Things to Like & Dislike About Car Air Fresheners


In this article you will learn:

  • The top 5 most enjoyable features of car air fresheners

  • The 5 most common complaints about air fresheners for your car

  • How to determine which car air freshener is best for you

Car air fresheners can be great for creating a more pleasant atmosphere inside your car—at least, that’s what they’re designed to do. But, more often than not, we buy an air freshener, hoping to enjoy a light, refreshing fragrance, and instead, we receive a nose full of eye-watering chemicals.

The idea of the perfect scent is subjective; everyone has a different definition of what the best air freshener would smell like. Some people prefer stronger scents that mask unpleasant odors right away, while othersprefer more subtle fragrances that linger for weeks after cleaning their carpet or upholstery. That’s why there are so many different car air fresheners on the market, and why it can be so difficult to find one that you enjoy, especially if you aren't sure which scents you prefer.

To make your search a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of 5 things people like and 5 things people don’t like about car air fresheners. Read on to discover which features to look for and which scents you should avoid!

Let’s start with the bad

Unfortunately, not all car air fresheners are created equal. Some air fresheners are just... bad...either because their fragrances aren’t compatible with other chemicals in the formula or due to their unpleasant side effects. Here are the most common complaints about car air fresheners:

car interior

5. It attracts bees

I know—this one seems like a bit of a reach, but it’s actually much more common than you’d think. Some particularly fruity scents, including cherry or citrus, can attract some rather puzzled pollinators to your car. Luckily, this isn’t too difficult to avoid; just remember to keep your windows closed and use a sparing amount of your favorite fruity scent to avoid these buzzing intruders.

4. It smells... wrong

Some smells just weren’t meant for your car. In theory, a bacon or coffee-scented car air freshener may sound delicious, but it’s not the smell most people expect when they enter a vehicle. Out of context, we psychologically just don’t get the same enjoyment from the smell, and many of us may find the smell overwhelming.

3. It spoils in the heat

Have you ever wondered if a certain fragrance can “go bad” in the sweltering heat of your car? The short answer to that question is yes—it can. Like we previously described, some air fresheners are formulated with chemicals that aren’t compatible with one another, so while the scent may smell great at first, over time it starts to smell stale or spoiled. The last thing you want is the smell of rotting pumpkin embedded in your upholstery, so do yourself a favor and only buy air fresheners from brands you trust (like Turtle Wax!).

2. It doesn’t do its job

Some air fresheners and room sprays may have an enjoyable, light scent, like bamboo, charcoal, or fresh linens, but they aren’t particularly great at fulfilling the one task you set out to accomplish: to mask the musty odor inside your car. Instead of taking care of that nasty food, coffee or cigarette smell, the air freshener just adds another layer of smell to the stench inside your car.

1. It’s too intense

Cue the migraine. Some scents are just way too strong, especially for those of us sensitive to fragrances. We want our vehicles to smell good, but in this case, too much of a good thing can become a massive headache—or a frantic search for your inhaler! If you’re sensitive to strong fragrances, avoid artificial scents like “powder fresh” or “ocean mist.”

5 features people enjoy

Luckily, there are plenty of car air fresheners out there without these unpleasant side effects. In fact, many popular air fresheners also have other amazing benefits to keep your car smelling fresh year-round! Here are the top 5 things people enjoy about their car air freshener:

5. Our noses prefer natural

When it comes to car air fresheners, less is more. Rather than bombard our senses with an overpowering, artificial scent, we tend to gravitate toward more subtle scents infused with natural, essential oils that fade into the background, like a floral or tropical fragrance. If those scents sound appealing, we recommend our Hybrid Solutions products scented with Caribbean Crush a light, floral fragrance with notes of citrus.

4. It turns cleaners into multitaskers

Many cleaners and stain-removers for your car interior also leave behind a fresh, “new car” scent. Of course, many of us would rather buy these multi-step products instead of using a separate cleaner and air freshener.

Many of our interior cleaners are also air fresheners and deodorizers, meaning that not only do they make your car smell fresh, but they also eliminate the source of the odor so your car continues to smell fresh for weeks after you clean. We make this possible by infusing our interior cleaners with advanced, Odor-X techology to seek and destroy odor molecules inside your car.

3. It elevates your experience

One of the most common reasons for using a cleaner with an integrated air freshener like Turtle Wax Fresh & Clean is because it elevates your overall driving experience. If your car looks spotless and smells clean, we tend to enjoy driving it more than if our car just looked factory fresh. This is also the reason that scented car washes , like Turtle Wax Cherry Snow Foam, are much more popular than regular, unscented car wash soap.

turtle wax fresh & clean

2. It eliminates odors for good

For most people, air fresheners are a great way to shove a more pressing matter under the rug: those nasty odors they're trying to hide. Spraying an air freshener doesn’t get rid of those odors, and in fact, after a few days, or even a few hours, you may start to notice the unpleasant smells starting to return. That’s why air fresheners infused with deodorizers, such as Odor-X Fresh Car Spray, are so popular; they eliminate those lingering odors for good.

Plus, our special, Odor-X technology doesn’t just eliminate odors, it also continues to seek and destroy odor molecules inside your car for the 30 days. Now that’s what we call convenient!

1. It works right away

We enjoy air fresheners that get rid of unpleasant smells and odors as soon as we spray them. Not only is this great if you’re in a hurry or on-the-go, but, quite frankly, nobody wants to wait for their car air freshener to start working.

At Turtle Wax, we carefully balance each of our fragrances with just the right amount of Odor-X technology to ensure that the moment you spray, those nasty odors will fade away and never return. Whether you prefer that nostalgic, new car smell, or a more natural, floral or citrus scent, you can check out our collection of interior cleaners and air fresheners to find exactly what you’re looking for.

air freshner


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