Ozone machines are great tools, but very specific tools. What is an Ozone machine and how does it work?
An Ozone machine is designed to neutralize odor and can be extremely effective when performing something like mold removal, or cigarette smell removal. Ozone machines work by emitting the gas Ozone, or O3, which has one more Oxygen molecule than breathable O2. That third Oxygen atom actually detaches from the molecule and reattaches to other substances, altering their chemistry, and thus helping to neutralize the odor. Pretty cool right? May seem a bit intense but if used properly they are great.
When I say it’s specific it is because it should only be used in a situation with really bad odors, after you have eliminated all of the sources of the odor-causing substance. When using it on a small space like a vehicle make sure you thoroughly ventilate after use, as ozone is actually very harmful to people and especially small animals! So proper ventilation is key to making sure it is safe.
Now, on to disinfecting. Maybe I didn’t notice, but I had never seen Ozone machines and services offered to disinfect, and now with the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, I see them all the time. Much like with steam cleaning, there is a way that an Ozone machine could disinfect, but they will not with the way you generally see them used in detailing. In fact, according to the EPA:
“If used at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone applied to indoor air does not effectively remove viruses, bacteria, mold, or other biological pollutants…ozone concentrations would have to be 5 – 10 times higher than public health standards allow before the ozone could decontaminate the air sufficiently to prevent survival and regeneration of the organisms once the ozone is removed”
So, yeah, it’s not disinfecting. And even if you had the levels that high it still wouldn’t disinfect porous surfaces, which your car has a lot of. If you are however looking to help remove odors, reach for one of these units.