Why would anyone want to know how to make homemade air freshener gel? 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?
For a light fragrance, try my homemade air freshener spray. But for a longer-lasting fragrance, or to freshen a musty room, these pots of homemade air freshener gel are the way to go. They’re easy to make, too!
Homemade Air Freshener Gel
For this homemade air freshener gel you will need:
- 20 drops of your favorite essential oil(s)
- 2 tbsp. salt
- Liquid food coloring (optional)
- 4 packets of plain, unflavored gelatin
- Empty glass food jars with screw-on lids*
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). (The salt helps inhibit mold and mildew.)
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 countertop or cutting 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.
Coming up with a signature scent for your home is part of the fun, but here are a few ideas to help you get started.
Citrusy – Orange, lemon, grapefruit, and spearmint
Fresh and clean – Lavender and lemon
Autumn spice – Bergamot, sweet orange, frankincense, and cinnamon
Winter woodsy – Balsam fir, cedarwood, cypress, and lemon
Romantic floral – Rose, geranium, and neroli
• 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!
• One 4-oz jar of air freshener gel will scent a room roughly 10×10′. For larger rooms, use more than one jar.
• Place jars away from direct sunlight and not directly beneath ceiling fans, heating vents, or air-conditioners, all of which will make them evaporate more quickly.
• If placed in a draft-free spot away from the windows a 4-oz jar will last roughly one month.
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