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5 min read / 27 December 2023 / yasmin sharp

How to Make Your Own Car Air Freshener

Learn how to make your own car air freshener using essential oils and common household items.

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Learning how to make a car air freshener can not only save you money, but also make the driving experience more enjoyable, which is important given how much time we spend on the road.

According to some surveys, the average UK driver spends almost 4 years behind the wheel in their lifetime - a figure that also accounts for 8 months in traffic and 2 months hunting for parking spaces.

All you need to make your own car air freshener are a few essential oils and some everyday household items.

Here we explain the benefits of making your own car deodoriser, along with a few different methods you can try.

View through windshield with an air freshener at dusk

What are the benefits of making your own car freshener?

If you want to make your own car air freshener, it can provide benefits such as:

1. Refreshing the space

Once you learn how to make a car air freshener, you can use it in your vehicle to make the atmosphere more comfortable.

And it won’t only be the driver who will benefit, but passengers in the front and back of the vehicle will also be able to enjoy the refreshing scent.

2. Working as a disinfectant

Car air fresheners are not able to clean your car, but when certain ingredients are used, they may be able to eliminate unwanted airborne pathogens.

It’s often the case that external road pollution will find its way into your car, even when the windows are closed, which can affect the air quality.

Using an air freshener helps to make the travelling experience more pleasant and also potentially healthier for everyone you are with at the time.

3. Neutralising odours

Unwelcome odours can find their way into your vehicle in various ways.

Not only can the inside of your car be affected by external traffic, but scents and aromas can be emitted by passengers and any objects that you may be carrying.

Making your own car air freshener allows you to create your own ambience without any unwanted odour lingering and getting in the way.

4. Improving the mood

Inhaling a pleasant scent can be a mood changer, making the journey and time spent in the car more enjoyable.

And it’s not just simply down to perception, as scientists have studied the effects fragrances can have on moods, concluding that they can directly and/or indirectly affect the physiological and psychological conditions of people.

Driving can be quite stressful at times, especially when you are in a hurry or stuck in traffic, so having a revitalising air freshener nearby can make a real difference by keeping you calm and in control.

5. Being natural and safe to inhale

One issue some people struggle to overcome with commercial car air fresheners is that you do not know much about the ingredients that are used to make them.

Some people can also experience allergies or sensitivity issues, creating more problems than they solve.

With a homemade car freshener, you know exactly what goes into making it and can ensure you only include oils that are suitable for you and your passengers.

Small freshener vial hanging from a rear view mirror

How to make a car air freshener

Whether you want to learn how to make a car air freshener to sell or to use in your own car, you’ll need to gather the following materials:

  • Baking soda
  • Essential oil of choice
  • 500ml mason jar (the lid needs to have the ring and seal separate)
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Drawing pin

You can then follow the step-by-step instructions below to make your own car air freshener:

  1. Fill the mason jar two-thirds full of baking soda.
  2. Add 20 drops of your chosen essential oil – lavender, peppermint and lemon are popular calming and refreshing choices.
  3. Replace the lid on the jar and shake well.
  4. Remove the lid and place it onto a piece of cardboard to trace and cut out a circle.
  5. Next, place the cardboard circle on top of the jar.
  6. Secure the cardboard to the jar using the lid’s ring.
  7. Use the drawing pin to make several holes in the cardboard lid.
  8. You can then place the car air freshener under a seat or in the cup holder.

Ideally, you should replace the baking soda and oil mixture at least once a month to keep the scent fresh.

Orange flower placed in the air vents of a car

How to make a felt and essential oil car air freshener

Instead of using a jar for your car air freshener, you can make your own unique design that can hang from the rearview mirror. To do this, you’ll need the following:

  • Essential oils
  • Craft felt
  • Adhesive craft foam
  • Scissors
  • Strong, ribbon or twine
  • Hole punch

Follow the instructions below to make a felt and essential oil car air freshener:

  1. Think about the shape you want to make for your car air freshener – be creative but also try not to make it too complicated to cut out.
  2. Cut out the shape on the craft foam and felt.
  3. Peel the adhesive backing off the foam and carefully place it onto the felt shape.
  4. Attach a piece of string, ribbon or twine to the top of the shape so it can hang in your car.
  5. Carefully add a few drops of your chosen essential oil to the felt.

Once the design is securely hung in your car, it will naturally emit the fragrance across the interior, creating a more refreshing ambiance as you drive.

How to make a clothes peg car air freshener

If you do not have many materials to work with, making a clothes peg car air freshener could be an option. For this you’ll need:

  • 1 x small wooden clothes peg
  • Essential oils

Follow the instructions below to make a clothes peg car air freshener:

  1. Add 5-10 drops of your chosen essential oil to the clothes peg.
  2. Once dried, take the clothes peg and clip it onto the air vent in your car.

As you drive, the air will naturally pass through the peg, helping to fill the space with the scent of the essential oil.

Black and white botanical illustration

Learning how to make car air fresheners is easy, as aside from the essential oils, most of the materials you need should already be lying around your home.

It makes complete sense to create your own personalised scent for a space you spend so much time sitting in, and it can also help you to feel more relaxed and comfortable no matter the situation.

If you have an allergy to a particular essential oil, have been diagnosed with a specific medical condition or are on prescribed medication, it is a good idea to first speak with your doctor to see if this is a suitable option for you.


References

[1] Rob Hull (2019) The average UK driver spends almost 4 YEARS at the wheel in their lifetime - 8 months of which are stuck in traffic and 2 months searching for parking spaces, poll reveals https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-7685131/The-average-UK-driver-spends-4-YEARS-wheel-lifetime.html

[2] Kandhasamy Sowndhararajan and Songmun Kim (2016) Influence of Fragrances on Human Psychophysiological Activity: With Special Reference to Human Electroencephalographic Response https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198031/

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Medical Disclaimer

The content in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please consult your personal physician for any advice or treatment regarding specific health questions. Neither the article editor, writer, nor the organisation of Nikura takes any responsibility for possible health consequences following the information given in any article. All readers should consult their physician before taking any advice given within these articles.

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