Why Essential Oils in the Car?
Cars naturally emits poisonous gas naturally--the average car contains dozens of chemicals (like flame retardants and lead) that off-gas into the air we breathe. These have been linked with everything from headaches to cancer and memory loss.
Older cars may not be much better, as the flame retardants on seat fabric degrade over time, releasing toxic dust in the air.
Keeping the car interior and air clean is key to creating a healthier car environment. According to research, we spend more than 290 hours a year in our vehicles on average. That’s a lot of time spent in a potentially toxic brew!
Fortunately there are other ways to minimize toxin exposure. Essential oils help keep the car interior clean, purify the air, and reduce bacteria and viruses on car surfaces.
Health Benefits of Essential Oils (& Notes on Safety)
Essential oils do more than just smell good. They are powerful, concentrated substances that interact with our brain’s limbic system. When inhaled, essential oils affect the emotions to reduce stress and increase alertness (both very useful when driving!). Different essential oils also have antimicrobial properties to get rid of unwanted germs on car surfaces.
But with great power comes great responsibility. Certain essential oils aren’t safe for young children or infants, while others aren’t appropriate during pregnancy.
When diffusing around very young children and babies, avoid essential oils like rosemary, peppermint, and eucalyptus. That being said, cleaning vehicle surfaces ahead of time with these and other essential oils isn’t a problem.
Essential Oils as Car Air Fresheners
Conventional air fresheners have been linked with several problems, including brain damage, cancer, and asthma (to name just a few). Essential oils offer a safe and effective alternative. Here’s a list of different essential oils that can be used to freshen and purify the air. These oils are also safe to diffuse around children.
Wild or sweet orange
Choose your essential oils wisely and make sure the brand backs up their sourcing claims.
Easy Ways to Use Essential Oils to Freshen Car Air
Put a few drops of essential oils onto a cotton ball and tuck it in the car air vent.
Drip essential oils onto a wooden clothespin and clip it onto the car air vent.
A small diffuser can be plugged into the car outlet.
Put some essential oils onto a terra cotta ornament and hang in the car.
Make a car freshener with essential oils and wool felt. Cut the felt into a shape and thread string through a punched hole at the top. Put the essential oils on the felt, then hang in the car, preferably on the vent.