DIY survival solution: Create activated charcoal at home

Activated charcoal has many survival uses, such as filtering water. You can buy activated charcoal for you survival stockpile. Alternatively, you can make it at home.

One pound of activated charcoal costs $12 to $15 at the grocery, while making your own costs less than $1 per pound. For $20, you can have enough activated charcoal on hand for bartering or personal use after disaster strikes. (h/t to

You can make your charcoal to activate, but the extreme temperatures it takes to burn hardwood down to charcoal make it very time-consuming and energy-intensive. Instead, it’s better to buy and use a 20 lb. bag of hardwood charcoal.

Supplies you need to make activate charcoal

Here are the items you will need to activate charcoal at home.

Calcium chloride/Pickle Crisp

If you’re making a lot of activated charcoal, it’s more economical to buy calcium chloride in larger tubs. Alternatively, you can use the Ball Pickle Crisp sold at grocery stores, but it might be more expensive. If you don’t have calcium chloride, you can use lemon juice as an alternative.


You can use your preferred brand of hardwood charcoal briquettes. You will need pure hardwood charcoal, so don’t get charcoal that has been soaked in lighter fluid or has other additives.

Glass jar

If you don’t have a glass jar, use a non-aluminum mixing pot with a solid lid or a regular canning jar. This is important because mixing the calcium chloride causes a reaction that releases heat, and aluminum is a reactive metal. You don’t want to get this on your hands, so you need a glass jar or a sturdy container that won’t leak. (Related: Prepper essentials: What to include in your SHTF first aid kit.)

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You will also need eye protection such as safety gogglescheesecloth or white sheetcookie sheet or flat panwater and measuring cup; and storage container for the finished activated charcoal

Activating the charcoal

Follow the steps below to activate charcoal.

  1. Get your charcoal and powder it. Do this by smashing it carefully with a hammer or using a mortar and pestle. Transfer the powdered charcoal to a glass or stainless steel bowl.
  2. Make a 25 percent solution of calcium chloride with water. Note that one hundred grams of calcium chloride should be dissolved in 300 mL of water. This equals 3.5 ounces of calcium chloride and 1.3 cups of water in ounces.
  3. Make a paste by carefully adding the calcium chloride solution to the powdered charcoal. Stir until you have a spreadable paste. Drain any leftover solution.
  4. Let the mixture dry in the bowl for 24 hours.
  5. Spread the dried material on a clean white sheet or several pieces of cheesecloth. Don’t use materials with detergents or scents.
  6. Rinse the dried material with clean water and catch all the water that goes through. Filter this water through a coffee filter to recover the carbon you would otherwise lose.
  7. Put the coffee filter on a cookie sheet with the rest of the activated charcoal.
  8. Bake the rinsed charcoal at 250 F for 30 minutes or until all moisture is gone.
  9. Once done, cool and break apart the charcoal. Store it in an airtight and waterproof jar.

Check guides online to find out how you can use DIY activated charcoal to filter water, as a remedy for ingested poisons or to treat insect bites.

Where to get Ozonated Activated Charcoal for your stockpile

The Health Ranger Store is committed to helping you prepare for any emergency and we’re proud to introduce Ozonated Activated Charcoal – 60 capsules.

Ozonating activated charcoal greatly enhances its surface chemistry, making it 10 times more effective at absorbing toxins. This can make it even more powerful at absorbing substances that produce gas to help keep your gut healthy.

Use Ozonated Activated Charcoal to improve digestion, reduce toxic overload and support overall health.

The Health Ranger Stores’ Ozonated Activated Charcoal is made with high heat and activated with steam, not solvents. This unique chemical-free process results in a binding surface area that is up to 10x larger than most commercial activated charcoal and millions of pores with the superior ability to absorb toxins and remove them from the body.

Ozonated Activated Charcoal is made with clean, pure and premium ingredients.

You can trust that Ozonated Activated Charcoal from the Health Ranger Store is vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free and not tested on animals.

Check out for more tips on how to prepare for different emergencies. You can also visit Health Ranger Store and Brighteon Store for more supplies for your prepping stockpile.

Watch the video below for more tips on how to use activated charcoal.

This video is from the High Hopes channel on

More related stories:

Medical preparedness: Supplies to stock up on when preparing for nuclear war.

Prepper projects: How to make activated charcoal, a natural detoxifier.

PREPPING TIPS: Save big by scavenging and repurposing items.

Sources include: 1 2

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