How Charcoal Purifies Water
Charcoal is far more than just something to cook over on barbecues. The production of charcoal is a very ancient process, dating back centuries. Wood charcoal produces by piling billets of wood end to end and forming a conical pile. The openings at the bottom admit air, and the central shaft serves as a flue.
Charcoal is one of the best water purifiers available. It has been used throughout history as an integral tool for families in Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus. The guys over at How Stuff Works explain:
“Activated charcoal is good at trapping other carbon-based impurities (“organic” chemicals), as well as things like chlorine. Many other chemicals are not attracted to carbon at all — sodium, nitrates, etc. — so they pass right through. This means that an activated charcoal filter will remove certain impurities while ignoring others. It also means that, once all of the bonding sites are filled, an activated charcoal filter stops working. At that point you must replace the filter.”
Activated charcoal is also a great way to cleanse the skin. There are now many products on the market that contain activated charcoal. The more organic and the more that the product contains charcoal, the better it is for your skin.
Using it at home
But let’s get back to purifying water. You can easily use activated charcoal at home, to purify your own water. If you would like to know how to use activated charcoal like a pro, here are some great tips:
- To begin, remember that raw charcoal is dirty and not suited for boiling. So, give pieces a thorough wash first. You can use a brush to help. It’s important to remember not to use any detergent as this will destroy the beneficial effects of the charcoal.
- Sterilise the charcoal in boiling water. Use a large uncovered pot, then boil for around 10 minutes max.
- Put the charcoal into a colander to squeeze out the water and let it cool off. After this, gently submerge the charcoal in a container filled with tap water. Use about 100 or so grams of charcoal for every 1 litre of water.
- In order to prevent dust from entering, cover it with a cloth and let it sit for 1 – 2 days. We recommend using a container made of stainless steel, porcelain enamel, ceramic, or glass.
- Pour this water into a jug and use it for cooking or put it in the fridge as drinking water. This is your perfectly sterilised water. Refill the the charcoal container with water to purify it again.
- Clean the dirt off the charcoal once a week.