October 19, 2011

Make Your Own Homemade Gel Air Fresheners

Store bought gel air fresheners come in limited fragrances, don’t last very long and can be quite expensive but with a little time and effort, you can make your own so that you can have a great smelling home for less.

All you need to create your unique atmosphere are some little, clean heatproof containers or jars that you don’t mind putting on show, some gelatine, water, essential oils, salt to prevent mould and food colouring, which is optional but adds that final colourful touch. You probably have most of the ingredients at home already except for the essential oil and although this may seem like an expense, you only need a few drops so you will get more then value for your money.

To make your very own gel air freshener, you will need:

- 2 cups of water
- 4 packs of plain unflavoured gelatine
- 15 drops of scented essential oil
- 2 tablespoons salt
- Food colouring (optional)
- Heat proof glass jar

Here are what you should do:

1. In a small saucepan, place 1 cup of water, essential oil and as much food colouring as you desire – you can choose not to put any colour which will result in a clear gel, or just add a little to create a tint or add more for a strong, bold colour. Remove from the heat as soon as it begins to boil.

2. Add the gelatine and the salt into the boiled water mixture, ensure the crystals have dissolved completely then add the other cup of cold water. Stir gently but ensure that it does not foam.

3. Pour into the jar(s) and leave to set for a few days before using or you can refrigerate to cool the mixture faster (at the risk of smelling up your fridge/contents). Once completely set, punch a few holes into the lid and cover.

4. Relax in your fresh smelling room!
You can, if you wish, substitute the 2 cups of water and essential oil with 2 cups of liquid potpourri using the exact same method of boiling 1 cup with salt and gelatine then adding the second cup once it is taken off the boil.

You can also make an alternative super strong gel air freshener using:
- ¾ cup of boiling water
- 1 packet of jelly powder (which makes 4 servings i.e. instant Jello)
- 1 tablespoon Vodka
- ¼ teaspoon dish soap
- Essential oil or fragrance

Mix all of the above ingredients and set in a heatproof jar as above. The Vodka replaces the salt which prevents mouldiness.

Once you have mastered the above basic recipes, you can really get creative by adding embellishments like glass beads, sea shells or fake flowers inside the jar before pouring in the mixture or by gluing them to the outside of the jar once cooled.

You could also cover the top with netting or lace instead of lids (as long as it has holes in to allow the fragrance to release) and tie ribbons or raffia around the top to make them decorative enough to give as homemade gifts.

You could also have different colour layered gel by allowing one colour to set completely and then pouring on the next layer –the list is endless and the choice is yours.

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