• Best Car Air Fresheners

Here are the best car air fresheners to make your drive a refreshing one

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The outbreak of Novel Coronavirus has made us more vigilant. One indication is the increasing usage of personal transport for work and leisure activities. So, with the increasing usage of cars, a clean and refreshing cabin always bumps up the mood. Smelly cabins are always a turn-off, and that is where soothing air freshers come in. This helps rejuvenate the cabin by eliminating or masking uneasy odors. There are various types of air fresheners - from long-lasting ones, air-purifying ones, and also to pet-friendly ones.

Why Do You Need A Car Air Freshener?

Best Car Air Fresheners
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Cars are enclosed transport capsules that are subjected to a lot of foreign elements. Occupants carry along a lot of items in a car, of which many are perishable. Transportation of pets is also very common. All of this results in the bundling up of dirt, smoke smell, organic waste (like food leftovers), and even animal fur; and dropping (in the most extreme cases).

We surely clean up the mess but there is one element that is very hard to eliminate. It’s the smell! So, to take care of this and keep our nose at ease, a car freshener comes in as a life-saver. And to top it all up, a car air fresher also acts as a relaxing agent and can help out on your stressful commute day-in-day-out.

What Are The Different Types Of Car Air Fresheners?

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There are varying types of car air fresheners out there that differ in application and materials used.

Scented Cardboards are the most common car air fresheners. Hang them anywhere inside the car, and you are good to go for a month with a scented cabin on average. There are a plethora of scents on offer in these and some even come with refill oils. One of the cheapest car air freshener types out there.

Way before artificial scents came along, there were natural remedies used to eliminate odor from homes and transports. Usage of coffee beans to absorb the stench from a smelly vehicle is said to be a very effective remedy, but we haven’t tried it yet! But the modern twist of these remedies that you can try is with Natural Car Air Fresheners that uses bamboo charcoal.

Absorbent Gels are another substance that can literally absorb the odor from your vehicles. These gels come in a resealable container with an adjustable nozzle to increase or reduce the intensity of smell. These are made to sit unnoticed in a place and they even come in cylindrical containers, perfect to fit into a cup-holder.

Sprays come in as the quickest mode of scent application. These work similar to the air fresheners at home, albeit for a much smaller ’room’. These settle on the carpet or seating and send refreshing scents for shorter durations.

Vent Clip Air Fresheners are the second most common type out there, after scented cardboards. But what sets these apart from the rest is their instant effect. These tine capsules of pleasant-smelling gel or liquid are to be clipped onto the air-con vents and spread rapidly across the cabin when you switch on the air-conditioning system. Compact, refillable, and ornamental looks make it, an easy option to go for.

Can Home Air Fresheners Be Used In Cars?

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There are sprayable car air fresheners that work similarly to the ones that we use at home. But it is wise not to use home air fresheners in your car. Firstly, the ones used at homes are comparatively concentrated as they need to cover a larger surface. So, it can cause headaches, allergies, and even suffocation when used in much smaller spaces like a car.

Secondly, the chemical composition of a home air freshener can be harmful to the delicate upholstery and soft-touch plastics in a car. So, using car-specific air fresheners is healthy and safe.

Here Are The Best Car Air Fresheners To Buy In 2021

Arotags Wooden Car Diffuser Air Freshener

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A common car air freshener out there and is made in Ohio. This home-grown scent comes in various scents but the most loved one is Backwoods Birch. All its scented oil options are chemical-free and can last longer, as much as 3 weeks.

Another interesting aspect is that it uses a wooden air-freshener base instead of the generic cardboard ones. Wood retains oils longer and thus helps notably here. Other scents on offer are Cool Breeze, Vanilla Lavender, and Beach Bum. A safe yet effective alternative out there. Check it out on Amazon!

Pros: Unique Wooden base, essential oils free from harmful chemicals like phthalates, Cheap for what it offers, Made in the USA, a 1.6 oz. essential oils bottle comes in the pack, pet-friendly

Cons: Wooden base allows the usage of just one scent throughout its life, as it never completely dries up

Little Trees Air Freshener

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This is the most common and recognizable cardboard air freshener out there. These are economical and comes in a multitude of scents to please everyone. The smell lasts long and is well worth the price that you pay. Tiny cardboard cutouts are easy to use and can be left forgotten on the inside rearview mirror. Order your supply from Amazon today!

Pros: Cheap, loads of scent options, quirky ’tree’ designs, quick-spreading strong scent

Cons: Scents can be too strong for sensitive people, certain scents can cause recurring headaches, not pet friendly

Treefrog Wakaba Young Leaf Black Squash Air Freshener

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This one is for the cool JDM fan-boy in you. Yes, this carboard car air-freshener comes shaped like the famous ’Wakaba’ mark that denotes beginner drivers in Japan. This symbol is quite common among the JDM enthusiasts here in the USA as well.

So, this air freshener also adds a cool aesthetic touch. It comes from a Japanese brand - Treefrog and has a distinctive Black Squash scent. People love the smell and it isn’t too strong as well. All of its properties align with that of the Little Trees, albeit with the cool aesthetic appeal. Find it on Amazon today!

Pros: Cool ’Wakaba’ design, Distinctive Black Squash Scent that is of just the perfect strength

Cons: Comes in just one piece per pack, not as long-lasting as other carboard based air fresheners, not pet-friendly

California Home Goods Naturally Activated Bamboo Charcoal Air Freshener

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Healthy ways to freshen your car cabin are slowly catching up and California Home Goods has a very appealing product with the Naturally Activated Bamboo Charcoal air freshener. These are purifying bags of carbon-activated bamboo charcoal and removes pungent odor from your car.

This product is more of an air-purifier than a car scent. It comes in a pack of 4 is California Home Goods gives you a lifetime guarantee on the bamboo ash bags. It has a classic sack design as well. The activated charcoal can be rejuvenated under direct sunlight.

Pros: Comes in a pack of 4, Pet-friendly, neutral with no scents, biodegradable

Cons: No scent option can be a bummer for some, limited to mild odors only, requires frequent recharge in sunlight

Febreze Car Unstoppable Air Vent Clip

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These are the best air-vent clip air fresheners in the market. This is because Febreze joined the vent-clip saga years ago and has climbed up the ladder quite fast with inexpensive and greatly effective options. The Febreze Car Unstoppable air vent clips come in 2 scents - Fresh and Shimmer.

Fresh has a subtle close-to-neutral scent that will cater to a wider audience, whereas, Shimmer is more on the cologne side of things. The clips come with adjustable dials to toggle the scent concentration. Shimmer even has the properties to mask smoke smells. On average, one clip can last for up to 30 days. You can order straight from Amazon now!

Pros: Accessible pricing, adjustable scent strength, instant effectiveness with the air-con, smokers can rejoice, loads of scents on offer

Cons: Concentrated chemicals are not healthy, some might find certain scents too strong even in its lowest dial setting, not pet-friendly

Meguiar’s Whole Car Air Re-Fresher Odor Eliminator Mist

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This is one of the most value-focused air fresheners available currently. Unlike the common air freshers, Meguiar’s product has a distinctive way of re-freshing things up. It comes in a misty for which forms a foggy atmosphere in the cabin upon application. You get 5 scents to choose from here.

This is to be used with the air-con and circulation on. Roll up all the windows, spray them, and step out of the car. Give the mist some time to work its magic. The chemicals neutralize any bad odor and also replace it with a pleasant smell. It basically disinfects and refreshes the cabin. And so, this is not the daily applicable type, and intervals between applications are effective. Get it from Amazon now!

Pros: Eradicates odor and produces a pleasant smell, notable value-for-money (can last a lot longer than daily applicable air fresheners), no worry of spillage as you don’t have to keep it in the car at all times

Cons: Heavy chemical concentration is not healthy, usage quantity depends on the size of the car (better luck with an SUV!), Reacts with certain sensitive upholstery

PURGGO Car Air Freshener

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This is another of those carbon-activated odor removal fresheners. But PURGGO has a distinctive design for its product. It comes with bamboo charcoal in a bag that has a duo of cotton strings handles. This allows it to be hung behind a seat. The larger design also adds more charcoal to this unit and can last for a year before needing replacement. Even the bag is made of organic material - hemp. The whole product is also allergen-free and suitable for even pets. Find it on Amazon now!

Pros: 100% biodegradable, Chemical-free, Pet-friendly, lasts the longest among activated charcoal products

Cons: Sizable and takes up more area in the car, despite its size; still doesn’t neutralize strong odors

Car Essential Oil Diffuser by Anzazo

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This is one of those premium-looking products. The Oil Diffuser by Anzazo is a stainless steel casing (rather artistic) and houses a felt pad that is offered with numerous scents. Each diffuser comes with 10 pads. But weirdly the pack doesn’t come with essential oil. That has to be purchased as an extra

It has a specially designed clip to be attached to the air-con vent. Anzazo recommends 2-4 drops on the pad, and it would last up to a week. It comes in on the pricier side, and the absence of oils in the retail box, makes it even tougher to go for. But the smart bit is that you can use numerous scents, even from other organic or natural brands of your choice. Morover, it comes with a 60-day replacement warranty, a 60-day refund warranty, and a lifetime warranty for manufacturer defects. You can find it on Amazon today!

Pros: Premium design, chemical-free essential oils, goes well with the dashboard of any car, an abundance of felt pads are a good thing

Cons: No essential oil includes, pricey

Yankee Candle Fragrance Spheres

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No this isn’t a candle that burns to give out a pleasant smell! Yankee Candle fragrance consists of tiny wet beads that emit a particular scent. In this case, you have an option to choose from 21 different smells.

The enclosed bottle is cylindrical and is made specifically to fit in your cup-holder. The bottle has holes on top which helps diffuse its smell into the cabin. Shaking the can will instigate the beads for more smell. And once they become dry, you can still prolong their smell by adding just the right amount of water. You can find it on Amazon now!

Pros: Perfectly shaped to sit in the cup-holder, comes in 21 different scents, long-lasting (up to 30 days), easy to use

Cons: liquid content increases the risk of spilling, scent smell cannot be toggled like a clip air freshener, takes up the space of a cup!

Hazards Involved With Car Air Fresheners

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Most of the car air fresheners we have come across and even mentioned above are chemically induced. So, to give you the perfect soothing smell, there are a lot of harmful chemicals used. A generic artificial car air freshener includes aldehydes, toluene, and phthalates.

These chemicals can cause respiratory problems, headaches, irritation, damages to the nervous system, hormonal abnormalities, birth defects, and reproductive problems. These are active risks involved with the plethora of chemical air fresheners available out there. Vigilant and prolonged gaps between usages can help reduce these outcomes to an extent, but it still won’t be eradicated.

How To Choose The Correct Car Air Freshener And Our Pick For 2021

Best Car Air Fresheners
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So, clearly, chemical car air fresheners are not the way to go as it poses a serious threat for our bodies. This is why natural car air fresheners are the way to go. Natural essential oils without any artificial elements are slowly on the rise because of their non-damaging nature.

Another way to go is the usage of bamboo charcoal, which doesn’t give out any smell, but absorbs and cleans the air of any pungent odor. A wise decision would be to use the charcoal and essential oils together to actively clean the air and put out a soothing smell in the cabin. It surely is priced higher than the common chemical scents but poses no harmful threats for our body, which is reason enough.

We would suggest you pick the Arotags Rescentable Car Air Freshener and couple it with the Naturally Activated Bamboo Charcoal Air Freshener. This setup will cost you a bit more, but will, on the other hand, provide for a risk-free experience. The wooden base infused with sweet-smelling scents is even pet-friendly. Activated bamboo charcoal does the consistent work of cleaning the air of pollutants thus adding to the effectiveness of the wooden tag from Aratogs.

Tijo Tenson
Tijo is an Automobile Engineer who loves putting his passion into words. When not, he is busy fiddling with anything on wheels. Love for cars and motorcycles goes back to his childhood days when he stumbled upon auto magazines. And it hasn't dulled down a bit, ever since.  Read full bio
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