Meet Your Friend, Activated Charcoal

activated charcoal dawnblogtopus

You might have heard of activated charcoal if you have a fish tank, but there are many other uses around the house. Read on to get some handy tips for activated charcoal around the house.

Activated charcoal is a common item that you might find in a fish tank filter, but are you familiar with other uses for activated charcoal? This charcoal is a special type has been used for hundreds of years. Uses include reducing odors, water purification (hence the fish tank filters), and poison control. You don’t normally associate things that you use in a fish tank with beauty, but there are definitely some uses for activated charcoal in your beauty routine.

Teeth Whitening

Activated charcoal is non-abrasive but great at sweeping away plaque and stains on the teeth leaving you with a brighter smile. You can use it alone or mix it with other ingredients like baking soda, coconut oil, clay to cleanse your teeth. 

It’s simple to use activated charcoal as a tooth whitener. Simply wet a toothbrush and dip into the powdered charcoal. Alternatively, you can buy capsules of activated charcoal and dump a capsule of charcoal on the wet toothbrush. Quickly put the charcoal covered toothbrush into your mouth to protect your sink from getting dirty. Brush in small, gentle circles for 2 minutes, spit carefully and rinse very well.

Gas and Bloating Relief

Activated charcoal can get rid of the worst of gas and bloating. If you’re having tummy issues you can prepare a glass of water with about a teaspoon of activated charcoal mixed inside. About 15 minutes later you should feel much better.

Activated charcoal can also help prevent gas and bloating issues if you plan ahead. Take a teaspoon of activated charcoal an hour or two before you eat your problem foods. You should skip that horrible feeling altogether!

Poison Control

Because of activated charcoals ability to absorb over 1,000 times its own weight, it’s a great aid to help when poisonous substances have been ingested. It works by stopping things such as bleach, prescription medicine, and mercury from being completely absorbed into your system (usually up to 60%).  It does have limitations. Substances that are corrosive like sodium hydroxide and petroleum based products like paint thinner can’t be helped with activated charcoal.  Activated charcoal is most effective if taken within 30 minutes of poisoning. Make sure to call 911 in the event of poisoning even if you have activated charcoal on hand.


If you don’t drink enough water with activated charcoal it can cause constipation and dehydration. Don’t ingest activated charcoal along with medications or foods as it can bind to these. This does not allow your body to absorb the necessary nutrients from them. Wait at least an hour or two between taking activated charcoal and taking medications or eating foods. If you want to take activated charcoal internally on a regular basis you may benefit from taking probiotics. This will help keep the balance of healthy bacteria in your gut.

I hope that you found this article helpful, thanks for reading. If you’d like to read more from DawnBlogtopus, just click this link to read about how to help your kids stop biting their nails. 

Love, DawnBlogtopus