How to Use Activated Charcoal for Absorption

Active charcoal can be used to absorb unwanted moisture.
Active charcoal can be used to absorb unwanted moisture. (Image: charcoal image by Vasiliy Koval from

Active or activated charcoal, also known as active carbon, has multiple uses, including poison absorption, water filtration, soil improvement and odor absorption. It is one of the most non-toxic absorptive products, yet highly underused. Active charcoal is derived from charcoal; however, it is much more porous, making it a better product choice for absorption. Activated charcoal can be purchased online, in the housewares section of department stores, hardware stores and pet shops.

Things You'll Need

  • Active charcoal
  • Shallow pans
  • Resealable plastic bags
  • Lightweight fabric

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Spread active charcoal in shallow pans and place in the refrigerator to absorb unwanted odors. Keep the pans on the refrigerator shelf for a few days until the odors are gone.

Place smelly shoes in a plastic bag with active charcoal. Seal the plastic bag and keep the shoes in the bag for several days to absorb the odors.

Remove musty odors from basements by placing shallow pans of the active charcoal in various areas of the basement. For moisture problem in basements, continued use of active charcoal may be necessary.

Make charcoal sachets using a lightweight fabric and the active charcoal. Place sachets in bedrooms, closets, living spaces and in garbage pails to eliminate pet odors, smoke, garbage odors, fumes and diaper pail odors.


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