Our story started because regular car air fresheners just aren’t good enough…

The Purggo Story

If you’ve ever been in the car with a dog after a trip to the lake, you’ll know that distinct and unforgettable odor. We love Brandy, our friend’s golden retriever, but not so much the smell she leaves behind in the car.

it all started with brandy

Initially, we tried using regular car air fresheners, like Febreze, to get rid of the odor. Unfortunately, these products only released fragrance, which did absolutely nothing to remove the smell. Worse yet, shortly after using Febreze, our friend started having asthma and allergy attacks in the car. Some research on the EPA’s website revealed an appalling amount of artificial chemicals that go into a typical air freshener.

Brandy hates the artificial fragrance as well, and she always made sure we knew by throwing a fit.

No problem, we just had to find a better product, right?

It turns out, a better car air freshener was much harder to find than we initially thought. We thought our criteria were simple: something that’s effective, natural, safe, and convenient.

But none of the products on the market satisfied these four simple requirements.

In March 2014, while we were hanging out with granny, she told us about bamboo charcoal, and a light bulb went off in our heads. This was the perfect solution!

Turns out bamboo charcoal has been used for thousands of years in many Asian countries as mother nature’s water and air purifier. It’s totally natural and safe, and it actually absorbs and removes odor.

grandma zhang

Grandma Zhang rockin’ Hello Kitty like a BOSS

We pooled our resources, ordered bamboo charcoal from the world’s most renowned producer, and put it to the test in our friend’s car with Brandy. We were pleasantly surprised by the results.

The next natural step, was creating PURGGO.

design philosophy

PURGGO’s mission is simple: to create an effective, safe, and responsible product that we’d want to use ourselves. With our families, and with our children. This mission is reflected in the design philosophy of the product.

Ben drawing

We specifically chose sustainable and environmentally responsible materials consisting of bamboo charcoal, hemp fabric, and organic cotton. We combined these components together with a simple, clean, and honest design language. For instance, we chose round corners and smooth textures due to bamboo charcoal’s history and roots in Asian culture. A big part of the design was inspired by Japanese Zen philosophy.

sketch book

The organic hemp fabric you see on the outside is not only 230% more sustainable than cotton, it’s also undyed to keep it as close to its natural state as possible. We included a bright splash of color in the attachments for contrast and surprise.

different materials

We hope you enjoy PURGGO as much as we enjoyed designing it.

dirty secrets

In the United States, the air freshener industry (car air fresheners included) is estimated at 3 billion dollars.

Unfortunately for consumers, the US Food & Drug Administration does not regulate most of the ingredients that go into air fresheners.

That means big corporations often put chemicals that are harmful to the human body into their products, and not need to reveal this on the label.

In a recent independent study conducted by the EWG on Febreze, a P&G brand, 89 air contaminants were detected in the product, yet the label on Febreze only included 5 ingredients.

Many of the 89 air contaminants cause immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, and allergies.

The full research can be found here.

Here’s a comparison of common brands against PURGGO. Our product is simple and straightforward with only one natural ingredient: bamboo charcoal.

purggo comparison

does bamboo charcoal work


The video shows a simple way to test the effectiveness of bamboo charcoal. But we know you want more data.


Bamboo charcoal’s odor elimination has been recorded, studied, and proven by various academic journals. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Health Science titled “Science of Bamboo Charcoal: Study on Carbonizing Temperature of Bamboo Charcoal and Removal Capability of Harmful Gases,” by the Nagaoka University of Technology in Japan, researchers tested bamboo charcoal’s capabilities.

A test with nonenal (an odorant) using bamboo charcoal carbonized at different temperatures (500°C, 700°C, 1000°C) revealed the following results:

bamboo test results

Fig. 9. Time Course of Nonenal Concentration in Sampling Bag

You can observe a significant decrease in the concentration of the odor over time.

The full study is here.

The results can be summarized as:

“It is expected that (bamboo) charcoal can be effectively used as a countermeasure against Sick Building Syndrome or as a deodorant.

Bamboo charcoal becomes activated carbon using a kiln and burned at very high temperatures. It’s widely used in manufacturing and medical facilities due to its effectiveness in getting rid of unwanted odor. Above, you also see academic validation.



Adsorb & Eliminate Odor

Purggo adsorbs and eliminates odor instead of just masking it. The bamboo charcoal in Purggo is 4x more porous than regular charcoal. As air passes through the pores, odor particles are trapped on the surfaces inside, which purifies the air in your car.

Natural, Non-Toxic, Fragrance-Free

Have peace of mind. Purggo is all-natural and non-toxic. It’s fragrance- and allergen- free. It’s also 100% asthma and allergy friendly. You never have to worry about the kids or the pooch getting too close to Purggo.

Long Lasting, Sustainable, GOOD

Purggo works 24/7 passively and lasts more than 365 days. It’s the world’s longest lasting car eco-purifier. Purggo also uses honest materials such as bamboo and hemp, both of which are super renewable.



PURGGO has been working very well so far! We have gone from Los Angeles to Baton Rouge to Chicago to Portland to San Francisco with three dogs, my boyfriend, two kids and myself and the car still smells great! I would call that a HUGE win!

amy morrison

This actually works! That random hot garbage filth smell in the car is gone – all without the use of chemicals or toxic spray crap.