Agilenano – News: How to Make a Car Air Freshener

While you could buy cheap air fresheners from the store, there is something satisfying about making your own from recycled items around the house. Moreover, you can scent your own air freshener with scents you actually like. And you’ll know the actual ingredients, something you can’t say about most commercial car air fresheners. This project is simple and fun; make as many as you’d like and perhaps give some as gifts.


[Edit]Fabric Hanging Air Freshener

  1. Draw a template for the air freshener on a piece of paper. Use a pencil to sketch the shape you want the finished air freshener to be. Some typical designs include trees, states, countries, and animals, but any design you like is fine. You might even choose a word that means something special to you, such as “Love” or “Joy.”[1]
    Make a Car Air Freshener Step 1 Version 5.jpg
    • If you’re not sure where to start, you could trace the shape of an old air conditioner you bought.
    • You could also use a die-cutting machine to quickly cut out fabric. Use die-cutting patterns to design air fresheners in all sorts of custom shapes!
  2. Trim the template with a sharp pair of scissors. Remove the excess material so only the template remains. This will be used to shape the air conditioner, so make sure you’re happy with the way it looks. Make adjustments as needed to create a template that will both look great in your car and not get in your way while you’re driving.[2]
    Make a Car Air Freshener Step 2 Version 5.jpg
  3. Place the template on fabric and cut around it. Place the template on top of it, then carefully cut around it. You could trace around the template with a marker first if you’re having trouble cutting the shape out cleanly. Then, cut a second, identical shape for the opposite side of the air freshener.[3]
    • For a simple air freshener, craft felt works great. You can get it online or at most craft supply stores. Even inexpensive felt is pretty absorbent.
  4. Set the template on a piece of cardboard and cut around it. Trace around the template first with a pencil. Make sure it is roughly the same size as both pieces of fabric, or else it will be visible when you put everything together.[4]
    • The cardboard piece is meant to reinforce the air freshener. If you use fabric only, it will be a little flimsy.
    • Another option is to cut out a piece of craft foam. Try using a die-cutting machine for it.
  5. Spread fabric glue on the cardboard to secure the fabric to it. Cover one side of the cardboard with a thin bead of glue. Press one of the pieces of fabric onto it. Then, flip it over carefully to glue on the second piece. Wait 2 to 4 hours for the glue to dry afterward.
    • Make sure the glue isn’t too close to the cardboard’s edges. Also, try not to use too much. If you see any glue get pressed out when you assemble the parts, wipe it off right away with a paper towel.
    • If you’re using an adhesive-backed material like craft foam, you can just press the fabric onto the sticky backing.
  6. Drip 10 to 20 drops of an essential oil onto each piece of fabric. Choose your favorite essential oil, then add the drops to one side at a time. Some good choices to use are lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus, but you can use any kind. Spread the oil out across the fabric so it isn’t all concentrated in one spot.[5]
    • Essential oils can have a very strong smell, so use them sparingly at first. You can always add more if the scent is too weak for your liking.
    • Another option is to mix about 20 drops of oil into of water in a spray bottle. Mist the fabric for a gentler, more evenly distributed scent.
  7. Set the air freshener on a shelf for at least 2 hours to dry the glue. Place it in a well-ventilated area, such as a garage. This is because the essential oil scent can be very strong when it’s fresh. Keep the air freshener in a spot with good air circulation so it dries out faster. Once it’s dry to the touch, it will be ready for your car.[6]
    Make a Car Air Freshener Step 7 Version 5.jpg
    • To hold more of the scent in, store your air freshener inside a resealable plastic bag.
    • If you don’t mind the strong scent, you could hang the air freshener right away. It might not be too bad if you only applied a few drops or a diluted spray of essential oil.
  8. Punch a hole through the top of the air freshener to hang it. Plan on keeping the hole about from the air freshener’s edges. To pierce cleanly through the cardboard, get a mechanical hole punch. Set the air freshener between the punch’s jaws. Then, squeeze the handle firmly to create the hole.[7]
    • You could also use a tool like an awl to make the hole. Hold the awl over the fabric, then tap it down with a hammer until it breaks through the cardboard.
  9. Hang the air freshener by looping ribbon through the hole. Cut a ribbon about long and pull it halfway through the hole. Take the air freshener out to your car and wrap the ribbon around the rearview mirror. Before knotting the ribbon, adjust it so it doesn’t interfere with your view of the road.[8]
    Make a Car Air Freshener Step 9 Version 5.jpg
    • If you don’t have ribbon, find some yarn, string, twine, or another alternative. Twine is stronger, but yarn and ribbon come in a variety of colors you can use to customize your air freshener.
    • When the scent starts wearing out, refresh it with more essential oil. You could also switch it out with a new air freshener.

[Edit]Wooden Clothespin Air Freshener

  1. Find a wood clothespin that will clip onto your car’s air vent. You can turn any type of wood clothespin into a makeshift air freshener. However, bigger ones tend to carry more of a scent. Try using round laundry clothespins, for instance. They are big and slide directly onto an air vent.[9]
    Make a Car Air Freshener Step 10 Version 4.jpg
    • Smaller clothespins are fine too. You can use the ones you squeeze to open, for instance.
    • The clothespins have to be made of wood, or else they won’t absorb any scent.
  2. Sprinkle about 5 drops of essential oil onto the clothespin. Set the clothespin on a table, then pick out your favorite essential oil. Lavender rose, lemon, and cinnamon are a few options that you might enjoy in your car. Pour the essential oil directly onto the clothespin, spreading it as evenly across the wood as possible.[10]
    • If you’re able to spread out the essential oil drops, then the scent won’t just be concentrated in one spot.
    • You can apply more essential oil, but keep in mind that its aroma will become much stronger.
  3. Bag the clothespin with herbs if you wish to strengthen its scent. Get a resealable sandwich bag with plenty of room for both the clothespin and the herbs. Fill the bottom of the bag with about a handful of herbs. For example, you could throw about 8 large mint leaves in there. Seal the bag and leave it on a shelf for at least a day so the clothespin absorbs the scent.[11]
    • You can match the herbs to the essential oil you’re using or mix scents. For example, mint goes well with orange oil.
    • If you don’t want to use herbs or don’t have any, you could just put the clothespin in your car after coating it with essential oil. The scent won’t be as strong and may not last as long, but you can always refresh it later.
    • Use plastic bags to prepare air fresheners in advance. You could add essential oil, mix them with herbs if you want, and then use the bags to keep them smelling fresh for at least a few months.
  4. Clip the air freshener to a vent in your car and run the fan. Slide it onto the frame covering one of the vents. Most cars have several vents in the front, usually above the radio and on the far sides of the dashboard. To activate the scent, run the heat or air conditioning. Fresh air will activate the scent, and the fan inside the vent will help blow it through your car.[12]
    Make a Car Air Freshener Step 13.jpg
    • The scent is much more subtle than what you get when hanging fabric air fresheners. The aroma strengthens when the air vent is active, so clothespins are a great choice if regular air fresheners are too strong for your liking.
    • As the scent wears out, refresh it by placing the clothespin in a bag. Sprinkle it with more essential oil and add more herbs if you wish.

[Edit]Glass Jar Air Freshener

  1. Remove the lid from a Mason jar. Mason jars have a metal lid surrounded by a twist-off ring. To remove the lid, turn the ring counterclockwise until it comes off. Then, pry off the lid with your fingernails or something like a butter knife.[13]
    • Since they are made of glass, Mason jars hold in scents very well. It makes them really great as strong air fresheners you can stow away where no one will see them. They are also very easy to reuse and reseal.
    • Make sure your jar is big enough to hold the baking powder and essential oil required to make the air freshener.
  2. Trace the lid on cardboard with a pencil to make a replacement. Set a scrap piece of cardboard on a flat surface, then lay the round metal lid on top of it. Hold it still while you trace around it. The cardboard will replace the lid so the air freshener’s scent escapes the jar. Cut it out with a sharp pair of scissors afterward.[14]
    • Instead of making a new cardboard lid, you could keep the metal lid and simply drill a few holes through it. You won’t be able to reuse the lid if you plan on using the Mason jar normally, but it will still work well as an air freshener.
    • You could also use a utility knife to cut the cardboard, but be careful not to hurt your fingers.
  3. Poke holes through the cardboard with a thumbtack. Plan on making about 15 holes. Spread them out as evenly as possible throughout the circle. However, keep them in the center instead of near the edges, or else they will get covered when you seal the jar back up.[15]
    • To easily make the holes, keep the cardboard on top of the jar. Otherwise, put it on a piece of scrap wood so you don’t scratch the surface underneath it.
    • You could also use a nail or another sharp tool to make the holes. Punch through the cardboard cleanly so it doesn’t tear or otherwise fall apart.
  4. Fill the jar at least half-full with baking soda to hold the scent. Remove the cardboard cover, then scoop fresh baking soda in. The exact amount doesn’t really matter as long as you have plenty of baking soda available. You could fill the jar as much as ⅔ full and still be able to make a good air freshener.[16]
    • Baking soda is well-known for its ability to absorb odors. The best thing about it is that it doesn’t cover those odors, so you will still be able to smell whatever scent you add to the jar.
    • Always use baking soda instead of putting fresh scents directly into the jar. The baking soda causes scents to last much longer.
  5. Sprinkle 15 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil into the jar. Use any essential oil you have available. You could also mix different scents if you prefer. For example, put equal amounts of lemon, lavender, and peppermint into the jar.[17]
    • To prevent the smell from becoming too strong, start with an ordinary amount of oil. Strengthen the air freshener with more oil as needed.
  6. Cover the jar and shake it to mix in the essential oil. Put the original lid back on instead of the cardboard cutout. It doesn’t have holes that could leave you in a cloud of baking dust. Put the metal ring back on as well and turn it clockwise to lock the lid in place. Thoroughly shake it afterward.
    • If you try to shake the jar while the cardboard cutout is on it, be gentle. Try swirling it in a circle instead.
  7. Place the air freshener in a cup holder in your car. Remember to put the wood cutout in place of the original lid. Rotate the metal ring clockwise to keep the new lid locked in place. Find a stable spot to stow your new freshener. It will gradually release its scent, lasting for about 1 month.[18]
    Make a Car Air Freshener Step 20.jpg
    • If you wish to hide the air freshener, place it under your seat. Keep in mind that it could tip over and let out some of the baking soda.
    • After the scent starts to diminish, empty the jar. Refresh it with more baking soda and essential oil to keep your car smelling great.



  • Instead of using essential oil, you could coat your air freshener with perfume or another scent you enjoy. Scented candles could be used in a Mason jar air freshener.[19]
  • If you don’t like having hanging air fresheners on your rearview mirror, find alternative spots to put them. You could hang one from a coat hook or hand hold, for instance, or lay it inside a cup holder or door pocket.
  • Air fresheners can be decorated with crafts if you wish to customize them. For example, you could glue or sew on things like yarn, paint, or glitter.[20]


  • Be cautious with where you choose to place your air freshener. In some areas, you can’t hang anything from your rearview mirror if it restricts your vision.[21]

[Edit]Things You’ll Need

[Edit]Fabric Air Freshener

  • Cardboard
  • Craft fabric
  • Non-toxic fabric glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Hole punch or a similar tool
  • Ribbon, twine or yarn
  • Essential oil

[Edit]Wooden Clothespin Air Freshener

  • Wood clothespin
  • Essential oil
  • Resealable plastic bag
  • Herbs (optional)

[Edit]Glass Jar Air Freshener

  • Mason jar
  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Thumbtack or an alternative tool
  • Baking soda
  • Essential oil

[Edit]Related wikiHows


[Edit]Quick Summary


Agilenano – News

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