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Car essential oil diffusers can transform your commute, making it safer and so much more pleasant too.
Most of us spend several hours in our car every day, and some days, those drives can get really stressful as you try and beat the peak hour traffic. On other days, the drive may be long and tedious. No matter what your commuting struggle is, diffusing the right essential oil can help you overcome it.
Aromatherapy has proven benefits, from reducing stress and boosting energy levels to increasing alertness and improving focus. Using car diffusers for essential oils does more than create a pleasant driving experience. It also makes the drive safer for others inside and outside your car.
Here’s what you need to know about using car essential oil diffusers to get the benefits of aromatherapy on the go.
A Look At The Types Of Car Essential Oil Diffusers
Before you even start looking for a car diffuser, it’s important to first have an idea of the different types of car essential oil diffusers. This will help you make a more informed decision as to which is the best essential oil diffuser for your car.
USB car diffusers
USB car diffusers are hugely popular. They are super simple to use and come in a range of styles and price points to suit every budget.
USB car diffusers come with a USB connector that you simply plug into a USB port in your vehicle. That’s it!
There are two types of USB car diffusers. The ultrasonic models use a combination of essential oils and water while the nebulizing models use pure essential oils without water.
With most models, you can adjust the misting modes and speed by choosing from low, continuous, or intermitting settings. Many have additional features such as a built-in humidifier or LED lights.
Best USB car diffusers:
MIGHTYDUTY Car Oil Diffuser – This compact diffuser has a dual USB fast charger adapter so you can use it while charging your phone. The one-button control makes it super easy to use on the go.
BIAZA Car Diffuser for Essential Oils Waterless Diffuser – This versatile car diffuser uses no heat or water so you get the pure, undiluted aroma and therapeutic effects of whichever oil you use.
PureSpa Auto Waterless Oil Diffuser – The Deluxe Woven Scent Pads inside the device hold the scent longer and release it steadily over a period of time.
Car Vent Diffusers
Car vent diffusers are just as easy to use and just as popular as USB car diffusers. These devices are designed to be clipped directly onto the air vents in your car. As you use the heat or air conditioning in your vehicle, the air emanating from the vents slowly dissipates the essential oil that’s in the diffuser.
Car vent diffusers too come in several different styles. Some devices have an inbuilt refillable reservoir. Others have a pad that you soak with your preferred essential oil or blend.
Car Humidifier Diffusers
Car diffuser humidifiers are designed to give out a fine mist of water vapor along with the vapors of essential oil. This fine mist helps to inject some amount of humidity into the air inside your vehicle. This can be really useful if you live in a particularly dry climate.
Most models allow you to adjust the mist mode so you can set it for continuous or intermittent misting.
Best car diffuser humidifiers:
AoMck Car Diffuser with Cool Mist Humidifier – This diffuser humidifier comes with a USB cable that can be plugged into your vehicle’s USB port. The size fits most vehicle cup holders.
UrrSovv Cool Mist Mini Portable Diffuser For Essential Oils – This small compact device has a surprisingly large capacity of 100 ml and plenty of features including continuous and optional misting options and changeable LED lights, among others.
Rechargeable Car Essential Oil Diffusers
Rechargeable diffusers look similar to the plug-in models with one big difference. They run on a battery so you charge the device at home or in the office, then use the charged diffuser while commuting.
The advantage of rechargeable car diffusers is that they can be kept anywhere in the vehicle. You can place in a cup holder or even on the passenger seat while driving.
The drawback of rechargeable essential oil car diffusers is they won’t work when the battery dies. You’ll have to wait to get to a place where you can recharge the battery if you want to use it in the car. These may not be the best option if you want to get the benefits of aromatherapy on long commutes.
Best rechargeable car diffusers:
Weljoy Wood Grain Portable Diffuser – Waterless, operated by a rechargeable battery or USB, the run time may range from 1.5 hours to 5.5 hours depending on the setting you choose.
Hanging Car Diffusers
Hanging car diffusers are generally types of passive diffusers with a long loop. You can hang them from your mirror or any hook at the sides of your car.
These are the cheapest and most basic types of car essential oil diffusers. They may not have all the bells and whistles of the more advanced models but they do the job.
Best hanging car diffusers:
Macrame Sun Passive Diffuser – The breezy Bohemian style, vibrant colors and cozy texture of the Macrame Sun Passive Diffuser will cheer you up on long drives no matter how dreary the weather. Recently introduced by Plant Therapy, this hanging car diffuser hangs by a cotton string adorned with natural unfinished wooden beads and macramé tassels.
To enjoy passive diffusion during your drive, simply add 1-2 drops of your favorite essential oil or blends to one or both of the wooden beads and allow the oil to absorb completely.
7 Benefits Of Car Essential Oil Diffusers
Car essential oil diffusers offer several benefits, some of them quite unexpected. The most important thing is to make sure you choose the right essential oil for the benefit you’re looking for.
1. Reduces stress levels and enhances mood
Fighting bumper-to-bumper traffic every day while driving to and from work can be extremely stressful. Stress levels can skyrocket if you’re running late for a meeting. Dealing with other reckless drivers who are in just as much of a hurry only exacerbates that stressful feeling.
At times like this, adding relaxing essential oils in your car diffuser can help reduce stress levels so you reach your destination feeling calmer and more in control.
2. Eliminates stale and musty odors
Car essential oil diffusers can be particularly useful during the colder months of autumn and winter when the odors of damp clothes, foods, and pets don’t get a chance to get out. The car can begin to smell musty after a few weeks of driving around with the panes closed.
Essential oils have strong aromas that can overpower stale and musty odors, leaving your car smelling fresher. The refreshing aromas guarantee a much more pleasant driving experience.
3. Keeps you awake, alert, and energized on long drives
Long drives can get tiring and boring. At some point, fatigue sets it. You start to feel drowsy as the road stretches endlessly in front of you.
When you’re struggling to stay awake and alert on the road, diffusing essential oils that help boost alertness and focus can help.
4. Helps you de-stress after a long, hectic day
Some essential oils have proven stress-relief properties. You don’t have to wait to get home to diffuse essential oils to unwind and relieve stress. Instead, you can start to de-stress while driving home by adding a few drops of relaxing essential oil to your car essential oil diffuser.
Caution – relaxing essential oils should only be used in your car for short drives. You don’t want to relax and be less alert while driving long distances.
Alleviates motion sickness and nausea
Motion sickness is quite common. If one of the occupants in your car feels nauseous on long or even drives, it can impact every aspect of the drive.
For one thing, it makes for a very unpleasant experience. Secondly, frequent stops to try and overcome nausea can disrupt your whole schedule.
Using a car diffuser with the right essential oils can help calm that nauseous sensation and make the drive more pleasant for everyone.
5. Adds much-needed humidity to the air inside the car
To get the humidifying benefits, you’ll need to look for car oil diffusers that double as humidifiers.
Humidifying car essential oil diffusers inject a fine mist into the air along with the aroma of the essential oil in it. This extra humidity can be particularly useful in dry climates or if you suffer from sinus issues.
6. Relieves congestion and stuffy nose
Stuffy nose and congestion can make your drive a nightmare. More than that, it can be dangerous. You tend to be less alert as your focus is on trying to breathe.
Diffusing oils that are known for alleviating congestion can make your commute safer and more comfortable too.
7. Less toxic than chemical air fresheners
Chemical air fresheners smell good but unlike car essential oil diffusers, they do not offer any other benefits. Moreover, they contain chemicals that can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat.
How To Choose The Best Car Essential Oil Diffusers For You
There is no single car diffuser that is right for everyone. Which one is best for you will depend on your vehicle model and its features, how much you drive every day, and your budget.
Read about the best car diffusers for essential oils and how to choose one that’s best for you.
Best essential oils to use in your car diffuser
It’s tempting to default to your favorite aromas but before you do this, remember that all essential oils are not appropriate for use in your vehicle.
For example, you may love the pleasant floral aroma of lavender or chamomile essential oils. You diffuse these oils to make your home smell heavenly and to unwind and relax at the end of a long stressful day. However, these are not the best essential oils to diffuser while driving.
Relaxing essential oils have sedative properties. Inhaling their aromas make you feel more relaxed and less alert – a dangerous combination when you’re on the road.
The best essential oils to use while driving are those that will boost your mood while keeping you alert and awake. This is the most important of all factors to consider when using essential oils in your car diffuser. You want to stay alert and awake, not relaxed and sleepy when you’re behind the wheel.
So whether you’re using essential oils to prevent car sickness or to boost your mood, you must make sure it is not one that promotes relaxation or sleep.
As you will see in the list below, the best essential oils to use in car diffusers belong to the citrus and herbaceous aroma families. On the other hand, essential oils that belong to the floral aroma family are best avoided as they tend to have sedative properties.
Reduce fatigue and boost energy levels and alertness – Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary, Black Pepper, Sweet Orange, Lemongrass
Relieve stress without drowsiness – Grapefruit, Thyme, Sweet Orange, Lemongrass
Overcome motion sickness and nausea – Peppermint, Ginger, Grapefruit, Cardamom
Alleviate headaches – Peppermint for tension headaches, Eucalyptus for sinus headaches
Stay focused especially when you have a cold, congestion, or sinusitis – Eucalyptus, Rosemary
Reduce mental fog and help clear your mind – Basil, Lemongrass, Grapefruit
You can use any one of the essential oils above by itself or you can create blends by combing a few drops of different oils. Adding essential oil blends in your car diffuser will give you the benefits of multiple oils simultaneously.
Essential oils to avoid using in your car diffuser
What’s interesting about this list of essential oils is that it includes some of the most popular and widely used aromas. They are great to diffuse when you get home and want to unwind and relax. But those same calming and sedative properties are what make them inappropriate to use while driving.
The list of essential oils to avoid using while driving includes:
While it’s okay to diffuse these oils in your car on short drives around town, definitely avoid diffusing them on long drives.
Diffusing these essential oils in your car diffuser on long drives can induce drowsiness. You’ll feel more relaxed and less focused, which reduces your reaction time, making you more susceptible to an accident.
In general, avoid using these essential oils for sleep and relaxing essential oils in your car diffuser.
5 Things To Keep In Mind When Using Essential Oils In Your Car Diffuser
It’s important to follow these guidelines when using essential oils in your car diffuser:
1. Limit diffusion time – Essential oils emit strong aromas that will fill the space up quickly in a closed car. This may start to feel overwhelming if you’re not careful. To avoid this, it’s best to switch the diffuser on for a few minutes then switch it off. Keep switching it on and on in short increments. This will help you get the benefits of aromatherapy without feeling overwhelmed by the strong aroma.
2. Less is more when it comes to essential oils – Essential oils are very potent, with regards to their aroma as well as their benefits. Too much oil or diffusing for too long can overpower your senses. Diffusing essential oils in your car is quite different from diffusing essential oils at home. At home, the scent is dispersed over a larger, more open area. In the smaller, closed space of your car, you need to use just one or two drops in your diffuser and limit the diffusion time.
3. Avoid diffusing sedative essential oils in your car diffuser – We’ve said it before but it’s worth reiterating. Do not use oils known for their calming and sedative properties while driving. This includes chamomile, lavender, vetiver, sandalwood, and clary sage essential oils.
4. Store essential oils properly – High temperatures and excessive exposure to light can damage the volatile properties of essential oils. This reduces their therapeutic properties. Make sure your essential oil bottles are stored away from direct sunlight. And if you’re transferring essential oils from their original bottle, make sure the new bottle is made of glass and dark-colored. Essential oils react with plastic and get contaminated, destroying their properties. The dark color glass protects it from premature degradation from light exposure.
5. Check with other passengers if it’s okay to diffuse essential oils in the car – Some people may be sensitive to certain scents, which may trigger headaches, nausea, or some other reaction. It’s best to ask about their scent preference or sensitivities before using your car essential oil diffuser.
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Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using any natural medication or if you experience any unusual symptoms. Read Full Disclaimer here.