Household Uses for Charcoal


If you are a fan of the smoky taste that charcoal imparts to food on the grill, you likely have a bag or two in your garage. While you may go through it quickly in the spring and summer, it often goes to waste when the weather turns cool. However, there are ways you can make use of leftover charcoal around the house so you get the most out of a bag.


  • When you are beginning a compost pile, carbon can help the organic materials decompose and become more effective fertilizer. Because charcoal is high in carbon, it is an ideal addition to your compost pile. Add several charcoal chips to your pile, taking care not to add too much because an excess can reduce your compost's effectiveness.

Preserve Books

  • As a highly absorbent substance, charcoal is often used in libraries to prevent books from taking on an old, musty scent. At home, preserve books stored in a humid glass-door cabinet by placing a few pieces of charcoal on the shelves. It will absorb the excess moisture so mold does not grow on your books. Place a couple of pieces inside your tool chest to keep your tools from developing rust.


  • Because it is so absorbent, charcoal can function as a natural dehumidifier. Use mesh bags to create small sachets with several pieces of charcoal inside or place the charcoal inside a coffee can that has several holes punched in the lid. Place them throughout your house in areas where you have issues with moisture and humidity, such as your bathroom and basement. The sachets are also effective if your closet's humidity is affecting your clothing. For continued effectiveness, add new charcoal to the satchel or coffee can every couple of months.

Beauty Treatment

  • Many high-end beauty treatments use charcoal as an active ingredient. Its absorbent nature can help remove excess oil from the skin and draw out impurities. To save money, make your own face mask by combining charcoal tablets or powder with honey. It can be used on all skin types to help detoxify but is especially effective for oily or acne-prone skin.

Natural Deodorizer

  • Charcoal can be an effective deodorizer in your home, such as around your trash can, inside your refrigerator or in your closet to absorb the odor from shoes. Place several pieces of charcoal in a mesh bag and leave wherever you encounter an unpleasant scent.

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