by Ian Martinez
EDITORS NOTE: At Sunset North Car Wash, we are big fans of Meguiar’s products. And, as you’ll see, near the end of the article their Car Re-Fresher is listed as a much less labor-intensive (and third less expensive) alternative to P&S.
If you’ve ever tried to remove odor from a vehicle you know how difficult it can be and how it can “come back” even after cleaning several times. We all know that you have to first clean all of the surfaces to remove most of the smell causing matter. But it can still reside in your air vents and small areas you cannot reach. That is where a product like the P&S Odor Doc comes in. It circulates through your air system and eliminates odor in every crevice of the vehicle.
First, this product works by creating Chlorine Dioxide gas, which is a strong oxidizer and irritant. So make sure you have gloves, eyewear, and a mask, you know, like March 2020.
The instructions are pretty easy:
• Park the car outside, but in the shade. You need to keep the car temperature controlled to be the most effective.
• Turn the car on and get the air to 60-80 degrees F with the windows rolled up.
• Place the container on the floor so it’s flat and under the recirculation vent so the gas will be pulled in.
• Place the forbidden Alka Seltzer tabs in the tin.
• Add water to the red fill line. Make sure you add enough otherwise the bubbling action from the tabs could be too strong and start to splash onto the carpet.
• As you can see it starts working before you even finish filing up the tin.
• Then it starts to quickly oxidize, you won’t really see the gas but it starts right quickly so you want to get out right away.
• Then lock your doors because we are eliminating all the odors out here! Now, to get the full effect, you have to let this run for 50 minutes, not a typo.
When done, open the doors to vent it out and the vehicle will smell like chlorine, which may last for a little bit. Leave the windows down and leaving in the sun will help dissipate.
It works great, it really does. It ends up with a very neutral scent and unless you have an extremely heavy smoker, you only need one application. However, the rest of the product and its application make it hard to recommend. I struggled a lot with this evaluation because it works so well, but there are a few things that are difficult for me to get past.
The time you have to have the car running. The 50 minutes and the temperature control mean you have the vehicle fully on for almost an hour. That is a very long time, especially when products like the Meguiar’s Whole Car Re-Fresher only takes 15 mins and you can just run the fans if you want. Maybe it only works 90% as good, so in extreme cases, it wouldn’t be as effective or need multiple applications, but it’s also a third of the price.
The chlorine smell after. I know it’s not a big deal and most people would understand, but it is hard for me to sell a client on odor removal, to then give them their car back with a different odor that will go away in a day or so. They should be able to pick their car up done like some other products do. However, I would be much more confident knowing the original odor is not going to come back so at least the job would be done.
Overall, if you are wanting to eliminate odor in your vehicle the P&S Doc works great, and the caveats are very subjective to my personal preference and may not matter to you. It will get rid of the odors for good.