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15 Best Air Fresheners for Your Car, According to Raving Reviews

Freshen up your ride with one of the best odor eliminators for your vehicle.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

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Whether it’s the best air freshener you’ve ever smelled, a homemade air freshener you made yourself or the best scented candles that are making your space smell fabulous, nothing beats that feeling of stepping into a fresh-scented room. The same goes for your car, which is why you should use the best car air freshener for your vehicle’s needs—or rather, for its odors.

You can’t exactly have the best air purifiers riding shotgun—although there is such a thing as car air purifiers. But using a car air freshener can help eliminate all those bad car smells caused by stinky sports gear in the backseat, French fries in the seat buckle crevices, wet dogs, old cigarette smoke and more. (Speaking of cigarettes, this is how much nicotine is in a cigarette.) And even if there isn’t a bad odor you’re trying to get rid of, a nice-smelling car is always a good thing.

From vent clips, hanging trees and Yankee candle jars to environmentally friendly products, kitschy pieces and a fog bomb, this list of the best car air fresheners is just what you need to keep your ride stink-free. We relied on enthusiastic—and thorough—user reviews to determine the best of the best.

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Best overall car air freshener

Febreze Gain Car Air Freshener Vent Clips

With a 4.6-star average and more than 8,100 ratings on Amazon, it’s easy to see why consumers say these Febreze clips are the overall best car air freshener. Reviewers say they’re super effective and smell incredible. “Two great smelling products, Febreze and Gain, working together to make your car smell fresh,” writes verified purchaser Robert. “What could be wrong with that? I’ll keep buying these.”

They’re long-lasting, too, as verified reviewer Aly notes: “I’ve had just one of these in my car for about a month, and it’s about to run out. That’s a very long time compared to others!” Some say they even use these on the A/C vents inside their home, they smell so good—now that’s a simple home deodorizer idea!


  • Combines Febreze and Gain
  • Easily clips into air vents
  • Adjustable scent levels
  • Comes in two scents
  • Febreze cleans odor instead of just masking it


  • The scent might be too strong for some users

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Best all-natural car air freshener

PURGGO Car Air Freshener

If eco-friendly cleaning products are important to you, eco-friendly air fresheners should be as well. Activated charcoal may just be the best car air freshener that’s all-natural, and this hang-over-the-headrest product from PURGGO is a favorite on Amazon because it can combat even the toughest odors.

“I have spent hundreds of dollars on many products that claim to rid vehicles of odors, especially smoke odors. I have quite a few smokers in my family,” writes Cathie, an Amazon verified purchaser. “I took all the other air fresheners out of my car because this PURGGO works so well that you can’t smell anything! Would I recommend? ABSOLUTELY! I think this PURGGO air freshener is worth every penny!”

An added bonus: It isn’t an eyesore. As verified purchaser Melissa commented, “I wanted to take an environment-friendly approach to car air fresheners, while also looking for an alternate solution that doesn’t involve sticking something in front of my windshield, as hanging objects can be annoying. PURGGO’s product solves both problems for me and it’s smartly designed! Subtle and functional.”


  • All-natural activated charcoal
  • Scent-free, with no added perfumes
  • Sustainable product
  • Lasts one year or more


  • Provides a neutral smell, but no extra “scent”

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Best scented car air freshener

Yankee Candle Car Jar Hanging Air Freshener

If scented candles make your bedroom relaxing, why not bring that same calming feel to your car? Yankee Candles are known for their lovely scents, so expect no different from their best car air freshener. These adorable hanging Yankee Candle jars have more than 18,000 five-star ratings on Amazon. Verified purchaser Barb said, “I love that these work gently without an overpowering smell. It’s kind of a friendly, welcome greeting each time I get in the car.”

Reviewers love the high-quality scents the Yankee Candle line offers, too. Verified purchaser Noelle writes: “I bought these as a gift for a sorority sister, and she says they smell just like the candles and make her (kinda old) car smell like the beach every day! Definitely recommend for those who can’t use their whole paycheck on actual candles.”


  • Available in more than 22 scents
  • The scent lasts for about 30 days
  • Subtle fragrance, not overpowering
  • Over 28,000 ratings on Amazon


  • Some reviewers find the scent may not last as long in the summer, especially in areas with high heat

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Best car air freshener for cigarette smoke

Ozium Smoke and Odor Eliminator Gel

Once your vehicle smells like cigarette smoke, almost nothing will get the smell out—except for Ozium’s gel air freshener. This is the best car air freshener for smokers, or for those who own a car someone used to smoke in.

It works so well because it’s formulated to chemically bond to odors in the air, so it eliminates tough smells like cigarette smoke completely, rather than just masking them. And since it’s a gel, you can just pop one open, leave it in your cup holder or back seat, and forget about it, rather than having to spray your vehicle with air freshener every time.

The best part is these gel air fresheners actually work. Verified purchaser Kati wrote, “We’ve been trying for almost a year to get the lingering smoke smell out of a truck that we purchased. I didn’t want to buy it due to the smell, but we were assured it would come out—insert eye roll here. Finally, a coworker told me about these and it took a mere 24 hours to eliminate the smell. Do yourself a favor, just purchase already!”

Ozium gel is also perfect if you’re thinking about selling a vehicle you or someone else used to smoke in since that’s one of the things that will kill your car’s resale value.


  • Works on stubborn odors
  • Chemically bonds with odors to eliminate them, not mask them
  • Easy-to-use gel
  • Results in a couple of hours
  • Gel turns brown as it absorbs scents so you know when to replace it


  • Only works in confined spaces, so no rolled-down windows or sunroof

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Best heavy-duty car air freshener

Turtle Wax Odor-X Odor Eliminator

Some cars smell so bad that only the strongest car air freshener will do—so if you’re dealing with impossible-to-remove odors like spoiled milk or mildew, Turtle Wax Odor-X is the best heavy-duty air freshener for the job, according to Amazon reviews.

You don’t use it like you would your typical air freshener spray. With your car running, the doors closed and the AC on, set off one can inside your car and wait 10 to 15 minutes. Then open the doors and let it air out for an hour, and you’ll have whole-car freshness for months.

Verified purchaser Jim’s review says it all: “My truck stunk like cigars and our monster 150-pound dog. That was fine until I traded it in for a new one. I figured if the dealer smelled the cigar and dog odor it would decrease the value. Just days before I traded it in, I fired up one of these cans. I brought the truck in and the dealer said, ‘Wow, this still smells brand new.’ If it masked those odors it’s definitely a good product.”


  • Tackles tough odors
  • Cleans the whole car, not just the air
  • Eliminates odors in hard-to-reach spots, such as air vents or upholstery
  • Can be used as little or as often as you’d like


  • Must use with the doors closed and AC running (no people in the vehicle)

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Best spray car air freshener

Chemical Guys New Car Smell Air Freshener

With over 19,000 five-star ratings, this Chemical Guys air freshener is the best spray air freshener for cars on the market. Verified purchaser Nick wrote: “I bought a used truck that must have belonged to the Marlboro man himself. This truck smelled so bad. After much research, I found this stuff. It smelled so darn good! It is absolutely the closest thing to a new car smell that I have ever found in my 20-plus years of driving. About every two to three weeks now, I spritz about a half of a spray in there just to keep it nice and fresh.”

Perhaps the best part of this spray is just how little you need to use, meaning you’ll need to repurchase less frequently than other car air fresheners. Verified purchaser Jeffrey writes: “The first time I used it, I sprayed entirely too much. I would highly recommend starting off with a small amount. It is highly concentrated just as stated and will last a very long time. I took my car in to be serviced today and even the tech commented on how new my car smells!”


  • Easy-to-use spray solution
  • Eliminates odors in just one to two sprays, so the bottle is long-lasting
  • New car smell
  • Over 31,000 ratings on Amazon


  • Some reviewers find diluting the product gives the best results

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Best vent clip-on car air freshener

Febreze Unstopables Vent Clips

With an average 4.6-star rating on Amazon, consumers say these delightfully smelling Febreze vent clips are hands-down the best clip-on car air freshener you can buy online. That’s because they’re long-lasting, super simple to use and work on everything from pet odors to food odors and more. And since you can just clip it and forget it, it’s one of the easiest car hacks that’ll make driving so much better.

Verified purchaser Jaedyn writes: “This is the first car air fresher that I have ever had that: 1. Doesn’t fall off of my vent, 2. Actually eliminates odor, 3. Lasts a very long time!”


  • Easily clips into air vents
  • Works with AC airflow to distribute the scent throughout the vehicle
  • Strong scent works on tough odors


  • Some reviewers find the scent is too strong with the car’s heat on

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Best can car air freshener

California Scents Spillproof Can Air Freshener

Shoppers say the best can air freshener is a classic: California Scents. Consumers love that the brand’s iconic scratch-n-sniff tins are filled with scented fiber pads which will keep your car smelling good for 60 days or more at a budget-friendly price. (Tip: To release more scent, just rotate the pads so a fresh side is upright.) First, use the best car wipes to clean your vehicle’s interior, then pop open one of these babies for months of pleasant scents.

Verified purchaser Hermès writes: “These air fresheners are great! They’re small and discreet so you can place them underneath your seats without anyone noticing them. They also smell amazing! They’ll have your car smelling like cherries and everyone who gets in your car will compliment you on how nice your car smells.”


  • Easy-to-use spillproof can
  • Effective for months
  • Recyclable can with biodegradable pads
  • Strong scent


  • Once you pop the top, there’s no lid

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Best hanging car air freshener

Little Trees Car Air Freshener

Some things are iconic for a reason, like Little Trees hanging car air fresheners. With an average 4.7-star rating on Amazon, reviewers say these are the best hanging car air fresheners because of their lovely scents. Plus, the scent is long-lasting and they’re budget-friendly, too. Start by using one of the best car vacuums to get up all those old food crumbs, then keep the freshness going with a Little Tree.

As verified purchaser Genell put it, “I always get raving compliments on the smell in our car despite it being constantly full of fast food wrappers and teenage boys’ nasty gym clothes. They last a long time. We also hang them in closets and in lockers and once in a while, I will throw one under the bed to freshen up a bedroom if need be. This was a great deal!”


  • Simply hangs from your rearview mirror
  • Budget-friendly at under $1 per air freshener
  • Comes in 40 scents and themes


  • Some reviewers say it doesn’t last as long as other car air fresheners

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Best stylish car air freshener

NCElec Retro Record Player Air Fresh Clip

Reviewers agree: This clip-on car air freshener is as effective as it is cute. Shoppers say it’s the most adorable essential oil air freshener you can get on Amazon. “It’s basically my favorite thing I’ve ever bought on Amazon,” writes verified purchaser Jennifer. “First off, just look at it. I mean, it’s ridiculously awesome. The smell could last a teensy bit longer, but just dab some essential oils on the record to make it last longer. My car even feels cooler than me.”

It’s so popular because it does more than just freshen the air in your car—it actually spins when the AC is on. Verified purchaser Kat explains: “I bought this for the boyfriend but loved it so much that I got one myself! Comes with multiple discs or fresheners that make it feel like an actual record player. It makes the car look so much cuter and they all smell so good!”


  • Clever design
  • Uses environmentally friendly oils
  • Comes with three scented “records” that you can change out
  • The disc spins when the AC is on


  • More for novelty than for scent

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Best humorous car air freshener

Accoutrements Bigfoot Air Freshener

Reviewers say this five-inch-tall Bigfoot’s hilarious shape and cool packaging design are, well, the total package! This has got to be one of the road trip essentials to keep your friends or family feeling good all the way to your destination.

As verified purchaser Heidi said, “This product was bought as a gag gift for my Sasquatch-loving husband. He thought it was funny and it even had a manly pine smell. This is a great gift idea for any Sasquatch fan who also needs his or her car to smell fresh.”


  • Funny design makes it great for gag gifts
  • Kitschy presentation
  • Looks good long after the scent is gone


  • Some users didn’t like the pine smell, or wished it lasted longer

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Best car air freshener for pet owners

Ozium Air Sanitizer Spray

Reviewers say this Ozium spray is the best car air freshener for pet owners because it eliminates odors in the air to stop pet smells in their tracks, rather than just masking them with a fresh scent. The fascinating science behind why this works is that it chemically bonds to oxygen molecules in the air and gives them an extra atom to create ozone—and that’s how it eliminates odors completely.

Verified purchaser Julie attests to its powers even on strong, stubborn smells: “After a vomiting incident in my car, I had my carpets and seats extracted and console detailed, yet my car still smelled like vomit. I was so frustrated. A friend recommended this spray. I sprayed it into the car a few times over the course of two days and the smell has been completely gone since. I am so relieved it worked!”

That said, it’s important to note one thing: Inhalation isn’t recommended, so give this spray a spritz and leave the car alone for a while.


  • Rids cars of stubborn pet odors
  • Easy-to-use spray
  • Chemically bonds with odors to eliminate them, not mask them
  • Gets rid of bad smells in approximately 15 minutes


  • Best to let it dissipate before getting back in the car

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Best car air freshener for mold and mildew

Meguiar’s Whole Car Air Re-Fresher Odor Eliminator Mist

Nothing is worse than a musty-smelling vehicle. When you’re looking for the best car air freshener for mold and mildew, over 18,000 five-star Amazon ratings say this product should be your go-to for funky smells because it eliminates odor everywhere—the vents, the upholstery—not just the air.

Verified reviewer Nathan says the results were “unbelievable” after it rained while the car’s windows were down: “I vacuumed the car, washed the windows, sprayed all the upholstered surfaces with Febreze, filled the car with charcoal for a couple of weeks and drove around with the windows open, all to no avail. So before taking it to get professionally detailed, I decided to give this stuff a shot.” The result? “It worked the first time, immediately and completely,” he says.


  • Freshens the whole car, not just the air
  • Eliminates odors in hard-to-reach spots
  • 26,000 ratings on Amazon
  • Available in three scents and a larger 24-ounce bottle


  • Use with the doors closed and AC running (no people in the vehicle)

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Best long-lasting car air freshener

Armor All Smoke X Car Air Freshener and Purifier

For fresh scents that last, Amazon shoppers say you should grab this long-lasting car air freshener because it works for months, not weeks. It can also get into vents and other impossible-to-reach places—one of the most important car cleaning secrets to get a fresh-smelling vehicle.

Verified reviewer Justin isn’t just a happy customer, he’s also a pro at cleaning cars: “I’m a professional detailer and when I buy a used car that has a scent, I immediately clean every inch of it. I recently bought a car that has the worst mildew smell and I used all of my detailing tools and that smell would not go away. I bought this product and then followed the instructions. After a day of driving with my windows down, the roughness of the smell was gone and I was left with a hint of a much nicer smell. It somehow got rid of that mildew smell magically.”


  • Works for months, not weeks
  • Freshens the whole car
  • Fogger “bomb” is used one time to get rid of odors


  • Some users didn’t like the fragrant scent left behind

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Best plug-in car air freshener

Glade PlugIns Car Air Freshener Starter Kit

We’re all about car gadgets for safer driving, so why not car gadgets for better smelling air? If you’re looking for the best car air freshener that’ll plug into your car’s 12V outlet, this starter kit is a great plug-in according to reviewers. It turns on and continuously emits fresh scents while your car is running.

“I don’t like the other scents that make the interior smell like fruits or flowers,” says verified purchaser Kelsey. “I work at a coffee shop, and the smell of coffee gets stuck in my car seats. Even though I am pretty good at keeping the interior of my car clean, vacuumed and organized, I can’t help the coffee smell that lingers from my job. This scent makes the interior of my car smell good without making me dizzy.”

Verified purchaser Danielle says it’s easy to just set the freshener and forget it: “I just put this in a new car that I want to keep smelling perfect and I love the ease of use. It goes right in the old cigarette lighter spot that you don’t use much else for these days! Love it!”


  • Plugs into the car’s power outlet
  • Emits scent continuously while the car is running
  • Starter kit includes plug-in and scent insert
  • Available in two sents and various multipack options


  • Some users had trouble getting it to stay in the car’s power outlet

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Maryn Liles
Maryn Liles is a home and travel expert who’s covered everything from the best robotic vacuums to the most remote destinations around the world. She's also the founder of Connected Content Co., an SEO and creative content agency that's done work for Reader's Digest along with other companies and publications. When she's not writing, you can find her working on her latest home DIY project, out for a hike or dancing around the house to '80s jams.