Picture of Homemade Air Freshener Gel
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I wanted to share my experience with making these easy and useful Air Freshener Gels.  A relatively low cost Do-It-Yourself room air freshener, you may have all the ingredients already!

I keep one in each vehicle and at my desk at work.

The total time it takes to make is about five to six (5-6) minutes and then twenty-four (24) hours to solidify.

Materials & Equipment:
  • Three (3) to four (4) jars, capable of holding 1/2-cup of fluid each.  I used four (4) clean and recycled baby food jars, and each jar holds 1/2-cup of mixture.
  • Food Coloring
  • Essential Oil or Room Fragrance drops (Can be purchased at a craft store, but I found one on sale for $2 at Wal-mart.)
  • Two (2) cups of water, divided into two 1-cup amounts
  • Four (4) envelopes unflavored gelatine (one 1-oz box)
  • One (1) tablespoon of salt
  • Kitchen equipment such as a whisk, a pan to boil the water and spoons (plastic or metal) to mix the concoction

  • Pour a few drops of food coloring of your choice into each jar.
  • Next, pour one (1) teaspoon (minimum) of essential oil into each jar.  You may want to add more if you desire a stronger scent emanating from the end result.  I did not use more than two teaspoons and was pleased with the one teaspoon result.

Boil and Mix:
  • Bring one (1) cup of water to a boil.
  • Add all four (4) envelopes of gelatine to the boiling water and whisk until dissolved.  (I estimate it dissolved in about a minute.)
  • After the gelatine dissolves, add the remaining cup of water and then the salt.
  • After the salt dissolves, remove the pan from the heat and pour into the prepared jars.  Try pouring the mixture into the jars within a few minutes of removing the pan off of the heat.
  • NOTE: Please be careful as the mixture will be very hot!  My husband held the pot with a steady hand for the photo.  However the second time I did this by myself, I made a mess everywhere and spilled the gelatine mixture on the counter.  You may want to use a funnel to put the gelatine mixture in the jars.
  • I used a broken clothespin to stir the gelatinous combination, but suggest using plastic spoons.  Use them quickly as the heat from the water could make them melt slightly.
Let the now fragrant gel mix solidify at room temperature for at least 24-hours.
Can you believe that's it?

The scent and solid mixture will disintegrate over time.  The one in my car has lasted over a month.  The one in my bathroom has lasted over a month but probably will be ready to clean out in another week.  I estimate that one jar would last from four to six (4-6) good weeks of scent dispersion. Make sure the lid is off the container to enjoy!

Thanks for reading and I hope you post pictures of your gels.
The original Pinterest pin for this is here: DIY Air Fresheners.
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I have not made them yet, I plan to... but with the whole melt and spill issue... I am thinking (though some still would spill, I suppose, if tipped over), what if you were to just punch holes in the metal plate that goes under the jar top rim? They are pretty inexpensively replaceable with the Bell canning jars and would keep from losing an entire container at a time and what a mess! Just a thought!

ssharma321 month ago
For how long can it last if the lid is not open
bindasvikas1 month ago

It looks very attractive in first look, Same like world's best selling gel perfume, But when i placed it in my car , after one hour it get melt and spilled outside and spoiled my car interior and my clothes.what to do to make it solid even in summer condition. it does not happen to other gel perfume.

DeandrasCrafts (author)  bindasvikas1 month ago

So here's the thing - When you make something yourself, you know what ingredients go into the product. The purchased one should have a list of ingredients that show you what go into the product. I would bet that there are ingredients in the purchased one that make it so that it stays solid in heat.

Because we are using gelatin as the base for our own scented product, it will melt in heat. I'm sorry if you misunderstood this from the tutorial. This is a do-it-yourself product and it will not have the other chemicals that the store bought one has. I hope that helps you understand the situation.

bindasvikas1 month ago

First one is world's best selling and second one is made by me, but main problem in Our is ReMelt in Heat Condition .

bindasvikas1 month ago

First one is world's best selling Gel perfume and Second one i made. But Main Problem in our is ReMelt in Heat condition.

ata52 months ago
Hi I made this for my car, but after a couple of hours when I went back to check it, the gelatin had melted and is now water is there a way to prevent that from happening.
DeandrasCrafts (author)  ata51 month ago

In the summertime where I live, the ones I put in our car would completely melt to liquid. It wasn't water though, just gelatin. I'm curious if the gelatin didn't get the chance to solidify in the first place. The gels don't come out looking like water when they melt per-se, but if they were solidified to a gel in the first place, then I would imagine they would go back to a gel like substance under cooler conditions.

A very interesting phenomena occurred to you!

Mary JL2 months ago


tellfile5 months ago

Thanks for putting this site up. Didn't know you could do this at home. Now I can save some money! I couldn't get mine to put out a very noticeable scent, even with strong peppermint oil after being in the room 2 or 3 hours. So, I had a big jug of "Gain Apple Mango,Tango" fabric softener and mixed 4 tablespoons of that in a new batch. I could smell it 5 minutes after putting it in a musty smelling storage room. It makes a beautiful smelling fragrance. I noticed it jelled in about 12 hours. That big jug ought to last 5 years in making jell fresheners!

I only use one package of gelatine, 1/2 teaspoon of salt , a drop of dish soap and mixed it all up in the jar itself stirring with a spoon. I didn't have to use food coloring, the fabric softner was already colored blue.

I got the below 1/2 pint Ball canning jars at Walmart that had sort of an elegant look compared to normal canning jars. I think the wider opening helps out on dispersing the scent. If scent is too strong, just adjust by partially sliding the flat lid over the top.


@tellfile I would like to know how long did your fragrance last using the fabric softener and do you think that any other gain fabric softeners would work too and also why did you use dish soap, and what kind of dish soap did you use, thank you

Hello, I put a jar of it in a church basement bathroom that always had a musty mildew smell. After a little over a month I can now see some of the glass in the bottom of the jar and the bathroom still smells as good as it did when I first put it in there. The jelatine can be easily cleaned out of the jars with boiling water. I don't know the reason for the salt and soap, I just saw it on a video where they said to add it. I think I used Dawn dish soap and recently only used a half pack of jelatine in these small jars so I could put more fabric softener in. After a month in that moist bathroom, there was no trace of mold, or discolor in what was left in the jar. Yes, any other fabric softener might work if it has a good strong scent, or maybe the one I used just happened to have certain ingredients that made it work so well with the jelatine. Who knows!

drgradybooks5 months ago

I made these and so far so good! My first batch (following another recipe) molded within a week. But these appear to be going strong. Thank you for sharing this!

DeandrasCrafts (author)  drgradybooks5 months ago

Thank you for sharing! Got any photos to show off?

Just tried this and the some of the gelatin stayed clumped is this normal? I'll give an update in 24 hours

maybe if you mix gelatin with a small amount of cold water first, before adding to hot water,it may keep the gelatin from clumping. Kind of like when making a cornstarch slurry for gravy.

One of my batches had clumping gelatin that wouldn't separate while whisking the gelatin in the boiling water.
I completely removed those clumps with spoons AFTER trying to separate them with the wisk. I hope the recipe still worked for you!

Since I have spent a small fortune on the Batteries and canisters of the Misting ones. Then I have the refills for the plug in type. Wow it gets expensive every month. I am caregiver for my 92 Year Young Mom and we have 2 furbabies, I love to have a nice aroma greeting our company, and I love fresh smelling air, this is a wonderful Idea. Plus you can change your scent whenever you want. I will be making tonight. Thank You so much for sharing and the tutorial

DizzyDeeCrafts10 months ago

I'm going to make these today! I'm also going to experiment putting glitter in my mixture! Thanks so much for sharing this superb "ible"!

When letting the gel mixture sit to solidify, should the lid be off or on?
antoniraj1 year ago
colorful and nice looking...
tray21291 year ago
Can you use flavored gelatin if that's what you have on hand at the time?
DeandrasCrafts (author)  tray21291 year ago
I think you could, but the chance of that "going bad" or molding would be MUCH greater because of the sugars. I'd be interested in trying it, but in my house, we can't waste flavored gelatin. =)
Amyrosie1 year ago
That's a wonderful idea! I did this last week-end and I had a blast! :) Only thing I noticed is some of the fragrance oil stays on top of the gelatin. Maybe because I added glitter and miniature fimo fruits in each of my jars? Also, I didn't use salt, I used vodka. I read somewhere else that people had mold problems with salt.

Anyway, thanks for sharing :)
Wow! What a great ides!! I will try this!!
DeandrasCrafts (author)  Pane-Bistecca2 years ago
Thank you!
t8002 years ago
I always wondered what is in those commercial ones. Thank you very much for posting!
DeandrasCrafts (author)  t8002 years ago
Thank you for your comment and for looking!
Latona382 years ago
What a neat idea! I'm gonna try this.. Thanks for sharing!
DeandrasCrafts (author)  Latona382 years ago
Thank you!
DeandrasCrafts (author) 2 years ago
Just in case you are curious, here are a few photos of my disintegrated air fresheners. They have been in the bathrooms for over a month. The orange one was poked by a little finger before it really began to dissipate. That's what the hole was from. The purple air freshener has not been touched and the picture does not show how close to the bottom it is. That one is almost ready to wash out.
Hope that helps anybody that is curious!
AmyBourque2 years ago
How long does it last unopened? If the seal is good, does it stay solid or does it break down after a while?
DeandrasCrafts (author)  AmyBourque2 years ago
That's a good question. I've had three covered ones in my pantry for over a month now, and they look just like they did when I made them. I am going to post pictures of the ones that are almost disintegrated so look for those pictures!
Thanks for looking and for your questions!
HollyMann2 years ago
awesome!!! what a great idea...someday when I have the time, I def. plan on making these..I hope that someday is soon! Today I am off to clean the house ..this will be in my favs!...:)
DeandrasCrafts (author)  HollyMann2 years ago
Thank you so much Holly! This 'ible is going crazy and I would have never guessed it. =)
Well it is an awesome idea! :) People love it! I am trying to stay away from all the chemical air freshener sprays so I love this!
ktara2 years ago
What you can do with the jars is put them in a hot water bath first. I'd get a saucepan and just use hot water from the tap. Doesn't even need to be a lot, just enough to get the glass heated so it's not a shock. I do this when I'm canning so i don't break the jars with the boiling pickle juice. I also do this with my teapot, just rinsing it out from the tap.

Thanks for this, it's a great idea! We go through so many different products trying to find one that lasts.
They look very decorative. How long do these last?
DeandrasCrafts (author)  Dominic Bender2 years ago
The one in my car has lasted over a month. The one in my bathroom is dissolving faster than the one in my car, but has still lasted a little over a month. Thank you for your comment and I will add that to the instructable. =)
blkhawk2 years ago
I knew about candles and stick dispersers but I did not know about gel! Clever idea!
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