Air fresheners are one of the most popular accessories you can get for your vehicle if you want to give your car a refreshing scent. Most car owners will have one in their vehicle in one form or another and chances are it will come to be in the form of a fruity scent or probably something minty and refreshing.
While it may smell good, some of these fragrances can have dangerous effects on your body. With that said, here is a bit of information about car air fresheners that you might want to know, as well as information about non-toxic options and DIY (Do-It-Yourself) alternatives.
Air fresheners can be dangerous to your health
As many may know the purpose of air fresheners is to help mask unpleasant orders in our surroundings. True to its purpose it’s exactly what it does: it's a mask to hide the scent and it doesn’t do much else. The foul smell will still be there and along with the source of the foul odor. While air fresheners smell good, they are made up of chemical compounds.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Volatile Organic Compound (VOC), benzene, formaldehyde, aerosol propellants, and allergens are some of the harsh chemicals that are said to be present in some air fresheners in today’s market. Yes, you should be bothered, as these ingredients can cause headaches, nausea, and asthma. What’s worse? These substances have been linked to cancer and other neurological problems. Yikes, toxic!
Another hazardous chemical in most car air fresheners is the phthalates that are risky for a pregnant person (or those trying to get pregnant), as this may result in birth defects, hormonal changes, as well as poor semen quality. That’s the reason why we should always be careful and check the label or chemical contents of the products before buying one.
The DIY alternative
If you don’t want these harmful chemicals in your car you can always look for do-it-yourself alternatives. You can easily make your air freshener from the following materials, felt paper, scissors, hole puncher, needle, yarn or string, cotton ball, and your favorite essential oils.
With these materials on hand here is what you will need to do, first, cut out the felt paper into two identical shapes and sew the two together. Be creative with the shape; don’t make a pine tree shape. Also, don’t forget to leave a small hole for the cotton ball. Next, squeeze in the cotton ball inside and drip a few drops of essential oils onto it. Lastly, punch a hole at the top of the stitched felt and put yarn or string.
That’s it. You can now hang and be proud of your artsy creation by the rearview mirror. You’re welcome.
Another tip: Place coffee beans in a mesh-covered jar and put it on the cup holder to get rid of unwanted odors. Believe me, it works. A can half-filled with baking soda under the car seat can also do wonders.
Odorless, non-chemical air fresheners you can buy
You can always buy or make some non-chemical air fresheners instead. There are multiple options available but we have listed a few that are easily attainable and may even last longer than the normal range of air fresheners available on the market.
Some people use activated charcoal for teeth whitening, but it’s quite shocking to know that it’s also effective in keeping an odor-free environment. This purifying bag contains activated charcoal that absorbs excess moisture to avoid mold and bacteria. You can also just put charcoal in a container with some holes punched out on top of it to act as a natural deodorizer. Either way charcoal is a good no-smell alternative for those who want to keep their car smelling fresh and clean.
Car vent diffuser
This small thing could be mistaken as an accessory because of its stylish appearance. All you have to do is to add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to the washable felt pads and attach them to the car’s aircon vents. Voila! You’re good to go.
If you're looking for an air freshener that you can carry while on the go, this handy USB diffuser might be perfect for you. This product can be plugged into any USB outlet with a 12-volt car adapter. It has a small bottle that you can fill with essential oils of your choice. What’s also great about this diffuser is that you can set a timer, so it will diffuse every 10, 30, or 60 seconds.