gel air freshener – make it

diy gel air freshenerWho doesn’t like to walk into a fresh smelling room?  I used to use air fresheners all the time, but with pets and kids I hesitate to use them, especially the mist or spray variety.  Scented candles are of course an options, but only as long as you’re in the room and if your child can’t reach them.  Mine can… he’s a crazy tall 4 year old!

Gel air fresheners are another option since they can be tucked away or put up high out of the reach of little hands and pets, but to be honest, most of the scents available make my eyes water and my head hurt! The good news is, it’s lightning fast to make your own with a few ingredients you might already have in your pantry and around your home!

For this quick project, you will need a few clean jars or containers that will hold a combined total of 2 cups of liquid.  However, the way you divide that among your containers is up to you.  Four empty baby food jars work perfectly, but I opted for a random selection of empty glass vessels I had hiding in the mayhem under my kitchen sink.  Seriously…. it’s scary under there.  There is soooooo much stuff!  All my glass vases and jars are there and I can’t bare to part with any of them!

clean & dry jars
food colouring (optional)
essential oils or potpourri drops (a total of 4 tsp’s worth, minimum)
2 cups of water, divided
4 packages unflavoured gelatin (total of 1 oz)
1 Tbsp salt

1.  Put 1 tsp minimum of essential oils or liquid potpourri into each of your containers, for each 1/2 cup of the gel they will hold.  Ex; If you are using a larger vessel that holds 3/4 cup, you would add 1.5 tsp of oil.
2. Add 1-2 drops of liquid food colouring to each jar if desired.  
3. Bring 1 cup of the water to a boil in a small pot on the stove.  Add all four packages of gelatin gently whisking until completely dissolved.  Remove from heat.
4. Stir in 1 cup cold water and the salt.  Stir gently until salt is dissolved.  The salt will keep mould from growing so don’t omit it from your gels.
5. Pour carefully into the prepared jars, stir each jar gently if necessary to mix in the colour.  
6. Wipe rims and set jars where they will not be disturbed for at least 24 hours so they can firm up properly.

If you have ever purchased gel air fresheners you know they disintegrate over time.  The same is true with these.  You should see approximately 4-6 weeks of use out of your gel fresheners, depending on the size of container you chose.  Once they are ‘used up’, rinse out your containers and your good to go on a fresh batch.

gel air freshenersKeep out of direct sunlight as the heat could cause the gel to liquefy.  For this reason, I don’t recommend these for use in a vehicle as the temperature inside a car can get quite high and will melt the gel, which means it could spill and leave you with an unpleasant albeit lovely smelling mess in your car.

On a side note, as a test I made one gel freshener with flavoured oil extract (for baking and candy making).  It was a flavour I would never use again but the smell was yummy.  It is a super intense smell and so far, so good!  Although it wouldn’t be the most cost effective way to make a gel, it is another option.  I’ll update the post as they go and let you know how the extract one holds up!