10 Crazy Charcoal Products That Go Way Beyond the Grill
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!
Getting the word out about your brand takes time, drive, and ingenuity. And it doesn't come easy for many entrepreneurs. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're chatting with Selfmade alum Taylor Morgan McPherson, founder of Sustainable Sparkle Bar, about ways in which she scored press as a solo startup brand and what she learned from Selfmade to take her brand marketing up a notch.
B + C: How did you know Sustainable Sparkle Bar was your business to start?
Glitter has always been my thing, so when I started my event company I decided to make it my niche. I started telling people I threw glitter-themed parties where people would get sparkled with glitter body art and makeup. Six months after that I applied to my first festival and to work with SUR restaurant in West Hollywood.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
I honestly can't say that I've had a specific strategy that I've followed when it comes to getting my business off the ground. I have a PR background so I was just constantly pitching new business and posting on social media.
B + C: What's the biggest challenge you face as a small business owner?
I would say creating a stable income and revenue stream. With a seasonal, event-based business it can be very up and down.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
The relationships I made and the push to start an email database.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I love what I do and I believe in myself 100%. Staying motivated isn't the hard part. Pushing myself to do the work and staying accountable is the hard part.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip? Do you use any apps that help you manage your business?
I keep multiple to-do lists, hand-written and digital. I also tell clients and partners that I will have something to them by a certain time or day so I have to stick to it.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Just do it, take the leap. And don't worry about what anyone else says to thinks.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Issa Rae, I'm so inspired by everything that she's created being a creative and a black woman. It's my dream to have my own show one day based on my life and where I give advice and talk about the world. She's doing it and making people laugh and giving people joy. And it's based in LA. Watching Insecure only further cemented my dreams of wanting to live in LA.
B + C: How did you hear about the Office Depot scholarship?
One of my friends that I met through Camp No Counselors saw an IG ad for it and nominated me.
B + C: What has receiving the scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start/grow your business?
It's completely helped me level up and take my business to another level. Selfmade helped me host my first virtual event and taught me how to set up my website to sell tickets to events and get RSVPs.
B + C: How have Office Depot services or products helped you accomplish more in your business?
I got new cards to send in all of my orders with my discount code on them. I also bought a really cool 4K camera that I now use for my social media.
Let Office Depot OfficeMax help you stand out in the crowd. From signs, posters & banners to promote your business, to marketing materials to keep your customers informed, Office Depot OfficeMax offers a full suite of business services & solutions to help you & your business get noticed.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.