I love my car. I absolutely hate driving but I love my car. I love working on cars with The Smart Guy in Pants. I'm the car whisperer. I know cars. I know car issues. Smart Guy is the muscle, he fixes cars.
The only car we haven't managed to fix are abused or old poor little vehicles. Owners have to take SOME responsibility for their own vehicles, ask any mechanic. If you buy used parts, expect used part life span. So technically, we still fixed it and it ran like a dream for the short time those parts lasted.
Anyway, post rant, I respect my car, treat it like it's my baby. I like having a clean car just like I like caring for my family and pets. With anxiety, nothing is worse than clutter and chaos. I can't handle it. I like clean, I like good smells. Granted, living down in BFE, my exterior isn't always spotless but I can assure you the inside is spotless and organized.
Aka where the DIY car air freshener tests come in.
WHAT IS A SMART GIRL TO DO?!
Make my own, of course. I'll be using the same scent on each and give them two days to really prove their worth.
I ended up trying several ideas.
First. Potpourri bags. I'll be doing one with dried lavender and one with cedar wood shavings. Ya know... coffee would work if you really love coffee. Lavender, cedarwood and coffee beans!
Second, simple Cardboard. Perfect way to upcycle but will it hold it's shape and scent very long?
Third, wood slice. My favorite, from an esthetic stand point. I think it will work amazing. We have loads of dead tree branches to use out here! So I'm excited about this one. Maybe even carving something super cute in it!
Fourth, baking soda jar. I really have my doubts about this one. I use scented baking soda in the fridge. My fridge is super clean and has NO SCENT. Aka the issue. One would think the EO scent would at least come through... maybe it did for the first day? I change it every week, just to be sure. Only scent I get is on the daily when I swipe and clean it. Then again, No smell is better than bad, right?
I will be putting one in the back seat, hanging. I don't hang anything from rear view mirror, just personal preference. I don't put any stickers on any of my babies either, again, not my thing.
The one I currently have scents the entire car. Every time I get in, I enjoy a wonderful strong scent. That's what I want. Just less wasteful.
The scent solution was the tricky part. Getting a strong scent, long lasting and easy to apply myself when it began to wane. Anyone can slap essential oils on and say it's good. But why waste valuable oils to scent the car with and it only last ONE DAY?!
The trick here is knowing scent. What lasts, what doesn't. What's strong and what's not. I love using resins to really keep the scent going. Diluted with essential oils makes them easy to use, thins them out. I'm talking actual resinoids, not resin based essential oils (like frank). Labdanum resinoid is my go to base. Resinoids are thick and heavy scented. I also love dragons blood, frank and myrrh resinoids.
Perfect for fall with vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Easily dressed up with florals such as Jasmine, lavender and rose for spring scents. Jazz it up with lime, vanilla and mint for an awesome summer scent. Perfectly paired with pine, vanilla and cedarwood with a dash of peppermint for a nice, crisp winter scent. I really love my secret signature scents like rainy day, old book and book shoppe. Maybe one day if we become close enough friends, I'll give you those.
Each resinoid has a different scent, just as each essential oil has a different scent.
I will be using labdanum, Cinnamon, vanilla, Jasmine, clove, allspice and cedar wood. Fall scents are calling my name!
Baking Soda jar:
I had some Bicarbonate soda that was on the old side so I figured why not.
This is NOT the ideal car freshener. Nope. Messy, little to no scent throw and requires FAR to much of a valuable essential oil to make a good scent come through. Granted, less powder means less oils used. I just put this in my fridge. In a small area, grand. In my car? Pass.
Y'all know I was all about this one! I was semi happy with the results. I does absorb a TON of oil, right off. Less scent pay off immediately compared to others BUT it was a longer scent before I had to re-fuel it. Easy to recharge. Only issue? I was worried about WHERE to put it! I CAN NOT STAND ANY TYPE OF REAR VIEW MIRROR DECOR. Not in any situatuon. But I didn't want to hang it in the back. Cardboard ones have swung off and landed in seats. Really didn't want to put this in there and boop someone on the noggin.
Like it alright.
It did have a good scent throw. Even absorbed enough oils to make a good smell but not as much as the wood slice. So that's super nice.
Warped and looked funny so it's not long term usable until it starts just falling apart but it's a good way to reuse cardboard. It can still go into the compost bin too!
Satchel One: Lavender Buds
LOVE IT. Only issue, it takes a bit of herb to fill and requires a bit of essential oil to scent. Almost as same as the wood slice. But it's pretty! Also won't hurt anyone if it flies off the hook in my car!
Only issue... is the lavender. The scent I chose isn't lavender based. I can smell the lavender, heavily, which is NOT bad. It's just not complimentary with my fall, warm scent.
Satchel Two: Cedar wood dust
I had cedarwood dust. Shavings would have been my preference, to be honest. I love the smell of them anyway! Shavings seem to hold their cedar scent longer. This complimented my fall scent SO PERFECT. The dust was a mess though and took quite a bit of oils to scent. Next time, shavings all the way. Just have to find a wood yard around me that has those.
LOVED AND MY FAVORITE.
Fifth and final: Coffee Satchel
I have this AMAZING coffee from a local that's organic and rain forest alliance. It's also about 3years old... I know. I was using it in soap making and forgot! It was so precious I didn't want to waste it! Now, I have a way to use it.
Okay, this one is grand. Not joking. I love coffee though. It blended well with my essential oil choice, lasted a long time and SMELT LIKE COFFEE AMAZING.
Biggest down fall, I craved coffee. Bad. Real bad. Lucky my Pumpkin Butter made a REAL nice pumpkin latte because thanks to my oil blend, I wanted fall coffee.
Done and done!
Kinda sad my favorite wasn't the big winner but it wasn't bad! None of these were bad and it's all about personal preference. I was looking for an air freshener that lasted long, wasn't a hazard (didn't even think about that before I started this but wow, important one) and didn't require TONS of my oils to actually pay off.
Being zero waste isn't about having nothing or being a total minimalist. Quite the opposite. Especially the minimalist part, imo, I horde jars, herbs, plants, fabrics... I could keep going but I will save myself a shred of dignity. If it no longer has a use, I donate it or compost it. That idea is more from this cleaning system I follow and nothing to do with going zero waste.
What I'm trying to explain is, you don't have to have nothing to be zero Waste. Just use the things that would normally be trash and don't participate in buying plastic or one time use products. It's that easy. I wanted a fresh smelling car because I LOVE IT. I didn't have to used any store bought things to get what I wanted.
Finding a way to have things that bring you joy and creating no added waste, or zero waste, in the process is the key. Anyone can do it! Don't let anyone freak you out with expensive things you have to get or huge life changes. Even little changes make a huge difference and makes you just plain amazing in my eyes!
SO, love and I'm literally blogging this from my Fresh car (don't worry, I'm parked. Never text and drive.),
The Smart Girl in Pants
The Smart Girl in Pants