As we head into winter here’s a piece of honest truth: cars can start to smell truly ripe after a few months of no open windows. When it’s too chilly to ride with the wind whipping through your hair, you need a different way to get your vehicle smelling sweet. If you perhaps eat a bit too much fast food in your car or forgot a banana in there a while ago, you need an air freshener for your car.
But you don’t want just any air freshener. A bad air freshener can smell worse than that ground-up Cheeto dust in the back seat. We’ve found the ten best car air freshener options on Amazon that will get rid of nasty smells and provide you with a beautiful scent.
You will love our editor’s curated product picks! FYI: We are an Amazon affiliate partner and may get a share of the sale of your purchase (at no cost to you).
This air purifier may look more like something out of a sci-fi movie than something you put in your car to make it smell fresh, but it packs a powerful purifying punch. Unlike many air fresheners, this purifier doesn’t just cover up bad smells with a stronger smell, it actually improves the air quality in your car and actively removes bad odors. Plus it’s super easy to use.
Another option for cleaning the air in your car is a vent stick. All you have to do is pop one onto the vents in your car and it will get all the air smelling fresh in no time. The best part is that it uses the car’s ventilation system to get the good smells circulating, so it reaches all parts of the car.
Plus at just $2.69 it’s one of the most affordable options on this list.
I cannot deny that I am addicted to scented candles, so seeing that Yankee Candle has the option to use their delicious candle smells as an air freshener in my car makes my heart beat a little bit faster. I love that you get a three-pack of different scents to spice things up. It’s also one of the easiest air fresheners to use: just hang up the little candle jar and you’re ready to go.
I’m a big fan of the styles of air fresheners that use the vents to get the scent moving, so I love that there are multiple options in that realm. These little clips snap on to the vents and send their odor eliminating scent throughout your car. It really works:
“I just bought a used car and wanted to get the “other person’s car” smell out of it but hate the chemical, artificial scent of most air fresheners. This scent is fantastic! Strong enough to mask the musty (maybe smoky?) scent of my car’s last owner, subtle and fresh enough that it doesn’t smell cloying or give me a headache. It really just smells like a clean load of laundry.”
Febreze doesn’t have just one vent clip option: they’ve also got this heavy-duty version, which appears to be for folks who need more power in their air fresheners. It comes in the scents fresh and shimmer, and I have no idea what those words mean when it comes to smells, but the reviews inform me that they smell amazing.
This is the first time I’d encountered a can option for air fresheners, but boy howdy am I excited about it now. I love that you can get a pack of 12 with all different scents to mix it up. I love that all you have to do is open the can and put it somewhere in your car. I love that you can adjust the lid to make it give off more or less scent. Overall, I love them.
When I think of an air freshener, the first image that comes into my mind is one of these little hanging pine trees. It’s the quintessential air freshener. They’ve grown a bit since I was growing up though: this listing offers over 35 different scents for you to choose from (and some of them are absolutely bucking wild: pure steel? True north? I must know what these smell like). Snag your favorite scent in a six-pack.
Sometimes I don’t want a scent that lives in my car and just keeps on giving. I just need to get rid of a bad odor or add a little boost to the air in my car. I like the versatility of a spray: you can use as much or as little as you need at any given time to find the perfect amount of scent for you. Not only that, but these sprays from Chemical Guys can be diluted with up to 2 gallons of water, so you can make them last a long time and find the exact concentration you like.
One of the biggest complaints a lot of people have about air fresheners is that they have chemical, fake smells. Some people get headaches or just don’t want to be breathing in all of those intense chemicals. If you’d rather go with a more natural option, this activated bamboo charcoal air freshener takes a different approach. Through natural bamboo, it absorbs odors and removes them from the air circulation. It’s also sustainable: you can use it as a natural fertilizer once you’re finished using it in your car. That’s so cool.