What Kind of Charcoal?

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soapythekid

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Hello all, I'm making my first charcoal soap and I'm looking for charcoal powder. I live in Eastern Europe and options for buying 'soapmaking charcoal' from soapmaking supply shops are nonexistent. Here I can buy 'technical grade activated charcoal' which is used for air filters primarily. Can I use this for soap? My other options would be 'pharmaceutical grade activated charcoal' but that comes generally in tablets (for stomach problems) and I would have to crush up each little pill... Searching online, I can't find anyone talking about the difference between technical grade and pharmaceutical grade activated charcoal and what the differences would be on skin in soap (if there are any differences). Anyone have any advice for me? Thanks!
 

soapythekid

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Try searching for "Activated Charcoal."
Hi artemis, thanks for the quick reply! I am searching for activated charcoal. But here I can have activated technical grade or I can have activated pharmaceutical grade. Both are activated charcoal. Do you have any experience with this?
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I know some people use the aquarium activated charcoal, which is likely to be technical grade. Ask them what purity the technical grade is - if it's 100% AC, I think you'll be okay
 

soapythekid

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Pharm grade means that it's safe to eat. If you're not going to eat your soap, I'd go with the technical grade.
Hi BrewerGeorge, I agree completely. But there's going to be some chemicals in there most likely, it's not "pure" right? So I guess that's the basis of my question: would technical grade make bad soap or even possibly irritate/harm the skin?
 

dixiedragon

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I think the pharm grade might come up capsules, so all you would have to do would be to pull open the capsule? I've used the aquarium charcoal and it works okay, but unless you have a mortar and pestle to grind it with, I'd try to find it powdered if you can.
 

soapythekid

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I think the pharm grade might come up capsules, so all you would have to do would be to pull open the capsule? I've used the aquarium charcoal and it works okay, but unless you have a mortar and pestle to grind it with, I'd try to find it powdered if you can.
Hi dixiedragon, thank you! That helps a lot. If you have used aquarium charcoal and did not have any issues with the soap or with your skin, then that tells me a lot! I'm thinking of getting a cheap blender to use just for charcoal. Powdered charcoal here seems to be imported and expensive, only for cosmetic use like teeth cleaning...
 

dixiedragon

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The issue with aquarium charcoal is that it is in small pebble-like bits. I don't think a blender would get it fine enough. Maybe a spice mill?

Googling charcoal pills, I see that some come in capsules that you can pull open, and some come in tablets. I'd go to a healthfood store and look at the bottles.
 

BLBryant

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I buy food grade activated charcoal from Amazon - Food Grade for my soap.
 
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