Do Charcoal Briquettes Remove Odor from a Closet?


Charcoal not only cooks a good hamburger on the grill, it is good for getting rid of unpleasant odors. Charcoal readily absorbs lighter fluid in a grill, and it also absorbs moisture and scents from the air. Charcoal is made by exposing wood or nutshells to very hot temperatures. What is left over is steamed or exposed to air to oxidize it. This makes charcoal very porous and gives it the ability to absorb.

Pantyhose Method

  • Cut the legs off of a pair of clean used pantyhose or use nylon knee-high stockings. Slide a few charcoal briquettes into the toes, tie the top in a knot so the charcoal cannot slide out and hang on a hanger away from the rest of the clothes or hang on a nail at the back or on the side of the closet. Charcoal will smudge clothing with black char that is hard to get off.

Basket Method

  • Line a basket with some foil and place a few briquettes inside. Place the basket on a shelf in the closet or on the floor. The basket allows for circulation of air around the charcoal so it will absorb odor better.

Can Method

  • Rinse out a soup or tomato can well and remove the label. Place charcoal briquettes inside and place in on the floor in the closet. The can protects the floor from any charcoal smudges. The odor should be gone in 48 hours. If it lingers, add a few more charcoal briquettes.

Sock in Shoe Method

  • Oftentimes shoes placed in the closet are the culprits making the foul odor. Place several charcoal briquettes in the foot of an old sock. Tie the top in a knot to prevent them from slipping out and place the sock inside shoes that are worn frequently. The charcoal will absorb both odor and moisture in the shoes. Change charcoal briquettes for all methods once a month to keep the closet smelling sweet.


  • Use briquettes that do not contain chemicals and avoid quick start varieties, as they are flammable and the chemicals added to them often adversely affect people, pets and plants.

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  • Photo Credit charcoal on fire image by jedphoto from
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