Crystal Gel Air Freshener Tutorial
So Rob and I have got a pretty sweet thing going here. We have a house that, for the most part, we love. South Padre Island is a 20-30 minute drive from our house we mostly love so we can go to the beach a lot. Though things have been a bit crazy, we both like the idea of travel and we’re trying to explore our new state together and learn how to work as a team with the website we’ve made to share our travels, Sightsee Texas. And we’ve been out and about again so we’ll have new posts up there soon! Both of us love animals (okay, so I love them a little bit more) and we got a new kitten late last year who is an absolute joy. Except when she’s not. :)
You see little miss Maybelline, as we have named her LOVES food. Like any food. And she is persistent in trying to get your food. The other day little bit was in the kitchen eating from a bowl of refried beans. Crazy, right? Well with those odd eating habits we tend to have a weensy bit of a problem with foul cat smells happening. I swear on all that is holy that this cat is literally, not figuratively and I’m using the word literally incorrectly, but truly literally the fartiest thing I’ve ever been around.
Inevitable as it was, Rob and I have been desperately trying to get this whole smell thing under control. Food simply cannot be left on the counter-tops or tables without supervision. Trash has to be tucked away in a can under the sink, or out in the garage. When we eat dinner, she most often has to be confined to our master bedroom until clean up is done.
Now you’re probably wondering if we starve the poor thing. Nope! This girl is well fed and on good, quality food. She just likes EVERYTHING edible. And some things that aren’t on occasion.
To help out around the house with the smells we’ve started doing things like buying better litter but that just got delivered yesterday so we haven’t given it a shot quite yet. But I have been able to try and cover that business up. After realizing that I’m more than a little terrified of forgetting to turn off wax burners and replace wall plug in scent thingamabobs I’ve decided to go a little more low tech. That’s right, I’m making DIY crystal gel air fresheners. And these little mason jars full of pretty smells are quickly becoming one of my favorite things to make. They are SERIOUSLY inexpensive to make because you can buy a 3 pound back of the stuff we need to use for around $20 and you only use 2 teaspoons per 16 ounce mason jar. Boom. Really cheap. Can you dig it? Because I can and we’re about to get this party started.
Now if you prefer video tutorials, look out sweets, ’cause I’ve got you covered. Warning! There just so happens to be a super cute cat craft assistant in this moving picture and it might just be the fartiest creature I’ve ever met :)
Now if you’re more down with photos, I’ve got you covered below!
For this project you will need (affiliate links below):
- 16 ounce mason jar
- Warm water
- Polymer crystals
- Essential fragrance oil
- Soap colorant
- Circles cut from decorative aluminum sheets (for more info check out –> this post for baking soda air freshener)
Now this is where the magic happens. That business in my hand is 2 teaspoons of polymer crystals which sold in gardening centers and online here. Now this stuff is used to help keep potted plants moist. You add it to the soil and hydrate it and it keeps moisture near the roots so you can water plants less. The ones that I purchase are non-toxic (though I believe that most, if not all, are also) and safe for use around animals. In fact, it’s also used by pet owners who need to keep feeder insects (like crickets) around and alive. And bugs are kind of like animals, right?
For this project you’ll need 2 teaspoons of crystals in the bottom of your mason jar.
Add 14 ounces of warm water to the jar.
Use soap colorant to tint your crystal gel whatever color you please. Take care not to use too much color or you’ll tint the gel to be dark to where it’s difficult to actually see the crystals as they separate from one another, which is one of the cooler things about this project, I think.
Add essential fragrance oil to the jar and mix to incorporate. Now for this stronger scents work better. I actually searched online for scents that do well in these situations and found a few fragrant oil blends to try. Since they are strong smells you don’t have to use quite as much, saving a bit of money by using less oil. I, however, really poured that business in there and so my air fresheners are a little too strong.
Allow the jar to sit 15-20 minutes and the crystals will begin to absorb the water and puff up and swell out. See how the top area there are some interesting little brighter spots within the mix? That’s where it has already crystalized. It will work from the top down, though I have no clue why.
Once fully set up the crystals are totally jellied and smell awesome.
Secure the circle you cut from the decorative aluminum sheet with the mason jar ring and you’re set. On a side note, I colored this blue sucker too much… a mistake I made because trying to craft AND take pics at the same time can turn into a total cluster. Because of that my crystals aren’t as well defined looking. And in all honesty, I prefer the purple and red ones that have significantly less tint much better.
Place these guys in a smaller room to make the most of the scent. I’ve got mine in the laundry room (where we’ve put a second litter box to try our new litter),all 3 bathrooms, including the one with our Litter Robot and my office that is actually an average sized bedroom. When placed in the large common area that is our kitchen, dining and living areas the scent was completely lost even though I used far more oil than I needed to.
I’m very pleased with this deliciously aromatic project because it doesn’t break the bank, is making a big difference in litter box smells and looks quite pretty. I’ll still have to figure out something for when the gassiest kitty in the world hangs out in the bigger rooms, but at least I’ve got the little ones tackled for now!