If you were surprised coconut oil had so many uses, get ready: Charcoal has a couple of hidden identities up its sleeve, too. What’s its secret? Charcoal is highly porous, which facilitates adsorption (not a typo, we swear!), a chemical process where charcoal acts like a magnet to toxins, moisture and bacteria. While we’re just now joining the party, the Japanese have been tapping charcoal — specifically, a type called Binchotan — for its filtering and dehumidifying properties since the 17th century. Pair some of these stink-vanquishing products with one of three ways to make your home smell like spring, and you’ll be breathing easy — au naturale, of course!
1. Bincho Water Filter ($125): Danish design collides with the Japanese tradition of using Binchotan charcoal to filter impurities out of water. The result? The most naturally elegant glass carafe to grace a dinner table.
2. Eau Good Water Filter ($20): Tote your mineral-boosted, purified water via London design firm Black + Blum’s handy bottle. The Binchotan charcoal filter lasts six months and can be released and replaced with a squeeze of the bottle.
3. Activated Charcoal Soap ($7): Activated (aka ultra-porous) charcoal latches onto toxins and grit and sluffs them off skin. With all natural and fragrance-free ingredients, charcoal soap makes for a prime facial cleanser.
4. Moso Bamboo Charcoal Bags ($8): One in each running shoe keeps the sweat stink at bay. After six months, a couple of hours in the sunlight will recharge the charcoal’s moisture adsorbing and smell-slaying pores.
5. Chikuno Cube ($29): Ditch the baking soda and stick this reusable air purifier in your fridge to get rid of those funky food smells. The mini honeycomb design amplifies charcoal’s natural porosity, meaning more odor-adsorption power.
6. Binchotan Pumice Stone ($15): The ultra-fine Binchotan charcoal blended into this pumice stone doubles as a detoxifier that gently exfoliates.
7. Binchotan Toothbrush ($7): Charcoal-infused bristles clear away pesky plaque on your teeth, but the black stuff also keeps your toothbrush clean by banishing bacteria — and therefore odors.
8. Kuro Shampoo ($35): This shampoo clears out oils and build up (once you get past the weirdness of rubbing black goop in your hair).
9. Maruyama Binchotan Charcoal Dishcloth ($7): Binchotan charcoal woven into the cotton fibers gives this dishcloth the best of both worlds. Sponge musk can’t touch it.
10. Oil Blotting Paper ($7) It’s mid-afternoon and your face feels like an oil slick. Adsorption via these handy papers to rescue!
Which of these charcoal charmers has you all hot and bothered? Sketch your comment below!