How to Reuse Activated Charcoal

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Things You'll Need

  • Used activated charcoal (activated carbon)

  • Baking sheet

  • Shallow dish

Image Credit: Hemera Technologies/ Images

Activated charcoal differs in its use from that used to cook food in a barbecue pit. The porous nature of activated charcoal enables it to absorb odors from the air. You can recycle your used activated charcoal, also called activated carbon, by baking out the odors and reactivating it. Reuse your charcoal just two or three times, as completely cleaning the pores of the activated carbon proves difficult with home appliances. Look for activated charcoal in the aquarium-supplies area of pet stores or in garden centers.

Step 1

Let the activated charcoal dry completely if damp from absorbing atmospheric moisture.

Step 2

Heat the oven to 300 degrees F and scatter the charcoal in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Step 3

Set the activated charcoal into the oven for one hour at 300 degrees F to bake out the odors and impurities.

Step 4

Let the activated charcoal cool completely before placing in an open shallow dish in an area from which you want to remove odors.


Athena Hessong

Athena Hessong began her freelance writing career in 2004. She draws upon experiences and knowledge gained from teaching all high-school subjects for seven years. Hessong earned a Bachelor in Arts in history from the University of Houston.