I was in need of a DIY gel air freshener with essential oils and quickly.

Having a large family with lots of kids and cats means my house can get, well, smelly.

I shared my toilet time spray with you, but what do you do when you want your house to smell fresh ALL the time.

You know, that pleasantly fresh smell when you walk in from a long day and you just want to sit down for a moment and catch your breath before you start the evenings activities.

I have essential oil diffusers that I turn off when I leave, but I really love an air freshener that is running all day long, without electric and with the pure scent of essential oils.

So that’s when I decided I needed to make a homemade gel air freshener.

Not only is this so cheap to make, this is the best air freshener for your house that doesn’t require electricity!

Oh, and did I mention that this makes a fabulous, thoughtful gift?

Let me show you how easy it is to make your own custom DIY gel air freshener with essential oils. It’s so simple, you can make several in just a few minutes, so you won’t feel guilty keeping some and not giving them all away 🙂


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Ingredients & Supplies:

Here are the supplies and ingredients you’ll need to make this simple DIY gel air freshener with essential oils:

  • 4 Packets Unflavored Gelatin (or you could use these water pearls instead)
  • 2 Cup Distilled Water or Reverse Osmosis Water (divided)
  • 2 Tablespoon Kosher or Sea Salt (NOTE: Table salt will make the water cloudy, and Pink Salt does not dissolve completely so you’ll have spots in your gel)
  • 20 Drops Essential Oils for scent (I used Lemon from Young Living brand because of their purity promise)
  • Glass or plastic heat-safe container
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Silk flower or other decoration (optional)

I like to use a knife to mix the oils and gelatin in the jar. It’s fun to watch them swirl together before I add any colors.

IMPORTANT: The salt is key to this mixture because it prevents mold growth in your homemade gel air freshener.

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First, grab a small saucepan with 3/4 cup of water in it (set 1/4 cup aside to add later to help it cool faster).

Heat to medium and add 1 Tablespoon Salt to the water and stir to thoroughly combine.

Once the salt has completely dissolved, sprinkle the gelatin in and stir again.

It might clump, and that’s okay, just keep stirring and it will dissolve. You might need to smash the clumps on the bottom of the pan to help them dissolve.

NOTE: at this point the mixture smells yucky. It’s like salty jello. Ewwwwww.

Once the liquid is clear again (no lumps, and fully dissolved) pour into a bowl or jar to mix.

Finally, add the last 1/4 cup of water to help the liquid cool faster.

Now it’s time to make it smell and look pretty. In other words, this is the fun part of making the best air freshener for your house!

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This mixture makes 2 cups total liquid, which can be divided into several small containers or one large one like I used here. I bought several glass ball jars to give friends like these cupcake snow globes back at Christmas and it was a perfect size for my silk flower.

Originally I thought I’d use the blue glass, but it didn’t look right with the flower inside, so I switched it at the last minute.

You’ve gotta love this DIY gel air freshener with essential oils recipe that is flexible enough to swap things at the last minute. This is real life peeps!

Now it’s time to add your essential oils. The scent combinations are truly endless because you can mix any essential oils or other scents that you have on hand. I’m even considering using a few drops of perfume to give one to my grandma for her birthday.

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I think 40 drops total throughout the entire batch is strong enough to actually smell the scent, but not overpowering to engulf an entire room.

You can try different combos. Lavender and Lemon is another great scent I love together.

And any citrus scent smells fresh and is a great choice for your homemade gel air freshener.

Next, add your decorative items such as silk flowers and maybe tie a ribbon on the outside for decoration.

At this point your gel air freshener should be starting to solidify, just push the item down inside with your knife.

It’s a pretty forgiving mixture so you still have time to manipulate it without it getting cloudy or anything.

That’s it! You’re all done! Now you just need to let it sit for a couple hours on the counter to fully “set” and your best air freshener for your house will be done.

It’s so much fun to come back and turn it upside down without anything moving.

Plus, because it’s made with salt instead of sugar, the gel is not sticky when you touch it.

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Fragrance Combinations

Creating a custom scent for your DIY gel air freshener with essential oils is part of the fun of making it yourself. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

Calming – Lavender (30 drops) and geranium (10 drops).

Fresh and clean – Orange, lemon, grapefruit, and spearmint. (10 drops each)

Energizing – Peppermint (10 drops), orange (15 drops) and lime (15 drops) 

Refreshing – Purification, Grapefruit and lemon (13 drops each)

Smelly Teen Boys Who Play Sports – Lemongrass, lime and lemon (13 drops each)

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A Different Display

In case you have small, adorable helpers giving you a hand when you make this and you end up with nothing inside or not a smooth top on it.

You can make it look more like the typical homemade gel air freshener you’d buy at the store by taking a spoon and mixing it all up to put air pockets inside the jar.

I repurposed a old jelly jar and added a ribbon and I think this really gives it the appearance of the typical gel air freshener you’d purchase at the store. What do you think?

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What Does It Cost?

  • 2 Packets Unflavored Gelatin = 99¢ (or you could use these water pearls instead) Knox Gelatin costs $1.98 for a 4-pack box
  • 1 Cup Distilled Water or Reverse Osmosis Water = $0
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt = 3¢
  • 20 Drops Essential Oils for scent = price varies (I used Lavender and Geranium Young Living Oils 20 drops costs = $2.02)
    OR you could use a Fragrance Oil which is even less expensive (2¢ per drop vs 10¢ per drop)
  • Glass or plastic heat-safe container to keep it in = FREE (a Salsa Jar would be the perfect size also!)
  • Food coloring (We purchase this at the dollar store.)
  • Silk flower or other decoration (optional)

Total Cost = $3.04 (which is about $1 less than as a Renuzit Pearl Scents one at Target or Walmart)

Think of all the possible scent combinations you could do for your DIY gel air freshener with essential oils! The sky’s the limit. You could even use any extracts (like vanilla) that you have in your pantry.

With an open lid, this will last about 3 weeks to 1 month before it dries up and has no more scent. You could also get these adorable lids with only one hole so that they last longer than a month.

In less than 5 minutes you can have a fun, custom homemade gel air freshener to make your home smell fresh and not like boys.

A cute flowery gel air freshener would make a great teacher gift! You could easily double or triple the recipe to make more at one time and have a little assembly line going. Have fun with the best air freshener for your house!


YOUR TURN: What scent would you choose when you make your gel air freshener? Let me know in the comments below!

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How To Make Super Cheap Gel Air Freshener For Your House