Activated Charcoal vs Charcoal – What’s the Diff? Can I use My Leftover BBQ Briquettes?

Hi All!

For years soapers, like myself, have been using “Charcoal” in our products for its black color and for the benefits it has for your skin. Over the last few years, this substance called, “Activated Charcoal” has gained mainstream attention like Youtube videos of teens pulling masks of their faces (Screaming in pain). Large companies have even jumped on board and begun adding AC to their product line. However, it is very important that you know the difference between Activated Charcoal for the skin and Charcoal Briquettes used for cooking.

So with today being the 4th of July, I thought I’d pop up a quick post explaining the difference before anyone got any ideas for their leftover briquettes.

Charcoal and Charcoal Briquettes are created using the same process of Activated Charcoal with the exception of one step. This type of charcoal has many different uses. It can be used as a deodorizer, some use a similar type of charcoal for art, and it can also be used in part of a filtration system as well as a source of fuel.

The most important thing to note is that Charcoal Briquettes have additional additives that make it toxic to humans. As it can contain agricultural waste and dry biomass. It should not be ingested or used on your skin.

Activated Charcoal, more properly called Activated Carbon, is a substance which can be created from Bone Char, Coconut Shells, Peat, Petroleum Coke, Coal, Olive Pits and or Sawdust. It undergoes an additional process than charcoal that adds oxygen thus increasing its porosity and surface area.

Activated Charcoal/Carbon has been used for several years for its medicinal benefits. Ever see and old movie and they give the poor sickly person that swallowed the poison a black substance. Well more that likely it was a charcoal derivative (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME).

As stated, for many centuries it has been used in beauty and healthcare products. To gain more information about its uses and potential benefits to your skin you are going to have to do a little more research on your own. I have to be very careful with the information I provide due to regulations. This post is for general information purposes only and is not intended to make any claims as to what my products will do for you. Additional information is out there and I encourage you all to do the research and even check with your Dr. before using any product that has ingredients to which you may be unfamiliar.

I hope this tid-bit of info helps!

Have a great day! Also remember, Soapin’ Happens at Hazel’s Soapery.


FYI- Be Still Activated Charcoal Spa Bar pictured above available HERE

We also have Divine Activated Charcoal and Lavender Facial and Body Bar.

10 thoughts on “Activated Charcoal vs Charcoal – What’s the Diff? Can I use My Leftover BBQ Briquettes?

  1. Were you referring to activated or normal charcoal here when you said “This type of charcoal has many different uses. It can be used as a deodorizer, …” or does that apply to both?

    1. Good afternoon and thank you for your question. If it is, I am not aware of it. It would require that you be able to filter out any chemicals added to the charcoal. I would recommend seeking out activated charcoal. They are very affordable and a little goes a very long way. If you need products with activated charcoal. Please feel free to search my shop page we have several options available.

      Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any further questions.

  2. If I am using charcoal for air purifying purposes,then could I take the unused briquettes I have leftover from grilling and grind them up and place some in my fridge or my cats litter box?

    1. Hi Melissa:
      Thank you for your awesome question. While I am no expert on the uses of charcoal for other things, my thoughts would be to try and find Activated Charcoal or something similar for both. I know how precious fur babies can be, so my concern would be, what could be left on their paws and what happens if it is ingested. I am sure there are some eco-friendly, cost-effective brands designed specifically for this purpose. I would do the same for my fridge as well, or good old baking soda.

      I hope this helps! Have a wonderful day!

  3. I have black mold(I live in a 50 year old mobile home in the mold capital of the USA-Louisiana)in a closet and in my spare bathroom.
    would a huge flat container of BBQ charcoal
    suck up some of the mold?
    I have bleached,used every product on the market (and some not!)Used mold resistant paint-still have mold.

    1. Hi Jean.
      Thank you for your question. While I am no expert in other uses of Activated Charcoal, like in your case for the use of mold reduction or elimination. I was able to do a quick google search and find tons of information. I highly suggest doing the same.

      What I was able to gather is that Activated Charcol can help with the spores, but will not actually kill the mold. Here is the link to one the articles I was able to find. However, the internet is full of more detailed information. I hope this helps. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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