehicle and shut the door.
Keep your air conditioning on full blast and let your vehicle ventilate and cycle the chemical solution through the system. This will get you an extremely thoroughly clean. After about 15 minutes, the cleaning process will be done.
The smell of your vehicle after cleaning won’t be much different. The cleaner doesn’t release any specifically pleasant smells. However, it will smell clean. The cleaner is extremely effective at its job.
- Extremely tough on bacteria, fungi, moulds and other debris in your system
- Easy to use
- Fully cleans the vehicle in under 15 minutes
- The chemicals it uses can be dangerous. You’ll want to spend as little time with it after its running as possible.
- Doesn’t release any particularly good odours
Cleaner for Car Air Cons Buying Considerations
Generally these cleaners are easy to use, however, the instructions on how to use them varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
You’ll find some that clip on your ventilation system, some that are known as a ‘bomb’, and some that use foam to circulate the cleaning solution. They all provide different benefits and may take a varying amount of time to get the job done.
How it Works
Knowing how each cleaner works is going to impact your buying decision. Do you want a chemically-driven cleaner? Or, one that is more focused on giving your vehicle a long-lasting good smell?
Chemicals are great for getting rid of mould and bacteria, while other cleaners focus more on giving your vehicle a good scent. Consider what you’d like in your vehicle and find one that helps you achieve that
If you believe the air conditioning system in your car has been neglected for a long time and you’re starting to pick up a bit of a stench with your nose, start by applying a suitable cleaning solution suggested from our best air con cleaner picks above, and hopefully your unit will end up smelling factory fresh again. Overall, our number 1 choice is the STP cleaner as it’s the most effective and well-received by users on our list.
Last Updated On: February 26, 2021.