Published on May 16, 2020

I was this close to bidding adieu to my beloved white Adidas Stan Smith sneakers. After a few years, a few laps walking around Amsterdam, and more than a few rainstorms, they reeked. As a last-ditch effort before purchasing a new pair, I gave a friend’s recommendation a whirl: bamboo charcoal purifying bags. She claimed they magically made her baby’s diaper pail scent-free, so I hoped they could help my sneaks, too. 

Not only are they worth every penny, but you only have to spend 900 pennies—you can get a six-pack of bags for just $9

Here’s how they work: Bamboo (branches, roots, and stems) is exposed to extremely high temperatures, then infused with oxygen. The resulting bamboo charcoal is full of tiny pores and cavities that absorb excess moisture—and therefore nasty smells—naturally with no toxins, chemicals, or fragrances. Bamboo grows at a much faster rate than your average tree, so it’s Mother Earth–friendly too. 

Once you receive your charcoal bags, it’s important to “charge” them in the sun. Simply set them in a sunny window for six to eight hours before using, then they’ll be ready to do your dirty work. Recharge them every month by placing them in a sunny windowsill again for another two hours, and they should last up to two years. After that, the charcoal can be recycled as fertilizer for your plants. 

Think of all the places you could hide them: in shoes, gym bags, refrigerators, garbage cans, cars, bathrooms, diaper pails, litter boxes, closets…need I go on? If you have pets, babies, or mystery smells in your refrigerator, these bags are a godsend. My pair of not-so-stinky sneakers, for one, is proof.

It’s hammer time: Follow @reno_notebook for easy rental updates, clever DIYs, and tips to nail your next project.

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