It may seem counter intuitive to purify your drinking water with a stick of charcoal, but the Japanese have been doing it for centuries. Binchotan is an active carbon made from tree branches and is renowned for its ability to soften water, add good minerals and absorb unwanted tastes and odours, such as chlorine.
You can use it in Eau Good Glass bottle or any bottle for that matter. Simply fill your container of choice with drinking potable tap water, pop your charcoal inside and wait for it to filter impurities from the water. Leaving it overnight is ideal, but you will taste the difference after just one hour. Then, just enjoy the taste!
What is the history of Binchotan charcoal?
The origins are not completely clear, but it is believed that a form of Binchotan charcoal (sometimes referred to as 'white charcoal') was introduced to Japan by a Japanese monk and scholar called Kukai 1,200 years ago. It was during the Edo Period (17th century) that a man called Binchuya Chozaemon made it popular.
How is it made?
Sustainably sourced wood is placed in a kiln and charred at a relatively low temperature for some time, then, near the end of the process, the kiln temperature is raised to about 1000 degree Celsius to make the wood red-hot. The charcoal is then removed and quickly covered with a special powder made from earth, sand and ash, and this gives the charcoal surface a whitish hue (explaining the name 'white charcoal'). The rapid rise in temperature, followed by a rapid cooling, incinerates the bark and leaves a smooth, hard surface. If you strike it, you'll hear a clear, metallic sound.
How does it work?
Each charcoal filter is ready to use straight out of its individual vacuum pack. You can use it in Eau Good Glass bottle or any bottle for that matter. Simply fill your container of choice with drinking potable tap water, pop your charcoal inside and wait for it to filter impurities from the water. Leaving it overnight is ideal, but you will taste the difference after just one hour. Then, just enjoy the taste!
Binchotan charcoal has an incredibly porous surface with tiny cavities oriented in many directions. Just 1 gram has a surface area in excess of 500 m2 (about one tenth the size of a football field). It is also known as active carbon as the ions of contaminants are attracted to the surface of the carbon, where they will be held. It is also able to release minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium back into the water which enhances its taste and health benefits.
How long will it last?
Each charcoal filter has a total of 6 months lifespan. After around 3 months, you will notice a decrease in the filter’s effectiveness. At this stage, you can recharge it by boiling it in a pan of water for ten minutes. Boiling washes out the impurities and frees the charcoal up to absorb some more. Some people have more sensitive taste buds than others so if you notice the decline in taste before 3 months have passed, it is absolutely fine to boil it at that stage too.
What other uses does the binchotan have?
When you have finished using your binchotan as a water filter, it still has many secondary uses. If you break it up and put it in your house plants, it will add nutrients to the soil that will help the plant to grow. Because of its porous surface, it can be used as a deodoriser to remove unwanted odors in your cat litter, laundry basket, nappy bin or shoes. Binchotan is also an effective moisture absorbent, and can help absorb humidity in the air if placed in a wardrobe.
Do I need to wash my charcoal?
Your binchotan charcoal is already washed and ready to use. Please do not wash with detergent or soap.
Can I use my binchotan with flavoured water (fruit infused or tea)?
Please do not use with flavoured cordials, fruit infusions or tea.
Can I wash my carafe with soap and leave the charcoal in it?
Please remove the binchotan from the bottle before washing with soap.
Is it dangerous if I swallow a bit of charcoal?
Occasionally you will notice tiny particles / fragments of the charcoal in the water, but do not be alarmed as it will do you no harm if you swallow them (active charcoal tablets are prescribed to treat diarrhoea, digestion and flatulence).
How do I prevent mould from forming on the underside of the cork stopper?
Make sure you do not leave water sitting in your bottle, when you are not using it (for more than one day). Remove the stopper and allow it dry out. When water is left in the bottle for long periods of time, mould spores can form. The binchotan charcoal removes the chlorine from drinking water, so you might notice it forming even quicker than normal. This is nothing to worry about, as long as you refilling regularly, cleaning the bottle regularly and not drinking stale water that has been sitting in the bottle for more than a day.
How do I clean mould from the cork stopper?
We recommend using lemon juice, followed by boiling water, to kill and wash away mould that has formed on the cork.
Broken charcoal? It still works just the same!