9 Practical Household Uses for Charcoal

By in Green Talk on 16 September 2010

You probably have a bag of charcoal sitting in your tool shed, not knowing exactly what to do with it. It may be leftover firewood or barbecue fuel you haven’t gotten rid of. It’s fascinating to know that this black, high-carbon, porous material has many wonderful uses. Here are some ways to use charcoal around the home:

1.       Deodorizer. Charcoal’s porous characteristic makes it a wonderful odor absorbent. It acts like a sponge for gas compounds in the air such as ammonia in your trash bin. Place small quantities in a mesh bag and put them inside your refrigerator, shoe closet and anywhere else you want to eliminate odors from.

2.       Dehumidifier. Use charcoal’s absorbency as a natural dehumidifier. Again, place small quantities in a mesh bag – like the ones used in fruit packaging – and distribute in moist parts of your home such as the basement, bathroom and kitchen cabinets.

3.        Composting. Mix some chips into your compost to help increase its carbon content. Adequate carbon content helps decompose and fertilize the compost materials. Do not add too much, though because the effect will be reversed.

4.       Potting media. Adding some charcoal into your potting soil can actually help the plants grow healthier. The charcoal helps keep moisture in the soil and keep weeds from thriving. It also assists in plant rooting, especially in orchids.

5.       Art. Use charcoal in your next arts and crafts project. This natural product is non-toxic when it’s in its natural state (be sure NOT to use the quick-start types). Experiment with different charcoal textures on paper.

6.       Filter. Aside from being a great air filter, charcoal is very useful in filtering out impurities from water. Use them in your fish tank or your garden pond to save yourself another day of changing the water.

7.       Storage. Because of its great absorbency, charcoal is very useful in storing things. It helps keep books stay ‘fresh’. Keep some in your tool box to prevent the tools from rusting. Scoop some into your de-icing salt to prevent them from forming into hard rocks.

8.       Alternative medicine. Charcoal has a number of healing properties. Activated charcoal is used for medicinal purposes because it is more effective. It can be used to treat mild poisoning, overdose and diarrhea, just to name a few.

9.       Face mask. Activated charcoal is used as an ingredient in many commercial beauty products. Charcoal tablets can be used in making homemade face masks. It helps purify the skin and absorb excess oil and impurities.

It may not be as popular as your common baking soda, but charcoal can probably hold second place in terms of practical household applications.

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Lee H says:

    I knew of a few uses for charcoal, but I sure learn a lot from this read. I’m most interested in trying to add to my rock salt bin this winter. We go through a lot of salt in this area so we buy in bulk. It’s always quite solid by the end of the season.

    It might be noteworthy for some that many kinds of charcoal contains fire starter petroleum products. Not knowing would cause more harm then good if you were unaware.


Tips on Keeping Your Houseplants Healthy Naturally

Houseplants have different needs than outdoor ones. Houseplants are kept in pots for one thing, and they receive their light through windows. Here are some tips on keeping them healthy, and some common problems and natural solutions. 1. Fertilize your houseplants by spreading some compost over the top of the soil. As you water, the compost […]

How to Spring Clean Your BBQ Ready for the Warmer Days

One thing people look forward to once warmer weather arrives is grilling outdoors. Is your barbecue grill ready? If not, here’s how to spring clean your BBQ ready for the warmer days. Start with the foundation. If your patio or deck isn’t in good repair, it won’t do you any good to set your grill there. […]

Building Your Own Rabbit Hutch in Easy Steps

Do you have a pet rabbit? If you do, you probably have a cage to keep it in. You may want to try building your own rabbit hutch by following these instructions. Obviously you’re not going to leave your rabbit outdoors to allow it to dig a burrow to live in. Instead, you can create a […]

Top Summer Nutrition Tips for the Whole Family

It is so much easier to try to be healthy during the summer than in the winter. Try some of the top summer nutrition tips for the whole family and see if you don’t lose weight and feel better. Of course, the trick is maintaining the loss when the cooler weather returns. Use the summer months […]

Is Organic Food Better For Your Family?

Parents would always want to provide the best for their children. From keeping up to date with a child’s vaccinations to preparing nutritious meals, parents would always go the extra mile to ensure that a child stays healthy. Since a child’s nutrition is essential for his overall health and well-being, parents naturally try to provide […]

Advertise Here