Whether you drive a classic Ford Mustang or the biggest minivan on the block, you likely spend several hours a day in your car. Dropping the kids at school, commuting to work and running errands puts a lot of miles on those wheels. It also can leave your car’s interiors smelling less than desirable.
If it’s been a while since you enjoyed that new car smell, it might be time to invest in a car air freshener. This is 2019, so gone are the days of little pine trees hanging in the rear view mirror (although those do still exist!). Instead, you’ll find that many of the best car air fresheners combine the power of essential oils with modern technology.
However, it’s important to note that those funky smells could be caused by a number of engine issues, so before you try to cover up the bad scents, check with your mechanic. Otherwise, check out our list of the best car air fresheners and find the best scent for you and your ride.
1. California Good Homes Air Purifying Bag
With over 2,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, the California Good Homes Air Purifying Bag has plenty of supporters. Not only does each bag do a great job making your car smell great, these versatile bags can also be used all around the house, too. From your closet to the fridge, the activated charcoal inside absorbs the bad odors in the air to leave your space smelling fresh and clean. In addition, these handy bags also clean the air itself by trapping excess moisture, mold, bacteria, allergens and other unwanted particles.
2. Car Cuties Cat Car Air Freshener
BEST CITRUS SCENT
If smelling fresh and contributing to a great cause are equally important to you, then the Car Cuties Cat Car Air Freshener could be the choice for you. These cat-shaped fresheners deliver up to 30 days of clean air and can be used in any vehicle type. There’s also a range of different scents available, including rose, coffee, jasmine and citrus. In addition, proceeds from each purchase benefit PAWS Chicago, a non-profit animal shelter trying to prevent euthanasia of homeless pets.
3. Meguiar’s Whole Car Air Re-Freshener
BEST NEW CAR SCENT
If you’re looking to clean the air in your car and want to add a delightful fresh car scent at the same time, try using this Meguiar’s Whole Car Air Re-Freshener. It works to permanently remove unwanted odors. Whether it’s cigarette smoke, wet dog or workout clothes, this one-time aerosol removes all the bad smells. In addition to the new car scent, this aerosol is also available in spiced wood, citrus grove, sparkling berry and several other delightful options. To apply the re-freshener, simply turn the AC on, circulate the air and leave the activated can in your car for 10-15 minutes.
4. Happy Wax Car Cub Air Freshener
BEST BEACHY SCENT
By using essential oils, these USA-made Happy Wax Car Club Air Fresheners deliver an in-car smell you’ll love every time you open the door. From a lovely beach scent to calming lavender, there’s a scent for every preference. Each bear-shaped freshener lasts up to two weeks and can also be used in other places, like closets, bedrooms and offices.
5. Febreze Car Air Freshener
BEST LINEN SCENT
To give your car a delightful linen scent, try adding one of these Febreze Car Air Fresheners. These tiny fresheners attach directly into your car’s air vents and include individual dials for controlling the intensity of the freshening. Each one of the five included vent clips works to remove and eliminate odors more effectively than the average car air freshener.
6. Tatuo Essential Oil Diffuser Air Freshener
BEST CUSTOMIZABLE SCENT
The Tatuo Essential Oil Diffuser Air Freshener is another vent-mounted air freshener option. Each set includes two air fresheners, which can be mounted in the vents or simply placed on any surface to create a lovely olfactory environment. The clips are made from stainless steel and sport a range of beautiful patterns on their face. They also include a handy door for installing one of the 48 included oil-infused felt pads. You’ll also find a storage bag for keeping all of your pieces together in the same place, which we suggest keeping in your glove compartment.
7. Little Trees Car Air Freshener
BEST WOODSY SCENT
The Little Trees Car Air Freshener is probably the car air freshener you’re most familiar with. These pop culture fresheners are available in over 40 different scents, including royal pine, green apple and heirloom tomato. What’s more, the wing mirror-hanging air fresheners deliver invigorating scents to give your car a boost and cover up any unwanted and persistent odors. Plus, these long-lasting, USA-made fresheners can also be used in the home, at the office or in pretty much any space that needs a new scent.
8. Kindred Aroma Car Essential Oil Diffuser
BEST FLOWERY SCENT
If you’re searching for a reusable car freshener, the Kindred Aroma Car Essential Oil Diffuser fits the bill. This high-quality diffuser has a five millimeter glass reservoir, which simply needs to be filled with the essential oil of your choosing and mounted on your car’s air vents. After that, you can start enjoying up to 60 days of pleasant scents. The set includes a small amount of lavender essential oil to get you started, however, the versatile design means you can add any essential oil, whether you want to relax, clear your sinuses or just enjoy a delightful smell.
9. California Scents Can Air Freshener
BEST FRUITY SCENT
Lasting 60 days or longer, these California Scents Can Air Fresheners are a popular choice for car freshening needs. The premium engineered formula is available in six different scents, including Monterey Vanilla, Desert Jasmine and Shasta Strawberry. In addition, these versatile fresheners can be used everywhere, from your car to your home, and are easily activated by popping off the lid. For those looking to protect the environment, the aluminum canister can be recycled and the fiber pad inside is also biodegradable.
10. Diptyque Un Air de Diptyque Car Diffuser
BEST LUXE PICK
It may be the most expensive air freshener on our list, but the Diptyque Un Air de Diptyque Car Diffuser is without a doubt the most attractive option. The shell-like appearance adds a touch of class to any vehicle while the inserts (must be purchased separately) deliver a fruity smell you can’t help but love. The advanced vent-mounted diffuser uses an innovative cold diffusion system to spread the fragrance and also features a control to adjust the scent intensity level you enjoy in your vehicle.