The average person spends an hour and a half a day in their cars, which is over eight hours in an average workweek. All of this time spent in the vehicle can not only make your vehicle feel like a second home, but it also means that some unpleasant smells can begin to accumulate in the car over time. Fortunately, car air fresheners stand ready to keep the inside of your vehicle smelling as pleasant as possible.
While not every vehicle air freshener does its job well, the majority of them available do a pretty good job of making the inside of a car smell a whole lot better. All a person has to do is sort out the not-so-good fresheners from the excellent ones currently on the market. That’s exactly what we did with the following list of top ten car air fresheners. All of the following products do a great job making the car’s interior smell better.
Best Car Air Fresheners – Reviews & Buying Guide
10Chemical Guys Leather Scented Air Freshener
When most people think of air fresheners for their car, they think of the ones that hang from their rear-view mirror or one that clips onto a vent. What they don’t realize is that many air fresheners also come in convenient sprays like this one. Chemical Guys Leather Scent is a premium air freshener and odor eliminator that not only imparts the new car scent of leather to the inside of the vehicle it’s applied, but also helps to reduce current vehicle odors. It does this trick using the power of enzymes to reduce odors that may be lingering in the car. And since it can also be applied to prevent future odors, it’s a product just about anyone can appreciate.
- Nice Leather Scent
- Neutralizes Odors
- Must Be Reapplied Regularly
- Scent is a Bit Strong
9Apalus Car Fragrance Diffuser Vent Clip
Designed to look more like a nice piece of car interior artwork, this vent clip will lend its visual appeal to just about any car. This small device works by using special scent pads that are diffused throughout the vehicle thanks to its little fan. This unit comes with five different pads, and each of the pads lasts for approximately 30-days. That’s 5-months of initial use, but it can also be used past this time period by refilling the pads with an aromatic oil of the user’s choosing. This nice looking fragrance vent clip also has a stainless steel exterior with a black glossy finish that makes it look good in just about any vehicle.
- Stylish Design
- Great Scent
- Long Lasting
- Costs More Than Most Fresheners
8Febreze Hawaiian Aloha Car Vent Clip
Few things can relax the mind and invigorate the senses more than a tropical scent that’s reminiscent of the Hawaiian islands. Fortunately, that’s exactly the type of scent that this product delivers to the interior of the car when it’s properly mounted on a vent. Each package comes with 4-clips, and each clip delivers up to 30-days of aloha fragrance. That’s 120-days of making the inside of the car smell all-so sweet and tropical. But these vent clips do more than just add a pleasant scent to the cacophony of scents already present in your vehicle. No, it also helps to neutralize bad odors that currently exist. All of which makes it a good fragrance choice.
- Nice Tropical Scent
- Set & Forget Fragrance
- Scent Fades Too Quickly
7Yankee Candle Classic Paper Jar Car Fragrance
We were a bit skeptical when we first saw these Yankee Candle car fragrance hangers. After all, they’re shaped like a candle. However, after we tried them for a bit, we discovered that they were pretty good products. Sure, they’re a little expensive for what they do, but they did provide a nice leather scent passively throughout the car, and the fragrance lasted a good while before dissipating. The leather scent it supplies is reminiscent of a new car smell, and the scent traveled really well from the front of the car’s cabin through the back seat. It’s a nice smelling product.
- Nice Leather Scent
- Lasts a Long Time
- Set & Forget Fragrance
- Doesn’t Neutralize Odors
6Purggo Car Freshener
This air freshener is designed for cars, but it works in a way that most people wouldn’t expect. Instead of kicking a fragrance in the air like some vent air fresheners do or passively put out a scent as some hanging fresheners do, this one works as air passes through it. In fact, it doesn’t have a fragrance at all because it’s designed to neutralize the odors that already exists in the car. Using bamboo charcoal, this product acts like a sponge and absorbs any unpleasant odors that may be circulating around the car. It passively works 24-hours a day and will make just about any vehicle smell better over the course of a year.
- Neutralizes Odors
- Lasts a Long Time
- All Natural
- No Harmful Chemical
- No Scent
5Glade Decor Scents Car
Although it’s a bit larger than most of the other car fresheners, that’s because it goes on the driver’s side visor and isn’t mounted directly on a vent. While this may seem like a great design that allows it to go unnoticed, it can also mean that the scent doesn’t drift over the entire car like vent-mounted fresheners. However, it does make the smell pleasant for people in the front scent and has a red honeysuckle scent that’s both unique and luscious at the same time. This product also lasts for a long 45-days and is both adjustable and refillable for convenience. All things considered, it’s a decent car freshener that many people will enjoy.
- Great Honeysuckle Scent
- Long Lasting
- Scent Can Become Concentrated Over Driver
4California Home Goods Purifying Bags
Not everyone needs or wants to fill the interior of their car with sweet floral fragrances or the scent of leather. Some people merely want to remove the bad odors that exist in the car and do it without adding any additional scents into the mix. Fortunately, that is exactly what this product is capable of doing. Each of the bags in this set is made with bamboo charcoal which helps to pull nasty odors and moisture out of the air. Although the bags are a little big and unsightly, they are versatile enough to not only be used in the car but anywhere where bad odors exist.
- Removes Bad Odors
- Long Lasting
- No Harmful Chemicals
- Bags Are Large
3Little Trees Freshener Vanilla Scent
Little Trees auto air fresheners are known all over the world, and there’s a good reason for that fact. That’s because these fresheners are simple and easy-to-use, yet are capable of providing an abundance of scent. In fact, these vanilla scented fresheners will make the inside of your car smell like grandma’s kitchen while she’s baking sugar cookies. Yes, the scent is that luscious and helps to provide a relaxing, comforting and warm experience in just about any car. And once the tree has done its job for approximately a month or so, it’s easy to just toss them out and put up a new one.
- Smells Good
- Lasts a Long Time
- The Design is Rather Simplistic
2Ozium Smoke & Odor Eliminator
Ozium Smoke & Odor Eliminator is not only capable of removing bad scents from the air but is also capable of reducing airborne bacteria, too. It’s a product that can eliminate smoke and other terrible odors and replace these smells with a light citrus scent. Although I feel that the citrus smell is a little too weak for my tastes, this product does do a good job at removing existing odors. It’s a freshener that’s will help you do away with all of the vent-clips or the fresheners which typically hang from your rear-view mirror. Keeping this small container in the car is easy, and it does the job almost instantly. All of which definitely makes it a great product.
- Neutralizes Odor
- Neutralizes Smoke
- Reduces Airborne Bacteria
- Citrus Scent Too Weak
1Roy Aroma Aromatherapy Oil Diffuser
This pair of diffuser lockets is capable of bringing a great smell to the interior of just about any vehicle. Each of these lockets has a stainless-steel surface and can be equipped with a felt pad which diffuses various scents into the air. These felt pads can be infused with essential oil which will provide the scents to be diffused. Unfortunately, this product doesn’t come with essential oils because the user has to supply their own, but once that’s been done this product does do a good job of diffusing the scent. It’s also a high-quality product that’s made with care, so it should last the user a long time as well.
- Well Made
- Can Be Used With Any Essential Oils
- Essential Oils Sold Separately
More products also worth checking out:
Making Your Car’s Interior Smell Better
If you’re like most people, then you spend a considerable amount of time in your car. Commuting back and forth to work, making runs to the grocery store and taking your kids to all of the after-school activities can result in you spending more time than you would want behind the wheel of your car. Although we can’t help you with that problem, we can help you make that time spent in the car as pleasant as possible by helping you make it smell as good as possible.
As you’ve probably guessed, a car air freshener can be a great way to help the interior of your car smell better. However, installing one of these products on your heat vent or hanging one from your rear-view mirror isn’t the only way to deal with interior car odors. There are other solutions you can employ to make that space a whole lot better. And we’re going to examine some of these solutions right now. By following the below tips, you’ll help make the interior a space you can thoroughly enjoy.
Tip One: Install a Dedicated Air Freshener
As you can see from our top list above, there are a variety of different options available. There are versions which can be hung from the rear-view mirror, ones that can be hung on the back of the seat and ones that can be clipped to a vent. The one that you’ll want to choose depends on your personal preferences, but it’s important to consider the amount of airflow your vehicle has. You’ll need to place the freshener somewhere it will get plenty of air, so it can circulate the scent around the vehicle.
Tip Two: Use a Spray Freshener
Spray air fresheners are also a good option for eliminating interior vehicle odors. Depending on the exact instructions of your particular spray fragrance, many of them can be sprayed on various parts of the car’s interior. However, be sure to read the instructions thoroughly first because some fragrances may stain seating if they’re used improperly, so always follow the instructions on your spray and use your product according to specifications.
Tip Three: Use Baking Soda
While using a car air freshener is probably the best option for dealing with car odors, some people like to use additional methods. And one method that’s commonly used is sprinkling baking soda on the carpet and floor mats of the vehicle. Baking soda has the ability to absorb bad odors, leaving the car smelling clean and fresh.
Tip Four: Wipe Down the Interior
Another thing that can keep your car smelling fresh is wiping down the interior of the car—or at least parts of it. Mix a solution of ½ cup of water and ½ cup of white vinegar with just a few squeezes of lemon juice to make a solution that will clean nicotine and other smelly things off of your dash. You’d just apply it with a microfiber cloth and then make sure it’s completely dry. Before this treatment is used, however, it’s important to test a portion of the dash to make sure this solution won’t discolor it.
Tip Five: Wash the Floor Mats
Sometimes a car smells bad because food and other particles have been ground into the floor mats. This can be easily solved by washing the floors mats at a local car wash or using a power washer and some soap to clean them at home. Just be sure they’re completely dry before placing them back into the car, so it doesn’t provide a moist environment that’s attractive to bacteria.
Tip Six: Use an Odor Neutralizer
Although odor neutralizers are in the same category as vehicle car fresheners, they work in a slightly different way. Instead of using scent to cover the odor in the vehicle, they work by absorbing the odors. Then once they’ve absorbed all of the odors they’re designed to absorb, they are then simply thrown away.
While these odor neutralizers are quite effective and safe to use, some people have come up with additional ways to absorb odors. Some of these ways include placing baking soda in a porous cloth bag or putting coffee in a jar with holes punched in the lid. These items can then be placed throughout the car. Although they’re a little inelegant and don’t work as well as the bamboo charcoal commercial odor eliminators use, they can provide a temporary solution to your odor problem.
Tip Seven: Run Your Car’s Vents Occasionally
As you use your air conditioner, water can accumulate in your vents. Although this water is usually blown out as the air conditioner is being used, it can accumulate if the AC hasn’t been run in a while. This extra moisture can provide the perfect medium for bacteria and mold to grow in. Therefore, you may want to run your AC every two weeks to keep this moisture from building up during the summer months. Run it for about two weeks for about ten minutes, and it will prevent excess water from accumulating in the vents.
Tip Eight: Change Your Cabin Filter
Many vehicles are equipped with a cabin filter that can begin to smell if it’s not cleaned out or replaced on a regular basis. Changing your cabin filter on a regular basis will also ensure that molds and other microorganisms don’t build up in it. After all, mold and bacteria can accumulate in the filter and cause allergy problems and potentially upper respiratory infections as well.
Tip Nine: Clean Up All Messes
Probably the best thing you can do to keep your car smelling fresh is cleaning it on a regular basis. This means vacuuming the carpet and upholstery on a regular basis, cleaning out the vehicle’s vents and making sure the floor mats are regularly washed. If you smoke, also make sure that the ashtray is not only emptied on a regular basis, but also make sure that you wash it out occasionally, too. If you do all of these things and use a quality air freshener, your vehicle will be exactly the environment that you want it to be.