can you reuse charcoal?

In this article, we discuss whether charcoal can be reused for grilling and barbecuing. Furthermore, we also discuss the various ways one can use the residues of charcoal from a barbeque for other purposes around the house.

can you reuse charcoal?

Yes, Despite the fact that used charcoal has a reduced burn period, it may still be reused. It all depends on the sort of wood, how the charcoal briquettes are processed, and how long they burn.

We believe it is critical that you mix in some new charcoal with the old. The ash remains usable even after the charcoal has been reused several times. Then we will teach you how to do it.

How to reuse charcoal for cooking?

In order to reuse the old charcoal for cooking, you need to follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Close the vents at the bottom of the kettle once you have finished cooking on the charcoal grill. Close the damper to suffocate the coals by cutting off their oxygen supply.
  • You may shower the coals with water and then smother the fire to speed up the process or prevent them from burning out.
  • Once the leftovers have cooled, place them in a paper bag (a bread bag would suffice), seal it firmly, and store them for the next time you need to use the grill.
  • You may utilise the charcoals or add some fresh charcoal for a longer burn period when needed again, depending on your needs.

Other ways of reusing charcoal

Charcoal is just a combustion product that results from the carbonization of wood. 

During this process, an organic vegetable compound, such as wood, is transformed into an inorganic molecule, such as coal. They can be repurposed in the following ways.

  • For skincare
  • As fertilizer
  • strengthen the gums
  • Pesticide
  • Ash for the hens
  • To polish silverware
  • Lye soap
  • Ash for healing
  • To deodorize
  • As an antifreeze

WE shall discuss these in more detail below.

For skincare

The charred residues of the charcoal can be utilised to rejuvenate the skin and cure minor flaws. DIY masks can also be made with charcoal.

Psoriasis, mycoses, and scabies can all benefit from it. You can take it three times a day, before meals, by dissolving it in water (1 teaspoon for every 50 ml of water).

It has the ability to cleanse the skin and eradicate impurities. It may be made into packs and applied to the skin. Insect and snake bites can also be treated with it.

As fertiliser

Because the residue from the burning of charcoal or other organic materials is high in mineral salts, it may be used as a fertiliser for a variety of plants.

Fertilising with a natural product completes a completely eco-compatible cycle. It works on the same basis as composting. 

After burning, the high potassium concentration of wood and shrub coals is beneficial. It may be used to fertilise and increase plant development, as well as protect plants from a variety of illnesses and improve the quality of harvests.

Some crops, such as raspberries, strawberry roses, fruit trees, and shrubs, benefit from it. However, the charcoal or ash must be made from natural woods with no additions, paints, or chemicals.

The use of ash or charcoal components in fertilisation is not appropriate for all soil types. It is crucial to understand the soil’s properties and whether or not grown plants require certain minerals.

strengthen the gums

Activated charcoal in toothpaste may aid in the removal of surface stains on the teeth. Charcoal is somewhat abrasive and can absorb surface stains to a certain extent.

However, there is no proof that it works on stains beneath the enamel of a tooth or that it has a natural whitening effect.

To whiten teeth, a solution must address both surface and intrinsic stains, which are those that exist behind the enamel. 

Intrinsic stains are produced by a variety of factors, including particular drugs, excessive fluoride exposure, and underlying medical disorders.

While activated charcoal has certain known advantages, there is not enough scientific data to support one of them: tooth whitening.


Charcoal ash is an insecticide that is produced naturally. It is also used in the countryside to fight fungal infections and parasite infestations.

It is utilised in organic crops for distant applications. To protect the plant against slugs and other worms, it is dissolved in water and sprayed on the leaves.

Ash for the hens

The ash from the countryside is also utilised in chicken coops for the so-called “sand bath,” a daily poultry ritual. In practise, this behaviour is carried out by an outside hen. 

In order to get rid of the bothersome pollen mites that are chicken mites and other creatures, the chicken throws itself in the dirt and rolls in it. This is a form of natural cleaning.

To polish silverware

Activated charcoal has become a popular technique to clean teeth and achieve beautiful whites, but it may also help silver shine brightly and prevent corrosion.

To do so, make a paste with one part activated charcoal and one part water. Then massage the tarnished silver with a cloth or toothbrush dipped in the activated charcoal solution, rinse with water, and dry with a towel.

Lye soap

Grandmothers used to make their own soap with lye, which had to come from high-quality ash, or natural wood. This is combined with vegetable or animal fat to make a bar of soap that may be used in the laundry.

Ash for healing

Man has utilised ash to cure ailments in the past because of its therapeutic capabilities. It helps with dyspepsia, heart illness, neuropsychiatric problems, alcoholism, hypoglycemia, muscular weakness, asthma, and other conditions.

In the event of burns, wounds, and muscular discomfort, peasants applied ash to the body. Compresses produced from ash from vine leaves are beneficial for haemorrhoids.

Hot foot baths with salt and ash were used to treat migraines by reactivating blood circulation from head to toe.

To deodorise

Because ash has disinfectant qualities, it can be used to treat excessive sweating. It may be worn in your shoes. To get rid of unwanted odours, sprinkle dry ash in your shoes.

As a modified dehumidifier, ash can be employed. That is, it has the ability to absorb moisture from the air. As a result, it can be used to neutralise scents caused by dampness. 

To get rid of odours, put a full box of them in the closet, fridge, or cellar. The impact lasts for around 15-20 days.

As an antifreeze

Sprinkle it on the roads in the event of ice or snow: it is not as efficient as salt, but it helps melt the ice in an emergency.

It may also be spread around the wheels to help automobiles maintain traction in the winter.

Useful tips for using charcoal

  • If you want to reuse charcoal, make sure it is completely dry, especially if you are going to extinguish it with water.

    To keep it in usable shape, you should also store it carefully in a bag. Otherwise, the next time you need it, it might not light up as quickly.
  • If you want to reuse a charcoal product, we recommend using one made of hardwood. For proper storage of the repacked charcoal, the bag should be reusable or resealable.

    Grill experts suggest the Jealous Devil – JEALOUSDEVILOAK Charcoal for this. The pack is reusable, and the charcoal is made without chemicals from charred South American hardwoods.
  • Plants benefit from the trace nutrients and minerals found in charcoal ash.

    Heavy metals and chlorinated hydrocarbons, on the other hand, are among the constituents. As a result, it should only be used in limited amounts and not all year.
  • For the ash to be utilised in agriculture, the charcoal must be made from natural resources like wood or pellets, without the addition of chemicals, paints, or other additives. The producer can tell you if the charcoal is natural.

    The Kingsford Professional Charcoal Briquettes, for example, are one of the most highly recommended 100 percent natural charcoal. Because the ash is non-toxic, it may be safely utilised in agriculture.


In this article, we have covered how to reuse charcoal. Furthermore, we also discussed how to use charcoal ash for other purposes around the house.


How do I collect used charcoal properly?

Extinguishing used charcoal spontaneously is the key to collecting it. The first option is to simply block all vents to prevent air movement, then close your grill’s shroud and leave it alone for 48 hours to allow everything to cool fully. 

You may also put out the burning coals by lightly sprinkling them with water to hasten the process, but be careful not to wet them.

Before collecting the charcoal, make sure it has completely dried. Next, separate the charcoal from the ashes with a wire mesh screen or a sift ash basket, knocking out all the ash and leaving only the black particles.

How should I store my old charcoal?

Old charcoal is very easy to fire, but it must be stored carefully to stay in this condition. It should be kept in a cold, dry, low-humidity environment.

Put the charcoal back into an empty charcoal bag or other airtight plastic container and seal it until you need it. Store the bag somewhere cool and dry, preferably away from your garage or basement if it is prone to moisture.

While lump wood charcoal will not suddenly combust like coal, keep it away from heat sources or return it to your closed grill.

How do I start my charcoal grill with used charcoal?

It should be just as easy to light your grill with recycled charcoal as it is with new charcoal; it just needs to be dry and in excellent shape. 

The main issue is that the little bits of repurposed charcoal might obstruct airflow and cause the fire to go out.

Make sure your fuel charge contains at least half new charcoal and the remainder old charcoal, and that it is evenly distributed. To maximise airflow, lay down the new charcoal first and then top it off with the old charcoal.

Which is better for reusing: lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes?

Lump charcoal produced from hardwood planks is the most reusable. This is due to the fact that it is inherently tougher and resists breaking down, resulting in bigger bits of residual charcoal. 

When charcoal briquettes are burned, they quickly decompose, leaving little that may be reused.

Poor-quality briquettes may also include dangerous chemicals like lighter fluid, which degrades after burning and can be poisonous if reused. 

Burned charcoal briquettes should be discarded carefully, while hardwood lump charcoal can be reused as much as desired.


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