Make Your Own Gel Air Fresheners

gel air freshener

It’s funny how when I start thinking about posting about a certain idea, it seems people start “coming out of the woodwork” with the same request.  It’s almost uncanny! :-)

First, Paul from Duluth, Minnesota sent me this link for Homemade Gel Air Fresheners at Robyn‘s View At Home…and then I’ve had more people on Facebook and here at home asking me about the same thing! So in response to several special requests AND because I think it’s just a WAY cool idea…here’s my take on making your own homemade air fresheners.

It’s actually a very easy process with a few different options for “personalization”…which I like. :-)

I actually made two different batches of gel air freshener…one using liquid potpourri and one using water and essential oils.

I found the liquid potpourri in the scented candle section at my local Walmart. I probably would have passed but it was called Linen Scent and I just couldn’t resist!

Here is the “recipe” I found at

Liquid Potpourri

  • 2 cups liquid potpourri
  • 4 individual envelopes of unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • heat-safe containers (I used my favorite container for all sorts of DIY homemade products…Mason jars!)
gel air freshener

In a small saucepan on the stove, heat 1 1/2 cups liquid potpourri (I used some called “Linen Scent,” which makes me think of clothes drying outdoors on a line in a summer breeze) and the salt. When the salt is completely dissolved, add the gelatin, and stir until THAT is completely dissolved as well. Remove the saucepan from the heat and then add the remaining liquid potpourri. Stir until fully blended. Pour the mixture into containers of your choice and allow to cool to room temperature.

Of course this is where I couldn’t help myself and had to get a little creative. To give them a little more of a “home decor” feel, I decided to add a little color and texture to the rather nondescript gel with a tiny bit of food color and some silk flower petals I “cannibalized” from some other silk flowers I had laying around the house. I kind of like how they turned out. :-)

Scented Water

The second batch of gel air freshener I made involved the same process, just substituting distilled water and essential oils for the liquid potpourri. Here’s where you can really personalize your air fresheners. You can change the intensity of the scent by adding more or less essential oil; start with 10 drops of oil to 2 cups of water and adjust as desired. You can also try different COMBINATIONS of oils to make a special scents.

Since I only had a couple of essential oils on hand that I wouldn’t mind using as an air freshener…I stuck with with those. I made one with Lavender, one with Lemon and one with Rosemary and Peppermint combined.


Rebecca at Foodie With Family has some suggestions for different combinations here, such as Sweet Basil & Lemon, and Rosemary & Wild Orange.

If you want (but it’s not necessary) you can create a vented lid for your air fresheners by punching out several holes using an ordinary paper punch. Really.  That’s all I used. It works! :-)

Since I don’t normally buy gel air fresheners, I can’t tell you how much the savings would be (maybe someone else can clue me in here!) but I’m assuming it would be considerable!

I had such a good time making these and was so happy with how they turned out….I’m thinking I might need to make more the keep on hand for little hostess gifts, etc.  What do you think??

Happy Freshening Everyone! :-)


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  1. Deborah G. says

    I can’t wait to try these! I’ve got the ingredients on hand and I’m headed to the kitchen now! Wish me luck!,,

  2. Rachel Loveridge says

    Just a thought: the ones using essential oils (especially if you make them milder-scented) will be easier on visitors with fragrance allergies. The liquid potpourri is certain death for people like me. I always hate when I get invited somewhere and have to leave because people use plug-ins or have been burning a candle. :( (It’s not you, it’s your candle. LOL).

    • says

      Rachel- I’m the same way. Although some of the essential oils can cause issues. Lavender and Melaleuca are like a death sentence for me. I stick with the citrus ones since they are less likely to cause problems in someone who might be visiting my home.

    • jen says

      glad you shared this, because all I could think about was the fact that the liquid potpurri would be chemical laden. I’m glad there was an alternative!

    • Jennifer Francis says

      I don’t think its old fashioned at all but for people like me and my family who live in a little apartment with 3 windows, literally, these in the bathroom would be wonderful. Also, there are days my son’s allergies are so bad I cannot open the windows for fear of triggering an asthma attack. I have one still in diapers so sometimes we need a little air freshener, haha.

      • Rachel Loveridge says

        Air fresheners set off my asthma, but if he doesn’t have any fragrance issues, maybe they won’t. :) I’m hoping the ones with essential oils won’t.

      • Kseeeee says

        I also have only 3 windows in my apartment, all on the same side – and I have a cat – and when my grandchildren come over (all in diapers), they tend to leave behind smelly things – I think this is a great option! I don’t like the plug-in deals because of the fire hazard (and all of my plugs have ‘stoppers’ in them- grandkids again). I also don’t like candles because my cat can’t seem to resist-defeats the purpose if you end up with the odor of singed cat tail :)
        Thanks! Why is it that almost every good idea I find leads back to this site!?!?

    • Steele says

      While there’s nothing like a clean house and open windows for freshening your air, there’s also nothing like a clean house and open windows and the comfort smells of cinnamon or vanilla cookies. To each his own.

    • Rose Myrtle says

      I don’t think it’s old fashioned either, but it’s always nice to have wonderful smells like lavender and other scents in your house..

    • Heather says

      I would love to have my windows open, but it’s -20 here and it’s going to get a whole lot colder before windows can be opened again…

      I love the look of these!! I can’t wait to try making some.

      • says

        I really like the vented lids. That’s an added safety measure with kids and pets. Some oils and fragrance products are highly toxic to pets, like cinnamon to cats. They shouldn’t like the gels and silk flowers could cause obstructions for kids or pets too. With the lid, they are safe and pretty. You could even seal the lids on with a bit of wax that an adult could loosen with hot water when you’re ready to reuse the jars.

    • says

      I AGREE AND CAN’T WAIT TO TRY THESE. GONNA MAKE ONE FOR MY MOM TOO!! Btw, Do you want to LOVE your job?? I work online form home, and I love my job!! If anyone is interested, ADD me as a friend, and MESSAGE me for info!!! Must be 18! US, UK, & CANADA ONLY

      • Dapheny says

        I have been looking for an online job. Most require your credit card number, upfront payment and all that stuff. Hope to hear from you!

      • Lisa says

        Hi Benita,
        I was reading on how to make gel scents and stumbled across your comment and noticed you had written a “work from home” comment. I would love to hear more as I am looking for a job and to work at home.
        Thank you for your time,

    • says

      you are so right, nothing like fresh air, but where we live, a friend just had a scary experience. they had their windows open, and a lady on meth busted through the screen with a knife and came into their home. so for those who need to consider their safety with open windows, these fresheners sound dreamy. i wonder though, how long the scents last?

  3. Vicki says

    I love these! Especially the smaller ones. I am curious though, how strong of a smell does the liquid potpourri give off? Thanks.

  4. Amanda says

    Hey Jillee! I just wanted to pop in and tell you how much I love your blog! I always enjoy reading your posts – I don’t think there’s been one yet that I haven’t been excited about. :)

  5. Renee says

    Ok, so where do I buy essential oil?? I don’t think what they have at Walmart in the candle aisle is the right stuff. Help!

    • Demaroge says

      Hi Renee ~ Wal Mart does have some essential oils. I usually find Tea Tree and Eucalyptus in the pharmacy area. (Hey ~ Those would be good for an air freshener when someone has a cold!….good thought.) Depending upon your WM you may find Mint, Lavender or other more popular scents.

      Other than that you can usually find essential oils at any herb shop or health food store. If you don’t have one nearby you can always order online. I would look for a “starter pack” or a “set” of common popular scents. The prices can vary widely depending upon the quality.

      I am sure Jillee or someone else can post links to place where you can buy online. I usually buy mine locally from the local herb shop.

      I hope you find some!

      • Karen says

        For things like these air fresheners, I’d buy oils from Wal Mart or a drug store, but for use on ourselves for health reasons, one needs to pay more for quality. Renee, I’d do some research on e.o.’s- where they came from, how they are processed, are they pure, ect. There are several good companies to deal with-I do not want to pay the extra mark-up on price (and all the hype) to deal with a MLM, but two reliable companies I deal with are and my beloved Essential oils keep my family healthy!

      • lovie2five says

        I do use the scents from the WM candle isle for my laundry soap and dish soaps and other stuff. I also used it in my homemade deodorant. The rosemary mint went into my facial scrub. They are cheap and work just as good in my opinion.

    • Rachel Loveridge says

      They sell essential oils in Aveda shops/salons, too, but I’m not sure what the prices are like. I have a friend who sells them for a company…Scentsy, I think?

    • Kseeeee says

      You can buy them online. I bought some at Hobby Lobby last week – their selection is limited, though – I think the had 3-4 scents but I was seeking Lavender and they had it. I have purchased it online as well but HL was much less expensive.

    • april gillis allen says

      that is the stuff I bought and used to make mine gel air freshners it works really good..

  6. says

    I love this! I’ve been searching for a wedding favor. I wanted something in mason jars, but my cousin stole my idea of mason jars filled with candy, so this idea is staying a secret until the wedding!

  7. jkincolorado says

    Those look like a lot of fun to make! I like the idea of using essential oils – especially since I just bought lavender. Sounds perfect for the bedroom ♥