Top 10 Car Air Freshener Tips

There are several great ways to keep your car smelling fresh and clean. While everyone knows you should clean your car regularly, I decided to go above and beyond the ordinary cleanup advice and put together an ultimate top 10 list of the car air freshener tips ever.

Follow the advice below to keep your car smelling great all year round – especially when company will be riding along with you.

1. Refresh Your Little Tree Air Freshener…

Man refreshing his Little Trees air freshener by dripping scented oil onto it.
A man dripping scented oil onto his Little Trees air freshener to refresh its scent.
Image Source: Youtube

The Little Trees brand of hanging pine tree air freshener is the most popular car air freshener in the world.

The only problem is that they don’t last very long. Most people who use them say that the scent fades away in only a matter of weeks.

Technically the Little Trees instructions say to leave the bag partially covering the tree and only open it slowly over time, to make the scent last longer. But nobody actually does that because it would look ridiculous hanging from your mirror with a bag on it.

Instead of following “official” directions, why not get a little unofficial by adding your own scent refreshment to the piece of cardboard material?

Just get any scented oils and drip them onto the material, allowing the liquid to soak in. The scent will instantly be refreshed and you’ll be back to enjoying the smell in your ride.

The best part of using this method is that you can add as much oil to the air freshener as you want, to make the scent stronger or weaker. And you can even keep a bottle of scented oil in your glove compartment for refreshing your air freshener any time you’re about to give someone a ride and want your car to smell good.

For refreshing your air freshener, I recommend the following scented oils, depending on your preference:

  • Plant-based Scented Oils – A value pack that comes with 6 scents such as eucalyptus and lemongrass – Click here to view.
  • Food-based Scented Oils – A pack of 6 food-based scents such as cinnamon and coffee cake – Click here to view.

2. Or Use One That’s Built For Refreshing

Examples of alternative air fresheners that can be refreshed by adding scented oil.

You don’t have to settle for using a pine tree-shaped air freshener like everyone else.

Why not get creative and add a unique air freshener to your car that will also serve as a good conversation piece?

I’ve located a few awesome products made just for this. The first is just like the Little Trees brand except it uses a hanging paw print instead of a hanging tree – perfect for animal lovers.

But the second option is much cooler – a carved wooden disc that hangs from your window instead of a cheap little tree. Since wood is absorbent, you can put any scented oil onto it that you want and it will serve as a fancy air freshener for days to come.

The third option is to make your own wooden air freshener. You don’t have to carve any wood to do this – I’ve found some great little wooden pieces that you can decorate, or just hang up as plain shapes in your car. You can add a scent to any shape you want, and decorate it by drawing on it or whatever. Then hang it up in your car and let your passengers be intrigued by your creativity.

And the final, fourth option is a different type of air freshener. This one clips onto your air vent, allowing its scent to circulate more quickly and intensely throughout your car. The clip-on device comes with a small fabric pad where you add drops of any scented oil you want.

  • Paw-print Hanging Air Freshener – Works just like the pine trees, but so much cuter – Available in a 4-scent value pack – Click here to view.
  • Carved Wooden Air Freshener – Pre-carved into a decorative design – Comes with a bottle of uniquely scented oil for refreshing – Click here to view.
  • Wooden Shapes – Draw on or decorate these in any way you want, or even just use them as plain shapes – Your creativity will impress your passengers – Click here to view.
  • Vent Clip-on Air Freshener – Add drops of scented oil to the fabric pad, then clip this onto your air vent to allow the scent to circulate – Click here to view.
  • Plant-based Scented Oils – A pack of 6 plant-based scents for refreshing your hanging air fresheners – Click here to view.
    Food-based Scented Oils – A pack of 6 food-based scents for refreshing your hanging air fresheners – Click here to view.

3. Deodorize And Refresh Your Fabrics

Most of the odors that linger around in your car will eventually end up settling into your fabrics.

This is bad for your car’s smell. It means that any time the fabrics are disturbed, such as when you sit on your car seat, the fabrics may puff out a bunch of odor particles that they have previously absorbed.

To avoid this happening, you need to deodorize your car fabrics with a special cleaning spray that kills odors. Most of these cleaning sprays also usually add their own new scent to the fabric while they’re at it. This means they’ll do the job of both a deodorizer and an air freshener, at least for awhile.

I recommend these car fabric cleaning sprays for changing the odors in your fabrics from bad ones, to good ones:

4. Keep A Scented Spray Bottle In Your Car For Emergencies…

The spray bottles listed earlier are intended for cleaning and adding fragrance to your car fabrics. But the spray bottles in this tip are solely for adding a burst of new scent to the air in your car.

Let’s face it: Most of us don’t vacuum or clean our cars as often as we should. And because of that, they often end up smelling… less than great.

If you’re tired of vacuuming and scrubbing, you can take the easy way out and simply cover up bad odors with a few good sprays of one of these all-natural scented oil sprays. It’s important to mention that they are all-natural, as synthetic chemical air fresheners might cause an allergic reaction when inhaled in a small confined area like your car.

Take a look at my recommended spray bottles:

  • Flower Power 3-scent Value Pack – A value pack of 3 different, all-natural scented oil sprays – Click here to view.

5. Or A Deodorizing Aerosol Spray Instead

If you just want to abolish whatever odor is in your car, and you don’t care about adding a new scent, then using an ozone spray is your best bet.

Ozone is a natural gas that destroys odor particles upon contact with them. Give this can a good spray in your car and it will destroy the odors and replace them with the smell of natural ozone – which many people say smells like “fresh rain”.

You’re not supposed to breathe ozone in heavy concentrations, so be sure to open your windows after the deodorizing is done, to let the ozone blow out of the car along with the neutralized odor particles.

6. You Can Also Deodorize The Lazy Way

Why bother spraying anything in your car at all, when you can just let a mounted device do the deodorizing for you?

There’s a great material called activated carbon, also known as activated charcoal, that captures odor particles that come into contact with it.

As odors float around your car, they “bump into” various surfaces. Usually, they just bounce right off and keep floating around until they get in your nose – causing a bad odor.

But when you keep activated carbon in your car, the carbon will “grab” the odor particles that touch it, pulling them out of the air and thus keeping them out of your nose.

There are many activated carbon products, but the best one for your car is the mounted one below that attaches to your head rest. It’s available in two colors to match your car interior.

  • Car-mounted Bag Of Activated Carbon – Bright tan color – Traps odor particles floating around your car – Click here to view.
  • Car-mounted Bag Of Activated Carbon – Dark grey color – Traps odors particles floating around your car – Click here to view.

7. Protect Your Floors From Dirt, Food, And Beverage Spills…

If you like to eat in the car, you’ve probably noticed a lot of crumbs and other filth that end up all over the floor.

Or, you might just have a problem with leaves, dirt, mud, or other filth being carried into your car by your shoes.

Either way, you can protect your floor fabrics by installing a rubber floor protector.

These floor protectors are great because they are easier to vacuum dirt and crumbs off of than the typical carpet fabric on a car floor. They can also be removed so you can simply shake them off, or spray them with a hose if necessary.

Take a look at the floor cover options in this link:

8. And Your Seats From Fido & Friends

Just like the floor protectors above, there are comfortable cloth seat protectors for your front and back seats as well.

A seat protector is super simple: You just fasten it to your car seat, and now your dog or other pet’s hair and stench will end up on the seat protector, instead of all over your actual car seat fabric.

Later on, you can just remove the seat protector and throw it in the washer. And viola! Your car is still clean, even after giving your beloved pets a ride to the park.

  • Single Seat Protector – For a passenger side seat or single seat – Click here to view.
  • Full Back Seat Protector – For a large back seat – Available in 4 colors – Click here to view.

9. Deep-clean Your Car Instantly With An “Air Freshener Bomb”

No, I don’t mean you should blow up your car to get rid of the smells – although sometimes the stink might be so bad that you consider that.

Instead, you can use an air freshener gas canister that’s called an “air freshener bomb” or “odor bomb” (as in, odor-eliminating, not odor-causing).

An air freshener bomb works by releasing a huge amount of odor-destroying gas into a small confined space, such as your vehicle.

The gas spreads out and destroys odor particles in every crack and crevice, effectively giving your car an entire interior makeover – at least as far as the smell is concerned.

You can get air freshener bombs in scented version which will leave a fragrance all throughout your car for weeks to come, or an unscented version which will just kill odors without adding a new scent.

  • Scented Air Freshener Bomb – Fills your car with odor-destroying gas, then leaves a strong new scent behind – Available in 6 scents such as New Car Smell – Click here to view.
  • Unscented Air Freshener Bomb – Fully deodorizes your car without leaving a strong new fragrance – Click here to view.

10. Don’t Get Your Car Interior Detailed – Do This Instead

A car detailing that includes interior cleaning of your fabrics can cost some serious bucks.

Instead of spending money every year for a new car cleaning, you should consider investing in an appliance that will do half the job for you at a fraction of the price.

I’m talking of course about an ozone generator. But what the heck is an ozone generator?

An ozone generator is a portable electrical appliance that “zaps” oxygen in the air with electricity, turning it into a natural but rare gas called ozone.

Ozone typically hangs out in the upper atmosphere, where the “Ozone layer” is found. But when you create ozone down on Earth, it has a really awesome effect: it floats around the room and totally destroys odor particles that it comes into contact with.

Having an ozone generator effectively gives you the ability to fully deodorize your car, or any room in your house, any time you want. You just plug it in, close the doors, and let it run for awhile (longer in larger areas, shorter in smaller areas).

The car or room will fill with ozone gas, which seeps into every surface – including your fabrics – and destroys odors everywhere. To use an ozone generator in a car, you’ll need an extension cord to power it.

You don’t run this while you’re driving, but while the car is sitting unoccupied in the driveway, as ozone shouldn’t be breathed in large concentrations by humans. After you turn it off, let the car air out for at least 20 minutes before driving.

An ozone generator is considered the #1 best way to eliminate a deeply-embedded smoke odor in cars and houses. If you smoke, you owe it to yourself and to your car passengers to invest in one of these very affordable devices.

  • Portable Ozone Generator – Generates as much odor-destroying natural ozone gas as you want – Click here to view.

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