How to Make Gel Air Fresheners

Woman smelling aroma gel

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You can buy gel air fresheners, but if you make your own, you can choose your own scent, color, and decorations. It's easy, fun and takes less than an hour to make! For holiday appeal, consider layering different colored gels or using seasonal fragrances (e.g., pine or cinnamon for Christmas).


  • 2 cups distilled water
  • essential oil/fragrance
  • 4 packages unflavored gelatin
  • empty jar
  • food coloring (optional)
  • mold inhibitor (optional)

How to Make a Gel Air Freshener

  1. Heat 1 cup of distilled water to boiling.
  2. Stir in 4 packages of unflavored gelatin (e.g., Knox) until dissolved.
  3. Remove the mixture from heat and stir in the other 1 cup water.
  4. Add 10-20 drops of essential oil or other concentrated fragrance. If desired, add food coloring to tint your gel. You may also wish to add a mold inhibitor, such as 1-2 T salt OR a small amount of potassium sorbate OR a splash of vodka.
  5. Pour the gel into clean baby food jars or other small, decorative containers.
  6. The gel will set at room temperature, although you can place the air fresheners in the refrigerator for a quick set (and scented fridge).
  7. Decorate your jars as desired and enjoy!

Useful Tips

  1. This project requires heat, so adult supervision is required.
  2. Feel free to scale the recipe up or down to make the amount of gel you need (e.g., 1 cup water to 2 packages gelatin).
  3. If you wish, you can (carefully) dissolve gelatin in concentrated liquid potpourri (no other ingredients needed) to make your air fresheners. Use a ratio of 1 cup liquid to 2 packages gelatin.
  4. You can make multi-colored gels by pouring a new color over one which has already set up (like making a layered gelatin dessert).