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Want to know how to make a homemade water filter with Binchotan charcoal?
It’s both inexpensive & incredibly easy to make a homemade water filter with Binchotan charcoal. In fact, it only takes about 20 minutes.
So if you’ve ever noticed a tinge of chlorine in the smell or taste of your tap water, this is where a homemade Binchotan water filter may help.
- What is Binchotan Charcoal?
- Binchotan Charcoal Benefits – pH Balancing & Mineralizing
- Binchotan Charcoal: The Sciencey Bit
- Will A Homemade Binchotan Water Filter Remove Fluoride?
- How To Make Your Own Water Filter Using Binchotan Charcoal
- How To Make A Homemade Water Filter With Binchotan Charcoal
The best way to get rid of chlorine and other contaminants in tap water is to use a water filter, which help remove common pollutants in tap water – from chlorine to heavy metals such as lead.
Basic water filters are inexpensive & there are a number of effective glass filters & filter bottles now available if you’re not keen on plastic.
However, if you like the homemade route, you can easily make your own simple water filter with nothing more than a large glass dispenser & a stick of Binchotan charcoal.
As well as the fact it can effectively remove chlorine, Binchotan charcoal also remineralises water (adds in essential minerals such as magnesium), as well as balances water’s pH.
What is Binchotan Charcoal?
If you’ve ever used a Brita Water Filter Pitcher, these (and many other water filters) use activated charcoal to trap impurities such as chlorine, effectively reducing or removing it from your tap water.
Binchotan charcoal works in the same way and it’s been used in Japan as a natural water purifier since the 17th century. So it’s not some woo woo method of filtering water based in pseudoscience – Binchotan Charcoal works in a similar way to shop bought water filters that use a carbon based filter.
The Egyptians also discovered that storing water in charcoal made it stay fresher and taste better and carbon has been a standard feature in water treatment ever since.
Most famously made in the Kishu region of Japan, Binchotan Charcoal is raw wood that is turned into charcoal sticks through a process of burning oak branches at extremely high temperatures. The flaming wood is then rapidly cooled by smothering it with dirt..
This process carbonises the wood, leaving a porous surface containing endless tiny cavities. These cavities are able to trap unwanted pollutants such as chlorine, though a process called adsorption (not to be confused with absorption).
In fact Binchotan charcoal is regarded as the highest quality of activated charcoal available for purifying water.
Binchotan Charcoal Benefits – pH Balancing & Mineralizing
Here are some key benefits of using Binchotan Charcoal to filter your drinking water?
The main benefits of using Binchotan charcoal to filter drinking water are:
- the charcoal’s alkaline qualities soften and improve the taste and odour of tap water
- it reduces chlorine and chlorinated by products, as well as some types of sediment
- it mineralises the water, adding important minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium
- it balances the pH of the water.
Although the effectiveness of charcoal itself as a water treatment is not up for debate (it’s been used for at least 4000 years), people often wonder if Binchotan Charcoal can remove more modern contaminants such as synthetic pesticides. A definitive answer is hard to find, but here’s some information that’s available.
Binchotan Charcoal: The Sciencey Bit
According to emedicinehelth, activated charcoal is estimated to reduce absorption of poisonous substances by around 60% and Binchotan Charcoal is often reported to naturally adsorb toxins such as lead, mercury, pesticides and pharmaceuticals, in addition to chlorine and chlorinated by products.
A commitment to what Binchotan actually removes (apart from chlorine and some sediment) is hard to find, but this article suggests that charcoal can indeed remove pesticides and pharmaceuticals, but only when it’s been heated to much higher temperatures than usual.
Take a normal lump of charcoal, for example. This is heated to about 500 degrees, but Binchotan Charcoal is briefly heated to temperatures of around 950 degrees and it would seem this is what makes all the difference, since the wood converts more completely into char and becomes highly porous with a greatly increased surface area.
So the suggestion is that Binchotan Charcoal ‘may’ be effective at tackling a range of contaminants. At the least, it’s commonly accepted that it will tackle chlorine taste and odour, as well as add key minerals into your water.
Will A Homemade Binchotan Water Filter Remove Fluoride?
The short answer is no. So if you’re looking to filter out fluoride, activated carbon filters can’t do this.
Many US and Australian states now add fluoride to municipal water supplies, so if you want to filter it out, you’ll need to invest in a more powerful water filter, such as a Big Berkey (or British Berkefeld) fitted with dedicated fluoride filters. They’re not cheap, but they should last you a lifetime.
How To Make Your Own Water Filter Using Binchotan Charcoal
Now back to the Binchotan…
It’s extremely quick to make a homemade water filter with Binchotan charcoal. Don’t expect it to work in the same way as an expensive water filter, but if you’re looking for a sustainable way to help filter your water at home, Binchotan is definitely an option to consider.
Sticks of Binchotan charcoal don’t cost much (buying a pack is generally cheaper than single sticks) and will last you around 3 months. They’re also 100% natural, biodegradable & compostable. So no used plastic filter cartridges to contend with every month or two (most of which end up in landfill).
For the water container, a 5 litre Kilner dispenser works well. It holds a decent capacity of water, plus has a built in spigot for easy dispensing of water. Although you can of course use whatever container you wish – glass is generally best, as it’s non porous and doesn’t leach chemicals or take on tastes, like plastic can.
Here’s how to make a water filter with Binchotan charcoal in just 4 simple steps.
How To Make A Homemade Water Filter With Binchotan Charcoal
Buy some Binchotan charcoal (it’s easily available online). Give it a quick wash in cold water to remove any debris or ash.
Place your stick of Binchotan charcoal in a pan of water and boil for 10 minutes.
Drain off the water and allow your stick of Binchotan Charcoal to cool completely.
Place the cooled Binchotan stick in a pitcher, or jug, containing tap water and leave to sit for around 4-8 hours, or overnight, to allow it to adsorb contaminants and mineralise the water.
Note: It’s recommended you re-boil the Binchotan stick every month or so to ‘refresh it’ and use a completely new charcoal stick approximately every 3 -6 months.
How To Make a Homemade Water Filter Bottle
If you want to make your own homemade water filter bottle, you easily apply the steps above and use a reusable glass water bottle instead of a pitcher or beverage dispenser.
How Much Binchotan Charcoal Do I Need?
How much Binchotan you need will depend on the size of your water container, or dispenser. I used a 5 litre glass beverage dispenser and added in 2 sticks of Binchotan. With 1 stick I could still detect the odd hint of chlorine after leaving the water to do its thing overnight. Since adding a second stick this hint of chlorine has (for me anyway) disappeared.
As a further guide, Black + Blum recommend using approximately 50g of charcoal per 1 litre of water.
How To Recycle Your Binchotan Charcoal
The beauty of Binchotan charcoal sticks is that once you’ve used one to filter your tap water with, you can then re-cycle it by placing it in your fridge to absorb smells or composting it in your garden.
If you want to keep things super simple, Black + Blum sell water carafes & bottles, which come with a stick of Binchotan Charcoal. They’re really stylish, but if drink a lot of water daily, making your own Binchotan water filter will offer you more scope for larger capacity containers.
How Long Does Binchotan Charcoal Take To Work?
According to Black + Blum, you can notice the difference in water taste after 1 hour. For optimum results leave water overnight, or for 8 hours.
Some people find it’s annoying to ‘wait’ for the water to purify, but If you want to enjoy the benefits of Binchotan purified water, you will need to wait a few hours.
If you use a large capacity container, (5 litres for example) & re-fill it every night, you’ll have water ready to use the next morning. So with a bit of discipline, it’s possible to have a constant supply of drinking water for most needs.
How To Make A Homemade Water Filter With Binchotan Charcoal: Conclusion
Learning how to make a homemade water filter with Binchotan is really simple.
It also doesn’t need to cost much, especially if you use a container you already have at home. Buying a fresh stick of Binchotan every few months also works out cheaper than buying a new conventional filter cartridge every month, or so.
A Binchotan water filter won’t filter out the array of contaminants many more expensive water filters will, but for a homemade option, it’s an eco friendly choice that will tackle chlorine, help balance the pH of your water and add in extra minerals.
Prefer to buy a water filter? You might like these 5 eco friendly water filters or these glass pitcher options.
Oooh Sarah this looks great! Our random shopping trip has proved most productive, YAY. And this looks so easy! I feel guilty throwing away the plastic brita filters, so this appeals massively.
Thank you! Seriously, I love it. The 5 litre dispenser provides enough for cooking too.
Thank you Sarah, Really clear instructions and explanations. An excellent green and healthy tip