Home generalAir conditioning stinks? - Cleaning and disinfecting

Air conditioning stinks? - Cleaning and disinfecting

  • Prevent fungal attack
  • Clean and disinfect the air conditioner
    • Air conditioning cleaning spray
    • Clean and disinfect the air conditioner with heat
  • Conclusion

Air conditioners in the car have indisputable advantages. They ensure a tolerable and pleasant climate at high outside temperatures, but also clean the air, so that pollens, dirt particles and unpleasant odors can not get inside the car. The whole works, however, only with a flawless and well-maintained Klimaanalage. If you miss cleaning and maintenance, you have to expect bacteria and germs to settle in the filter system, form mold and create unpleasant odors. But worse than this is the fact that the air can even be harmful to the health of car occupants.

Frequently, fungi form. These find ideal conditions. Warmth and moisture are ideal conditions for the growth of fungi, but also of bacteria and viruses. The smell is caused by putrefactive bacteria. These settle on the evaporator, on the bottom and the walls of the evaporator box and are massively spread by the constant humidity. The unpleasant smell is a warning sign of the infestation and should not be ignored. Germs and bacteria are spread through the air conditioning throughout the car. A dry throat, coughing and watery eyes are the least of the effects. It can cause allergies and respiratory diseases. To prevent this, the air conditioning system should be cleaned and disinfected annually . As a result, the odor and bacteria formation can be kept very low.

Prevent fungal attack

The fungal attack can be prevented by the air conditioning is switched off completely shortly before the end of the ride. The ventilation, however, must continue to work and can thus eliminate the residual moisture in the air conditioning. Without moisture there is no breeding ground for fungi and bacteria. Many air conditioners require the "Econ" mode to be turned on.

air conditioner

Clean and disinfect the air conditioner

The longer it has been since the air conditioning has been cleaned, the more it has to be done. You can bring the car to the workshop or even do it yourself. The pests can be combated with heat, but also with chemicals. The longer you have done nothing and the mushroom cultures and bacteria allowed to multiply, the more often and more intensively cleaning and disinfection must now be performed.

Air conditioning cleaning spray

With these cleaning sprays you can get rid of the unpleasant odors in two ways. Once sprayed directly into the engine compartment in the ventilation shaft and the other time the can is placed in the vehicle and activated. It then sprays its s and this is distributed by the air circulation function of the air conditioning and does its job. The cans are available for around 10 euros in the trade. The time that has to be scheduled is quite small with 10 to 20 minutes. The chemical ingredients eliminate the breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, mold and harmful microorganisms. The car should be cleared as far as possible. Everything portable should be taken out for this action.

Put spray in the vehicle interior

  • Shake the disinfection box well
  • Start the vehicle and switch on the air conditioning
  • Set the blower to maximum.
  • Activate the recirculation switch, fully open all the ventilation nozzles.
  • Push the front seats forward as far as possible and fold the backrests forward.
  • Place the well-shaken tin on the ground, in the back footwell, so that it can not fall over
  • For safety's sake, a larger rag or cloth should be spread underneath to protect the environment from leaking droplets.
  • Activate the bottle, leave the vehicle quickly and close the doors!
Settings for air conditioning cleaning spray

Tip: Use caution when handling the spray. The agent must not get in the eyes or on the skin!

  • It takes about 10 minutes for the can to spray its s. As long as the car is closed.
  • Quietly let it run for a short time
  • Then let the car air well.

The treatment can be repeated any number of times. If the smell does not go away, you should definitely consult a specialist!

Spray spray directly into the ventilation shaft

It should be noted that when buying the spray, a plastic hose with atomizer nozzle is included. This method works only with older cars, where it is still possible to easily remove the pollen filter.

  • Open bonnet. You have to go to the pollen filter.
  • This is removed, which is very easy with most cars.
  • Put the small, very thin hose on the spray bottle.
  • Enter foam directly into the ventilation slot. Spray over the entire width. It can be used quietly plenty of spray.
  • It's best to go back and forth several times and let foam in properly
  • Reinstall the pollen filter
  • Get in the car and start the engine
  • Turn on the air conditioner to full volume
  • Important, all ventilation (flaps) must be open
  • Switch all switching options of the air conditioning
  • For electronics, set to full power
  • Blow it out for a few minutes

This treatment can also be repeated.

Clean and disinfect the air conditioner with heat

To kill bacteria with heat, high temperatures are required. At least 50 ° C are needed and this over a longer period, because otherwise the bacteria on the evaporator, in the heating system and in the ventilation pipes are not killed. In order to keep the temperatures, it is ideal when the outside temperatures are as high as possible and in addition the sun shines. It is important to remove all non-heat resistant items.

Recirculation at and highest temperature
  • Drive the vehicle warm. The coolant gauge should be approximately in the middle.
  • Park the car on a sunny spot and run the heating full.
  • Turn heating controller to maximum value or set.
  • For Klimatronic, set "HI"
  • Heating should be 45 to 60 minutes.
  • Turn on ventilation fully
  • Activate recirculation switch

Afterwards it is recommended to ventilate the car thoroughly. The bacteria should be killed as far as possible. However, since there are different types, this type of cleaning and disinfection is not always efficient. Germs can survive and they multiply quickly. If it smells right after the heat treatment or a short time later, then you have to resort to another control measure.


In the end, it is often better to professionally clean and maintain the air conditioner in the workshop. However, depending on the workshop, they do nothing else than described here. Maintenance usually includes a new pollen filter and cleaning and disinfecting the evaporator. In addition, the coolant must be replenished. You should pay about 60 euros once a year. Without maintenance, there can be problems. Often wear seals and hoses, which in turn can damage the compressor. That will be really expensive.

From the cleaning and disinfection by heat I am not convinced. 50 degrees are there too little. At least 60 must be there to be reasonably successful. It's hard to imagine getting in the car.

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