Activated charcoal: The unlikely all-natural teeth whitener

DIY DIY Skincare & Beauty

Sometimes I find myself smack dab in the middle of a natural remedy and think, “I’ve really gone off the deep end.”

Sitting in a tub of apple cider vinegar… instinctively grabbing honey when I have any sort of skin issue (and then shamelessly licking my fingers after applying)… brushing black black BLACK activated charcoal on my teeth.

But then I remember why I’m doing it: because it works!

Quite fabulously, actually. And to boot, it protects me from the unnecessary chemicals that would otherwise be employed in this modern world of ours. So I keep on truckin’, even though sometimes I feel like a huge weirdo.

The weirdest of the weird would have to be the activated charcoal teeth brushing.

Needless to say, activated charcoal is an unlikely all-natural teeth whitener.

I mean, it’s BLACK! And you want your teeth to be white…

At first glance, this just doesn’t add up.

But activated charcoal is not run-of-the-mill charcoal from the BBQ out back.

It is made specifically for medicinal use. To make activated charcoal, manufacturers heat common charcoal in the presence of a gas that causes the charcoal to become very porous. These pores allow activated charcoal to trap impurities. It is used to treat poisonings, intestinal gas, nausea, and bile flow issues (cholestasis) during pregnancy. It also works wonders for the skin when applied topically: it keeps skin clear by acting as a magnet to draw dirt out of pores.

Just as activated charcoal helps lift trapped gunk from your pores with the Blackhead Busting Blackout Mask, it also helps lift stains from teeth. Very effectively, I might add. Activated charcoal readily absorbs tannins, which are the guiltiest party when it comes to teeth stains (tannins are found in coffee, tea, wine, etc.), leaving you with perfectly pearly whites.

Even better, activated charcoal doesn’t absorb the calcium salts found in tooth enamel, meaning it does not cause any damage or sensitivity.

So how to use activated charcoal to whiten your teeth?

1) Add about 1/2 teaspoon of powdered activated charcoal (or one capsule) to 1 teaspoon of water or coconut oil, mix it up, dip your brush into the mix and brush it on your teeth in gentle circles for 2-4 minutes. Spit it out and rinse your mouth well.

2) Add about 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon of powdered activated charcoal (or one capsule) to 2 teaspoons of water, mix it up, take it into your mouth, and hold it against the front of your mouth (so it’s between the front of your teeth and your closed lips) for 2-4 minutes. Spit it out and rinse your mouth well.

Some important points:

Do not get the charcoal on anything other than your toothbrush, your teeth, and your sink! It will stain. If your sink is even the tiniest bit dirty, it will stick to whatever is in your sink but will come off easily with a light scrub.

Do not apply the dry powder on your teeth. You may breathe it in which is no good (think: miners’ “black lung”).

Have you tried using activated charcoal to naturally whiten your teeth?

Or do you want to try it?

Please report back with your results!


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  1. I LOVE this idea, but I’m not sure it worked for me. I used the coconut oil to charcoal mixture, but I don’t see any noticeable whitening. I am going to try the water to charcoal mixture as well. Maybe you have some tips for me?

  2. Wow! This is great! I recently had a procedure to fill in my receding gum line. Will it dis-color the fillings? Thank you so much and looking forward to hearing from you.

  3. I tried this and it went terribly. Not only did it make a huge mess and pretty much ruin a practically-new toothbrush head (if you’re going to try this, wait until you’re ready to throw out your toothbrush or toothbrush head), but I don’t think it made any more difference than my typical oil pulling. I took before and after pictures to make sure. It didn’t look like it did anything at all. Whereas, with oil pulling, I can usually see a very visible difference after just one session. An interesting idea, but it definitely did not work for me.

  4. I’ve been doing this for a while. It works incredibly well. Brush daily with the charcoal for a week or two, then once or twice a week to maintain. Not a good idea to add activated charcoal as an ingredient to any other preparation/tooth[paste, though…it will just absorb whatever else is in the formula and be useless (or “full”) by the time you brush with it.

  5. Hmmm I suppose so! It would add a little more whitening power. I’d just be sure to brush with just water at the end to get any charcoal out from along the gum line where it sometimes likes to settle.

  6. Activated charcoal is a new home remedy for those who want to whiten their teeth without going to a professional dentist. This ingredient is really something. I read a lot of positive and outstanding feedback from its users. It’s truly one of the most effective natural ways to eliminate yellow teeth.

  7. I’ve been wanting to try activated charcoal for months and I was finally able to purchase it. I used it in the shower, it’s a lot less messy that way! It works incredibly well. I noticed a big difference after using it the first time, and I’ve used it twice since then. Thanks, this is great!

  8. It should NOT be used where dental work has created a stain-absorbing surface at the crown of the tooth. That is: if you have a crown, or are using the charcoal on any but the enamel surfaces of your teeth, do not use it there.

  9. Totally works. I was a skeptical AND was really hoping that my teeth would not end up grey.Well,I’ve used it twice and the change is amazing.I just brushed with it,left it on for ten minutes or so and then rinsed and brushed with regular toothpaste. So excited because tooth whitening jell burns too much. It does make an incredible mess because the charcoal is slightly greasy so be ready for a little bit of cleanup. Worth it and completely natural and safe.

  10. I will try this Friday night…just in case I have black teeth I don’t want to do it during the work week lol. Ill let you guys know how it goes.

  11. Hmm, I think I may try this. It sounds a whole heck of a lot better than those whitestrips thingies.

  12. I forgot to ask: How often should this be done to whiten teeth? Once a day, once a week?