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Passing The Smell Test

4 min read
Here are a handful of air ionisers that promise to leave your car smelling fresh every time you use it.

Any strong smell that enters the confined space of a car cabin is easily amplified to uncomfortable levels. This universal truth applies no matter the source of the odour, be it the King of Fruits, a block of cheese, or even Chanel No.5. These smells can seep through even if you place the items in the boot!

Time to invest in a car ioniser.

Besides all sorts of funky smells, the air inside your car can get polluted with dust particles and exhaust fumes, so it makes sense to get an ioniser for your car. Car ionisers rely on electrically charged air molecules, or ions, to remove contaminants, thus purifying the air in your car.

Thinkga Car Ionizer Air Purifier

The Thinkga ioniser can produce up to five million negative ions PSC/cm3, and will clean the surrounding air within a volume of 10m3, which is more than enough for the cabin of your car. There is no filter to change.

The manufacturer says this item can remove more than 99% of harmful particulate matter, and is effective against cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, bacteria on the steering wheel, as well as many other odours and allergens.

Just stand it on your cup holder and press a button to activate. It comes with two settings: the low setting is almost completely silent, but the fan can be heard whirring on the high setting, although the usual road noise will cover it.

Available at Amazon at US$29.99.

Zendora Vehicle Air Cleaner

This multi-functional air cleaner is packed with a number of air cleaning technologies.

It has a HEPA filter to trap airborne particles as small as dust, pollen, pet dander, and mould spores, with a 99% efficiency rating. It has an activated carbon filter to absorb gas-based odours and pollutants, such as cigarette smoke, gasoline fumes and volatile organic compounds.

It also has a photocatalyst filter, UV lamp and negative ioniser. It even comes with an aromatherapy diffuser should you wish to use essential oils to imbue your car cabin with a pleasant fragrance of your choice.

With so many cleaning modes, the Zendora looks like a good deal. However, it is rather bulky in design, and may not fit on most dashboards. Thats why it comes with an anti-slip pad at the back, as well as straps to hang it on the back of seats.

 Available at Amazon at US$24.98

Autowit Fresh Air PurifierLike the Thinkga model mentioned above, this is a cylindrical air purifier that can be placed in your car’s cup holder. It features three stages of air filtration to remove toxic chemicals and pollutants in your vehicle. Its powerful ioniser produces up to eight million negative ions PSC/cm3, an amount that will easily provide a mid-sized car with fresh air all day long.

This model comes with an auto detect mode, which can sense the air quality around and reflect it via different colours of LED Indicator Lights (green for good, yellow for acceptable, and red for below acceptable). It is also relatively quiet, emitting a noise level of just 35dB.

Formed with aluminium and ABS plastic, the Autowit is able to withstand shock and heat, so it should have no problems absorbing the little bumps and drops that can occur in the car.

Available at Autowit online store at US$79.99.

Sharp IG-GC2E Plasmacluster Car Ion Generator

This car ioniser uses Plasmacluster technology to remove microbes, and clean and refresh the air inside your car. It comes with a PM10 dust filter on each side, which allows it to capture up to 80% of fine dust particles. According to the manufacturer, it is able to trap and remove bad odours while eliminating viruses, mould and allergens, making your car a most pleasant place to spend time in.

While its tumbler shape enables it to fit conveniently into your automobile’s cup holder, do note that this model is slightly bulky comes with a fan. Simple to operate, it has both low and high speeds, and is very quiet at only 28dB in ‘silent’ mode.

Available at authorised Sharp retailers, including Courts and Gain City, at S$129.

AirTamer A310 High Performance Personal Rechargeable Air Purifier

AirTamer’s advanced ionic technology emits a constant stream of negative ions that keep pollutants away, increasing this ioniser’s effectiveness. Its state-of-the art electrostatic purification creates a three-foot sphere of cleaner, healthier air all around you.

The ultra-compact design allows for versatility, while its proprietary conductive adjustable lanyard dramatically improves performance and increases run time. You have the option of wearing it around your neck or placing it anywhere in your car to keep the interior clean and microbe-free.

Available at AAShop at S$195 (members) and S$210 (non-members).

AAShop locations:

AA Centre
2 Kung Chong Road
AA Centre
Singapore 159140

Tel: 6333 8811

Operating hours
Mon to Fri: 9am to 8pm (last transaction at 7.30pm)
Closed on Sat, Sun and Public Holidays (till further notice)

AA@GB Point
535 Kallang Bahru
#01-08 GB Point
Singapore 339351

Tel: 6333 8811 ext *195

Operating hours:
10am to 11pm (Daily)

51 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3
Singapore 569922

Tel: 6455 2551

Operating hours:
10am to 11pm (Daily)