Activated charcoal is one of the most widely used substances to filter water. Used in both drinking water and for aquariums, activated charcoal--also known as activated carbon--is very porous. Because of this property, the filtering material traps impurities in the water and holds them, allowing clean, pure water to pass through. Many commercial water-filtering companies take advantage of this by filling their filters with activated carbon. Now you can make your own water filter at home using activated charcoal.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Glass crock-style pitcher with a spout on the bottom
- Commercial-sized coffee filter
- 0.907kg. bag of activated charcoal
Clean and sterilise the glass pitcher using a solution of eight drops of bleach per gallon of water.
Place the coffee filter on the bottom of the pitcher, making sure that the filter covers the spout.
Purchase a 2-pound bag of activated charcoal from an aquarium-supply store. Soak the activated charcoal in water for 15 minutes to ensure that the carbon is saturated.
Fill the pitcher ¾ full of saturated carbon, leaving space at the top as a reservoir for water.
Fill the pitcher with water. Never fill the pitcher more than ½ full of water at a time. As water pours out of the spout at the bottom, it will trickle through the carbon and filter as it goes.
Tips and warnings
- Save leftover carbon to change out every three to six months when the activated carbon in your filter is spent.
- To find a suitable glass crock-style pitcher, look for sun tea pitchers generally sold with picnic items during the summer.
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