We know you’ve all heard Christmas horror stories about just getting a lump of coal in your stocking, but this year, we truly wouldn’t mind! While shooting the lovely Artigas sisters (have you entered to win our Gabriela Artigas jewelry giveaway yet, by the way?) we discovered the ultimate in chic water purification. Instead of those clunky-but-necessary filters that leave much to be desired in terms of design, you can easily make your own beautiful and effective water purifier using inexpensive and long-lasting bamboo charcoal sticks. It’s an ancient Japanese method that has been used for centuries to purify water and we swear the water we tasted was super crisp and fresh. You’ll just need a few things including bamboo charcoal sticks, a pretty pitcher (or a water bottle!), some tap water and a pot to boil the sticks and in under an hour you’ll have the best-tasting water in the best looking vessel, ever!

Tell us, have you ever tried bamboo charcoal as a water or air filter? We’d love to know!

  • Make your own all-natural water filter

  • Step 1:

    Before you use your charcoal sticks, make sure you boil them for around 10 minutes. Friends have told us you can do this once a month for up to a year to “refresh” it so it continues to filter and purify.

  • Step 2:

    Once it’s boiling, carefully remove it from the heat and let it dry.

  • Step 3:

    Once it’s dry, place it in your favorite pitcher or bottle and let it do its thing.

  • Step 4:

    Sip and enjoy!

  • Helpful hint:

    The sticks can be easily recycled by breaking into small pieces and placing them into your plant soil, creating micro water and air cavities in the soil.

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From our friends


  1. I love this…natural and it’s so pretty!

    Alexandra | 11.30.2012 | Reply
  2. I just got these in the mail. Have been using them for the last three days. Does anyone know how many hours does it take for the water to alkalize…

    amina | 12.10.2012 | Reply
  3. I can taste results in as few as two hours, but an overnight or 8 hour soak seems to be the best.

    Howdy | 04.16.2013 | Reply
    • Thank you for the tip, Howdy – always love advice from personal experience!

      The Chalkboard | 04.16.2013 | Reply
  4. Does anyone know how effective these are at removing microorganisms? Such as Cholera?

    Chris | 04.22.2013 | Reply
    • Charcoal is commonly used to filter impurities in water such as heavy metals and chlorine, but it has no ability to kill microorganisms! The only way to kill those guys is by boiling or by adding chlorine. You can purchase tablets that you can put in a bottle of iffy water and it will kill all the bugs (one of the most important survival items you can keep with you when camping!). I imagine you could use the tablets, then after the water is safe you could use the charcoal to remove the chlorine taste. Just a thought. 🙂

      Ashley | 03.31.2014 | Reply
  5. I am going to try the charcoal sticks straight away- thanks for the advice!

    Kerrie | 10.22.2013 | Reply
    • Kishu Binchotan is NOT bamboo charcoal. It is made from wood. Please use bamboo charcoal for your health and the environment. Available from Miyabi Charcoal.

      Ramona Bajema | 01.10.2016 | Reply
  6. Wow, I had never heard of this but it sounds like a great idea!

    Taylor | 11.09.2013 | Reply
  7. I’m trying it, but what does boiling it do? Will it make the bamboo sticks lose their effectiveness?

    Junnie | 07.08.2014 | Reply
    • boiling will sterilize the bamboo charcoal. its ion activated so, it can’t lose its efficacy when boiled. you can even re-sterilize the next week and repeat the cycle for a month.

      jaydee | 09.02.2014 | Reply
  8. Charcoal is carbon when it is treated with oxygen, it works as activated carbon. This process removes tiny pores of the charcoal which adsorbs the chemical impurities. It is basically used in the water purifiers to remove chemical impurities like chlorine.and other carbon based chemicals.When the water is passed through the activated carbon, it blocks the chemicals from moving further thus resulting in water free from carbon related chemicals.

  9. Please try Miyabi Charcoal’s bamboo charcoal made in Japan. Bamboo is a more sustainable solution than wood, which takes much longer to grow. For your health and the environment!
    We also have skinny sticks for bottles on the go.

    Ramona Bajema | 01.10.2016 | Reply
  10. Just used it today, and there wasn’t instructions to boil them. I didnt wash them and duk them in faucet water to use. Then drank.

    Dave | 03.11.2016 | Reply
  11. At home, we have fresh water from an artesian spring, but when travelling, it is great to have bamboo charcoal filters to take away the strange tastes of various ‘foreign’ waters – we get small sticks to put into our metal water bottles.

    Carol Leigh Wehking | 11.17.2016 | Reply
  12. I’ve gotta say, it’s pretty nifty that you can even filter water this way at all, but I think I’ll have to stick with my trusty Brita pitcher. I know it doesn’t do the greatest job, but it’s much faster, and the filters it uses are just a bit smaller than those giant sticks of bamboo charcoal 🙂

    I’d love to taste what the water tastes like when you filter it with this method, though. Maybe you’d change my mind about my Brita!

    Alexa Bartel | 12.16.2017 | Reply
  13. I use Reverse Osmosis Systems and it is excellent. Filter fluoride in water, which is most useful feature to me. A reverse osmosis system is a specialty filtration system and is considered to be among the most rigorous types in the market today.

  14. Wow! Thanks for sharing such a helpful post. I’ll try this today.

  15. The charcoal needs to be activated or is any bamboo charcoal good for use as a water filter? Please provide exact details because I live in Bali where water is polluted so I can’t afford mistakes (for my tummy’ sake ^^)

    Julien GOALABRE | 05.02.2018 | Reply
  16. I am a regular visitor to your website and have always liked the kind of work that you do. I genuinely get new ideas and thoughts that help me a lot in my personal work as well.

    audacity | 07.23.2018 | Reply
  17. Wow. These seem to be good to setup one at home. Thanks.

    Hanna | 09.17.2018 | Reply
  18. Sounds like a great idea. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Hadi | 10.02.2018 | Reply
  19. wow great! looks natural. I wanna try it

  20. Thanks for sharing this informative post.Very good write up. I absolutely love this site. always visit your blog site. thanks for sharing.

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