The Best Air Con Cleaner 2023

Harmful bacteria and bad odours can hide within your car’s air conditioning system but they can be easily removed using an air con cleaner. Within this article, we list some of the best options that are available as aerosols, liquids and foams.

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Best Air Con Cleaner
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If you require a quick answer, the best air con cleaner is the Autoglym Sanitiser, which is a long-lasting treatment that lasts up to 6 months and leaves behind a fresh lemon fragrance. However, if you’re on a tight budget, the STP GST23150 is a more affordable solution that’s also much quicker to use too.

To rate the air con cleaners within our roundup, we based our recommendations on testing, our experience using multiple air con cleaners, the latest research and several factors. Some of the factors that we considered included the cleaner’s type, ease of application, effectiveness at removing bacteria and bad odours, the scent left behind and value.

Best Air Con Cleaner Overview

Below is a list of the best car air con cleaners that clean the entire system and leave behind a pleasant scent.

1. Best Overall: Autoglym Air-Con Sanitiser

Autoglym is a brand that needs no introduction and over the years, they’ve offered several air con cleaners to choose from. However, their latest formula has recently been improved to be even more effective and long-lasting.

To use this air con cleaner, simply place it into your car’s footwell at a right angle, turn the air conditioning system on (with the engine running) and leave it to get to work for 20 minutes.

  • Cleans and refreshes
  • Provides up to 6 months of treatment
  • During testing, we really liked the lemon fragrance that remained in the car for several weeks afterwards
  • Made in the UK by a reputable brand
  • Easy to apply (leave it in your car's footwell)
  • New and improved formula
  • Relatively expensive when compared to the alternatives

Although expensive when compared to some of the alternatives, the Autoglym Air Con Sanitiser is a highly-rated formula that won’t disappoint. It thoroughly cleans the air conditioning system and leaves behind a pleasant lemon scent too

2. Best Value: STP Auto Antibacterial Treatment

By far the most popular car air con cleaner is the STP formula, which cleans and refreshes. To use this formula, simply place the aerosol behind the front passenger seat, put the air conditioning on full power in the internal circulation mode and then leave it for up to 10 minutes to get to work.

  • Eliminates odours and bacteria
  • Takes 10 minutes to get to work
  • Leaves behind a fresh scent
  • Easy to apply with no tools or experience required
  • During testing, we found that the fresh scent didn't last as long as the alternatives

Overall, the STP Air Con Cleaner is a highly rated and popular formula that offers the best value for the money. It’s also produced by the highly reputable STP brand for complete peace of mind.

3. Best All-Rounder: Comma AIRCC Car Air Conditioning Cleaner Spray

Another car air conditioning cleaner that takes just 10 minutes to get to work is by Comma brand. It’s their new and improved formula that’s even more effective and also deodorises your car’s upholstery and carpets.

  • Leaves behind a “new car smell”
  • Application takes 10 minutes
  • Eliminates bacteria, fungi, moulds and viruses
  • Developed by a reputable UK brand
  • During testing, we had to firmly push button down so that it remained latched down for the 10 minutes

Overall, the Comma AIRCC is an excellent all-round air con cleaner that ticks all the boxes. It’s quick, easy to use and cleans the entire air conditioning system in just 10 minutes.

4. Best For Bad Odours: Liqui Moly Climate Control Unit Cleaner

The Liqui Moly brand is well-known for their fuel injector cleaners but they also produce a range of other popular products such as this air con cleaner. It’s suitable for all air conditioning or climate control systems and is designed to be sprayed directly inside the air vents.

  • Removes mould and bacteria
  • Leaves behind a fresh scent
  • Provides a more thorough clean of the air conditioning system
  • Easily tackles all types of bad odours
  • Requires you to remove the car's pollen filter for the best results
  • Most expensive air con cleaner within our roundup

Overall, the Liqui Moly 4087 is a high-quality air con cleaner but the premium price tag makes it a less attractive option when compared to the alternatives in this article.

5. Most Comprehensive: K2 Air Con Bomb Kit

If you want to provide your car’s air conditioning with a thorough clean, the K2 Air Con Bomb Kit is designed to effectively remove any odours, contaminants and moisture from the system from just a single application. The complete kit comes with an active foam formula and an air con bomb that the brand states is suitable for all car air conditioning systems.

  • Foam and aerosol formula
  • Application takes 15 minutes
  • Leaves behind a fresh citrus scent
  • Supplied with a 40 cm application tube and detailed instructions
  • More involving to apply than other formulas

If you are looking for a more thorough clean of your car’s air conditioning system, the K2 Air Con Bomb Kit is an excellent option. It’s relatively easy to use but you will need to change the pollen filter after use for the best results.

6. Best Budget: Holts Air Con Sanitiser

The Holts Car Sanitiser is one of the cheapest air con cleaners that’s actually worth buying. According to the brand, it kills up to 99.99% of bacteria and freshens up your car’s interior with a fresh scent.

  • Application takes 10 minutes
  • Made in the UK and meets the EN 14476 standards
  • Kills bacteria and viruses
  • Easy to apply 150 ml aerosol
  • Leaves a fresh, citrus fragrance after use
  • During testing, the citrus scent doesn't last as long as the alternatives

Overall, the Holts Car Sanitiser is a great choice for those on a budget and it cannot be beaten on price. Unlike similar-priced cleaners, this particular formula is made in the UK by the reputable Holts brand.

How We Tested & Rated

As we own several cars, we were able to test multiple formulas by some of the biggest brands in the UK. Although air con cleaners are a niche product, they are becoming increasingly more popular because people are more concerned with their hygiene.

We recently tested the Autoglym formula (as shown in the photo) and we were very impressed by its ease of application and the scent left behind. The only slight drawback is that it does take a while to use but the end result is worthwhile.

To keep up our commitment to reviewing and testing the latest formulas (for this article), we are continually testing out the latest air con cleaners for top brands in the UK. This means that when we notice a brand has released a new and improved formula, we will attempt to buy it to put it to the test.

best car air con cleaner

Below is a video we posted on our YouTube channel that shows us testing and showing an air con cleaner in action.

As well as testing and using several formulas, we also based our recommendations on the latest research and multiple factors. Some of the factors that we considered included the cleaner’s type, ease of application, effectiveness at removing bacteria and bad odours, the scent left behind and value for money.


Although you can attempt to cover up bad odours with a car air freshener, the harmful bacteria will still be present. However, by using a car air conditioner cleaner, you can completely remove the bacteria as well as the odour and totally freshen up your car. With regards to our recommendations, all are suitable for any car air conditioning system and are very simple to use. However, if you require further information, feel free to get in touch.

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