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 Pouch

This 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!

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Image via Thinkstock


Paula A
Paula Ayesterday

Thank you

Mia B
Mia B10 days ago


Gino C
Gino C12 days ago

Thank you for sharing

Vincent T
Vincent T22 days ago

Thank you

Emma L
Emma Labout a month ago

thank you for posting

Anna R
Anna Rabout a month ago


Jan K
Jan S2 months ago

thanks for sharing

Kerri D
Kerri D3 months ago


Dezrae Reynolds
Dezrae Reynolds3 months ago

Awesome post! Making homemade air fresheners is a great idea. Next time I'll be more mindful of what I use to make my car smell nice. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

Marie W
Marie W7 months ago

thanks for sharing