How to Use Activated Charcoal

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:12
Activated charcoal is charcoal that's been specially treated to have lots of internal pores. It's good at trapping chemicals and preventing their absorption. Activated charcoal is trending, and there are many different things you can use...
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Activated charcoal is charcoal that’s been specially treated to have lots of internal pores. It’s good at trapping chemicals and preventing their absorption. Activated charcoal is trending, and there are many different things you can use it in. You can use it to make an exfoliating scrub, put it in toothpaste, and even take it in food and drinks for a fun color and texture.


  • 0.33 cups (78 mL) cane sugar
  • 2 capsules activated charcoal
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • Essential oils (optional)
Method 1
Method 1 of 3:

Exfoliating with an Activated Charcoal Scrub

  1. Step 1 Mix 0.33 cups (78 mL) cane sugar with 2 capsules of activated charcoal.
    Measure out your dry ingredients and pour them into a mixing bowl. Stir the ingredients until they are well mixed.[1]
    • If you bought your activated charcoal in powder form, 2 capsules is equivalent to about 0.5 teaspoons (2.5 mL).
  2. Step 2 Stir in 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of extra virgin olive oil and optional essential oils.
    Make sure you are using extra virgin olive oil, not an oil blend with other oils mixed in. The activated charcoal should look the texture of wet sand.[2]
    • Add in a few drops of essential oils like lavender or lemon if you want to give the scrub a nice fragrance.
  3. Step 3 Apply the scrub to your body by rubbing gently for 15 seconds.
    Scoop a bit of your scrub out of the jar and onto your hand. Rub it onto your skin in small circles with your hands. If you are using a washcloth, make sure to use short, light strokes.[3]
    • Exfoliating too hard or too often can actually make your skin worse, so aim to exfoliate only once a week.[4]
    • Don’t exfoliate if you have cuts or sunburn on your skin.[5]
  4. Step 4 Rinse off the scrub with warm water.
    Use warm, but not hot, water to rinse off all the activated charcoal scrub from your body. Your skin should feel smooth and fresh.[6]
    • If your skin feels a bit painful instead, your skin might be too sensitive for activated charcoal exfoliator.
  5. Step 5 Moisturize your skin...
    Moisturize your skin after you’ve exfoliated.[7] Since exfoliating can dry out your skin, follow up with your favorite moisturizer to keep your skin healthy. Use a light-weight facial moisturizer for your face or a body lotion for your body. Focus on any areas of your skin that are especially dry.[8]
    • If you tend to have greasy skin, moisturizing is less crucial.
  6. Step 6 Keep extra scrub in a glass jar to use next time.
    Scoop the remaining activated charcoal scrub into a glass jar and seal it. You can keep the jar in your shower or by your sink – wherever you like to exfoliate.[9]
    • The scrub won’t go bad, so you can keep it however long it takes for you to use it up.
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Method 2
Method 2 of 3:

Using Activated Charcoal Toothpaste

  1. Step 1 Talk to your...
    Talk to your dentist before using activated charcoal toothpaste. Children and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn’t use this toothpaste. If you have fillings, the charcoal can get into them and be hard to get out.[10]
    • Many people think that activated charcoal toothpaste can help remove stains, but there’s no data behind it.
    • The American Dental Association actually thinks the abrasiveness might harm your teeth in the long run.[11]
  2. Step 2 Mix activated charcoal powder with a little water until it forms a paste.
    When you buy activated charcoal, it will probably come either in capsules or in powder. Put a spoonful of powder or open 1 or two capsules into a little bowl. Then add enough water to turn the powder into a paste.[12]
    • If you add too much water by accident, you can just swish the mixture around your mouth instead of using it like a toothpaste, so it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake.
  3. Step 3 Buy premade activated charcoal toothpaste as an alternative.
    If you don’t want to mix your own powder and water, you can also buy a toothpaste product that contains activated charcoal. Make sure you read the ingredients carefully before you buy.[13]
    • Some toothpastes have sorbitol in them, which some people are allergic to.
    • The American Dental Association recommends that you choose a toothpaste with a relative dentin abrasiveness below 250 to protect your teeth from corrosion.[14]
  4. Step 4 Rub the paste on your teeth with a dedicated toothbrush or your finger.
    Activated charcoal can stain your toothbrush black, so you probably want to get an extra one that you will just use with activated charcoal. Since activated charcoal has a gritty texture, you might want to rub it on with your finger instead, for a gentler feeling.[15]
    • If you find that the paste is hurting you, stop using it.
  5. Step 5 Rinse your mouth out well after applying the paste.
    Take a mouthful of water and swish it around your mouth for a few seconds, then spit into the sink. You may have to do this a few times to get all the charcoal off.[16]
    • If your teeth still look black, consider brushing them with normal toothpaste.
  6. Step 6 Use the toothpaste for only a few days.
    When used over a long period of time, the grittiness of the charcoal might damage the enamel on your teeth. Try alternating activated charcoal toothpaste with your regular toothpaste if you want to use activated charcoal toothpaste for longer.[17]
    • Make sure you are still brushing your teeth regularly with a normal fluoride toothpaste to protect your teeth from cavities.
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Method 3
Method 3 of 3:

Consuming Activated Charcoal Powder and Capsules

  1. Step 1 Talk to your doctor before taking activated charcoal for medicinal benefits.
    Some people think activated charcoal removes toxins from the body, but really, your liver and kidneys remove toxins by themselves. Other people take activated charcoal as a cure for diarrhea or nausea. However, some of the side effects of activated charcoal include the very stomach problems you were trying to avoid.
    • Activated charcoal is unfortunately not an effective hangover cure, despite what some people say.[18]
  2. Step 2 Don’t take activated...
    Don’t take activated charcoal to treat poisoning yourself. Hospitals often administer activated charcoal to people who have ingested poisons, but you shouldn’t try to do it yourself at home unless you are a trained medical professional. If someone has been poisoned, you should instead call emergency services.[19]
    • If you live in the US, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or 911 immediately.
  3. Step 3 Take the right dose of activated charcoal if it was prescribed.
    Your doctor should have told you precisely how much to take and when to take it. Be careful as you open the container of powder and add water so that the powder doesn’t scatter. Make sure to take the whole amount that your doctor prescribed.[20]
    • The dose is usually 25-100 grams for adults, 25-50 grams for children, and 10-25 grams for infants.
  4. Step 4 Try activated-charcoal infused food and drink for a fun color and texture.
    Many stores sell activated charcoal in all kinds of products, like ice cream, cocktails, lemonade, and even pancakes. Putting activated charcoal in food and beverages certainly does make your food an interesting black color, with a gritty texture.[21]
    • Though it’s fun to try every now and then, activated charcoal should not be a regular part of your diet.[22]
    • Add only a few spoonfuls of activated charcoal to food if you are making it yourself.[23]
  5. Step 5 Wait 2 hours after taking activated charcoal before taking prescribed medication.
    Activated charcoal prevents absorption in your body, which is why it is often used to treat poisonings. However, it can also prevent your body from absorbing other medicines, so you need to make sure you wait at least 2 hours after taking activated charcoal before your other medications. If you have questions about how activated charcoal might interfere with medications you take, you might want to talk to your doctor.[24]
    • Keep in mind that activated charcoal can interfere with hormonal birth control, so if you’re on the pill, be sure to take it 2 hours after taking activated charcoal.
  6. Step 6 Contact your doctor if you have an upset stomach after taking it.
    Not everyone is easily able to digest activated charcoal. If you find you have stomach pain or swelling, diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting you should contact your doctor for advice.[25]
    • Activated charcoal will turn your poop black, but it’s not something to worry about.
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  • Diarrhea is a fairly common side-effect of taking activated charcoal.[26]
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  • Some people also experience nausea and vomiting after taking activated charcoal.[27]
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