Our answer to this is that it varies from person to person and car to car.
Simple things such as temperature, cabin size & ventilation (windows up driving vs windows down driving) can all affect how long or short any air freshener can last. Many of the topics below are simple common sense knowledge (such as following the instructions), whilst other topics take a much deeper dive & closer look at topics that could be an issue (such as mouldy/mildew smells inside your car).
Some of these topics are not just covering our own deodorizing air fresheners, but every type of air freshener on the market, some topics are a longer read, however we guarantee they are extremely detailed, educational & have helped so many people all over the world choose their products more wisely.
We hold ourselves to a very high standard as we are continually refining our products as chemistry becomes more advanced over time, we raise the bar & set new industry leading standards. Our business is proud to provide our customers with some of the highest quality premium deodorising air fresheners on the market all over the world. We strive to set the yardstick in our segment and truly believe our products to be the top of the game.
"Sometimes people are trying to mask an underlying smell without really knowing their car has one, until we point it out to them…"
As simple as it sounds, reading & following our instructions will get the most fragrance longevity inside your car.
Some people don’t read the instructions we have on our products, following these simple instructions is a huge step in the right direction. We understand that not everyone will want to follow our instructions and want to do things “their way” (assuming that 2-3 sprays inside the whole car is “should be enough”). Trust us when we say - our instructions are there for a good reason. Our Potions need to penetrate as much carpet surface area as possible for them to work their magic.
Follow the simple instructions on the back of the label. You must vacuum your carpets & remove any rubbish and smelly items before spraying our potions to ensure you can get the most out of them. If you’re spraying our Potions (or any other product) directly on to dirty floor mats then don’t expect the fragrance to last as long.
Once finished ensure you close your doors & windows immediately after spraying & keep them closed for at least 30mins (so they can work their magic). Next time you go to clean & vacuum your carpets (well after the fragrance has faded away), you will notice our fragrances will start to come back to life as you vacuum your carpets next time.
You should be cleaning & maintaining the interior of your car once every 2 weeks (for daily driven cars) as it is simply good measure & good hygiene practice (which we touch on below on another question).
Most people know rule of thumb is to wash their car at least once every 2 weeks, though many people neglect to clean their interior as it seems “daunting”, “boring” or “not needed until its really bad”.
Neglecting interior cleaning allows for more “buildup” of general bacteria & other elements to occur, which can develop into its own unique smell. We have seen many times that arm rests, door cards & drivers seats look “clean” but absolutely stink.
We believe interior should be “quick detailed” at least once a week. The quick detail is a simple thing of wiping down your interior & high touch areas with a simple product like our Interior Detailer. Doing this itself once a week will keep your interior looking its best, protect surfaces against UV damage, maintain an anti-static finish (less dust sticking), clean & help remove most bacteria’s (as we use hospital grade disinfectants) & it will make it much easier to clean your interior next time. This can be done in about 10mins if done weekly.
Interiors should be “more cleaned” once every two weeks (when you wash your car), this includes the above + giving your carpets & floors mats a good vacuum & spray of our deodorising air fresheners.
Depending on usage, some interiors may need a “deep cleaned” once a month to once every 3 months, this includes using products like leather cleanse, fabric cleanse, plastic cleanse & then following up with relevant protectants/products afterwards.
We aren’t joking about this, if you’re interior is in not so great condition, we strongly suggest you give it a good & deep clean, not for our sake but for your own health. Yes our Potions will eliminate bad odours & freshen up your interior, however it won’t be for long before our fragrance odour fighting properties fade out & that ugly smell returns back.
Car manufactures use different materials to build their cars, many European & Italian cars have their own smells to them, many BMW's & Mercedes have a famous unique smell to them and some newer Mercedes even have their own inbuilt air fresheners inside the glovebox. There are plenty of other cars (including brand new cars) that have their own unique smells to them such as (but not limited to) MG, Volkswagen, Volvo, Renault, Ferrari, Porsche etc etc...
Sometimes this in itself could be an underlying smell you may be trying to get rid of without knowing about it (until now). When you think about it logically, no air freshener can get rid of all those smells as those materials will always be there & they will always be leeching out VOC’s.
We like to under promise and over deliver when we can.
It’s a long read but damn worth it as it is very educational, will help you understand & choose the right products more wisely. We are shining the light onto a sensitive topic so everyone can have a better understanding that if you are going to compare different types of air fresheners that you need to compare apples to apples & NOT apples to oranges.
There are so many other contributing factors that can affect fragrance longevity which are covered in other tabs/topics on this page, however this section is purely for expectations, understanding limitations of different types of air fresheners & to help you compare apples to apples.
TLDR: Sorry, but there’s no “5 second answer” to this, if you have the “good is cheap, cheap is good” mentality, this read will open your eyes & should get you into good habits & using the right products. Yes its 10 minutes’ worth of reading but well worth it.
We find that sometimes some people’s expectations are very high & that they expect a water based liquid spray air freshener to last for an unreasonable period of time and sometimes completely forget the fact that our Potions do so much more than just “make the car smell nice” & eliminate bad odours, in addition to this some people are trying to mask up a problem odour (sometimes mould, sometimes food scraps under the seats & sometimes it’s just the nature of the car having its own factory OEM smell to it < which we touch on another topic on this page).
When our fragrances have run their course & have completely faded away from carpets & floor mats, our odour eating ingredients & microbial controlling ingredients continue to work for around another 2-3 weeks (sometimes much longer), with our potions you get the below wrapped up into 1 bottle:
Many bad odours can actually come in from your shoes bringing in dirt, water, sand, mud & all sorts of other contaminants into your carpets as you go in/out of your car alongside bringing in hot foods, drinks, used work/gym clothing & shoes, other odours can build up over time (such as having poor interior cleaning routines & not replacing cabin filters when required, all of which we touch on other topics) etc etc.
The simplest way to get a better understanding about our products is to simply think of them as a quick & easy, “best bang for your buck” product that offers passive anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, odour eliminating priorities to your carpets & fabric floor mats for a reasonable duration of time with a twist of fun, class & style with our fragrances. Think of how ceramic coatings works, it offers a passive form of UV protection to your paint & make water bead off from paintwork.
You don’t need to have a wax or ceramic coating applied onto your paint (if you did need these, the car manufacturers would be liable for this). Washing and drying your paintwork regularly & correctly, clay barring once to twice a year is usually enough to keep paint in good shape, however many people opt to install/apply a wax or ceramic coating because they want it.
The fundamental principle of a wax or ceramic coating is to offer passive UV protection to your paintwork. They both offer it, however they are light years apart from each other (chemistry wise) & should not compared to one another as the pros & cons of 1 will heavily outweigh the other.
The same needs to be said for air fresheners, you don’t need an air freshener, as if you clean & vacuum your interior regularly, you won’t have bad odours that need to be eliminated, your car should smell clean, however an air freshener is a luxury that many people simply want, you have the option of solid air fresheners or liquid air fresheners, both freshen the air inside your car, but both offer very different things which we explain below.
Sometimes people have the expectation that 2-3 sprays of our Potions = a lifetime of fragrance longevity (this is not true at all).
You need to compare apples to apples...
We get that you might be saying to yourself “but I can get a hanging air freshener for $1" or “I can buy a tuna can air freshener for $10-$15+ that will last a few weeks”, however the whole “cheap is good & good is cheap mentality”is wrong & needs to be thrown out the window as a poor man pays twice.
It doesn’t make any sense to even try & compare a cheap spray wax to a good quality ceramic coating. Most people know & understand that ceramic coatings have plenty of benefits over a wax. A spray wax will increase gloss, is not prone to water spotting, is easy to apply & offers short term UV protection. A ceramic coating on the other hand will increase gloss too but not as much as a wax will, coatings are much more prone to water spotting & are very difficult, costly & time consuming to apply (compared to a spray wax), though the ceramic coating offers protection for years (not months like a wax does), both have their pros & cons to one another. Trying to compare the 2 is an apples to oranges comparison.
The same principle & logic needs to be applied when comparing a solid air freshener (cardboard / tuna can cup) to a liquid spray air freshener (not just ours, but from other companies too), both have pros & cons to one another but one outweighs the other.
The facts are that some (not all) solid air fresheners (hanging air fresheners, clip in vent air fresheners & tuna can cup style air fresheners) may offer a longer lasting fragrance inside your car when trying to compare them to a our water based deodorizing air fresheners, however this is where the apples to oranges comparison comes into play, solid air fresheners:
- Do absolutely nothing to eliminate odours
- Usually cause more problems than they solve
- Have mediocre smelling fragrance profiles at best case
- Easily grow mould sports as they decompose (rot) "self shrink"
- Do absolutely nothing for bacterial & microbial control on carpets & floor mats (where most bad odours originate from)
- Hugely cheapen the look of your interior by always being in your face, or in a cup holder rattling around
You see what we just did their, we just highlighted many of the negatives that solid air fresheners offers, you have just quickly learnt that our products PROS outweigh all of the CONS offered by a solid air freshener 6 to 1. This is why we say you need to compare apples to apples.
Hanging air fresheners: We have seen countless times that these air fresheners cause irreparable damage if they are used incorrectly (melting plastics & leathers) when being hanged off indicator stalks, gear surrounds or tied into the vents.
Most of these companies making these hanging air fresheners even have warnings on the packaging stating not to let their air fresheners touch anything (though as usual, some people want to do things “their way”). When used as directed, some of these companies even instruct to use the plastic bag the air freshener is supplied in & to cut a small hole in the bag & each day to “pull the cardboard” out to expose more of the cardboard.
When used as instructed (hanging off the rear view mirror) they are always “in your face” dangling around screaming “look at me, look at me, I am too cheap”, worst of all, we find they do not smell pleasant at all, don’t last & don’t eliminate any odours.
Vent clip in air fresheners: We have seen these fail countless times and leak their oils all over air vents and the dashboard and cause irreparable damage to those surfaces (especially during summer). We have also seen that sometimes when people remove the clips that hold onto the vents, they end up snapping off or cracking the vents which not a fun thing to replace, especially with older cars where these parts are hard & expensive to come by.
Tuna can style air fresheners: We dislike these air fresheners the most as the chemistry involved is very basic & flawed. They are usually made from felt or gel (goo), both of which we found when left exposed to oxygen long enough, they decompose & grow mould spores inside & both styles tend to attract insects & spiders.
With these styles of air freshens, not only do they really cheapen the look of your interior, take up precious real-estate space inside your car, their fragrance profiles most of the time smell cheap & nasty due to the nature of their “chemistry”. We have seen many times that that insects & spiders are actually attracted to these style of air fresheners. < We have seen & dealt with this countless times, in addition to this, they do absolutely nothing when it comes to odour elimination.
Besides taking up a cup holder, rattling around, they also scream “look at me, look at me, I am too cheap”.
Chemistry of felt based: Tuna can air fresheners simply have a piece of felt soaked with natural fragrance oils (which insects & spiders love). As the oil dries up in the felt, the felt starts to develop mould spores over time, if they tip over & are left tipped over, many leak & cause all sorts of hassles such as damaged plastics, leathers &/or ruined fabric.
Chemistry of Gel (goo): Gel based air fresheners are even worse than felt based air fresheners, these air fresheners should be avoided at all costs in our professional opinion. We have broken down the science & chemistry behind these products & found they most of them are made up of primarily of food grade ingredients (such a gelatine, agar agar) & other synthetic ingredients, some market themselves as "plant based" (cough cough, code word for food based) & are simply mixed with natural fragrance oils & colour.
These gel air fresher’s “self-shrink” when exposed to oxygen, the flaw with this concept is that the “self-shrinking” is actually decomposition (rot) of the gel (goo). As the decomposition progresses, the fragrance starts to smell “funny” or “weird” or “not pleasant”, those “smells” you are breathing in, is a by-product of the “self-shrink feature” these gel air fresheners “offer”. In addition to this, some might have a strong kick when you first open them, however within a couple days at best case, that kick is gone & is usually very faint.
We found that all of these air gel (goo) air fresheners tend to attract insects & spiders much more than oil based air fresheners do, 9/10 times we have seen that these air fresheners grow mould spores as they decompose (which is terrible to be breathing in). Due to the limited ingredients of using such ingredients to create a gel (goo) based air fresheners, the chemistry required is very basic & extremely limited (can be made at home & have thousands of recipes online). Some even market a feature of “adjusting the strength by twisting to lid more open / close” < in our eyes, this is nothing but a marketing gimmick at best.
With our Potions, insects & spiders actually hate the chemistry of our products (something that is very important to us). Don’t ask us how we’ve done it, as it’s one of our trade secrets. None of the solid air fresheners offer any form of odour elimination, bacterial or microbial control for carpets & fabrics & most of them offer terrible fragrance profiles.
In addition, all the above styled air fresheners require a physical item left inside your car (ie remove that tuna can & you have no more fragrance), with our products, you spray onto the carpets & then leave the bottle at home. The bottle does NOT need to remain inside the car to smell amazing, eliminate odours, control mould & bacteria, our products don’t take up your interior real-estate & cheapen the look of your car.
Pressurized Aerosol Air Fresheners: You are paying an exorbitant amount of money for a product that only has on average less than 1% of its chemical composition being used for actual “freshening up” & the other 99% is solvents & gas. < If you don’t believe us, lookup the SDS’s of these products yourself. We find that many of these aerosol air fresheners don’t last anywhere near as long when compared to water based liquid air fresheners. < Again an apples to oranges comparison which is incorrect.
Oil based liquid spray air fresheners: (an almost apples to apples comparison)
Concentrated oil based ready to use spray air fresheners low volume high price (usually 20 - 60mls & priced above $9.95)
It’s a liquid in a non-pressurized spray bottle, sure you are right, but its oil based product, NOT water based product.
We know that there are some small companies out their offering "bespoke" liquid spray air fresheners in a very heavily concentrated oil form & marketed as ready to use. We have broken down the science & chemistry behind these products and let us say, we are far from impressed with these products (not least because of the exorbitant costs).
Pure & natural oils don't just evaporate from carpets like magic, they build up, stay put & when the fragrance does fade off, the oil left behind attracts dirt, muck & all sorts of nasties you wouldn't want building up on your floor mats.
We have seen with many of these super concentrated air fresheners that they offer more negatives than positives such as oily & mouldy carpets (after long term usage) & the attraction of spiders & insects. Many (if not all) of these products don’t have any odour eliminating ingredients (they rely upon high percentages of natural fragrance oils to mask up odours), nor do they have any effective anti-microbial & anti-bacterial properties.
Put simply, the chemical composition of these products with high levels of natural fragrance oils just doesn’t work with anti-microbial & anti-bacterial ingredients. When attempting to combine the two (which we have) the fragrance becomes unstable & practically useless. In addition when doing ISO certified lab testing of mould & bacteria, these products always come back with very high counts of mould & bacteria (as once again the anti-bacterial chemistry doesn't work in these sorts of formulations).
We have had countless customers come to us after using these highly concentrated air fresheners long term and asked us if our products can save their carpets and floor mats.
Water based, liquid spray air fresheners (non-aerosol) - The apples to apples comparison!!!
This is where our products fit, this is where the apples to apples comparisons should be made,
Water based air fresheners: The chemistry, fragrance strength & features behind water based air fresheners varies from company to company. There are thousands of these companies all over the world offering these water based air fresheners, however finding a good one is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. < With us, you are getting the best of the best so you can stop searching.
Many of these water based air fresheners do not last, smell horrendous & do not offer any form of bacterial, microbial and/or odour control. We see many people using these products & are always never happy with them but choose to continue using them because “it’s cheap”.
It’s like comparing different brands of engine oil at the same spec (ie 5w-40), you will spend some time combing through the information, however you will eventually find one that out does all the other ones. Theirs cheap 5w-40 engine oil that works in a daily driven car just fine but won’t work last for long at a race track, then there is expensive high quality 5w-40 engine oil that can be used in race cars & handle session after session.
With our products, if you remembered the first 7 points we mentioned above & then compare them to any of our competitor’s water based air fresheners, you will quickly learn that we are offering our customers the best value for money!
It’s no secret that Platinum Potions is very well known in the car detailing world as the #1 go to air freshener not only just here in Australia, but all over the world now. It is something that has taken us years to achieve. Many of our large competitors have only just woken up to a very small % of our chemistry (we have been using this chemistry since 2017), other companies simply refuse to use the ingredients we use as the costs & chemistry knowledge limits them.
Year over year, Platinum Potions has been raising the bar & setting new industry leading standards in this field. When it comes to the chemistry behind our Potions, we can happily state that we have been able to advanced our knowledge & refined the chemical composition of our products to a level today that we believe is at the very “top of the game”.
The level of our chemistry, quality of ingredients used, our products features & benefits at the price we offer it at is what has astonished our competition.
Our Potions (and many other liquid spray air fresheners) are not designed to be used in vehicles that have rubber, plastic, leather or vinyl floor mats as these materials are always leeching VOC’s, these types of floor mats will always have their unique smells to them (rubbery/plastic) & our Potions will not be able to get rid of their smell.
If you still insist to spray under the seats instead, do keep note that our fragrance longevity will be severely reduced simply due to the fact there is not enough carpet “real-estate” for our Potions to penetrate & that these types of floor mats will always leeching out their own VOC’s.
It’s a bad habit & we all know it, some people still do enjoy smoking a cigarette in their car & hey, it’s a free country, it’s your car & we don’t judge.
Depending on how much you smoke inside your car will affect the fragrance longevity of any air freshener (as anyone can expect). However our Potions actually shine the most in smokers cars as our Potions constantly eliminate that “smoke smell” for a solid 2 weeks (even though the fragrance may have faded right off), whilst yes fragrance may be knocked out within a week in some smokers car, the odour eliminating properties of our Potions work very well & continue to work well after the fragrance has faded off.
Certain chemicals are harsh & have their own “smell” to them, wet vacuuming & pressure washing your floor mats after using these harsh chemicals sometimes isn’t enough to get that chemical smell out of your floor mats. The two most common ones we find are:
- All-purpose cleaners (Containing Solvents & Acids)
- Carpet stain remover/cleaners (Containing Peroxides, Solvents & Acids)
If the “chemical smell” is still their after using these types of cleaners (even after they feel dry), any air freshener (including pure perfume) will be severely impacted in terms of fragrance longevity. We have seen this time & time again & as soon as people stop using these sorts of chemicals on carpets, fragrance longevity comes back to life.
If you need to deep clean your floor mats we strongly suggest you use a fabric cleaner that is un-fragranced (such as our Fabric Cleanse). If you spray any air freshener on top of harsh chemicals that have their own chemical smell to them, then do expect fragrance longevity to fade off much quicker. The reason for this is that many APC’s & some carpet cleaners use acids, solvents & peroxides, sometimes you’ll even see your windows inside fog right up after using these.
If you need to perform a wet vac to your floor mats, yes our Potions will minimise mould growth when drying out, however we strongly recommend you ensure your floor mats are fully dried out after cleaning. We find 2 days out in the sun on a hot summers day does the trick (longer during winter) & most importantly use a dedicated carpet cleaner that doesn’t contain solvents, acids or peroxides such as our Fabric Cleanse.
If you can smell anything remotely wet, damp, moisture like or wet musky, this usually means water is inside your car & you need to find out exactly where it’s coming from as mould can easily grow if you don’t intervene.
Firstly if you have performed a “wet vac” to your interior, we strongly recommend you open your doors & windows to let your car air out & continue to dry vac as much water out as you can. Then follow-up with our Potions (our potions help fight mould too).
If you have not performed a wet vac, check to see if your carpets or roof linings are wet, if they are wet or feel damp, you need to find out where the water has come from (usually a window or sunroof left open in the rain or a rubber seal/grommet that’s cracked, missing or not installed properly). Once you locate the source of leakage, fix it & fix it quickly!
Then pending on how wet your carpet is, you could possibly get away with dry vacuuming your carpets, in worse off cases where your carpet is soaking wet, we then recommend you take it to a professional so they completely strip out, clean & dry your interior asap before you run into bigger problems.
In some very rare cases you may be unable to smell our fragrances after a short period of time, you may be experiencing sensory adaption (nose-blindness). In simple it just means your sense of smell is temporarily limited/blocked or has gotten so used to a particular fragrance right to the point where you can’t smell it anymore. This is much more common with people who have a weak sense of smell.
To confirm if you are in fact experiencing this, get someone else to smell your car & see if they can smell it. If they can indeed smell our fragrance & you can’t, we can only suggest to wait it out for a few days & see if you can smell it again after that.
Dirty, worn or ripped carpets & floor mats can massively effect fragrance longevity, we suggest as always you give your carpets & floor mats a good vacuum before spraying any air fresheners onto them & if they are really dirty, we suggest deep cleaning them with Fabric Cleanse & let them dry out properly. If your main carpet (underneath the floor mats) is in a bad condition or has its own "smell" to it, you will need to address & see what the cause is (sometimes we have seen so much dried up mud & sand has embedded into carpets & floor mats that vacuuming alone isn’t enough).
If your floor mats are wearing thin, ripped & have holes in them, we say it’s time to replace them with a new set as your current/old set have served their purpose well.
Many cars out on the roads have had the unlucky event of ending up at a smash repairer. Some body shops won’t replace or forget to replace rubber seals & grommets. We have seen in some instances that the seals/grommets haven’t been installed correctly.
In some cases you may experience smells from the engine bay or outside coming into your car (not good for your health) which can reduce fragrance longevity. We suggest you simply check all rubber/silicone seals & grommets around your doors & door hinges, boot/truck area & the firewall in the engine bay. You don’t need anything except your eyes to check these things.
Most people who are experiencing this issue quickly find that a grommet is missing or one that hasn’t been put back into place properly. Once the grommet/seal is back in place properly/replaced, that fixes their problems with outside odours coming into their car.
Cabin filters, YES cabin filters can actually throw your sense of smell off, we wrote a blog about this here back in 2017 & it still gets massive hits online from around the world. In short, many people don’t replace their cabin filters when recommended or required, we recommend changing them within 15,000kms/1yr or when contaminated enough (don't forget these things also filter pollutants from the air).
This can be a huge thing with fragrances, we have seen countless cabin filters loaded up with dead insects, leafs & other crap (enough that the entire filter & housing is clogged up). We have seen countless cabin filters riddled with mould too when left too long (that’s not good to breathe in).
These filters get clogged up or contaminated rather quickly THOUGH the smells that come out of them, come out gradually, so gradually you don’t notice it until either someone else who hasn’t been in your car tells you OR when it becomes apparent to yourself (when those dead insects start to decompose enough). This is because your brain becomes used to a certain smell & when it’s a gradual smell increasing in strength, it tends not to register in your brain (hence nose-blindness explained in another tabs).
Checking & changing a cabin filter with most cars should take you no more than a minute or two (if they’re not clogged up). You'll notice when you remove a contaminated cabin filter that when you smell it closely, they usually reek & then you might notice your car has a similar smell to your cabin filter. If & when you have a contaminated cabin filter, those smells will be circulating throughout your car, changing them can sometimes make a world of a difference.