Sunday, August 4, 2013

Repurposing Charcoal

In my previous repurposing post, I talked about re-using empty soap boxes.  This post is about re-using charcoal.

Summer is in full bloom, and it's BBQ time, so you might have some charcoal lying around.  After using the big pieces of the charcoal, what do you do with the small charcoal chips?  Do NOT throw them away.  I have many great uses of those teeny tiny charcoal chips for you.  

I must stress that I am talking about the normal charcoal, not the charcoal pre-soaked with lighter fluid.  

1.    Deodorizer

Charcoal is great in absorbing smells just like baking soda, so make some burlap (or use thin fabric) pouches and fill them with charcoal bits and put them in cars, closets, fridges, boots, etc.   

Charcoal has an advantage over baking soda, it can be "washed".  Simply put the charcoal pouches outside in the sun for a few hours to air out and dry, and they are as good as new! 

Make a simple pouch

Make a pretty cover for it!  :)

2.  Dehumidifier 

Charcoal is also great in absorbing moisture!   You can make the pouches and place them where needed, for example, in you photo drawer (moisture is bad for photos, negatives, films etc).  Just make sure to air them out and dry them in the sun once in while.

Another use is to put bigger pieces of charcoal in de-icer, kitty litter, big bucket of laundry detergent powder, dish washing powder...etc.  Make a charcoal pouch and place it in the above mentioned items to keep them from lumping up.  

Also put some of these pouches inside tool boxes that are in humid areas such as boats to keep the tools from rusting. 

3.  Fertilizer

If you keep a compost, you might want to add the leftover charcoal to your pile, it's nutrients. (I do not know about charcoal ash adding to the compost because I have heard both sides and cannot decide which side is right)

4.  Filter

Charcoal can act as a filter media.   Water filters have charcoal in them.   Put a piece (not those charcoal bits) into a vase to keep the water clear and clean, thus, making the flowers last longer.

5.  Mulch

OK, I have to admit, this is kinda crazy, but if you do happen to have ALOT of old charcoal, you can use them as mulch in your flower bed to keep your soil moist. 

6.   Entertainment

Anyone who has handled charcoal knows that it stains you.  So use little pieces of charcoal as chalk for the kiddos to play with.  ^__^

I hope you enjoy this post.  If you have any other uses for charcoal, please do share! :)


  1. Lovely ideas, Mandy! The first is my favorite... Must sew one and try it!!!
    MammaNene @ SergerPepper


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