How to use activated charcoal for air purification

Activated charcoal is a natural replacement for the commercial air fresheners. Instead of masking an odor, activated charcoal absorbs all smell and air particles. Besides purifying the air, charcoal absorbs the harmful VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

Do activated charcoal bags work? Yes, as long as you choose the best activated charcoal. The term ‘activated’ means that the charcoal is treated with oxygen, which opens up pores for more odor and air absorption.

The activation process also removes impurities and therefore increasing the charcoal’s surface area for absorption.

Step-by-step guide: How to purify the air using activated charcoal

To use activated charcoal for air purification, follow these steps.

1. Unpack and sort the activated charcoal

Whether you are using DIY or commercial activated charcoal, you must first unpack and sort it. The unpacking process helps you in sorting out dry charcoal from rest. Also, if you are using regular charcoal, uncontaminated briquettes are effective.

If you are using commercial activated bamboo charcoal, the bags are preselected. However, you have the duty of deciding which bag goes to your kitchen, gym bag, or close to the pet seat.

2. Identify the best place to put activated charcoal in your home.

For better results, you should be selective about where to put the air purifier. Areas such as dog beds, cat litter boxes, and gym are some of the best candidates for placing sorted activated charcoal.

Also, activated carbon for air purification is safe, and you should place a bag of sorted charcoal in your kitchen. However, if you are using charcoal briquettes to purify the air inside the refrigerator, you can use cheesecloth for organizational purposes.

3. Change the activated charcoal after a period.

Like other air purifiers, charcoal loses its absorption properties after some time.  Therefore, after a month, you should change the charcoal on your cheesecloth.

However, if you are using a commercial bamboo charcoal air purifier, you should only change it after a year.

The main reason commercial activated charcoal lasts longer than ordinary charcoal is the efficiency of the purification process.

Unlike normal charcoal, bamboo-activated charcoal has more absorption power, and the packaging is top-notch.

Alternatives to commercial activated charcoal

Whereas commercial activated charcoal is durable and has higher absorption power, you can use other charcoal options to purify your home’s air.

The alternatives include the following:

1. Charcoal briquettes

Since charcoal briquettes have carbon, you can leave them anywhere in the house to purify the air. However, you must use dry charcoal with no chemical additives.

Also, you can put the briquettes in a burlap bag or anything breathable.

2. Aquarium filters

Aquarium filters are another alternative to bamboo charcoal products. To use them, take the charcoal pellets from the filter and put them in a breathable bag.

Unlike standard charcoal, the aquarium filters absorb odor and air particles better.


The above steps explain how to use charcoal for air purification. Following the guidelines gives your home a fresh smell for a longer period, unlike commercial air fresheners.

While regular charcoal can purify the air, commercial bamboo charcoal is unmatched and highly recommended.