NatureFresh uses activated bamboo charcoal to absorb moisture and prevent the musty smell and dangers from the mold and mildew it can cause.
If you’ve researched air purifiers, you know that most use an activated carbon filter, also called activated charcoal.
In fact, activated charcoal is a popular product these days not only in air purification but in toothpaste and supplements for the digestive system. As you probably know, it has been used in water filtration and shoe liners (and other uses) for decades.
- What are NatureFresh Bags?
- How Does a NatureFresh Air Purifier Bag Work?
- Do NatureFresh Bags Work?
- NatureFresh Activated Bamboo Charcoal Pros and Cons
- Can NatureFresh Bags Replace an Air Purifier?
- How to Get the Best Results from NatureFresh Bamboo Activated Charcoal in Bags
- Best Place to Buy NatureFresh Bags – And Alternatives
- The Bottom Line On NatureFresh Activated Bamboo Charcoal
What are NatureFresh Bags?
NatureFresh bags are breathable linen bags filled with activated bamboo charcoal. A grommet in one top corner can be used to hang the bag on a hook, nail or hanger. Or the bag can simply be set inside a shoe, suitcase, etc.
Activated bamboo charcoal is the result of burning bamboo in very high temperatures creating a porous powder able to effectively trap moisture and toxins.
While not a scientific answer, theirs is clear enough.
The reason it is used in a diverse range of products is the same – Activated charcoal is known to absorb and filter out impurities, pollutants, toxins – call them what you want.
Bamboo charcoal has been scientifically proven to reduce harmful chemicals including formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene and chloroform gases emitted from such items as paint, carpeting, air fresheners, chemical cleaners, rubber and plastic.
The company claims that activated bamboo charcoal has been proven to:
- Reduce harmful chemicals including formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene and chloroform gases emitted from such items as paint, carpeting, air fresheners, chemical cleaners, rubber and plastic.
- Prevent the growth of mold and mildew wherever they are placed
- Wick excess humidity out of the air
- Eliminate unpleasant odors from food, pets and garbage
The bottom line: In your home, the activated bamboo charcoal will absorb excess moisture and the mold spores and other pollutants that cling to moisture molecules.
How Does a NatureFresh Air Purifier Bag Work?
The activated charcoal absorbs moisture and traps it, concentrating it in the bag. This reduces humidity in the rest of the area.
The bag of bamboo charcoal should be placed pretty close to the potential source of moisture and the odors it can cause.
Here is how you can use bags of bamboo charcoal to prevent mold, mildew and other moisture-related dangers.
1. Place bags directly in shoes immediately after taking them off.
2. Keep a bag in your backpack or the gear bag you take to the gym.
3. Hang a few of them in a musty basement.
4. Put one on a hanger in the closet to keep clothes fresh
Other good locations for a bag full of activated bamboo charcoal are a laundry hamper, where you keep recyclables, near the cat litter box, in the refrigerator and pantry and in your vehicle or RV.
Do NatureFresh Bags Work?
Sure. Moisture absorption rates in charcoal are very high. A small bag of charcoal will trap a pound or more of moisture over time. That’s why charcoal is used. Will placing a bag near mold growth that is already present kill the mold? No. Nor will an air purifier.
The key, though, is localized use. That bag placed in a smelly shoe won’t remove moisture from a damp mud room, for example. Keep proportion in mind – large areas and/or those with serious moisture problems require a lot of bags.
The company suggests that its bags will last about two years before they lose the ability to trap moisture and odors. During that two-year period, NatureFresh says the bags should be left in direct sunshine for at least an hour each month to “recharge” the charcoal by drying it out.
If you do that, and the bags aren’t capturing odors anymore, it is time to replace them.
NatureFresh Activated Bamboo Charcoal Pros and Cons
These lists are short and to the point.
- Proven effectiveness in absorbing moisture and stray gases like benzene and ammonia (for example, from pet urine)
- Easy to order – Ship to your home
- Cost less than electric air purifiers
- Add a pleasant, earthy smell where they are placed
- Where moisture, allergens and other pollutants are heavy, activate charcoal won’t be enough by itself
Can NatureFresh Bags Replace an Air Purifier?
It really depends on two issues:
- The extent of your moisture/odor issue
- The health of household members including pets
Scenario #1: You run central air conditioning in warm months, don’t have water leaks in the basement and everyone is in good health.
Yes, if this description fits, then a few bags of activated bamboo charcoal in “trouble spots” like those mentioned above should be all you need.
Scenario #2: You have a window AC or no air conditioner, your climate is humid even in cool months and/or household members have breathing issues like asthma, severe allergies or COPD.
No, NatureFresh bags or similar products alone will not be enough to make your home healthy. You will need an air purifier and possibly, in very humid climates, advanced humidity control: An air conditioner or a dehumidifier.
- In warm months, central air conditioning does a great job controlling indoor humidity.
- In cool months, when you don’t want to lower the temperature in your home, a dehumidifier might be the answer.
How to Get the Best Results from NatureFresh Bamboo Activated Charcoal in Bags
The bags do a reasonably good job of capturing airborne moisture that might either contains mold or will contribute to mold growth once it settles into carpet, clothing, walls, etc. But they won’t kill mold or remove other pollutants, allergens and toxins already in place.
For best results with activated bamboo charcoal:
1. Clean away visible mold on hard surfaces using a 10:1 water to bleach mixture and a sponge
2. Wash or discard clothing that is moldy
3. Have moldy carpet professionally cleaned or replaced
But while, even before, you clean or replace what you can see, you have to stop the source of the problem.
- Fix leaks in your roof, walls or foundation.
- Use weather stripping on drafty doors and windows or replace them.
- Use an air conditioner in warm months and a dehumidifier in cool months.
Once the moisture that breeds mold and other toxins and allergens is under control, NatureFresh bags can help keep the air in your home and elsewhere clean and fresh.
Best Place to Buy NatureFresh Bags – And Alternatives
There is only one place to buy the brand called NatureFresh – on the NatureFresh website.
However, the competition is fierce, and most sell their version for much less.
Keep in mind: Activated bamboo charcoal in a breathable bag is the same stuff no matter how much you pay – and you have options at all those prices and everywhere in between.
Breathe Green Activated Charcoal Bags only have one ingredient – activated bamboo charcoal – just like NatureFresh.
A 12-pack of Assorted Sizes from California Home Goods is not expensive too. The nice thing about an assortment of sizes is that you have one to fit each need – a large one for the closet, medium for your gym bag and small for your shoes. There are no additives in this product either. Just pure bamboo charcoal.
The Bottom Line On NatureFresh Activated Bamboo Charcoal
Most homes and active lifestyles have problem areas that would be fresher and healthier with a product like NatureFresh. This is true even if your home has central air conditioning and/or an air purifier.
Here are our recommendations:
1. Buy a more affordable product. The options we listed above are the exact same activated bamboo charcoal, with the exact same benefits, but at less than half the cost. Some think, “It costs more, so it must be better.” Nope. Same stuff, lower price. Snob appeal is not a good buying decision.
2. If you have lingering odor or breathing issues after trying activated charcoal for a month or so, you should consider using an air purifier.
3. If you have visible mold in any part of your home, you should contact a mold remediation specialist. They will find the source of the problem and repair it. That might eliminate or reduce the need for these products.