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Using an Oil Diffuser in Your Car

Of the five senses, your sense of smell is largely under appreciated. Think about it, what you see and hear greatly affects your mood and perception. Whether you feel an itchy wool sweater or an ultra comfortable cotton tee will determine your comfort. Even a cup of coffee starts to wake you up the moment it hits your lips.

But did you know that your sense of smell actually has the power to change your performance and mood throughout the day? It’s true, and all you need to do is make sure that you have the right scents set up around you to take advantage of enhancing your life through the power of smell.

The average person spends 1-2 hours in their car commuting every day. That includes to and from work, the grocery store, school, errands, and running your kids around town for soccer practice. Being in the car or being stuck in traffic for long periods of time can be stressful and tiring, but instead why not use this time to lift your spirits and rejuvenate your soul?

Recommended Car Diffuser

Highly rated in-car diffuser and humidifier with LED lights conveniently sits in a cup holder.

Aromatherapy is the practice of using plant-based oils to improve your psychological or physical well being. This underused time spent in your car can quickly turn into the highlight of your day when incorporating this practice. Simply decide on the outcome you are looking for, whether it is to clear your sinuses, calm your digestive system, increasing your productivity or simply finding some precious relaxing you time, and find yourself more eager to get into your car.

Two Steps to Auto Aromatherapy

Turning your car into an aromatherapy haven is easy. Follow these two simple steps and get in on the impressive curative power of essential oils.

1) Choose Your Favorite Essential Oils

First things first, make sure you get the essential oils that you want to use most in your car. Use the list that we have given you below as a reference, and make sure that you stay away from any soothing or relaxing scents that would make you nod off at the wheel. If you have other scents that you would like to use that aren’t on the list, do a little bit of research on them first to make sure that they are safe and appropriate to use in the car. Once you are comfortable, have fun with this combining two scents to create a super smell that is sure to give your car a personal touch.

Important Note: Whatever you choose for an oil, make sure that the oils you purchase are high quality. Remember, you're breathing this oil into your lungs so essential oil quality is a terrible place to cut corners.

2) Choose Your Method of Diffusion

Next, all you need to do is choose your diffusion method. Car diffusers come in many different looks. Some you can mount in your cupholder, on your cigarette lighter, or even clip to your air vent.

Best Essential Oil Diffusers for Your Car

We know and trust the curative powers of aromatherapy and love the idea of using this in an otherwise boring commute. We have made a list of our favorite car diffusers on the market below.

Living Beattitudes Aromatherapy Essential Oils Car Diffuser

Weight: 4.8 oz.
Dimensions: 7.5” x 5” x 2.5”
Capacity: Four drops
Best use: Car, RV

This small diffuser plugs directly into your car’s cigarette lighter and will fill it with amazing smells. Just add a few drops of your favorite oil into the diffuser sink and smell the difference. The small design allows you to easily store this device when you’re not using it. Use it on your daily commute to boost your mood before and after your work day.

What makes this unit stand out:
  • Easy to use
  • Very portable
  • Sleek design
CRDC Life Car Essential Oil Diffuser

Weight: 4 oz.
Dimensions: 4” x 2.5”
Capacity: 50 ml
Best use: Car, bedroom, office

This Car Essential Oil Diffuser is a perfect addition to your car. It runs off the cigarette lighter found in any car, truck or SUV and can also be used with a USB port found on any computer. This makes this a very portable and versatile device. It not only emits beautiful scent, but also a warm glow with its seven color LED light. A built in shut off ensures that the second it gets tipped or knocked over completely it turns off. The three timer mode will keep the device on for 30, 60, or 120 minutes and automatically shut off when the time elapses. All you need to do to get started is add a couple drops to some water and add it into the 50 ml bottle, the machine will take care of the rest. Sit back and enjoy the scents.

What makes this unit stand out:
  • 3 timer mode
  • For use in car or home
  • Auto shut off if tilted
Sobetter Cool Mist Humidifier For Cars

Weight: 6.2 oz.
Dimensions: 2.6" x 2.8” x 8.3”
Capacity: 50 ml
Best use: Car

The Sobetter Cool Mist essential oil diffuser will completely clean your car's air while it is running. We like this diffuser because you can see it working. The clear bottle will let you know when you should fill it. You will no longer have dry lips, or a cough when you are driving to work as this device is also a humidifier. All you need to do is add a few drops of your oil into the tank and fill it with water. It will automatically shut off after two hours to make sure it doesn’t drain your car’s battery or overheat. The small, lightweight package also converts your cigarette lighter into two USB ports that can charge your cell phone.

What makes this unit stand out:
  • 2 hour shut off
  • 2 USB outlets for charging devices
  • Humidifies the air
Caitlins Home Doll Essential Oil Diffuser

Weight: 3.9 oz.
Dimensions: 4.8" x 4.4” x 3.2”
Capacity: 120 ml
Best use: Car, home

With a leakproof design you can take this alien shaped diffuser with you everywhere you go. A USB plug makes it so that you can plug it into your laptop, a wall outlet or our favourite, your car adapter. Simply screw off the head, add some water and your favorite essential oil and you’re done. This is great for those with kids as they love the design. 

This high capacity essential oil diffuser is a focal point for your car or home. The doll-like body disguises the function of this device making it a perfect addition to your collection. This diffuser runs on wicks that you add scent to. Just add a couple drops to the pieces of paper, fill the bottle and turn it on. A continuous mode will last for three hours while an intermittent mode lasts 6. Impress your family with this oil diffuser.

What makes this unit stand out:
  • One of a kind design hides the diffuser
  • High capacity
  • 2 modes with auto shut off
InnoGear USB Essential Oil Diffuser with LED Lights

Weight: 4 oz.
Dimensions: 3.9" x 3.1” x 4.7”
Capacity: 120 ml
Best use: Car, home, office

This BPA-free diffuser has 7 different LED lights. Working as a night light as well, we recommend putting it somewhere lower as to not distract you. The two mist modes will ensure it lasts as long as you do. We love that InnoGear offers a 45 day money back guarantee with an 18 month warranty.

What makes this unit stand out:
  • 7 LED lights
  • High capacity
  • Fits in a car's cupholder
  • 2 modes with intelligent auto shut off

Best Essential Oils to Use in Your Car

We love the undeniable physical and psychological benefits you receive from essential oils. Bringing this natural remedy into your car is an excellent way to extend the many perks you gain from aromatherapy in an otherwise boring commute.

As much as we love using essential oils, it is important to take care when choosing which scents you use in your car. Smells that are too calming, such as lavender and chamomile, can prove dangerous to use in the car as they can make you incredibly tiered.

The other side of this is that you don’t want to incorporate a scent in your car that overstimulates you or your brain, making your mood irritated making you into a reckless or impatient driver.

Below is a list of some of our favorite essential oils to use in the car.


A sweet and spicy scent that stimulates your brain to help enhance your focus. It also has the power to increase your circulation and blood flow to your brain to keep you alert and awake while driving.


Did you know that even the scent of coffee is powerful enough to keep you awake and alert? The smell of coffee is very pleasant and soothing which helps you to feel more energetic, without actually consuming caffeine. If you are a coffee drinker, they also give you that pleasant and familiar smell of tasty coffee in the morning.

Tea Tree

For those suffering from a cold tea tree oil acts as a powerful antiseptic leaving your car smelling clean and free from dry, stale sickly air. Use this when you just purchased a used car, or when your car starts to smell as a way to rid the smell and leave with a fresh and clean scent.


This powerful scent provides a very relaxing way to lift a fever or head cold by clearing your sinuses and helping you to breathe with ease. Be very careful when using this scent while driving.


Ginger is a very natural and useful way to relieve car sickness as it possesses anti-nausea properties. This scent will do wonders for your digestive system giving you peace of mind to focus on the road. It is also a really nice scent to have in your car.


Rosemary is another one of those powerful scents that you can use to increase your concentration and focus while driving. It also does wonders for your digestive system relieving constipation and bloating. It is perfect for people who are always on the go.


Lemongrass, another powerful and yet soothing scent. Use it to stimulate your brain and increase your focus while driving. It will also take some of the stuffiness out of the air and act as a powerful deodorizer to freshen up your car. As a bonus, it is great in summer months to ward off mosquitos.


This power scent carries anti-depression properties that also help you resist fatigue and lifts the spirits. It has the dual power of being able to calm your nerves while driving combating motion sickness, stomach upset and indigestion. It is a great all in one essential oil.


Orange is another scent that can help with nausea and car sickness, which makes it great for road trips. As a bonus this uplifting scent will keep your commute much more interesting. It’s no surprise many car fresheners use the orange scent.


Citrus is very soothing and invigorating. Grapefruit can help you increase your focus and also reduce stress while driving with its antidepressant properties. Feel more lively on your commute with this naturally clean scent.


Mandarin has a relaxing effect that will permeate your car and help eliminate or reduce restlessness. If you are constantly in your car, in traffic, or traveling with your children, the soothing effects of mandarin can create a calm and peaceful environment.


A great option for stimulating your senses and helping you to stay alert in your car is peppermint. Peppermint, although an easily overwhelming scent, in light doses can be great for lifting your mood and alleviating anxiety and depression. This is a great scent to use when feeling irritable as it will clear your mind and leave you much more level headed for your commute.


Lemon will help you sharpen your focus and increase your presence of mind. It has a calming tone that will aid to alleviate your days stress even while you sit in your gridlock commute. It has even been tied to weight loss and relieving cramps. As a bonus it has a very fresh and clean scent to make your car feel fresh and new.

Final Thoughts

Transform your commute to give you a day at the spa feel with the use of aromatherapy. There are so many benefits that you can reap from having essential oils in your car. They are also easy to set up that there is really no reason why you shouldn’t be using them. Whether you opt for using it as a natural health booster or use it as a time to to clear your head and lift your spirits, the powers of essential oils are endless.

Do you incorporate essential oil aromatherapy into your life? How about into your car? Chat with us about your experiences in the comment section below.

About the author

    Myles Nystrom

    This adventure-seeking Canadian spends his time traveling the world full-time. A trip through Europe gave him a desire to experience the world. His Volkswagen van allows him to go anywhere its wheels will take him. Currently adventuring through North America he is always tethered to the internet which allows him to write from anywhere. His passion for writing sparked his need to document his trip which can be seen on www.gurtthewesty.com.

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