You use your car to move your whole life around. No matter how hard we try to keep it clean, sometimes unpleasant smells can invade and stick around longer than we’d like. We spend a lot of time in our cars and nobody wants to spend that time sitting with a bad smell. We also don’t want to worry about unclean bacteria in the air with our kids in the back seat. Those cheap air fresheners you stick in your vents or hang on your mirror smell good right when you buy them, but you always end up throwing them away a week or two later. Did you know there are other high quality options? You might be surprised how many ways there are to spruce up the air in your car. When just opening the window isn’t enough, here are some of the best car air fresheners on the market.
- Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag, Charcoal Color
- Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag, Natural Color
- Bmbu Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifier Bag
- Purggo Car Air Freshener
- Ozium Air Sanitizer
- Ozium Smoke & Odors Eliminator Gel
- Chemical Guys New Car Smell Premium Air Freshener and Odor Eliminator
- Chemical Guys Leather Scent Premium Air Freshener and Odor Eliminator
- Meguiar’s Whole Car Air Refresher Odor Eliminator (New Car Scent)
- Air Spencer CS-X3 Squash Scent Air Freshener
- Buying Guide
Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag, Charcoal Color
This is the best selling air freshener on Amazon for good reasons. It’s a small bag filled with 200 grams of powerful bamboo charcoal which sucks up moisture. Odors live in the form of moisture, absorbing that moisture is what makes the Moso bag purify the air. It purifies a 90 square foot area making it great for car interiors. It’s fragrance free, chemical free, and non-toxic. You just leave it somewhere in your car and it does all the work.
Unlike most air fresheners, this one is reusable for up to two years. You can just place the bag outside and leave it in the sun for one hour per month and it’s rejuvenated. It’s not like cheap air fresheners that stop working after a couple weeks. If you’re looking for an all natural option for a car air freshener, this hot seller could be for you.
Author Review: 4.1 / 5
Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag, Natural Color
This is the same product as the charcoal color Moso Natrual Air Purifying Bag, but a more brown natural color. Charcoal is good for darker interiors like black leather, but natural looks better with lighter interiors like brown leather and lighter cloth. It has all of the same great qualities of the charcoal one, but might be a better aesthetic fit for your interior. If your trunk is prone to odors, it might be a good idea to get one of these for the cabin of the car and another one to leave in the trunk. This could prevent any unpleasant surprises when opening your trunk.
Author Review: 4.5 / 5
Bmbu Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifier Bag
The Bmbu Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifier Bag is similar to the Moso bag. It uses carbon rich bamboo charcoal to absorb moisture and eliminate odors. With 300 grams of charcoal this is larger than the Moso bag. It’s all natural, non-toxic, fragrance free, and free of artificial chemicals. It’s long lasting and can be recharged by letting it sit in the sun from time to time.
The main difference between the Bmbu and Moso bags is size. The bigger size of the Bmbu bag is an advantage if you have a larger vehicle or tougher odors you’re trying to eliminate. If you need something more compact and don’t have a lot of room inside your car, the size of the Bmbu bag would be a disadvantage.
Author Review: 4.3 / 5
Purggo Car Air Freshener
The Purggo is another air freshener that uses 100% bamboo charcoal that naturally absorbs odors. This one has a different design than the Moso and the Bmbu bags. It has a rope that goes around the headrest and the bag hangs behind the seat. This is a great design that leaves the bag out of the way. Since it’s on the headrest, it’s always close to your nose. It’s a great spot to leave your air freshener so odors barely stand a chance to reach your nose. The bag is pretty big making it effective on bigger cars. If you require really serious odor elimination, you can get one for each headrest in the car.
Author Review: 4.3 / 5
Ozium Air Sanitizer
Ozium is a spray that is clinically proven to eliminate odors rather than just mask them. It’s trusted by health care facilities and hospitals to fight airborne bacteria. It’s good for smokers because it can eliminate tobacco odors from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes.
Ozium doesn’t only treat the air; you can also use it on surfaces. If you have a smell coming from a certain part of a seat in your car, you can hit it with some Ozium and it will help eliminate the smell at the source.
Author Review: 4.6 / 5
Ozium Smoke & Odors Eliminator Gel
Ozium Gel works by just sitting in your car. It’s gel in a small puck with holes in the lid. You can control how much the top is open and the gel does the work. It’s nice because it’s working all the time and you don’t have to spray periodically. It does have a scent, but it isn’t overpowering. Like the Ozium spray, it’s great for smoke odors.
Author Review: 3.9 / 5
Chemical Guys New Car Smell Premium Air Freshener and Odor Eliminator
Chemical Guys have made a premium air freshener formulated with special fragrances designed to smell exactly like a new car. This is a natural enzymatic air freshener; it eliminates odors and reduces new odors from hanging on to your interior. It does all of this while introducing a new car smell.
It comes in a 16 ounce spray bottle, but it’s recommended that it’s diluted with distilled water before use. You can use it right out of the spray bottle, but it’s very concentrated and might not smell the way you’d like it to. If you use it without diluting it, don’t use too much in one sitting or it will be too strong. One treatment with this spray and you’ll be set for weeks. It’s been recommended by Maxim and Esquire magazines.
Author Review: 3.5 / 5
Chemical Guys Leather Scent Premium Air Freshener and Odor Eliminator
This is very similar to the Chemical Guys New Car Smell spray, but leaves a different fragrance. If your car has a leather interior because you love the smell of leather, this is the air freshener for you. It works enzymatically just like the other Chemical Guys spray, but leaves a rich leather fragrance that smells just like the real thing. It’s a hassle to fully clean and condition your leather seats, but if you just want the smell, give your car a spray with this product. Just keep in mind that it’s very concentrated. It’s a good idea to dilute it with distilled water.
Author Review: 3.9 / 5
Meguiar’s Whole Car Air Refresher Odor Eliminator (New Car Scent)
Meguiar’s air freshener is a one-time use spray. There are specific directions to follow that allow this product to work through your whole car and eliminate odors. You start by cleaning out the inside of your car, especially sources of odors. When it’s clean, you turn on the car with the air conditioning on and recirculating. Then you activate the can while it’s standing upright and leave it in the running car for ten minutes with the doors and windows closed. After ten minutes are up and the can is empty, you turn off the car and leave the doors open for another ten minutes. Then any odors should be eliminated from your car and replaced with a pleasant new car smell.
This product is effective, but not very convenient. It requires twenty minutes to use, but once it’s done being used the odors in your car are gone. The new fragrance can be a bit strong for a few days, but eventually becomes more subtle. This product is not intended to clean any specific trouble areas in your interior, just to refresh the smell of your whole car.
Author Review: 4.1 / 5
Air Spencer CS-X3 Squash Scent Air Freshener
The name is a little misleading on this product as it does not smell like squash. It has more of a sweet, clean, pleasant smell. You insert a refill cartridge into a case and you can put it anywhere in your car. If you get the kit, it comes with adhesive so you can mount it anywhere. This is nice for putting it on the dashboard so it can’t slide around.
While the smell is nice, it doesn’t last very long. Only about two weeks go by before it needs to be refilled or replaced. It also doesn’t do much to eliminate existing odors, it just kind of masks odors with another fragrance. Something I like about it, though, is the multiple options for fragrances. If you want to try a different scent, you can use the case you already have and swap out the cartridge for a different one. This is a good buy if you like variety in the smell of your car.
Author Review: 4.4 / 5
We’ve looked at a few different products with different applications. All of them do basically the same thing. They all make your car smell better. However, there are key differences that make different products right for different people.
If an all natural product is important to you, it’s clear that you should go with one of the Moso, Bmbu, or Purggo air fresheners. The bamboo charcoal they use is an outstanding and effective alternative to artificial chemicals. All of these charcoal bags do a great job absorbing odors. The fact that they’re reusable and can be rejuvenated just by leaving them out in the sun is a big bonus and can even save a few bucks in the long run.
If artificial chemicals don’t bother you and you just want to get the job done, either of the Ozium products are good for getting the air and fabric in your car clean. Trusted by hospitals for professional use, Ozium makes high quality products that can take care of just about anything you throw at them. If you need more than just a passive air freshener and need to target a certain spot, I recommend that Ozium air freshener spray.
If you really want to be able to smell a new fragrance in your car every time you get in, the Chemical Guys have you covered. With their super concentrated sprays in new car and leather varieties, they’ll always remind you that they’re there. Don’t want it to be so strong? Just dilute it with water and you’ll have a more subtle scent. It’s also nice that you can buy these in bulk and they’ll last a long time.
If you have twenty minutes to spare, you need your whole car refreshed, and you want to do it once and get it out of the way, then the Miguiar’s whole car air freshener is for you. It’s a little bit of work, but it’s something you only have to do once. After it’s done, you don’t have to worry about deodorizing your car for a while. The nicest thing about this one is there’s nothing you have to leave in your car in order to keep it fresh.
The Air Spencer cartridge air freshener isn’t a bad product, but I’d only recommend it against the other air fresheners on this list if a wide variety of scents is important to you.
To me the whole purpose of an air freshener is to make your car not smell bad. I believe it’s more important to remove odors than to put a new, more pleasant smell on top of them. For that reason, I recommend the charcoal bamboo bags for your car. They’re available in varying sizes from different brands so you can find the perfect one for your vehicle. I love that you can just leave them in your car, forget about them, and your car won’t smell bad. The fact that they last a long time and they’re all natural is a nice bonus too. Go ahead and throw away that cardboard tree in your mirror and treat yourself to something that really works!