Blog: “Can I spray my cabin filter with an air freshener?”

Platinum Potions Blog

“Can I spray my cabin filter with an air freshener?”

We have been asked this question quite allot and we have seen a few companies recommending to turn you’re HVAC to recirculate and “just spray a couple of times around the footwall area with the fan on high”.

We strongly recommend that you do NOT do this!

In plain simple English, cabin filters are designed to capture airborne particles such as dust, pollen, exhaust gases and bacteria in the air that come from outside the vehicle entering the cabin while your HVAC system is on.

Many liquid air fresheners & deodorizers out on the market are water based, some air fresheners & deodorizers do NOT contain the anti-bacterial properties needed to stop the development & growth of mould, Platinum Potions formulations contains only the best anti-bacterial properties to ensure mould does not develop.

We have seen a few cars in the past where people have used cheap air fresheners, drenched their carpets with it & by the next day their car reeked like mould & you can bet that the cabin filter was sprayed too & you can bet the cabin filter contained allot of mould.

We all know what mould can do to your health so you won’t need a lecture about that from us.

“Your air fresheners contain anti-bacterial properties, mould is not a problem, so why shouldn’t I use your air freshener on my cabin filter?”

Theirs science to this answer!

Your HAVC system & cabin filter should be breathing out clean unscented air for you and your passengers, the cabin filter does a very good job at it.

If you use our Potions on your cabin filter you might find whenever you set the HVAC system to HOT you may experience an unpleasant odour until you turn the system back to COLD. There is one reason for this which we will explain below.

Firstly our Potions are extremely are strong, penetrative & are temperature sensitive to the materials & fibres of the cabin filter.

Cabin filters are made from different materials & fibres. Most cabin filters are in a “pleated” form.

There are a few types of cabin filters on the market that we tested, the two most commonly used ones are:

  • “Particulate” cabin air filters (white colour & made from polarized fibres)
  • “Activated Carbon” cabin air filters (grey colour & made from the same materials as the “particulate” cabin filter though they have an addition layer of “activated carbon”)

Now to the science part!

Everything around us is made of atoms. Atoms are comprised of protons (positively charged), electrons (negatively charged), and neutrons (neutral/no charge). In science, protons and electrons are attracted to each other, while a proton and proton would repel one another (example: trying to get north & north of a magnet to stick together).


Particulate layer:

  • Cabin filters are electrostatically charged, they have both positive and negative charges in their fibres.
  • Air particulates have positive or negative charges to them.
  • Electrostatically charged cabin filters pull more airborne particles than a non-charged filter.
  • Once an electrostatically charged cabin filter becomes dirty or clogged up it starts losing its efficiency to capture air particulates.
  • The charge is in the “particulate” layer of the filter.
  • When the air particles pass by the cabin filter those particles stick to the oppositely charged fibres of the cabin filter.

Activated carbon layer:

  • Activated carbon is primarily used as an odour barrier.
  • It is treated with chemicals & heat to give it specific odour-control properties.
  • Charcoal is what is used to “coat” the carbon layer, this layer is porous and traps odour-causing gases by adsorption (not absorption) by holding them onto the surface of the material.

During our early days of formulation, testing & development we tried our potions on hundreds of cabin filters.

So with the hard stuff explained, we will now tell why you may experience an unpleasant odour if you use our Potions on your cabin filter when your HVAC system is set to HOT.

Firstly, the strength of our potions & the fact that it is a liquid form causes the particulate layer of the filter to reduce and possibly loose most of its electrostatic charge thus allowing particles to pass through your HVAC system. (That’s the bad stuff passing through your air vents that you’re breathing in, hence the unpleasant odour when you set your HVAC system to HOT).

Secondly, our potions don’t like to play nice with the “charcoal activated” layer of the cabin filter. Remember this layer is what captures the odours. Whenever you spray an air freshener or deodorizer onto a charcoal activated cabin filter and the scent comes through the air vents you have pretty much defeated the charcoal layers purpose.

“Ok, so what if I use a brand new cabin filter and then spray your Potions onto it”

When we tested our Potions on brand new cabin filters (as the types mentioned above) they produced a pleasant fragrance with the HVAC system set to any temperature. After a few days of driving out & about with the HVAC system on full blast the scent was gone out of the HVAC system.

Keep note if you do spray your new cabin filter, it will not work as efficiently and will loose most of its electrostatic charge.

To sum up this blog, the lesson learnt here is not to spray your cabin filter with any air freshener. If you disagree with us, well then you don’t belong near a car!

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