How To Make Homemade Air Freshener Gel

How to make homemade air freshener from
Why would anyone want to know how to make homemade air freshener? Because many commercial air fresheners contain harsh chemicals, including nerve-numbing agents that block your sense of smell and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) linked to cancer. Some also contain allergens as well as phthalates, which have been associated with reproductive abnormalities and shouldn’t be used by pregnant women or children.

So, really, the question is: why would anyone want to spray that stuff around their home?

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For a light fragrance, try my homemade air freshener spray. But when you want a longer-lasting fragrance, or have a musty room you’d like to freshen up, these pots of homemade gel air freshener are easy to make. They’re great to give as gifts, too!

For this homemade air freshener gel you will need:


  1. Bring 1 cup water to boil in a small sauce pan over high heat.
  2. Once boiling, remove from heat and gently stir in essential oils, salt and liquid food coloring (if using).
  3. Continue stirring while carefully sprinkling the gelatin into the hot water. Once dissolved, slowly stir in 1 cup of cold water. (Do not stir this in vigorously or it will foam up and create a cloudy gel.)
  4. Place jars on a towel-covered cookie sheet or board, and carefully pour the gelatin mixture into each jar. Move to a location where they won’t be jostled, and let sit for 2 to 3 days to set up. (They’ll smell very strong during this process, but don’t worry: they fragrance will mellow out once you’ve got the lids on.)
  5. Decide how many air fresheners you plan to use immediately. Poke five to six holes in those lids using a hammer and nail. Leave the remaining lids without holes to keep their fragrance intact during storage.

*If you want to make the lid attractive, prime and spray-paint it before hammering in the holes. Or cover it with an attractive scrap of thin fabric hot-glued around the rim. Just be careful not to clog the holes with hot-glue!

Equipment I Used:


  1. Margi Lowry says

    This.  Is.  Brilliant!!  I love clove oil and the air freshening ability of it but was getting tired of putting drops of it on my light bulbs.  I’m so going to try this.  Thanks, Katie!

  2. Katrina says

    Hi there! Tried your air freshener spray with cloves and vanilla extract and loved it. Going to try your gel today. Wondering how long will the gels stored for? How long will the gels last typically once you have them in use? Thanks in advance.

    • Katie Berry says

      If I make and store them without poking holes in the lid, they’ve lasted for months. That’s good, because I tend to make a huge batch and store them in my closet for future use. Once you’ve punched holes in the lid they last around a month.

  3. Asim Aquil says

    just a clarification: we have to leave them to set with the lids on right? Also I’m wondering, just to save on all those lids, one can buy a few extra containers (or spar elides if possible) and make a hole in this elides and then when you want to use the gel jar, just replace the lid. Or just remove the lid and cover with a few layers of cling film with holes in it, and then cover with a nice cloth tied with a ribbon?

  4. Katie says

    I would love to do this, but does it have to be essential oils? I LOVE coconut smell so I was thinking of using coconut oil, because there’s no such thing as coconut essential oil, but would the smell still last?

    • says

      I have no idea if coconut oil would work but I suspect the gel wouldn’t set up properly since coconut oil has a different viscosity than essential oils. If you’re bent on coconut, perhaps try coconut fragrance oil in place of the essential oils. It’s similar in viscosity to essential oil but would still have the scent you enjoy.

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