DIY: How to make homemade activated charcoal odor absorber

Neutralizing odors at home should not be a complicated process. In fact, it is simpler if you have activated charcoal. All you need is to set the granules or powder in an area with the foul smell.

Activated charcoal is chemically treated charcoal that helps to increase oxygen supply. It is safe and will neutralize many forms of odors including mold. But to remove the odors at home, you need the granules or the powder itself.

Many people opt to buy the odor absorber from local stores, especially because it is available at a low price. However, it is possible to make it at home. Here is how to how to make activated charcoal right at home.

Can you make activated charcoal at home?

It is easy to make homemade activated charcoal that can absorb odors. You need any of the following nontoxic elements to make the product:

For this article, we will use coconut shells. Follow the steps below to make activated charcoal from coconut shells.

  1. Put dry coconut shells/oak wood/apple wood/bamboo in an unused drum or a small metal tin.
  2. Light a fire to burn the shells.
  3. Once the fire starts going, cover the drum. The purpose is to prevent oxygen from getting in. It also ensures everything else burns except the carbon.
  4. Let the shells burn for 2-4 hours. You should then put off any fires to prevent the charcoal from turning to ashes.
  5. Grind it using a hammer or any heavy substance. But first, remove any shells that have not burned well.

activated charcoal

After grinding or crashing, you can use the powder in various ways. However, it will not be activated. To activate it, you can use any of the following options:

  • Zinc Chloride
  • Calcium Chloride

In this case, consider calcium chloride.

  • Start by mixing one cup of calcium chloride in four cups of water.
  • Mix the ingredients with care because an exothermic reaction will occur. In other words, the combination will release heat.
  • After mixing, the water will become clear.

The next step is to mix the new solution with the ground charcoal. But first:

  • Mix the charcoal and the solution. The chemical will activate the charcoal.
  • Strain the mixture using a clean cloth.
  • Lay out the mixture on a baking tray. You can bake it in the sun for at least 48 hours or in the oven at 215 degrees for 3-5 hours.
  • Let it cool.

After the cooling process, store the powder in a plastic bag. You can also use a DIY charcoal sachet as an alternative. Your product is now ready to use.

Apart from coconut shells, you can make an odor absorber using bamboo. Use the same process as outlined above to activate the bamboo charcoal.

What kind of charcoal absorbs odors?

Activated charcoal is the best for absorbing odors. While regular charcoal may still work, it is difficult to know the types of elements used to make it. For example, natural charcoal briquettes mixed with binders and wood tar will prevent it from absorbing odors.


Once you know how to make activated charcoal, you can make as much as you want to eliminate odors from your home. It is also cheaper to make it compared to buying charcoal shoe inserts from local stores. The most important step is to choose the elements carefully.