Water filters that are so easy to use
Bamboo charcoal is a refreshingly simple and natural way of filtering tap water. Just leave it in a jug filled with tap water and it will slowly filter out impurities such as chlorine and chloramines make your water tastier and free from typical tap water odour.
An added benefit of using bamboo charcoal as a water filter is that it “mineralises” the water during initial usage by slowly releasing minerals – potassium, magnesium, etc. – into the water.
How bamboo charcoal works
Bamboo charcoal’s incredible filtering ability comes from its super-porous structure – some may find it hard to believe but 1g of high quality bamboo charcoal has a surface area equivalent of up to 3 tennis courts. It works like a sponge and absorbs impurities into its pores.
Tried and tested
Charcoal water filtering is traditional and well-known in many parts of the world. Our bamboo charcoal is carefully made in Japan in clay kilns by experienced charcoal makers and is simply of the highest quality of its kind.
Other woods can be used to make charcoal for filtering water but the larger number of porous cavities in bamboo charcoal is considered to give it better filtering abilities – 3 times greater per gramme than wood charcoal. As a fast-growing plant, supply is abundant and sustainable.
Re-use around the house
After using charcoal as a water filter for 2 months you can reuse it in the home for a further 6 to 12 months. Dry out in the sun to maintain good condition, your charcoal can have a very useful second life!
Instructions For Use
For a 1 litre jug of water, use 3 – 4 pieces; for a 2 litre jug, use 6 – 8 pieces.
1. Wash in running water to remove powder (do not use detergent).
2. Boil for 10 mins in a pan of water to sterilise & allow to cool and dry.
3. Place in a jug and fill with tap water (charcoal may float at first but will tend to sink after a week or so of use).
4. Leave for 8 hours or more for best results. You can leave it in the fridge to chill if you like. It’s then ready to drink.
5. Re-sterilise once a week by repeating step 2.
6. Replace with new charcoal after 2 months approx.
- Filter water when asleep or out at work to make it fuss-free.
- Top up jug as you use the water.
- If you drink water throughout the day, you could use two smaller jugs. Start drinking from one jug and only top up when finished. Move on to the second one and let the other filter.
- Keep jug in fridge if you like your water cold.
If away more than a day, give the charcoal a break. Dry it in a clean and airy place.
- Charcoal loves heat! So after re-sterilising, if the weather is good, bake it in the sun until bone dry to help clear pores and re-energise. You will hear clicking sounds as it absorbs heat and the pores are opening up.
- If you see black specks in the bottom of the jug, don’t worry if you swallow any, it’s not considered harmful.
- Keep unused new pieces sealed in a dry clean place.
q. I’ve come across some pieces that stay afloat for more than 2 weeks. Is there anything wrong with those?
a. No, there is nothing wrong with them. Air is trapped in new pieces and sometimes it takes longer for water to find its way into all pores, but eventually all pieces will sink.
q. Is it OK to use broken pieces?
a. Yes, it’s perfectly fine to use broken ones. Some may even say it’s better to use small bits because they will have more contact area with water and therefore filter more quickly. From a pure performance perspective that may be the case, but it would be very awkward to handle small bits of charcoal and you end up having to encase them which complicates things. We cut our bamboo charcoal into 5cm long pieces because that offers the right balance between ease of handling and filtering performance. So as long as it’s not broken into pieces that are too small, you may happily use them.
q. I haven’t re-sterilised my charcoal for weeks, is this OK?
a. Although in most cases it won’t cause any problem, we still recommend that you re-boil your charcoal from time to time, ideally once a week to avoid an undesirable amount of micro-organism developing in your jug. Boiling and drying the charcoal also help to clear the pores so giving the charcoal a better chance to maintain its filtering ability.
q. What else does bamboo charcoal reduce other than chlorine?
a. Charcoal, particularly bamboo charcoal, has been the subject of university level research in Japan in recent years. Although people have known about charcoal’s special properties by experience, this has gradually been backed up by science. Bamboo charcoal is considered effective at adsorbing a variety of substances such as heavy metals, pesticides, surfactants and hormone-disruptors.
q. Can I use the bamboo charcoal to filter water from a well?
a. Yes you can but before using the charcoal, make sure the well water is tested to show it’s safe for human consumption. In the past when people had no choice but to drink what was available in the surrounding environment, in some parts of the world charcoal was used to improve the water quality. However, we don’t recommend you take any unnecessary risks.
How to reuse your
around the house
After using charcoal for 2 months as a water filter, don’t throw it away! Charcoal also regulates moisture, reduces odours, inhibits mould and keeps food fresh.
So you can be creative and give your charcoal a second life, for example in:
- mouldy kitchen and bathroom corners
- places you keep food and fruits (e.g. the fridge, breadbin, fruit bowl)
- smelly places (e.g. the fridge, loo, shoes)
- places you want to keep very dry (e.g. chests of drawers)
Make sure the pieces are completely dry before re-using. If you place them in a mild environment like chests of drawers, you can more or less use forever. In tougher places like the bathroom or the fridge, the charcoal may start looking a bit tired after a few months. Occasionally put them out in the sun and let breathe if you want to keep them in good condition. Re-use for 6-12 months.
And finally… When it’s time to say good-bye to your bamboo charcoal you can return it to the earth by crushing and burying it in the garden, in pot plants or mixing with compost, etc. As if it hasn’t worked hard enough, crushed bamboo charcoal will help aerate soil and increase water retention, absorb excess moisture when it’s wet and release it when dry. Not bad after many months of multi-tasking for you!