Spending a lot of time in the car, whether you’re commuting every day, driving the kids around, or you just love being in your vehicle, can lead to it smelling quite unpleasant.
These unpleasant smells often become noticeable after damp and rainy days and if you’re not taking the time to clean your car or have it cleaned on a regular basis it can get pretty odorous in there.
Sure, the best way to prevent the car from smelling is to clean it regularly, but what if you don’t have time for that?
Well, that’s what car air fresheners are for and with so many different kinds to choose from it’s possible to always have your car smelling nice and fresh the moment you open the door and pop in to head out for a drive.
The problem is that with so many different fresheners to choose from it can be hard to know which ones work well and which should be avoided.
Today I want to talk about some recommendations for what I believe make great choices for the best car air freshener as well as cover a few helpful tips when it comes to making an informed decision.
In A Hurry? This Is The Best:
- Pack of 24 Brand New Little Tree Brand Air Fresheners
- Excellent Quality; Individually Carded
- Typical Scents Included: New Car, Vanillaroma, Straberry,
- Boquet, Spice, and Royal Pine (4 of each, 24 in total)
- Includes Some of the Most Popular and Classic Scents!
You’ve definitely seen them hanging off of the mirror in a car driving by and it’s the Little Trees® Assorted Air Freshener Classic Scents that are one of my top recommendations for the best car freshener.
Ever since I was young I always remember seeing these trees hanging in my parents car and as I grew up and started driving my own car I always use them in mine as well.
I like the assorted pack of classic scents because it comes with a range of different scents to choose from and this way I don’t get as bored of smelling the same thing week after week.
Each pack comes with 4 Little Trees of a different scent and you’re able to get 6 scents in a pack to enjoy.
The different scents provided include:
- Royal Pine
- New Car Scent
- Black Ice
Should you not be interested in these aromas there are also quite a few other options to choose from depending on your preferences and it’s possible to buy a dedicated pack of 24 of a single scent if that’s what you want.
For these to work effectively you’ll have to hang them on something, such as the rearview mirror, or even on the emergency brake like I do, and make sure not to rip off the bag all at once.
You’re only supposed to ripped the package in a little bit and then pull out the tree a little bit at a time over the period of a few weeks so that you’re able to maximize the great smell that gives off without having the entire car smell good for just a few days.
I really love these air fresheners and considering they’re quite unobstructive, lightweight, and reasonably priced I would definitely recommend checking them out if you want your car to smell like a nice and fragrance scent of your choice.
Febreze Car Vent-Clip Air Fresheners
- Febreze CAR vent clips attach easily and act instantly
- Eliminate stubborn vehicle odors and slowly release a refreshing scent...
- Select your level of intensity to control how much scent is released
- Long-lasting and mess-free
- Eliminates tough odors so they're gone for good
My girlfriend really loves these Febreze Car Vent-Clip Air Fresheners and I can’t say that I mind the fresh laundry smell in my car that they give off myself.
These fresheners give off quite a strong scent and although they’re meant to be clipped onto the air vents they work whether or not the air is turned on or off.
The car definitely smells much stronger with the scent when the air is blowing but even when I open the door after the car has been sitting for an extended. Of time I can still smell the fragrance quite strongly.
These little guys are quite small and feature a clip that you just use to clip onto the vents in your car and there’s a little tab in the back that you have to push for it to start working and for the clip to be able to hold it up properly.
One thing I find is that it’s a good idea to the vents in the backseat or ones that aren’t blowing on your face because sometimes the fragrance can be quite strong and it gets annoying after awhile.
As long as it’s not blowing directly on my face then I don’t have a problem with it and overall I quite love how these make my car smell so fresh and clean.
Personally, I really like the linen and sky scent but there are also a few different fragrances to choose from depending on your preferences.
On the package it says you’re able to enjoy up to 120 days of use and while I’ve never been able to use them this long they still last quite a while and I find that 4 of them are definitely worth it to use for a few weeks at a time each.
Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag
- MOSO NATURAL BAMBOO CHARCOAL AIR PURIFYING BAGS are the perfect odor...
- The MOSO NATURAL charcoal deodorizer bag has NO FRAGRANCES or...
- 100% natural charcoal odor eliminator PREVENTS MOLD, MILDEW and...
- REUSE FOR UP TO TWO YEARS place the bag outside in the sun once a...
- This odor absorber is a CONVENIENT way to maintain a fresh, dry, and...
The Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag text on a unique approach when it comes to getting your car smelling fresh and clean.
One interesting feature I like about this freshener is that it doesn’t have to just be used in the car and it can be moved around and used in other areas throughout the home, garage, office, and even in an RV or trailer.
The way it works is by taking advantage of the ingredient that it’s filled with, Moso bamboo charcoal, and this natural ingredient basically acts like a huge sponge purifying the air around it.
It’s covered in large pores and as air passes through these pores the odors, bacteria, and allergen particles are trapped in the surface where they aren’t able to leave their unpleasant odor behind for you to smell.
Rather than using any unusual or harmful chemicals to artificially make the air smell better the Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag just takes advantage of a natural component that works in your favor.
Another big plus of this is that it’s chemical-free, non-toxic, and it’s safe to use in the car or home around your pets and kids.
It’s stated that it’s possible to take advantage of up to two years of use with this nifty little air freshener and only once a month it should be placed outside in the sun so that the UV rays can clear out the pores of the charcoal so that it’s able to start absorbing the air again.
The 200 gram bag covers the space of up to 90 square feet, which is perfect for the inside of a car or truck, and apart from absorbing odors it’s also great for preventing mold and bacteria from forming as it helps to prevent an excessively moist environment inside your car.
This is a really interesting and unique way to freshen the air in your car and while it won’t give you a fragrant, unnatural scent it’s still a product I would recommend considering as it’s non-toxic, free from harmful chemicals, and pretty neat to use.
Meguiar’s G16402 Whole Car Air Refresher Odor Eliminator
The Meguiar’s G16402 Whole Car Air Refresher Odor Eliminator offers yet another way of getting rid of unwanted odors on the inside of your vehicle so that you’re able to enjoy a fresh-smelling car.
The way it works is by taking advantage of an aerosol mist that’s able to move through the ventilation system and reach all of those small and tricky areas in the car where unwanted odors can linger unless they’re properly dealt with.
When used correctly it’s able to get rid of those unpleasant odors such as a cigarette smoke, any stench from leaving your gym gear in the car, and even wet dog smell from a damp or musty interior.
The way it works is by taking advantage of a odor eliminating mist that’s able to penetrate throughout the entire interior of your vehicle.
To use it properly you need to turn the car on and turn the fans to high while making sure all of the windows are closed.
After that you just activate the locking trigger of the Meguiar’s G16402 Whole Car Air Refresher Odor Eliminator and place it in the center of the car while making sure to close the doors behind you.
Then you just simply leave the doors closed for 15 minutes, after this time has elapsed you can get in turn off the vehicle and then let it air out for another 15 minutes.
After following the instructions all of the unwanted odors should have been eliminated and the car will be left smelling fresh and it’s possible to enjoy that new car scent for the following weeks.
I quite like this air freshener device because I don’t have to leave it hanging in the car somewhere and I never have to remember to replace it, I just use a new one every few weeks especially in the winter when the interior of the car gets quite damp and full of moisture.
One thing to keep in mind is that it’s a good >clean the carpets beforehand, and vacuum up any debris or stains just to make sure that this freshener is able to work effectively
California Scents Organic Air Freshener Canister
- Each air freshener is environmentally friendly
- Each spill proof air freshener provides a fresh fragrance for up to 60...
- Made with organic and high quality fragrance oils
- Reduced carbon footprint from the recyclable aluminum canister to the...
- Provides a multitude of uses from household to office to auto
The California Scents Organic Air Freshener Canister is another one that I remember from my childhood and even up to this day my mom is still using it in her car.
This is a neat little air freshener and it comes in a small canister where are you’ll find a fiber pad that’s infused with a fragrance on the inside.
For it to work the tab part on the top of the canister needs to be removed so that the scent is able to penetrate the interior of the car and it’s possible to open it a short amount at a time to take full advantage of the effectiveness of the scent, or it could turn out to be too overwhelming.
My personal favorite is the cherry scent and every time I open the door to my moms Acura I’m hit with the pleasant fruity smell of the cherry and each canister lasts up to 60 days of use.
BMBU Bamboo Charcoal Car Deodorizer and Air Freshener
- PREMIUM QUALITY Bamboo Charcoal Home & Car Freshener Bags 300g....
- EFFECTIVE ODOR NEUTRALIZER : Removes Odors and Moisture by Filtering...
- MULTI-USE DEODORIZER : Use Our Special Rope Attachment to Hang in...
- NON TOXIC + NON FRAGRANT + CHEMICAL FREE : Safe to Use around Your...
- LONG LASTING : Use for over a year and recharge effectiveness by...
300g Bamboo Charcoal Car Deodorizer and Air Freshener Bag – Remove Odor, Control Moisture & Purifier your Vehicle, Wardrobe, Bathroom, Kitchen, KITTY LITTER BOX – Non-Fragrant Option to Sprays
While there are a lot of things that produce this an extraordinary choice, one which will probably be worth noting is the utilization of bamboo charcoals. That is an unique materials that will help in purifying air. It generally does not only eliminate the foul smell inside the automobile, but it addittionally aids in preventing the development of fungus. This really is permitted by the carbon-activated bamboo that can be used in the product.
It really is packaged in a handbag which has 300 grams of bamboo charcoal. That is bigger than the majority of its competition, a lot of which only contain 200 grams. With this, you can also expect that it’ll go longer, which is indicative of its capability to supply the best bang for the buck.
With this air freshener, you’ll be able to take pleasure from odor neutralizer not only in the automobile but also for other purposes as well. It could be used in the toilet and under the sink, among other areas where you will need to eliminate the unwanted smell.
Among the good stuff concerning this product is the actual fact that it’ll last for a calendar year. If you wish to have it refreshed, you just have to leave it exposed to direct sunlight. It also comes with an affordable price. In fact, from the five products that we are comparing, this is the one which comes with the cheapest price.
Like any other option, it is inevitable that there are also some complaints about this product. One of the most common is that it does not give your car a scented smell. It can only help in neutralizing odor.
In sum, this affordable product is made not to give your car a burst of fragrance. Rather, it is made from impressive materials that can help to absorb and neutralize odor.
FRiEQ Car Air Freshener
- The strongest car interior accessory releases 4.8 million negative...
- Car air purifier produces negative ions that actually improve the air...
- With a measurable and controllable quantity of negative oxygen ions,...
- Compact and attractive design with blue LED light enhances auto...
- Plug directly into the 12v cigarette outlet. Cool Automotive...
This is one of the essential accessories that you need to have in your car. All that you need to do is to have it plugged and it will be effective in launching negative air ion. Actually, as it’s been specified by the product manufacturer, they have can eliminate up to 4.8 million negative ions per cubic centimeter. This enables it to destroy the contaminants in the air that may possibly contribute to developing a foul odor. This helps it be a great investment for smokers.
With this car air freshener, you won’t only have the ability to eliminate foul odor, but you’ll also have the ability to eliminate mildew, mildew, and bacteria. Indeed, this is a great way with an assurance you will be respiration only oxygen inside the automobile.
It includes a compact size, meaning its use won’t be disruptive. Additionally it is easy to use. Once it is connected, it will focus on its own. There’s a blue LED light which will provide you with the indication that it is working to give your fresher air inside the car.
The efficiency of this product is one of its best assets. It is also a good thing that it is compact and user-friendly.
One of its drawbacks, however, is that it is not actually scented. It will help to neutralize odor, but this will not give your car a fresh burst of fragrance.
In sum, this is the air freshener that we can recommend for smokers. It effectively releases negative ions for fresher air in the car.
Air Spencer CS-X3 Squash Scent Air Freshener
- This modern air freshener will keep your car smelling great
- It can be placed on the dash board or anywhere inside you car
- Squash scent
- Lasts up to 4 weeks
- Refills sold separately
Air Spencer is one of those companies that create great car air fresheners. Their products can last as long as four weeks once opened and can be hung in the mirror or dashboard of your car. It is also made to be refillable so you don’t have to buy a new one every time. This can definitely help you save money.
Car Air Fresheners Buyers Guide
These days there are quite a few different options to choose from when it comes to car air fresheners.
This buyer’s guide is meant to help you compare the different types available as well as make a more informed decision on which fresheners are the best suited for your needs.
The Types of Air Fresheners for Cars
One popular type of air freshener are the aerosol sprays that come in a can and are designed to be sprayed directly onto vehicle surfaces such as the carpets, floor mats, and seats.
The problem with these is that they can sometimes leave a residue that you’re going to have to wipe off and although they’re fast-acting they’re not that well-suited for long term use.
I would recommend checking out the aerosol sprays if you’re looking to do some spot spraying after your pets or kids have left the car and you just want to quickly help reduce any of the odors left behind.
Hanging cardboard, such as the Little Tree fresheners, come in a variety of different shapes and sizes and they all work in a very similar way.
There’s usually a string at the top part of the piece of cardboard and this makes it possible to hang it from any surfaces such as the rearview mirror or on to the emergency brake and while it’s hanging it’s releasing a scent into the air.
With these fresheners it’s not a good idea to let them sit on the dashboard since they could potentially discolor the dashboard material.
With the hanging cardboard ones it’s possible to get anywhere between two weeks and six weeks of use and I find them to be very cost-effective and along with all of the different scents and shapes to choose from I would definitely recommend checking them out as a quick and effective way and making your car smell better.
Ventilation sticks are a small little device that’s meant to be attached to the air vents in your car buy a small pin that’s built into the freshener.
It’s very easy to slide them onto the vent dividers and as the air blows through the vents and it passes through the vent stick it fills the interior of the vehicle with a pleasant fragrance.
Depending on how often you’re driving and the strength of the air you’re using it’s possible to enjoy the vent sticks for anywhere between 2 to 4 weeks until they should be replaced.
To make them easier to use that can be found in packages of two or more vent sticks and I would really only recommend using one at a time so that the scent isn’t too overpowering.
Plug-in fresheners are ones that are designed to plug into the power outlet (cigarette lighter) in your car.
The way they work is by utilizing an oil-based fragrance where the pleasant scents are released as the oil becomes warmed up.
These are quite easy to use, simply plug it in and you’re good to go, they last a decent amount of time, and they’re great for helping to combat against any strong odors you might find inside your car.
These are quite a new addition to what I recently discovered when it comes to car air fresheners.
The way they work is by using a wick that’s placed inside a fragrance bottle and that gives off a pleasantly smelling scent over a set period of time, usually up to 30 days or more.
Some people find that these are quite strong for small vehicles and they’re very well suited for larger vehicles like RVS, vans, and trucks.
I find that these are quite pricey compared to some of the other air fresheners available for cars although they last quite a while and it is quite strong so it’s a good idea for those with very odorous vehicles.
It’s likely that you’ve seen gel fresheners in someone’s bathroom before and the idea is the same when it comes to working inside the car.
These typically comes in a small can or canister where on the inside is a fragment gel that gives off a pleasant smell over a set period of time.
There are also a few types available that are simply stuck onto the surface of the dashboard or anywhere else inside the car.
Similar to the gel fresheners the ones that come in a can work similarly and they’re available in a wide variety of different scents as well as being quite easy to use in the car.
There’s usually a fiber pad or other porous material inside a can that’s doused in a fragrance scent and once the can is opened the scent starts to fill the inside of the car.
These are a suitable choice as they can be placed on a flat surface out of the way such as under the seats, in the trunk, or even in the rear armrest.
Some cans even come with a vented lid that makes it easier to control the amount of fragrance getting let out into the vehicle.
Electronic ionizers work more as an air purifier rather than an air freshener that fills the car with a fragrant scent.
They work by removing odors from the air through a purification process and for them to be powered up they are typically plugged into the cigarette lighter.
When it comes to these ionizers there are two types to choose from, an ozone producing one and a filtering one.
Both of these different types have their advantages and drawbacks and it’s important to remember that with one of these you’re actually helping to remove the odors rather than covering them with a pleasant scent.
It’s possible to use a dedicated air freshener in conjunction with an ionizer and this is a good idea if you want the air in your car to be cleaned as well as smelling fresh and fragrant.
This is another type of car air freshener that I recently discovered and the way it works is by using a piece of paper fabric that’s infused with oil fragrance.
They can be placed in a variety of locations throughout the car and while they give off quite a pleasant smell they don’t seem to last as long as some of the other options available.
Tips for Using Air Fresheners in Your Car
- Pay attention to the way you feel when sitting in your car or driving. If you feel nauseous or suffer from headaches, you may have an allergy to the chemicals used in the product or its overall scent.
- Look for products that use the same scents or scents that complement each other. You can use multiple products from different manufacturers to mask and eliminate any of the odors in your car.
- Ask for feedback from your friends and anyone else who rides in your vehicle, especially if you choose an air freshener that lets you adjust the strength of the scent produced. You may find that the scent hides odors from your nose but that others can still pick up on traces of those scents.
- When using a spray product, always test the product on surfaces in your car first. You can apply a small amount to your dashboard or seat to ensure that it won’t damage those materials before spraying it all over your car.
- Give your car a day or two to air out before switching from one fragrance to another. If you use two different scents one after the other, you risk those scents working against each other.
What’s the Best Air Freshener for Car Use?
Ultimately it comes down to your personal preferences and what it is you’re trying to achieve with how the inside of your car smells.
I recommend trying a few different types of fresheners to see which ones you like the best and which ones work the most effectively for your preferred fragrance requirements.
Like I previously mentioned it’s a good idea to thoroughly clean the interior of your car and spot clean any problem areas before hoping that a freshener will get rid of all the smells just so that it has an ideal base to work from.
Having a clean interior such as clean carpets and clean upholstery will help the freshener to last longer as it doesn’t have to work harder to compensate for a smelly interior.
I hope I’ve been able to help you today with making an informed choice and feel free to leave any comments, questions, or concerns down in the comments below.