9 DIY Car Air Fresheners to Spruce Up Your Ride

What is that smell?! We’ve all been there. Maybe you’ve got messy kids. Maybe you just completed a long road trip. Either way, your car smells bad. You could reach for conventional car air fresheners, but doing so traps you (and your passengers) in a small space with dangerous air pollutants. Save some money and your health with one of these DIY car air fresheners instead!

1. Potpourri Satchet – Use one of our 3 DIY Potpourri Formulas to create a fresh natural scent. Then, simply fill a sachet with the mixture and place it in your vehicle. Keep it in the glove box or seat back pocket for a mild scent, or hang it from your rearview mirror for something stronger.

2. Pomander Balls – Want to keep the holiday spirit alive all year long? Make a pomander ball with an orange and some cloves using this handy tutorial. Other fruit works well too!

3. Wool Felt Freshener – If you’re looking for a car air freshener that looks like the traditional pine tree (but doesn’t have all the toxic fragrance) try this tutorial from Gas2.org. It combines felt and essential oils for a fresh, lasting scent.

4. Homemade Air Freshener Gel – Prefer the gel-style air fresheners? Most brands you find in the store are chock full of hormone-disrupting chemicals, but you can DIY a safe alternative with this recipe from Instructables.

5. Baking Soda – It works to keep refrigerator smells under control, so why can’t it help your car stay fresh? Look for brands that offer box-side vents and stick it under your seat or in a seat-back pocket. Don’t want to risk a spill? Try this mason jar tutorial from Jen and Joey Go Green.

6. Coffee Beans – Love the smell of coffee brewing in the morning? Stashing a porous sack of beans in your car will keep the scent alive all day!

7. Fabric Softener Sheets – If you’ve found a non-toxic brand of dryer sheets that you love, the laundry room isn’t the only place to put them to use. Put an open box under your car seat for lasting freshness!

8. Air Freshener PouchThis DIY is similar to the potpourri sachets mentioned earlier, but has great suggestions for using dried herbs or even incense cones.

9. Homemade Febreeze Spray – If you’re just looking for a once in a while car air freshener, you might want to mix up a batch of this homemade fabric freshener spray instead. Using three simple ingredients, you’ll always be prepared to conquer strange smells–in the car or the house!

What’s in that Car Air Freshener?
Detox Your Car in 10 Simple Steps

Image via Thinkstock

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Carole R.
Carole R.3 months ago

Great ideas.

Tara W.
Tara W.3 months ago

I scent a little wool disc with essential oils, works great!

Vivian Y.
Vivian Y.5 months ago

Car scents air freshener is what we should pay attention.


Can't wait to try these out, thanks.

Scented S.
Scented S.7 months ago

Hello Everyone!

My friends and I have a new product that we believe your readers would be very interested in. It's called the Scented Door Strip. It's a biodegradable, environmentally friendly air freshener designed to fill the room with a pleasing aroma without the need for electricity, open flame, battery, or aerosol. We are very excited about introducing this great new product and hope you choose to share it with your readers. Thanks so much for your time!!

You and your readers can find out more information on our Kickstarter page:

Sara Herrera
Sara Herrera9 months ago

That's great, but the one that interests me "Homemade Febreeze Spray" has the wrong link. It links to the fabric pouch one instead : /

Magdalena J.
Magdalena C.about a year ago

Thank you!

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompsonabout a year ago

Good ideas!

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Croweabout a year ago

I'm going to have to start looking for some of the ingredients I've never heard of and make some of these! My nose is pretending to smell them now (LOL)!!

Tanya W.
Tanya W.1 years ago

Try essential oils like rose, lavender or vanilla.