How To Make Car Air Freshener: Cheap & Effective DIY Solutions

If you spend a lot of time in your car, like me, having a car interior that smells refreshing is necessary. 

I personally spend a lot of time in my car. Though I am currently working from home, there was a time when I spent half of the day traveling to the office and back in my car. Besides regular drive, offroading was on the list monthly to-do list. 

I had recently been on a month-long road trip for an assignment. While the trip was fulfilling, I realized the need for making some changes in the car to make my driving experience more enriching, and one of them was making the interior smell daisy fresh. 

Of course, I could buy car fresheners, but I am on a spree to try natural and handmade things. This quest of mine got me to make a DIY car air freshener or organic car air freshener, and in this piece, I will tell you all about it. 

How To Make Car Air Freshener

Before getting in the process of making homemade air fresheners for the car, I did a thorough cleaning of the car interiors. Since I had been practically living in my car for more than a month, I had accumulated quite an amount of trash and gunk. 

After cleaning the unnecessary clutter, I scrubbed and vacuumed the interior. I say this from personal experience, no amount of natural car freshener will be adequate if you don’t clean your car interior regularly, trust me. 

How To Make Car Air Freshener

Now, with the interior squeaky clean, I got in the process of making a DIY car diffuser after much research. 

So, if you are looking for a how to make your own air freshener for car guide, these are the steps to follow:

Diffuser Base Method:

What you Need

  • Essential oil
  • Diffuser base
  • Fragrance bottle


Pick out your favorite natural oil: 

There are multiple options available. You can opt for lavender, lemongrass, sandal, or any other option that you like. I made a batch of lavender and musk since both have a subtle yet long-lasting smell.

I began by mixing the essential oil or fragrance (25%) and the diffuser base (75%) using a measuring jug. 

Filling the bottle: 

Once the mixing is complete, gently pour the solution into your freshener can. There are multiple air freshener bottles available in the market. I opted for a small grey one, keeping in tune with the interior color palette of my car. 

Place the bottle:

Most DIY car air freshener bottles have a loop of a kind for hanging it. You can go ahead and hang it using the loop after shutting the lid. However, I chose to clip the bottle on the air vents. This allows the fragrance to spread within the car when the vents are turned on. 

I was impressed with the results, honestly. Unlike the store-bought air car freshers that are supremely strong, my homemade air freshener car was giving just the right amount of fragrance.

How To Make Car Air Freshener

I created a few more varieties of essential oil car freshener moving forward. Indeed I had to read quite a few how to make homemade car fresheners and how to make car air fresheners with fragrance oil articles, but the research was worth the time invested. 

Clothespin Air Freshener:

What you need

To make this, you will need:

  • Clothespins (as the name suggests)
  • Essential oil of your choice
  • A sandwich bag
  • Some fresh herbs (optional)

This is a makeshift DIY car freshener that can come in handy in an emergency, especially while car camping.


Put 4-5 drops of essential oil into the clothespin. I tried this out using peppermint oil, and it was breathtakingly refreshing and energizing.

How To Make Car Air Freshener

Now, place the clothespins in the sandwich bag with some fresh herbs and seal the bag. If you don’t have any herbs handy, simply close the bag with the clothespins until you are ready to use them. 

When required, clip one of two clothespins to your car vent and get blown away by the fragrance! This DIY car freshener is perfect for those looking for a subtle smell, and it gets activated as soon as the AC or heater is turned on. 

One of the best things about such an essential oil car freshener is that you can experiment with the fragrance and their combination. I have had a few friends who tried a peppermint and orange peel combination, and as per their review, the car ended up smelling like the “garden of Eden.” 

Also Know About: How To Make Essential Oil Perfume [Trendy Method ]

Jar Air Freshener:

What you need

  • A small sized Mason jar
  • Thumbtack
  • A pair of scissors
  • A cardboard piece
  • Essential oils
  • Baking soda


A jar air freshener is something I will recommend if you are looking for how to make air freshener for car guides. 

The ingredients to make these are all households items and thus easily available. 

How To Make Car Air Freshener

Fill the mason jar with baking soda in a 2:3 ratio. Following this, add 10-30 drops of your favorite essential oil. You can also use a combination of different oils, for instance, lemon, lavender, and peppermint. 

After adding the oils, secure the jar’s lid and shake it well. This will distribute the oil in the baking soda. 

Next, open the lid and use the flat disc part to trace a circle on the cardboard. Cut out the marked part and place it at the top of the jar. Make sure the ring part of the kid holds the cardboard in place, and finally, using the thumbtack poke multiple holes in the cardboard.

However, you cannot hang this jar due to its weight, and doing so won’t be safe anyway. So, place it in the cup holder or even keep it under your seat. This DIY freshener should last you for a month, almost as much as an off-the-shelf car freshener for half the price! Exciting huh? 

Felt And Twine Air Freshener:

What you need:

  • Adhesive craft foam
  • Essential oils of your choice
  • A hole puncher
  • Scissors
  • Craft felt 
  • A piece of string or ribbon

Surely you have seen these in the supermarkets, and definitely, their price tag made you skip a beat. Thankfully, you don’t need to buy them. 

I learned this technique from one of the how to make car air freshener books and was surprised to see how simple the process is. 


Before starting, determine the type of shape you want to make out of the craft foam. 

My five-year-old niece made me a heart in her craft class, so I had to use that! But if you need inspiration for the types of shapes you want, tons of free sites are available. You can also check Pinterest for some unique ideas. 

How To Make Car Air Freshener

Once you have picked up the design, cut both the adhesive craft foam, and craft felt in that shape. 

Next, peel the back of the adhesive craft foam and stick it to the felt piece’s back, and use the twine or string to create a loop for hanging your craft. 

In the final step, add the essential oil of your choice (or a combination of a few options). You can add the oil(a) directly to the felt or spray it using a bottle. I used the second method since the water distributed the oil better. 

Finally, hang it up in your car and let the smell rekindles your senses! 

While I have detailed all the processes I have used to make a personalized batch of car perfumes, it figures if you might have some additional questions. After all, if this is your first time on the how to make air freshener for a car journey, there might be a few asks. 

Thus, I am adding a list of common FAQs below to help you get some quick answers.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How Do You Make A Dar Diffuser?

You can make your car diffuser using clothespins, cotton balls, air dry clay, or pom poms. You only need to spray any of these options with your favorite essential oil(s) and hang it inside your car. You can go old school and hang the diffuser in the rearview mirror or place it on the car vent. The idea is to get the maximum smell. 

Q2: How Do I Make My Car Air Freshener Smell?

There are multiple ways to make your car air freshener smell good. While most of the options I have listed above use a combination of essential oils. You can use coffee beans and scented candles as your car air freshener as well. You can place some coffee beans in a small mesh bag and have the bag placed under the seat. Coffee beans can absorb bad smells, leaving an energizing aroma in the car. If you opt for scented candles, place them in a salt shaker and keep them under the seats. The wax will melt in the heat, and that will result in your car smelling daisy fresh. 

Q3: How Do You Make Organic Car Air Fresheners?

Apart from the methods listed above, you can try the following options to make organic car fresheners:

  • Potpourri packs
  • Homemade gel car freshener
  • Car fragrance made from fabric softener
  • Herb car freshener
  • Homemade apart freshener

Q4: What Material Are Car Air Fresheners Made Of?

Commercial car air fresheners are made from aldehydes, a type of synthetic fragrance. Besides these, other chemicals and components are added to create the variety of car fresheners available in the market. For instance, the gel base of some car fresheners is made from inorganic substances, and the fragrance is added when the gel is still hot. 

Though store-bought fresheners last longer, most of them can be harmful to your health in the long run; after all, you will be inhaling it. Thus preparing the car perfume at home is a desirable and organic option.

Read More: What Does Ylang Ylang Smell Like?

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