How to Use Essential Oils in Vehicles: Ultimate Guide

Last Updated on November 11, 2022 by Brenda

Check out our great essential oil diffusers for your car and other vehicles at our site. They all have connectors for the USB port in your vehicle or cigarette lighter adapter for older vehicles. They can be used with USB-supported devices. Some brands provide A/C wall adapters for recharging the unit. Add your essential oils (not included) to the type diffuser you buy and remove the smells from take-out food wrappers, doggy odors, or tobacco stench. These are wonderful when going to work and on long road trip adventures. Close your windows to not breath or smell the polluted air outside.

The fake harmful chemical air fresheners for vehicles and homes are not made of essential oils. They can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat and are strictly taboo. Essential oils are the pure essence from nature’s plants. Below are methods and specific oils for certain problems you might experience while driving.

Transition from chemical air fresheners to pure essential oils forever that can be used in vehicles constantly. I’ve put together some essential oils to use for conditions to refrain from any disturbances while you are driving with their benefits. Know that chemical fresheners are not good for pregnant women, babies, and kids to inhale.

This is easy to do. If you have an ultrasonic essential oil diffuser that uses water, just add a few drops of 100% essential oils to the top of the water. Do not fill with water past the max line.

If you have a nebulizer essential oil diffuser that uses no water, just put a half bottle of essential oil into its bottle that comes with the unit and attaches to the top. There are no drops to think about.

Mood and Performance

Your mood can be influenced by what you smell. For instance, a dirty baby diaper can make you gag and you don’t like that rancid smell. You will change the diaper because that’s the right thing to do. The fragrance of an apple pie baking will make you smile to remember mom or grandma on a special day making them. Most essential oils will elevate your mood when you’re hung up in bumper-to-bumper traffic each day going and coming from work. When people are in a hurry they become frustrated, infuriated, and some have such hot temper episodes they go into a road rage hurting others. Use essential oils that leave you feeling calm and focused for whatever task you are performing. Never get into a dangerous situation with a road rager; give him the road.

cotton ball

Dab a few drops on a cotton ball or tissue and put into a cup holder or the side door pocket. You can put these into plastic bags as well and store in your glove compartment or console.

Another method is to add a few drops to water in a spray bottle and spritz the inside of your vehicle. The best way for dispersing oils at all times with no hassle is to use an essential oil diffuser.

Simply put a smidgen on your temples, wrists, ankles, and feet to keep you wide awake and focused.

When on long car trips alone or with kids and friends, you must be fully awake and watchful in all the traffic, plus wildlife crossing highways, and kids and pets darting into the streets in town. Sometimes we don’t feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed traveling cross country with the white lines in the center of the road hypnotizing us to la-la land.

Motion Sickness and Nausea

Everyone has had motion sickness or nausea at some time in their life. I got very dizzy and nauseous when on the roller coaster as a kid. Other amusement park rides, trains, boats, ships, and airplanes can make you queasy as well as a car. You can also become dizzy getting up from a flat position at the doctor’s office examining table. That is due to the blood being up in your head. This occurs when your body, inner ear, and eyes send conflicting signals to the brain. Your inner ear might sense a rolling movement and your eyes cannot see it. When the movement stops, the dizzy feeling will stop too. This is most common with kids from 2- to 12-years-old but anyone can have this uncomfortable feeling.

When you cannot see out of the windshield sitting in the back seat of a vehicle, the feeling of motion sickness can happen to you. Pregnant moms oftentimes get nauseous too with movement.

Turn off the ignition, spray peppermint in the car, and close your eyes with open windows to get some fresh air. Another favorite to sooth an aching tummy is ginger tea and crystalized ginger slices on Amazon or at health food stores. Refrigerate the ginger after opening in your cooler you took with you.

I’ve put the names for some of the best oils to use while driving to stay awake in alphabetical order, so you can quickly find by name.

1. Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)

We love cinnamon in pastries and deserts and it is also useful when driving dead tired. Cinnamon essential oil is uplifting, keeps you from nodding off, and feeling sluggish. When you are exhausted from driving, use this oil to lift dull lethargic feelings with drowsiness when on the road.

2. Coffee (Coffea arabica)

Many people love coffee drinks. You can now have Coffee essential oil to keep you vigilant and watchful when driving. Not all brands sell coffee essential oils and it’s a little expensive but worth it to keep you awake feeling less tired and more observant of the road.

3. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

To stay alert try using Coriander essential oil in your car diffuser. It is used in its seed form in tea by my friends from India and it is a nice flavor. It helps mental focus and keeps you attentive driving your vehicle around town or on a long journey.

4. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globu)

For staying focused concentrating on the road ahead, Eucalyptus essential oil is superb. You will stay vigilant and wide-awake with its pleasant aroma to keep you sharp-eyed when you become tired and inattentive especially driving at night.

5. Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis)

Juniper berries are used to make gin for tasty martinis. But no drinking while driving in the car. You want to be sharp-eyed and alert to all the distractions on the road. Juniper Berry essential oil to the rescue for staying awake is all it takes. You will feel refreshed to continue on in no time.

6. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuous)

If you have kids in your vehicle, Lemongrass essential oil is a better choice than peppermint since it is milder. It will enhance your focus when being at the wheel for long hours driving. It is very uplifting and fights mental fatigue with a pleasant fragrance.

7. Orange-Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

All citrus including Sweet Orange essential oil reduces driving stress when in town with heavy traffic or on the open highway becoming sleepy from the center white line. It’s also useful for motion sickness or nausea for your passengers.

8. Peppermint (Mentha pipereta)

Don’t drive when you feel tired and drowsy. Use Peppermint essential oil for a pick-me-up and to be ready to act in an emergency. Kids might find this fragrance a bit strong. It also helps with stomach nausea. It’s very cooling, revitalizing, and refreshing, to uplift and keep you mentally alert.

9. Petitgrain Bigarade (Citrus aurantium)

The Petitgrain Bigarade essential oil is another citrus oil also known as bitter orange leaf and sour orange leaf that will help keep you on your top form when driving. The smell is delicious, and you will stay alert driving especially at night.

10. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary essential oil is an energy booster and is used mostly for cooking. Ancient cultures have used it for thousands of years. It’s good for concentration such as focusing on your driving and is great to use for studying. You will feel alert soon using it.

Are These Oils any good ?

These oils are good mostly for numerous therapeutic benefits, yet they also pose problems when driving for long distances. Lavender and Chamomile essential oils are floral scents that should be avoided on long road trips because they can calm you to the extent that you will feel drowsy. Feeling sleepy can retard your cognitive ability that makes you daydream and susceptible to car accidents. They are perfectly fine for local around town driving.

  • Benzoin-smells like vanilla and is calming; don’t use when driving
  • Chamomile-both German and Roman are calming; chamomile tea will put you to sleep
  • Geranium-is soothing and not recommended for driving
  • Hyacinth-sweet and used mainly for making soaps and candles
  • Lavender-calming and relaxing; you need to be alert and focused for long driving
  • Marjoram-warming and calming; not what you need driving on long trips
  • Neroli-calming and makes you feel sleepy; you need to be wide awake driving
  • Sandalwood-is very calming, and you need to be alert when driving
  • Spikenard-helps with tension, stress, and insomnia not to be used for long road trips
  • Valerian-powerful for anxiety and stress; best to not use for driving
  • Vetiver-good to get to sleep and is antiseptic; not to use when driving for hours

I hope this guide will help you choose the best essential oil brands for your car or other vehicles. Choose the best essential oil or best essential oil blends and diffuse the fragrance to rejuvenate your spirit energy while keeping your eyes open when driving.

Use a fantastic car diffuser with 100% pure essential aromatic oils and you will be pleasantly over the moon with the outcome for your mind and body. Happy shopping!


Welcome to my blog! I am Brenda Star and I am a true believer that Nature is fascinating and enchanting. The history of herbs and their uses are captivating. I have always wondered how did the ancient people know—how did they come to understand what a plant would do. They did not experiment in a lab because those technologies did not exist. That wisdom will always be a mystery to me. More about me...