GOT A HEADACHE OR IRRITATED EYES? You could be experiencing an allergic reaction to your car air freshener, says Daniel Swartz, executive director of the Children’s Environmental Health Network, a nonprofit Washington, D.C.-based consumer safety organization. Conventional car fresheners contain troublesome chemicals like petroleum distillates, which can irritate or damage your lungs; phthalates, which can interfere with hormone production; and benzene compounds, which have been found to be carcinogenic.
Go with better options: Put a box of odor-eating baking soda or a bag of volcanic rocks called zeolite on the floor under your car seat. Zeolite is sold at natural food stores. Or hang a small sachet of lavender flowers (Lavandula angustifolia) from your rearview mirror to mask stale-smelling air.
How to create a air freshener for your car
I just took an old sock (or actually two of them) and put one inside the other and filled it up with a bit of baking soda. I tied a knot on the end of it and threw it under my passenger seat in the car. I came back in a few hours and it smelled better already! Every once in a while I shake it up a bit to get some fresh exposure for the baking soda. How is that for a cheap, natural air freshener for your car?