How To Make
Gel Air Fresheners
By Bob Sherman
This article was originally published in 1999 and has been rewritten, modernized,
and modified for this web site.
these are not candles and therefore not designed to be burned, over the years
they have been a popular project with candle makers. This project shows how
to make a room freshener using unflavored gelatin as a base. It is a very
simple technique, and requires only basic cooking equipment.
These come out much more transparent than this photo shows. The apparent
opacity of the blue gel is due to a quirk of my digital camera.
NOTE! - These are not candles! Do not confuse this technique
with gel candles. Although this is not a candle making project, it does require
the use of heat so all cautions you would use when cooking apply.
The following materials will be needed:
Measure out 3/4 cup of water.
Note: the gelatin I used made 1 cup per package. If you use a different size
package or multiple packages, just use 3/4 of the total water called for on
Pour the water into a clean pot and heat to a boil. Direct heat is
ok since it is non flammable.
Measure 1/4 cup of cold water. Set this aside for step 5
Add the gelatin to the boiling water and whisk until fully dissolved.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the 1/4 cup of cold water measured
out in step 3.
Add food coloring and stir well.
Add the scent oil and stir well.The amount is a matter of personal
preference, but between 2 and 6 teaspoons should suffice. Most fragrance oils
are not water soluble, so there may be a lot of oily residue on the bottom
of the pot. Add one ounce of witch hazel or vodka. This will help inhibit
mildew and mold formation.
Allow it to settle for a minute or so.
Pour it into a jar. If appearance is important, try to avoid pouring the scent
residue into the jar. If you are just making these for personal use, then
the residue is not important (the lighter color layer in the following photos
is from this residue).
Allow it to settle for a few minutes, then place in a refrigerator
until the liquid turns into a solid gel.
The finished room freshener. My digital camera had some trouble reproducing
the actual color which is transparent blue.
These will fill a room with fragrance if you add enough scent oil. Basic usage
is easy - open the jar to release scent and close it to stop. The gelatin
will evaporate over time and the jars may be washed out and reused.
Unflavored gelatin is available in most supermarkets. For those outside North
America, I'm sorry but I have no idea what it may be called in your country.
I normally make these without the alcohol (witch hazel or vodka), however
some folks experience mold and mildew problems when this is left out. I feel
this is most likely caused by climate conditions specific to their area or
possibly even their home, so you may wish to experiment with it both ways
since omitting this will lower production cost.
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Disclaimer: The information presented here is accurate to the best of my
knowledge and common candle making practices as of the time of this writing.
This article was originally published to the internet in March 1999 and has
been modified and republished in October 2007. The author and the publisher
accept no liability for the use or misuse of any of the information presented
in this article. This article is presented for informational purposes and
is used at your own risk.
Author: Bob Sherman
Publisher: Bobby's Craft Boutique Inc.
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sold using this design royalty free.
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