Why Charcoal Water Filters Will Change Your Life

What is a carbon filter for?

Well, before discussing the charcoal water filter let’s look at carbon filters.

Carbon filtering is a method of water filtration that uses activated carbon to remove impurities and contaminants from water.

Each granule/particle of carbon provides a surface area/pore structure (i.e. a filter), which allows the maximum possible exposure for water to be filtered by the activated area.

What Does Activated Charcoal Do To Water?

 Charcoal can come from wood, coal, petroleum and other substances. On its own, simply dumping a load of charcoal in your water will do absolutely nothing for your water purity. In fact, doing that would most likely worsen the cleanliness of your water.

But here’s the deal…

…charcoal becomes “activated” when high temperatures are combined with a gas or another activating agent. This expands its surface area. Activated charcoal is the type of charcoal you need to filter water.

As disgusting as it might sound adding a stick of activated charcoal to your water removes impurities.

But there is more…

…Activated charcoal actually improves the taste and healthiness of water.

There are also some claims that it even improves your health. The activated charcoal is known as binchotan charcoal. It is very popular in Japan and it’s fans say the portable charcoal sticks are the most effective way to filter water impurities.

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Charcoal Water Filter Bottle

It is unlikely that you have ever seen charcoal in its raw state before. Especially as most filter bottles that use this method hide it. However there are new brands emerging everyday that don’t hide the source of their power (so to speak) and put the charcoal filtering the water on display.

One of the most popular water filters that does this is Black + Blum Charcoal Filter Water Bottle  (shown in the picture).

Another advantage to using activated charcoal above other types of water filters is that they have a six month lifespan if used daily.

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Charcoal Water Filter Stick: How Does it Work?

The activated charcoal stick responsible for purifying water is called binchotan charcoal. It comes from tree branches. Once activated, it works at absorbing impurities like chlorine by attracting the negative ions to its surface.

But the clever thing is that it doesn’t just filter water….

…activated charcoal also add things like magnesium, iron and calcium to the water. This makes your water “healthful” and taste better than flat water.
100% filtered water removes everything from water including nutrients and minerals. This makes water taste flat. However, activated charcoal makes the water taste better and gives it natural minerals and delicious tasting nutrients.

Aside from this, activated charcoal is very effective at neutralising the water’s pH level.

One last useful thing that charcoal filtered water can do for you?

It might surprise you to know that it can also be used as a bio-char in your garden if you break it up and place it around the soil.

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Charcoal Water Filter Cartridge / Charcoal Water Filter for Water Bottles

There is no filter cartridge as such because the water is directly filtered by the activated carbon you put in the water. Each stick can cost as little as $10 / £4.50 and lasts for 6 months if used daily.

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Charcoal (or Activated Carbon) Water Filter Japanese?

This method of filtering water originally comes from Japan. It has been used there for well over 500 years. The name “Binchotan” comes from Japan also.

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Charcoal Water Filter Pitcher?

Many people ask questions and are confused by the term “water filter pitcher”. Don’t be confused. A “pitcher” basically means “container” or “jug”. So when someone says “carbon water filter pitcher” they are simply referring to a water filter container.

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Charcoal Water Filtration System

It is possible to use activated carbon to filter large amounts of water. And perhaps install some kind of system into your home tap or mains water supply. However, it would not be very cost effective or efficient. Especially when compared to having something like a reverse osmosis system installed in your home.

But there’s a catch…
Using charcoal as a water filter system could also be quite messy. They need to be changed and replaced every couple of months.

After hearing all that, still interested?

The video below might be of interest:

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Charcoal Water Filter: Are There Side Effects?

It is not very common that people have problems with water derived from charcoal filtered water. This is because it produces some of the cleanest mineral rich water that you can get.

However, a quick review of some of the online forums shows that some people have experienced adverse side effects like charcoal filter water leaving them with a metallic taste in their mouth including a metallic tingling sensation on their lips.

4 Charcoal Water Side Effects

Here are some side effects that you might want to be aware of before deciding weather this form of water filtration is right for you:

  1. Be careful if you’re using medicines – it has been reported that when sorbitol is combined with activated charcoal, it can have negative side effects and this can include electrolyte abnormalities, hypernatremia, dehydration, hypermagnesemia and shock.
  2. Ocular – You should avoid charcoal coming into direct contact with your eyes. If it does then you should seek to wash it with clean water as soon as possible. In some extreme cases activated charcoal could result in corneal abrasions. If you ever find yourself in this situation you should seek immediate professional medical advice.
  3. Using activated carbon for gastrointestinal problems? Many people swear by using activated charcoal for dealing with gastrointestinal issues with great effect. However, doing that can also lead to some side effects for some. It can create effects like vomiting and nausea. Also be careful about overdosing as that could result in bowel obstruction and perforation of your gastrointestinal tract. Some other side effects are thinks like dark coloured stools, chalk like taste on the tongue and ileus.
  4. Respiratory – If you administer activated charcoal in the wrong way and they could end up going straight to the lungs of an adult. This can cause adult respiratory distress syndrome.

Please note: The issues mentioned above represent both extreme and rare cases. These will almost certainly affect only a tiny percentage of individuals and it might be down to things as simple as allergic reactions. However, this is unlikely to be an issue for the vast majority of people.

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Charcoal Water Filter Benefits

The most obvious benefit of using activated charcoal is the cleaner, purified and better tasting water you get at the end of the process. This is useful because water can very easily become contaminated by a number of things like heavy metals, bacteria and other contaminants.Charcoal Water Filter Bottle

Activated charcoal or carbon filters can be used in refrigerator water filter jugs or portable water filters and used in your garden for bio-char. Unlike most filtration processes it doesn’t remove everything from the water, leaving it tasting flat but as a natural bio product.

Want to know the best part about using activated charcoal?

It interacts with water to add nutrients to it. Charcoal when activated can add healthy things like calcium, magnesium and iron back into your drinking water.

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Red CrossProblems with Carbon Filtered Water?

Perhaps the biggest problem with using activated charcoal is the amount of time it takes to filter. One of the most popular carbon filter water bottle is from Black + Blum and it takes a minimum of 1 hour to work but it needs at least 8 hours to work at its full effect.

Carbon filters can harbor bacteria.  This is according to NSF International. This happens if the charcoal is not replaced often enough and will lead to a build up of bacteria on the surface of the carbon. This could also be the case if you leave the carbon lying around in the open for a long period of time or carelessly store it in a place where it can come in contact with possible contaminants and germs.

Contaminated replacement charcoal.  You should remember that not all carbon filter replacements are created equal. Due to the popularity of this method of water filtration, many non-certified charcoal filter stick retailers have sprung up.

If you inadvertently use a poor quality replacement then it will not be as effective as a good quality one and could even introduce some contamination into your water. So always buy replacement charcoal that a trusted supplier that only have certified products.

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Next Post Icon How Will Charcoal Water Filters Change Your Life?

Mr Water Geek Thinking

Carbon filtering is a method of water filtration that uses activated carbon to remove impurities and contaminants from water.

The active charcoal stick responsible for this is called binchotan charcoal and it comes from tree branches. Once activated it works by absorbing impurities like chlorine by attracting the negative ions to its surface.

Here are 3 tangible reasons why I think this form of water filtration is AWESOME.

Green Plus Arrowi) The clever thing is that it does NOT JUST filter water. Simple water filters can sometimes remove helpful nutrients and minerals thereby making the water taste flat. Activated charcoal filters, on the other hand, also add magnesium, iron and calcium back into the water so that water tastes nice and is healthy.

Green Plus Arrowii) You only need to replace the carbon filter once every 6 months (if used daily).

Green Plus Arrowiii) It is easy to find and buy a carbon or charcoal water filter. You can even buy charcoal water filter bottles for as little as £15-20 and a charcoal filter for much less.

Try Activated Charcoal For Yourself.

ProductBest FeaturesPrice Range 
Black + Blum Eau Carafe
- Aesthetically pleasing.
- BPA free tritan plastic.
- Stainless steel clasp and silicon strap
- Includes x1 active charcoal (6 months life).
Black + Blum Binchotan Charcoal Filter Refill
- Binchotan charcoal is an active carbon made from tree branches.
- It absorbs impurities such as chlorine by attracting the negative ions to its surface.
- In exchange, the charcoal sends its nutrients (calcium, iron and magnesium) back into the water.
- It also neutralises the water's pH levels.
- Each stick lasts for 3 months; At this time if you boil it in water for 10 minutes it will recharge for a further 3 months.
Pure Activated Charcoal Capsules
- 600mg per capsule - most others offer only 250mg
- Reduce bloating and gas quickly
- No added binders, fillers, preservatives or sweeteners - it's pure Activated Charcoal
- GMO Free: Also free from soy, wheat, gluten, lactose, yeast and fish
- Made in the USA
- Vegetarian Capsules that are easy to swallow
- 90 capsules per bottle
- Detoxify your body
- Can be used as activated charcoal toothpaste for teeth whitening.
Balakie Portable Carbon Charcoal Kettle + Purification Filter
- Food grade material.
- 5 layer filter - removing chlorine, odors, heavy metals. Removes 90% of all zinc, copper, lead and bacteria and impurity pollutants such as pesticides.
- Slim Pitcher easily fits in any refrigerator.
Kishu Charcoal Activated Charcoal Replacement Filter
- Kishu is activated charcoal made from oak tree branches.
- Kishu is easy to use - simply place in a pitcher of water add tap water and watch Kishu go to work.
- Kishu is the green alternative to plastic filters like the Brita
- One stick lasts 4 months. - Then it can be reused as a deodorizer in the refrg.
Black Gold Activated Charcoal Powder
- Natural and organic.
- 100% activated charcoal.
- Food grade meaning that it's edible.
- Manufactured in the USA from local hardwood trees.
Food Grade Activated Charcoal Powder
- Activated charcoal is excellent for absorbing excess acids.
- It is also effective for absorbing poisons and other toxins ingested accidentally.
- Virgin Activated Charcoal (Derived from selected natural hadwood)
Gourmet USP Food Grade, Vegan, and Gluten Free
- Country of Origin: USA
Coconut Activated Charcoal Powder. Food Grade.
- Coconut charcoal is steam activated and the perfect grain size.
- It's more porous, meaning it absorbs more toxins, easier.
I'm a health author, science enthusiast and 100% certified geek. My passion is to help you take control of your health and well-being by understanding the true importance of good quality water and healthy hydration.