Summer is the perfect time to fire up the grill and enjoy a delicious meal with friends and family. But after the last burger has been cooked, many people are left wondering what to do with the leftover charcoal. Can it be reused or should it be thrown away?

Fortunately, there are several options for dealing with charcoal after grilling. Depending on the type of charcoal you used and how much ash is left over, you may be able to reuse it for future grilling sessions. Alternatively, you can compost the charcoal, recycle it, or simply dispose of it properly.

In this article, we’ll explore the different ways to handle charcoal after grilling. We’ll provide tips on how to reuse charcoal, how to compost it, and how to dispose of it safely. With these guidelines, you can make the most of your charcoal and minimize waste.

5 Creative Ways to Reuse Charcoal After Grilling

Charcoal is known for being a crucial ingredient in a successful BBQ, but did you know that it can still be useful once the grilling is over? Here are five creative ways you can reuse charcoal after your backyard cookout.

1. Dehumidifying Tool

Charcoal works wonders at absorbing moisture and odors, making it an excellent tool for dehumidifying your home. Simply place a few pieces of charcoal in a bowl or small basket in the area you want to dehumidify, and let it sit for a few days. You’ll be surprised at how much excess moisture the charcoal will absorb!

2. Odor Absorber

Similar to its dehumidifying properties, charcoal can also act as a natural odor absorber. Place a few pieces of charcoal in a fabric bag or old pantyhose and hang it where there are unwanted scents, like a closet, fridge, or car. The charcoal will absorb the odor and leave the area smelling fresh.

3. Soil Enhancement

Charcoal has natural properties that can help enhance soil quality. Crush up some small pieces of charcoal and mix it into your garden soil to help regulate moisture and improve drainage. It can also help to keep away pests and fungi that can damage plants.

4. Artistic Medium

For the creative types, charcoal can be an excellent medium for art projects. Grind up fresh charcoal into a powder and mix with water to create a black paint. Use it for painting, drawing, or even calligraphy. It can also be used dry for adding texture to art projects.

5. Emergency Water Filter

During an emergency situation, charcoal can be used as a water filter to make unsafe water safe to drink. Place a layer of sand, cloth, or paper towel over a layer of crushed charcoal, and pour the water through. The charcoal will absorb impurities and bacteria, making the water cleaner and safer to drink.

By finding creative ways to reuse charcoal, you can save money, reduce waste, and benefit from its natural properties. Give these ideas a try and see how versatile charcoal can be.
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Make your Own Fertilizer with Used Charcoal

Charcoal is an essential part of any successful barbecuing experience, but do you ever wonder what to do with the leftover charcoal? Don’t throw it away just yet. Used charcoal has several beneficial uses, one of which is making your own fertilizer.

Charcoal is rich in essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium necessary for plant growth. When turned into a powder or added to compost, it helps enrich the soil and encourages healthy plant growth. Here’s how you can make your own homemade fertilizer with used charcoal:

  1. Crush the charcoal – Using a rubber mallet or hammer, crush the charcoal into small pieces to make it easier to handle.
  2. Add other nutrient-rich ingredients – Mix the crushed charcoal with other ingredients such as bone meal, eggshells, and coffee grounds. Together, they create a nutritious blend that helps improve soil health and plant growth.
  3. Spread it around – Spread the mixture evenly around the base of plants in your garden. Use a rake to mix the fertilizer into the soil for better absorption.


  • Do not use charcoal that has been treated with lighter fluid or other chemicals, as they can be harmful to plants and the environment.
  • Use a mask when crushing the charcoal to avoid inhaling dust particles.
  • This homemade fertilizer is not a replacement for commercial fertilizers and may take longer to see results.

By recycling used charcoal, you not only help reduce waste but also help cultivate healthy soil and plants. Give it a try for your next gardening project!

Charcoal as Odor Absorbent: Tips and Tricks

As grilling enthusiasts, we all love that smoky aroma that fills the air during a cookout. However, the same smoky smell can linger on our clothes, in our hair, and even in our homes after we’re done grilling. That’s where charcoal comes in handy as an odor absorbent.

Charcoal has a natural ability to absorb odors, making it an effective and inexpensive way to eliminate unwanted smells. Here are some tips and tricks for using charcoal as an odor absorbent:

  1. Use it in your grill: After you finish grilling, let the coals cool down and then place them in a metal container with a lid. The charcoal will continue to smolder and absorb any lingering odors from the previous cookout. When you’re ready to grill again, simply add fresh charcoal to the container.
  2. Place it in your fridge: Place a small bowl of charcoal in the back of your fridge to absorb any unwanted smells. Be sure to change it out every month or so to keep it fresh.
  3. Use it in your closet: Place a few pieces of charcoal in a small fabric bag and hang it in your closet to absorb any musty, stale odors. You can also place a bowl of charcoal on a shelf in your closet to absorb any odors in the air.
  4. Keep it in your car: Place a bowl of charcoal under your car seat or in your trunk to absorb any unpleasant odors in your car. It’s a great alternative to commercial air fresheners, which can be overpowering and expensive.
  5. Use it in your shoes: Place a few pieces of charcoal in a small fabric bag and place it in your shoes overnight to absorb any unwanted smells. It’s an effective and natural way to eliminate foot odor.

In conclusion, charcoal is a versatile and effective odor absorbent that can be used in a variety of ways. It’s an inexpensive and natural way to eliminate unwanted smells, and is a great alternative to commercial air fresheners. Give it a try and see how it can freshen up your living space!
Our fourth suggestion of what to do with charcoal after grilling might come as a surprise to some – Create a Bug Repellent with Charcoal Briquettes!

Yes, you read that right! Charcoal briquettes can actually be used to create a DIY bug repellent that can come in handy for outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, or even just a casual picnic in the park.

The process is fairly simple. All you need to do is take a few pieces of charcoal (about 6-8) and crush them into small pieces. Then, place the crushed charcoal pieces into a bowl or container and add some water. Stir the mixture until it forms a paste-like consistency.

Next, add in some rosemary or any other herb of your choice that is known for having insect-repelling properties. Stir everything together and let it sit for a couple of hours to let the mixture fully absorb the herb’s fragrant oils.

Once the time has passed, strain the mixture to separate the liquid from the solid charcoal bits. You should be left with a dark liquid that will serve as your DIY bug repellent.

To use it, simply pour the liquid into a spray bottle and spritz it onto your skin and clothing before heading outside. Not only is this a natural alternative to chemical bug repellents, but it’s also a great way to reuse charcoal after grilling!

In fact, this charcoal bug repellent is not only effective but also eco-friendly, as the solid charcoal bits can be disposed of in your garden where they will decompose and act as a natural fertilizer.

So, next time you find yourself wondering what to do with charcoal after grilling, why not try creating this DIY bug repellent? Your skin and the environment will thank you!
We are excited to share one of our favorite ways to reuse charcoal after grilling – DIY charcoal art! This fun weekend project is not only a creative outlet, but it also gives an extra life to something that would have otherwise been discarded.

To begin, start by gathering some supplies:

  • Charcoal pieces (preferably the larger chunks)
  • Paper or canvas
  • Paint brushes
  • White acrylic paint
  • Fixative spray (optional)

Next, it’s time to let your creativity flow. Using the charcoal pieces as your drawing tool, experiment with different strokes and techniques to create unique and beautiful art pieces. One tip is to use a rougher textured paper or canvas which will help the charcoal stick better.

Once you have completed your masterpiece, gently spray it with fixative spray to ensure the charcoal doesn’t smear or smudge. This step is optional, but it can help preserve your artwork for longer.

The beauty of charcoal art is that it can be interpreted in so many different ways. You can create realistic portraits, abstract designs, or even use it for lettering. The possibilities are endless.

Not only is this a great way to reuse charcoal and reduce waste, but it’s also a relaxing and enjoyable activity. So next time you’re wondering what to do with leftover charcoal, give this DIY project a try – your inner artist will thank you.

Cooking with Used Charcoal: Is it Safe?

After a successful grilling session, you may wonder what to do with the charcoal that has been used. It may seem like a waste to dispose of the charcoal immediately, especially if there is still some life left in it. But, is it safe to cook with charcoal that has already been used?

The short answer is yes, it is safe to cook with used charcoal, but with some considerations. First, let’s understand what happens to the charcoal during grilling. When you grill meat, the fat and juices drip into the charcoal and evaporate, leaving behind carbon and ash. This creates a layer of ash on top of the charcoal, which can inhibit the oxygen flow needed for combustion.

Using used charcoal can affect the flavor of your food, and may not provide the same level of heat as new charcoal. However, if the charcoal is still in good condition, you can reuse it for grilling. Here are some tips to safely cook with used charcoal:

  • Make sure there are no remnants of lighter fluid or other chemicals in the charcoal before reusing it.
  • Remove the ash from the used charcoal and mix it with new charcoal for best results.
  • Avoid using used charcoal that has been rained on or kept in a damp environment, as it can lead to mold growth.
  • Always use a grill thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the meat reaches a safe level.

In summary, cooking with used charcoal is safe if done properly. By removing the ash and ensuring that there are no harmful chemicals in the charcoal, you can reuse it for your next grilling session. However, be mindful of the impact on flavor and heat levels, and avoid using charcoal that has been exposed to moisture or mold.

What NOT to Do with Used Charcoal

Used charcoal can be repurposed for various uses, but there are also things you should avoid doing with it. Here are some of the things you should NOT do with used charcoal:

1. Do NOT dispose of it in a plastic bag

After grilling, it’s common practice to dispose of the used charcoal, but you should never do so in a plastic bag. Used charcoal can still retain heat and can ignite the plastic bag, causing a fire. Instead, wait for the charcoal to cool down, and then dispose of it in a metal or other non-combustible container.

2. Do NOT dump it in water

Another mistake to avoid is dumping used charcoal in water. It may seem like a convenient way to get rid of it, but it can create a hazardous situation. Dumping hot charcoal in water can cause a sudden and violent steam release, which could lead to serious burn injuries. Even if the charcoal is cold, it can still clog pipes and cause damage to the environment.

3. Do NOT use it for indoor heating

Used charcoal should not be used for indoor heating. Burning charcoal releases carbon monoxide, a toxic gas that can cause headaches, nausea, and even death in large amounts. And since charcoal isn’t meant to be used as a heating source, it can produce more soot than other fuel sources. This soot can stain walls, ceilings, and furniture, and cause respiratory problems.

4. Do NOT use it as a DIY insect repellant

Some people believe that burning used charcoal can repel insects; however, this is not a safe or effective method. The smoke produced by burning charcoal releases harmful chemicals that can cause respiratory problems. Additionally, the charcoal will only repel insects in close proximity, and the effect would be minimal at best.

In summary, disposing of used charcoal may seem straightforward, but it’s important to follow safe practices to avoid hazardous situations. Remember to use non-combustible containers, avoid water, steer clear of indoor heating, and don’t rely on charcoal as an insect repellant.
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Extend the Life of Your Charcoal Bag with these Hacks

Have you ever found yourself wondering what to do with the leftover charcoal after a grilling session? Don’t throw it away just yet! There are numerous ways to extend the life of your charcoal bag and make the most out of your purchase.

Here are some simple and effective hacks to help you get the most out of your charcoal:

  1. Store charcoal properly: Make sure your charcoal is stored in a dry, well-ventilated area. Moisture can cause it to lose its effectiveness and ignite more slowly.
  2. Reuse leftover charcoal: After grilling, don’t throw away any remaining charcoal pieces. Simply close the lid to your grill to extinguish the fire. Once the charcoal is cool, place it back in the original bag. The next time you grill, simply add some fresh charcoal to the used charcoal and you’ll have a longer burn time.
  3. Try a chimney starter: A chimney starter is an inexpensive device that helps light charcoal more quickly and efficiently. Plus, it eliminates the need for lighter fluid, which can give off harmful chemicals.
  4. Use charcoal for other purposes: Charcoal is great for absorbing odors and moisture. You can place a few pieces in a container in your closet or bathroom to absorb any unwanted smells. You can also use it to dehumidify your car or gym bag.

By following these simple hacks, you can extend the life of your charcoal and get the most out of your purchase. Don’t underestimate the versatility of this powerful grilling tool!

Charcoal vs Gas: Which is Better for the Environment?

When it comes to grilling, there are two major fuel types to choose from: charcoal and gas. Both have their merits, but which is better for the environment? Here, we’ll explore the environmental impact of each option.


Charcoal grilling is a time-honored tradition that many people swear by. However, the production and use of charcoal does have some negative environmental impacts to consider.

  • Deforestation: Much of the charcoal on the market is made from trees that have been logged from forests, often illegally. This deforestation can cause soil erosion, habitat destruction, and even contribute to climate change.
  • Air pollution: Burning charcoal releases a variety of pollutants into the air, including carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These pollutants can be harmful to human health, as well as contribute to smog and other forms of air pollution.
  • Waste: Once you’ve finished grilling with charcoal, you’re left with ash and small pieces of leftover charcoal. This waste can be difficult to dispose of, and can contribute to landfill waste if not properly disposed of.


Gas grilling has some advantages over charcoal, particularly when it comes to environmental impact.

  • Lower emissions: Burning natural gas or propane produces far fewer pollutants than burning charcoal. Gas grilling releases very little particulate matter or VOCs, making it a cleaner option.
  • Less waste: With gas, there’s no ash or leftover charcoal to dispose of. This makes it a more convenient option for many people, and also reduces the amount of waste produced.
  • Less deforestation: While the production of gas can have environmental impacts, it generally does not involve deforestation on the same scale as charcoal production.

Overall, gas grilling is a more environmentally friendly option compared to charcoal. However, it’s worth noting that both options have some negative impact, and it’s important to research the specific brands and sources of both fuels to choose the most environmentally responsible option for you.

Conclusion: Sustainable Ways to Dispose of Charcoal After Grilling

After enjoying a delicious grilled meal, many of us are left wondering what to do with the leftover charcoal. Simply throwing it in the trash is not an environmentally friendly option, as charcoal contains chemicals and toxins that can harm the environment. Fortunately, there are several ways to dispose of charcoal in a sustainable and responsible manner.

1. Let it Cool

Before disposing of your charcoal, it’s important to let it cool completely. Even after you think it’s cool to the touch, wait a few hours to make sure it’s no longer hot. Hot charcoal can start a fire and cause serious damage, so it’s important to handle it carefully.

2. Reuse it

One of the easiest ways to dispose of charcoal is to reuse it. If you have any leftover charcoal that’s still in good condition, you can save it for your next grilling session. Simply light it up and go!

3. Throw it in the Garden

Charcoal can actually be a beneficial addition to your garden. When disposed of properly, charcoal can improve soil drainage and help retain moisture. Just make sure to break it into small pieces before scattering it in your garden.

4. Recycle it

Many communities offer recycling programs specifically for charcoal. Check with your local recycling center to see if they accept used charcoal. If not, contact your local government office to see if they have a hazardous waste collection program.

By following these sustainable ways to dispose of charcoal after grilling, you can enjoy your outdoor cooking while also protecting the environment. Let’s all do our part to keep our planet healthy and happy!