Best long-lasting car air freshener

Interior Accessories

Keeping your car out of the sun can prevent the air freshener from drying up or losing its scent, making it last much longer.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Keep your car smelling clean for months on end

For commuters and those who spend a lot of time in the car, one big consideration is the scent of that car. One of the easiest ways to deal with how a car smells is through the use of air fresheners. While most are affordable and work well immediately upon opening, car air fresheners tend not to have much longevity and stop making a difference in the scent within a couple weeks. Finding a long-lasting air freshener can be a harder decision than most would expect.

Air freshener features to consider before buying

Removing odors vs. masking odors

One of the biggest distinctions between air fresheners is whether they’re actually eliminating the odors from the air, or just masking the scent of them with a different scent. Some air fresheners can absorb odors, so even when they no longer work, the car won’t be plagued with unpleasant smells. 

Longevity

The largest issue is how long a car air freshener will last before no longer being effective and needing to be replaced. The cheapest car air fresheners usually last somewhere between a few days and a few weeks. However, some higher-quality options available can last for up to a year while still being effective. These air fresheners likely cost more than ones with a shorter lifespan. 

Scented vs. unscented

When choosing an air freshener for the car, decide whether to buy a scented one or an unscented one. Many air fresheners simply mask or remove odors without replacement, while others offer dozens of different unique smells. For some users, having the right scent can make a big difference to their enjoyment of the product while for others, it’s just about removing bad smells. 

Car placement

Another major component is actually where the air freshener is placed in the car. While traditional air fresheners fit around the rearview mirror, others have different places where they’re designed to fit. Some fit perfectly in the cupholder, while others hang on the back of the headrest. Specific types of air fresheners clip on the air vents and rely on the movement of air to diffuse the scent. 

Best long-lasting car air fresheners

Top long-lasting car air freshener

PURGGO Car Air Freshener

PURGGO Car Air Freshener

What you need to know: This is a chemical-free air freshener with activated bamboo charcoal to eliminate odors completely.

What you’ll love: This car air freshener has one of the longest-lasting periods of effectiveness available on the market at just around 1 year. The air freshener also recharges its odor-eliminating power in the sun for year-round work.

What you should consider: This product doesn’t come with any added scent, which may not be what some users are looking for. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top long-lasting car air freshener for the money

Ozium Smoke & Odors Eliminator Gel

Ozium Smoke & Odors Eliminator Gel

What you need to know: This is a solid and high-value air freshener that comes with a clean and fresh scent. 

What you’ll love: This canister of gel doesn’t melt under high temperatures and its output of scent remains consistent. The air freshener can last comfortably for up to 3 months, with most users reporting longer. 

What you should consider: Some users feel the product doesn’t fully eliminate the smell of smoke, it only reduces it. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth consideration

Febreze Car Air Fresheners

Febreze Car Air Fresheners

What you need to know: This is an effective, odor-eliminating air freshener with clean scents from the Febreze line. 

What you’ll love: The clip-on ventilation design helps to better disperse the scents and circulate its odor-eliminating power for up to and over a month. The dial can determine how much or how little scent will be dispersed at once.

What you should consider: Some users report that the heat or air makes the product run out faster. Many devices arrive not completely full. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Yankee Candle Fragrance Spheres

Yankee Candle Fragrance Spheres

What you need to know: This Yankee Candle fragrance sphere works well in multiple settings, including the car, while offering a variety of scents.

What you’ll love: The air freshener lasts at least a month, and adding water increases the longevity. 

What you should consider: The air freshener doesn’t have as strong a scent as many users would have liked. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Armor All Smoke X Car Air Freshener and Purifier

Armor All Smoke X Car Air Freshener and Purifier

What you need to know: This is one of the more powerful air fresheners available on the market with genuine odor-eliminating power. 

What you’ll love: The air freshener spray lasts for up to a month at a time, meaning one bottle can last for several months. The spray focuses on eliminating smoke and other harsher odors. 

What you should consider: Some users don’t like the Midnight Air scent, which is the only scent available. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Febreze Unstopables Car Air Freshener

Febreze Unstopables Car Air Freshener

What you need to know: This is highly effective at eliminating odors.

What you’ll love: This air freshener can remove odors for up to 30 days. It is activated by a simple push mechanism. 

What you should consider: The smell could be too strong for some people.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Little Trees Assorted Air Freshener Classic Scents

Little Trees Assorted Air Freshener Classic Scents

What you need to know: These classic air fresheners are affordable and come in a variety of popular scents. 

What you’ll love: Each air freshener lasts anywhere between a few weeks to 2 months without issue. 

What you should consider: Even with a 24-pack, these air fresheners may not last more than a year in particularly fragrant vehicles. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Tom Price writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.