Who Cut the Cheese? DIY Non-Toxic Car Air Fresheners

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diy non-toxic car air freshener post image

Like death and taxes, passing gas — or as we call it on our family, “poofering,” (I DO NOT like the f-a-r-t word) is a foregone conclusion. In fact, Dr. Oz tells us, to be really healthy we should all be “poofering” at least 14-times every day! Whoa!

Okay, so on a looooong road trip, it’s inevitable that someone will let one go. In addition, if anyone is eating in the car, something is bound to spill which means more stink. Forewarned is forearmed. You have been warned and now for the arming part. 

What to do? First, consider this: for some people, air fresheners are toxic. Period. Tree-Air-Freshener“Standard issue” car deodorizers have allergens which will give some folks will get a headache or irritated eyes. They all contain toxic chemicals like petroleum distillates, which can irritate or damage lungs; phthalates, which can interfere with hormone production; and benzene compounds, which have been found to be carcinogenic, according to the Children’s Environmental Health Network, a nonprofit Washington, D.C.-based consumer safety organization.

The liquid air fresheners, which attach to the air vents in the car, are really not a whole lot better. There are lots out there and most will contain at least one, if not all of the following:

Benzyl Acetate – Formed by the condensation of benzyl alcohol and acetic acid. It is often used in fragrance blends because of its strong jasmine smell. It may case adverse health effects and has an exposure limit. 

Ethyl Acetoacetate – May cause adverse health effects and is flammable.
3,7 Dimethyloctan-3-ol – An artificial flavour additive that is flammable, can cause serious eye damage and is toxic to aquatic life.
Artificial Sent, such as Vanillin – Synthetic vanilla used in place of real vanilla. May cause eye and skin irritation. 

Here are 4 simple DIY Non-Toxic Car Air Fresheners

Car Air Fresh1. Baking soda – Your grandmother knew it worked wonders, and used baking soda all over the house. Some of us still put an open box in the fridge, so why not do the same under a seat in your car?

2. Fabric softener – Then there’s the  The Ultimate Cheapskate, Jeff Yeager  who has always told us dryer/fabric softener sheets (if you use them) can pretty much deodorize just about anything. Stick one or two into air vents to freshen the air. You may want to use some masking tape to tape them over the vents or just put one under every seat in the vehicle.

3. Coffee beans – my favorite! Coffee beans are champions for getting rid of bad odors. Throw some whole beans in an open or mesh covered jar or simply fill the ashtray or cup holder or what-have-you and there you have it!

4. DIY from Jen and Joey Go Green – I liked this recipe to make your own air freshener.

Wishing you safe, green and Non-Stinky travels!

Bonus: the latest Green Divas DIY fun . . .

About the author / 

Green Diva Mizar

Green Diva Mizar is a former co-host of the GD show. GD Mizar is also dedicated to providing safe, clean water to all through her company Pur2o Water Filtration & Purification.

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  1. reginaryerson@gmail.com'
    Regina Ryerson October 21, 2013 at 6:11 pm -  Reply

    Love the baking soda and coffee beans idea! But dryer sheets?! Check the ingredients before you use them. If every ingredient is not listed, how green and healthy is that?

  2. lacey_joanna@yahoo.com'
    joanna lacey November 6, 2013 at 10:02 am -  Reply

    I like to put fresh pine needles in mesh bags and keep them under the seat!
    (Also I keep the windows open whenever possible (fresh air is the best air freshener)

    I have also heard the spraying the seats with plain vodka gets rid of smells

  3. dbtackett@gmail.com'
    Deborah Tackett January 13, 2015 at 9:30 am -  Reply

    Thank you for your ideas on non-toxic air fresheners for cars. However, I must agree with other comments regarding dryer sheets. In no way shape or form are dryer sheets non-toxic. They may not bother you “noticeably” but they bother many people (myself included) in some cases causing acute health problems. TIf someone chooses to use them – that is their business – but please let’s set the record straight. Dryer sheets belong in the toxic air freshener category not the non-toxic one.

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