Activated Charcoal Bags: What Is It, How They Work, How They Help Eliminate VOCs and the Best Bags to Buy

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Activated charcoal bags can be one of the best additions to your home, especially during humid months when your basement is smelling dank or for your laundry room that smells funky regardless of the weather.

These charcoal bags remove odor and eliminate moisture from the air, making any room smell fresher and the air around you cleaner. But how do these bags do that? After all, what is this sorcery that even an air freshener cannot achieve?

The following are some of the salient features of activated charcoal bags, how they work, what makes them useful for eliminating toxins from the air, etc.

In the next few sections, you will learn all about how activated charcoal bags work, followed by a brief synopsis of the best ones you can buy.

What Are Activated Charcoal Bags?

Activated charcoal bags, as the name suggests, are little containers that you can purchase that have activated charcoal inside them. These bags make it easy for you to keep activated charcoal in different parts of your home without causing a mess.

After all, you cannot have black logs of charcoal strewn around your home. Activated charcoal bags are great for simply hanging like a bag of potpourri behind a door or placing it on your center table.

Typically, they are available in either jute or linen material, both great for allowing the contents of the bag—activated charcoal—to do their job.

Activated charcoal is a porous and odorless substance that is great for deodorizing and dehumidifying any room. This is a fine black powder that is made with a variety of materials, like bone char, petroleum coke, coal, etc.

The signifier “activated” refers to the charcoal being processed at an extremely high temperature. When the heat is applied to the material, its molecular structure is altered and the surface area is increased by reducing the size of the pores.

This is what allows this type of charcoal to attract and trap tiny particles into the millions of tiny pores and wide surface area.

Activated charcoal is typically treated with oxygen, which allows for several tiny pores to open up in between the carbon atoms. These tiny pores allow the material to absorb dust, odor particles, and in some cases, even chemicals from the surrounding air.

These activated charcoal bags are great to keep in the room or in areas of your home that tend to get moist.

How Do They Work?

As mentioned above, activated charcoal contains millions of minuscule pores that are great for trapping tiny dust and other harmful particles. Other than dust particles, activated charcoal is great for trapping odor and moisture.

Think of a sponge or some kind of filter, that is exactly how an activated charcoal bag will work. It will filter out the air in your room by trapping all the harmful particles in the tiny pores.

This is why you may have heard of people adding activated charcoal to drinking water if the water purification system in the area is not very advanced. One can add activated charcoal to tap water to make it suitable for drinking.

The texture of this type of charcoal boasts of a negative charge, due to which positively charged particles such as gases, chemicals and toxins are attracted to it. What makes the activated charcoal okay to be consumed with water or even applied to the skin through various topical cosmetics is that the body does not absorb the activated charcoal. The toxins and chemicals that are attached to the activated charcoal’s surface can be flushed out of your body, without being digested.

How Do They Help Eliminate VOCs?

Given their incredibly absorbent nature, activated charcoal is frequently used inside air filters in industrial as well as residential settings. From the vent of your air conditioning to oil heaters, there is a good chance you will find some form of activated charcoal in the filters.

One of the greatest benefits of using activated charcoal bags in your home is that they are great for eliminating VOCs or volatile organic compounds. VOCs are organic compounds that are emitted in the form of gases from certain types of solids or liquids.

They have a high vapor pressure when at room temperature and can be harmful to human health as they can cause labored breathing, damage the central nervous system and even cause cancer in some cases.

The mildest symptom that VOCs perhaps cause is that they can irritate the eyes and nose. What’s more, the aerosol sprays one may use as room fresheners can be one of the biggest carriers of VOCs.

With an activated charcoal bag, not only will you be able to eliminate VOCs from the air and trap dust and toxins, but the activated charcoal itself will work as a deodorizer, eliminating the need for aerosol sprays to begin with. For those with asthmatic conditions or who tend to have allergic reactions to tiny particles, activated charcoal bags in your home can make a world of a difference.

Do Activated Charcoal Bags Need to be Replaced?

As with any kind of filtration system, activated charcoal bags may also hit their point of saturation. Since this is a porous substance, after a certain point, the pores will start to get clogged with the material it is trapping. At this point, it is important to replace the charcoal in order to maintain its efficacy. How long the activated charcoal bag may work depends on what kind of room it is being used in. Even how often the filter is being used and what kind of toxins it is absorbing may dictate how frequently the filter needs to be changed.

Typically, if you notice that the charcoal bag is emitting any kind of odor, it means a replacement is in order. If the activated charcoal becomes saturated, it will start releasing some particles in order to attach new ones.

What Are the Best Bags to Buy?

Now that you know all about the benefits of using activated charcoal bags in your home, you may want to purchase a few for your house, garage, office, etc. The following are some of the best bags that you can purchase. Most of them are bamboo-activated charcoal bags that are lightweight and organic.

24 Pack Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying Bag for Shoes, Natural Air Purifying Bags, Activated Charcoal Odor Eliminators, Home and Car Air Purifier, Closet Freshener, Odor Eliminating Charcoal Bags

This 24-pack bamboo charcoal bag set from the Vitscan Store is perfect for household use. You do not have to run out to the store each time you need to replace a bag. There are 24 bags available in this set so you will be good for several months. These bamboo charcoal bags are great for eliminating odor from the room.

There is also a metal hanging ring attached to each bag that allows you to place it on door hooks, nails on the wall, etc, with ease.

The following are some of the features, pros and cons of these bamboo charcoal bags:


  • These bags contain 100% activated bamboo charcoal and are packed in an effective linen cloth.
  • The charcoal bags work as air fresheners and are great for absorbing moisture and trapping dust.
  • These are reusable charcoal bags that can be recharged in the sun. Each bag can be reused for up to two years.
  • These are not very big bags, so you can also easily slip them into your shoes overnight to wick the moisture out.


  • This is a very versatile bag that can be used on a variety of occasions, for shoes, in your car, refrigerator, gym bags, etc.
  • These bags are also convenient to use and can be recharged and used again for up to two years.
  • Since there are 24 pieces in a single pack, you will easily be able to use these charcoal bags for years to come.
  • Each bag comes with a metal suspension ring that can be hung behind doors, on hooks, nails on the walls, etc. They can easily be hidden from plain sight.


  • Activated charcoal is meant to be odorless, but these bags can have a funky odor right out of the packaging.
  • The bags do not have grommets that can contain the charcoal pieces, so they tend to fall out at times.

You can buy the bags here.

Activated Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying Charcoal Bag Natural Room Airjoi Odor Moisture Absorbers Eliminator Remover For Home House Car Smell Air Freshener for Closet Shoe Pet Basement 8 PACKS

These activated charcoal bags from the wyewye Store are another great product to consider for your home or closet. If you have pets at home, these are great to have in the room so they can trap tiny particles of fur, chemicals or any other kind of harmful units in the air.

These bags are also much bigger than standard activated charcoal bags, therefore, providing greater efficacy.

The following are some of the features, pros and cons of the bags:


  • Each bag contains 1.2 kilos (~2.65 pounds) of activated charcoal which is packed in a sealed linen cloth.
  • These bags are made with eco-friendly micro-porous activated bamboo charcoal that has millions of tiny pores that trap toxins and dust.
  • These charcoal bags can be reused for up to two years.
  • The size of each bag is 6.5 inches x 3 inches, which makes it easy to use around the house and you can also hang it easily.


  • Since these bags contain 1.2 kilos (~2.65 pounds) of activated charcoal, they are far more efficient than the standard 50-gram bags.
  • These charcoal bags can be easily reused. You only need to place them in the sun every month for at least two hours. The activated charcoal gets recharged and you do not need to purchase new bags for years.
  • The sealed linen bag has a ring on top that allows you to hang the bag easily.
  • You can place the bags in your bathroom, closet, shoes or even inside your luggage for best results.


  • These bags work well on smaller odors, but tend to be ineffective for stronger smells.
  • Several customers have reported that the bags arrived without any instructions.

You can buy the bags here.

wyewye Activated Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying Bags Filters Dehumidifier for Car Closet Shoe Home Basement Litter Box Odor Eliminator Absorber Deodorizer For Cigarette Smoke Gym Bag 15Packs×100g

Another great product from the wyewye Store, these bags are great for keeping in your basement, shoes, closet, luggage, etc. The charcoal is able to trap odors of compounds like formaldehyde, ammonia benzene, etc.

This is also an environmentally friendly compound that is better than wood charcoal. They contain millions of tiny pores that easily trap odor and toxins.

The following are some of the features, pros and cons of the product:


  • These charcoal bags contain 1.5 kilos (3.31 pounds) of activated charcoal that is more absorbent than the standard 50-gram bags.
  • These charcoal bags are also reusable and can be recharged by placing them in the sun every month.
  • There are 15 charcoal bags in each set.
  • The size of each bag is 6.5 inches x 3 inches.


  • These bags are extremely easy to use and can be hung from nails, hooks, doors, etc.
  • Despite the volume of the charcoal in these bags, these bags are compact and can easily fit in your luggage, car, bathroom, closet, etc.
  • This whole set will last you for years, with each charcoal bag being usable for up to two years when ‘recharged’ in the sun.
  • The linen bag also looks great and will not take away from the aesthetics of your home.


  • The bags do not come with instructions when the actual package arrives.
  • The bags are not very effective when it comes to some of the stronger odors.

You can buy the bags here.

Joyful Charcoal Air purifying bags (10 Pack – 4 x 200g, 2 x 75g, 4 x 50g + 4 Metallic hooks) – Natural Fresh Powerful Activated Charcoal purifiers, Closet air freshener, Odor eliminator for home, pets

The Joyful Charcoal air purifying bags come in packs of 10 and are versatile bags to have around your home, car or office. These bags are 100 percent organic and devoid of chemicals.

These bags are also safe in a household with pets and little infants. They are great at absorbing odors and toxins from the air and also look great around the house. The bags are also attractively packed so you do not have to worry about it sticking out like a sore thumb in your room.

The following are some of the features, pros and cons of the product:


  • These are long-lasting bags that come in three different sizes, 50 g, 75 g and 200 g.
  • There are four metal hooks included with the pack so you can hang the bags easily around the house.
  • These are reusable bags that have a shelf life of up to two years, provided you recharge them in the sun every month. This rejuvenates the active properties of the charcoal.
  • The bags are made of a breathable linen cloth that allows the charcoal to do its job well.


  • The three different sizes of the bags allows you to select the appropriate size based on what you need the activated charcoal for.
  • The linen is breathable and allows great air circulation into the bag, which in turn allows the charcoal to do its job well.
  • Instead of hiding foul odor like other aerosol sprays do, the activated charcoal is able to eliminate the smell altogether.
  • They can be used in the laundry room, diaper pail, closet and even in the bathroom, to name a few spots.


  • These bags are great for eliminating odor but do not remove dust from the air.
  • The bags are not the best when it comes to tackling stronger odors.

You can buy the bags here.

Final Thoughts

The products described above are some of the best activated charcoal bags you can get on the market. They are versatile bags that can be useful to eliminate odor from your closet or even make a basement smell less dank.

While some of these bags may not be as strong as the others, they are all reusable and can be recharged in the sun. All these bags are also attractively packed in linen or jute cloth and will never take away from the decor of your room, even if they take away the foul smell from your room.

The preceding sections shed light on how activated charcoal bags work and how they can be useful, especially for those who suffer from asthma or other respiratory ailments.

The air around us is polluted with millions of tiny particles, many of which are not so great for our health. The innovative technology of activated charcoal is a great, effective and affordable way to filter your surrounding area and have a room that smells fresh and clean.

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