How to Use Charcoal to Repel Odor

Written by keita davis
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How to Use Charcoal to Repel Odor
Charcoal absorbs odour and dampness. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Odours in the home are commonplace. Dirty laundry, musty storage places, pets, paint fumes and even refrigerators create unpleasant smells. There are many ways to combat these odour issues, and one of the easiest and most economical is to use charcoal briquettes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Charcoal briquettes (non self-lighting)
  • Baskets, bowls or cups
  • Paper towels
  • Old sock
  • Large airtight container

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    Household Uses

  1. 1

    Place four or five pieces of charcoal in a medium-sized cup or bowl. Put the bowl on any shelf of your refrigerator. Replace every two weeks or when odours return.

    How to Use Charcoal to Repel Odor
    Old charcoal from the refrigerator can later be used in a barbecue grill. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)
  2. 2

    Eliminate pet odours by placing a disposable cup containing four or five charcoal briquettes near litter boxes or any other area with pet odour issues.

    How to Use Charcoal to Repel Odor
    Some cat litters list charcoal as one of the odour-fighting ingredients. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)
  3. 3

    Freshen the bathroom by placing disposable cups filled with four or five briquettes behind the toilet. A cup of briquettes underneath the bathroom sink reduces dampness and mildew odours. Change once a week or when odour reoccurs.

    How to Use Charcoal to Repel Odor
    Charcoal works well to absorb smelly toilet odour. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)
  4. 4

    Mask dirty laundry smells by putting old socks filled with five to seven briquettes at the bottom of laundry baskets and hampers. Replace when odours return.

  5. 5

    Place cups with five or six briquettes each into every corner of the basement or garage to absorb musty smells. Keep a cup of briquettes in a closet to absorb dampness and prevent mildew.

  6. 6

    Drop a few briquettes in the bottom of the rubbish bin before lining with a bag to fight garbage odours. Replace once a week or as needed.

    Special Uses

  1. 1

    Eliminate paint fumes with charcoal. Crush between 10 and 15 briquettes. Line a large bowl with damp paper towels and pour the crushed charcoal on top. Leave bowl in the centre of the freshly painted room for 24 hours.

  2. 2

    Revive musty-smelling books. Dry the books by placing in direct sun or under a fan. Place books into an airtight storage container once dry. Add a bowl containing six or seven crushed briquettes and cover tightly. Leave unopened for two days. If smell persists replace charcoal and cover for another two days.

  3. 3

    Use charcoal if it becomes necessary to store furniture. A 2.27kg. bag of charcoal left open near furniture will soak up moisture and odours. Replace bag every six months.

Tips and warnings

  • Use only charcoal that has not been treated with a lighting solution or other harmful chemicals.
  • Charcoal should be kept out of reach of children.

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