How To Make An Easy DIY Essential Oil Car Diffuser

How To Make An Easy DIY Essential Oil Car Diffuser
Ever stepped into someone else's car only to be hit with the overpowering scent of an artificial Christmas tree hanging from the rearview mirror? As a dog and horse mom, my car often carries the unmistakable aroma of 'eau de barn' or dirty dog-haha! My car definitely needs a little extra freshness.

That's why one of my favorite natural solutions is creating my own car fresheners using different essential oils. Not only do they keep my car smelling great, but they're also a headache-free alternative to commercial air fresheners. In this blog, I'll share how you can easily make your own essential oil car air fresheners, perfect for keeping your car smelling good while supporting wellness on the go.

What Are Essential Oils and Why Use Them Over A Fragrance Oil?

Essential oils are natural, aromatic compounds extracted from plants. They offer a wide range of wellness benefits and can help improve your mood, reduce tension, and support physical wellness. Unlike fragrance oils, which are artificially created and often contain chemicals that are dangerous to our health, pure essential oils are derived from nature, offering a cleaner and more natural scent experience.

Why Use Essential Oils For A DIY Car Freshener?

When traveling, I often use Uber or Lyft, and I always dread the moment when the car drives up and the artificial fragrance overwhelms me as soon as I open the door. Within a few minutes, I usually have a headache. 

Creating your own DIY car diffuser with essential oils is a simple and customizable solution. Not only is it easy and fun to make, but it also allows you to enjoy the wellness benefits of pure essential oils while on the go, without any harmful chemicals. 

Commercial air fresheners often contain substances known to cause headaches, allergies, and other health issues, making DIY essential oil diffusers a much healthier alternative. Plus, your car will smell good!

If you are running an essential oil business, these make thoughtful welcome gifts, good diy home party ideas, or unique promotional items. I love handing them out to those Uber and Lyft drivers along with my business card for a personal touch.

Using essential oils in your car can also transform your driving experience. Citrus oils like lemon or orange can help uplift your mood, perfect for early morning commutes or long drives. Lavender and peppermint oils are great for creating a calming or refreshing atmosphere, ideal for stressful traffic situations or hot days. Plus, with a DIY car diffuser, you can customize the scent to suit your preferences and change it up whenever you like.

How DIY Car Fresheners Work

Passive diffusion is a natural and effortless way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils. Unlike active diffusion methods that use heat or electricity, passive diffusion relies on the natural evaporation of oils into the air. This can be achieved through porous materials like cotton balls, clay, or wood. Simply adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to these materials allows the scent to gradually disperse, creating a subtle scent and continuous aroma. Passive diffusion is perfect for small spaces like cars, offering a gentle and consistent fragrance without any need for maintenance or power sources.

Benefits Of Different Essential Oils For Your Car Diffuser

Different oils offer a variety of benefits, making them perfect for enhancing your driving experience and addressing specific needs. Some of my favorite oils to use are:

  • Peppermint: A great idea for a long drive or nighttime driving. Its invigorating scent helps to keep you alert and focused.
  • Ginger or Fennel: Can help with stomach discomfort from car rides. Its soothing properties can help with nausea and promote a more comfortable journey. Perfect for dogs that don't travel well.  
  • Lavender, Roman Chamomile, or Cedarwood: Ideal for promoting patience and calmness during a traffic jam. Also good for dogs that are tense and scared on car rides.
  • Orange or Lemon: As top notes, citrus oils provide an immediate burst of fragrance perfect for an uplifting vibe and if you just want your car to smell good. Imagine getting into your car after a long day and feeling like your sitting in an orange orchard!
Simple DIY Car Diffusers

Cotton Ball Diffuser

One of the easiest ways to create a car diffuser is by using a cotton ball. This is what I usually do for my own car freshener. Simply add a few drops of essential oil onto a cotton ball and place it in your car's air vent. Refresh the aroma as needed or to suit your mood. If you're out of cotton balls, you can use a Kleenex in a pinch.

Another easy way is by using wooden clothespins. Add a few drops of oil to the clothespin and clip it on the car's vent. 

Wooden Bead Diffuser

For a more aesthetically pleasing option, create a stylish car diffuser using wooden beads. Purchase beads in various colors and shapes, string them together in a pretty pattern, and hang them from your rearview mirror. Add a few drops of essential oil to some of the beads and refresh the scent as needed. 

Wool Ball Or Felt Diffuser

Using wool balls or felt balls as your diffusing medium is another great option. These can be easily strung up like the wooden beads and hung from the rear view mirror. I've also used a hot glue gun and glued them to a wooden clothespin, then clipped to my cars air vent.

Felt sheets offer another easy DIY option. Cut the felt into any shape you like, make a small hole, add essential oil, and hang it from your rearview mirror for a custom car freshener. For an easy pattern, try using cookie cutters in the shape of leaves, flowers, or raindrops.  

Having crafted several of these options with my niece and nephew, I've found them to be easy and enjoyable DIY projects for young children. I've also hosted numerous essential oil parties, using these as simple make-and-take activities. This not only encourages and supports my customers and team members but also piques the interest of potential new customers.

Creating Clay Oil Diffusers: Step By Step

If you're looking for something a bit more permanent, consider making a clay diffuser. This can be a fun DIY for home parties, or craft project with young kids, or a gift idea. You could make a cute Christmas tree around the holidays and give them out as thoughtful gifts. If you are running an essential oil business, give them out with a unique scent already on them to potential customers along with your business card!

Supplies Needed:
  • Air dry clay
  • Essential oils of your choice
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie cutter or knife
  • Straw or toothpick
  • Twine or string
  • Stamp (optional-but can really make a pretty design)
  1. Prepare Your Clay: Start by kneading the air dry clay to soften it. Roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness using a rolling pin.
  2. Cut Out Shapes: Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut out your desired shapes. If you have the leaves, raindrops, or flower cookie cutters from making felt diffusers, those work well here too. But you could also make hearts, stars, or simple circles. If you're using stamps, imprint your design on the clay now.
  3. Make a Hole for Hanging: Use a straw or toothpick to create a hole near the top of each shape. This will be used later to thread the twine or string for hanging.
  4. Let the Clay Dry: Place the clay shapes on a flat surface to dry. Follow the instructions on the clay packaging for drying time, which is usually 24-48 hours.
  5. Add Essential Oils: Once the clay shapes are completely dry, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to each one. The porous nature of the clay will absorb the oils and slowly release the scent.
  6. Hang in Your Car: Thread a piece of twine or string through the hole in the clay shape and tie it securely. Hang the clay diffuser from your rearview mirror or any other convenient spot in your car.
  7. Refresh as Needed: To refresh the scent, simply add more essential oils to the clay diffuser as desired.
Car Diffuser Bottles

In your quest for easy and creative ways to use essential oils, don't overlook the simplicity and charm of DIY car diffuser bottles. These small, purpose-built containers are perfect for on-the-go aromatherapy. You can easily find them on Amazon or at craft stores. 

A car diffuser bottle is a small container designed to hold a liquid scent, typically used with essential oils. These bottles are often designed to fit into a car's cup holder or hang from the rearview mirror. They usually have a wooden cap or a built-in diffuser mechanism that allows the scent of the essential oils to slowly disperse into the air, providing a natural and pleasant aroma in the car. 

Opt for ones with a wood lid versus plastic stoppers. Over time, true essential oils will degrade plastic, and the wood offers an additional porous surface to help diffuse the scent more effectively and naturally.

Simply fill them with your favorite essential oils and enjoy a personalized scent experience in your car. They also make great gifts or samples for sharing the benefits of essential oils with others. Whether you're commuting to work, running errands, or heading out on a road trip, a DIY car diffuser bottle can add a touch of natural fragrance to your journey.

Traditional car diffuser bottles that come pre filled, on the other hand, often hold fragrance oils rather than essential oils. This scented oil is synthetic and contains harmful chemicals. Its never a good idea to be inhaling artificial fragrance in a small space like your car. 

By using DIY car diffuser bottles with essential oils, you can avoid exposing yourself and your passengers to these potentially harmful substances. Plus, you get to enjoy the natural benefits and delightful scents of pure essential oils.

Convenient Store-Bought Options

For added convenience, consider purchasing a vent clip that contains a diffuser pad. Simply add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the diffuser pad and clip on your car vent. 

And no worries , if DIY isn't your thing, you can simply hop on to Etsy and find cute car air fresheners already made. I've pretty much seen all of the ones mentioned above including cute macrame diffusers. 

You could also purchase a  plug-in essential oil diffuser. Plug-in diffusers are a convenient option for your car, as they run off of your USB port or cigarette lighter. There are many different plug-in diffuser options available, allowing you to easily enjoy the benefits of essential oils while on the go.

As you can see, there are many different ways to handle car smell by making your own essential oil car diffusers. A natural car diffuser is not only a great way to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy on the go but also a fun and creative project. It can even be used as a thoughtful gift or a unique business idea.  Whether you're heading out on a road trip or simply want to freshen up your daily commute, a homemade car diffuser offers a simple, natural solution that can help you create a more pleasant driving environment.

By the way, remember our goal is to ditch artificial fragrances and embrace natural solutions. Not all essential oils are created equally. With my go-to essential oil company, I've personally visited the farms and witnessed the entire process to ensure we’re getting the purest essential oils. Check out their range of high-quality, pure, and premium essential oils by clicking HERE. Your journey to a great-smelling, healthier car starts with the right essential oils! (Please note: this is an affiliate link, and I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for using my link and supporting my small business!)