Bentonite Clay: What It Is & How I Use It Every Day, Week, & Month

Bentonite clay belongs in every natural medicine cabinet AND natural beauty routine! But what is bentonite clay? And how exactly do you use it?

Bentonite clay belongs in every natural medicine cabinet AND natural beauty routine! But what is bentonite clay? And how exactly do you use it?


In my bathroom I have about 7 small paper bags filled with an identical substance.

Bentonite clay.

They’re basically… everywhere. (Note to self: consolidate their contents into a single glass jar.)

Needless to say, I’m kind of, sort of, definitely obsessed with the stuff. It’s more than an obsession, really — it’s a dependence. I’ve grown to need it. No no, the stuff isn’t addictive, but it’s become a staple in both my health and beauty routines that I really can’t live without.


First things first, what makes bentonite clay so special?

Bentonite clay is sedimentary clay composed of weathered and aged volcanic ash. The most active deposits of which are in Wyoming and Montana.

What is bentonite clay and how to use it || Bentonite clay is an amazing ingredient that belongs in every natural medicine cabinet AND natural beauty routine! Let's take a close look at what makes it so special and some of the best ways to put it to good use...

It’s a “healing clay,” a clay that absorbs impurities such as toxins and heavy metals either when ingested or applied topically. According to Mountain Rose Herbs,

Bentonite is very unusual in the fact that once it becomes hydrated, the electrical and molecular components of the clay rapidly change and produce an ‘electrical charge’… When it becomes mixed with water it rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge. From here the toxins are drawn into the sponge through electrical attraction and once there, they are bound.”

It is for this reason that bentonite clay should never be stored in a metal container or stirred with a metal spoon (hence the bamboo spoon in my photos) since the clay absorbs the metals and becomes less effective.

Bentonite clay is also rich in minerals like silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and potassium.

A good quality bentonite clay is grey or cream in color — steer clear of white “bentonite clay” (since it’s likely not actually bentonite clay). It is very fine, has a velvet feel, is odorless and non-staining. I get my bentonite clay from Mountain Rose Herbs — it’s my go-to for the highest quality herbal remedy and DIY natural skincare ingredients!


So how can you use this oh-so-special clay in your natural health and beauty routine?

There’s a seemingly endless number of ways to put bentonite clay to good use!

Here’s how I use bentonite clay every day, week, and month…

Everyday

In my deodorant for some extra detoxification

Bentonite clay is the ingredient that puts the “detox” in my DIY all-natural detoxifying deodorant. Not only does it absorb moisture, but it also helps pull toxins from the skin. This is so SUPER important since we have lymph nodes near our armpits. In essence, it is the anti-antiperspirant 🙂

What is bentonite clay and how to use it || Bentonite clay is an amazing ingredient that belongs in every natural medicine cabinet AND natural beauty routine! Let's take a close look at what makes it so special and some of the best ways to put it to good use...

Every Week

As a pure-purging face mask

Because of its ability to absorb impurities, bentonite clay works wonders for clogged pores.

Pair it with activated charcoal — a medicinal charcoal that also works to absorb impurities — and a little water and you’ve got the Blackhead Busting Blackout Mask. I use it once a week to help maintain a clear complexion.

Every Month

Sprinkled in the tub for a detox bath

I add just ¼ cup of bentonite clay to my baths to help draw out impurities while I relax and get nice and clean. See what else I add here: Relaxing Detox Bath Recipe

Bentonite clay detox bath || Bentonite clay belongs in every natural medicine cabinet AND natural beauty routine! But what is bentonite clay? And how exactly do you use it?

As a detox clay foot mask

Yes, a foot mask! I know, it sounds a little nutty. BUT detoxing through the feet is considered one of the safest ways to do so. Get all the details here: Detox Clay Foot Mask


But this is just the beginning… There are so many great ways to use bentonite clay!

Now I know that 7 bags is a little excessive (I have a habit of buying more before I actually need it!), but it is a great staple for every medicine cabinet.

Do you use bentonite clay for anything in particular? I’d love to hear how!

Bentonite clay belongs in every natural medicine cabinet AND natural beauty routine! But what is bentonite clay? And how exactly do you use it?

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  1. We have been making and using a homemade “Earthpaste” with Redmond clay for the last year or so. It’s a toxin-free toothpaste that actually helps to remineralize your teeth (because of the clay). It doesn’t “foam” like conventional toothpaste, yet still leaves your teeth feeling clean and healthy!!

  2. I like your idea, Jennifer. I am going to start doing that.

    I do use Bentonite clay internally. I use 1 Tbs. in 8 oz. of purified water in the morning for one week each month before breakfast as an internal cleanse. I let the clay and water sit for about 5 minutes, then stir with a non-metal utensil and drink. It works.

  3. I love your post! I’m going to write a post on my blog about my bentonite clay toothpaste I make: it’s safe for kids to swallow! Plus it’s detoxifying and remineralizing, of course! 🙂

  4. Awesome, Amanda! I’ve been wanting to make a toothpaste with the clay! I’ll keep my eyes out for your post 🙂

  5. I am new to this and my first time I used a metal teaspoon to measure it. Than I led the metal teaspoon in my 8 ounce bag for less than an hour. Did I ruin my clay?

  6. I’ve been taking it internally for the past 3 months…I LOVE IT! makes me feel so good every morning. thanks for the post!

  7. I have a question for anyone who can answer this.
    Recently I discovered clay as well ( I am a newbie ) So I search HIGH and LOW online for reasonable prices and this stuff is not that easy to find in Canada as it is the USA.

    I found a company here in Ontario Canada, and being new at this , i ordered a 2lb bag. I was not happy when I did not get any instructions or information on this clay ( other then , not for internal use )

    I was so excited to try it , after the weeks of reading I had done about clay’s. It was wonderful for my face ! amazing ! Now this clay was a light GREY color.

    Today I finally got my Calcium bentonite clay after waiting for 2 weeks. I opened it up and noticed a color difference. This one is a light beige or off white color and it is also for internal use.

    The first thing I did was mix it with water and drank it as I had read !

    and I did get instructions and all the information required as to Ph , mesh and much more !

    Now, I am wondering is there much of a difference ? I think I have read EVERY web site of clay’s that I could possibly find.

    I am very interested in purchasing a large amount of it also as I love it that much !!

  8. Hi, Angie. I took this from Mountain Rose Herbs: “A good quality Bentonite should be a grey/cream color and anything bordering “pure white” is suspect. It has a very fine, velveteen feel and is odorless and non-staining.”

  9. Hi, April! Thanks so much 🙂 I’ve used Redmond clay (which they sell at WHole Foods and on Amazon) before but now buy in bulk at Mountain Rose Herbs since I use a lot of it. Both are great quality and from great companies that I trust!

  10. Thank you so much for the quick reply!
    I really appreciate it.
    I do love that you provide the links to products you use!
    Take care!

  11. Three weeks ago I started getting a very bad rash on my face and neck. It was extremely painful and itchy and I tried everything I knew but it continued to spread and become more painful. I ran into friend who had put an end to years of being on antibiotics for rosacea by using the clay. Her friend had recommended it to her because it had cured her son of a very bad case of acne. I gave it a try and it pulled the pain and itching out of the rash… I had never heard of it before… I am going to try it for some of these other things…still a bit scary to take it internally

  12. I use bentonite clay mostly for my horse as a natural dewormer and detoxifier. Great for pulling out absesses as well. I give it to my husband for his heartburn and my horse for ulcers. I also use it on inflamed bug bites. Soothes the skin. I love the stuff. I get mine from Dynamite.

  13. I use Miracle Clay from Dynamite. I give it to all my animals (sheep, goats, horses, donkeys and cats) as a natural de-wormer, I mix with Elixir for a refreshing facial mask, as a poultice for bug bites, stings and poison oak, internally for any digestive issue or ulcer condition…the uses are endless!

  14. PLEASE READ!!!! I love bentonite clay and the many health benefits it provides, but I would like to share one con. It is NOT safe to ingest. Because of its high content of silica, it is not safe to ingest. Silica causes cancer called silicosis. Too much exposure to this is very dangerous. Please do not ingest this.

  15. Kearstin, silicosis is caused by the inhalation of silica particles in the lungs, it is not a cancer, this is from Wikipedia “Silicosis (previously miner’s phthisis, grinder’s asthma, potter’s rot and other occupation-related names)[1] is a form of occupational lung disease caused by inhalation of crystalline silica dust, and is marked by inflammation and scarring in the form of nodular lesions in the upper lobes of the lungs. It is a type of pneumoconiosis.[2]” Ingesting clay will not harm your lungs or cause cancer.

  16. This may sound strange, but I purchased bentonite clay for facials, and after suffering from candida overgrowth, and searching for something that will help, I read that bentonite clay gets it out of your system. I have bentonite clay that says external use only, so I ordered food grade & am hopeful it will help. However, out of discouragement & desperation, I applied a small, thin layer of clay typically (I figured if it were irritating I could wash it off) & am amazed at how it has relieved & soothed the external itching. I am excited to try it internally. I’ve also used it for a detox baths & it makes your skin really soft. Mis

  17. I absolutely love calcium bentonite clay! It has become a staple in my life as well. It has as a matter of fact saved my life. And made my biggest dream a reality. For 5 years I suffered from my pH imbalance in my body which led to having a bacterial infection in my feminine area. No doctor or medicine could help me. Then one day during one of my many searches for a cure, I came across a forum where a woman posted that she used calcium bentonite clay internally to cure her BV infection. I thought why not try it since I’ve tried everything else. I ordered it off of Amazon and I mix 1 tbsp with two ounces of water in the morning and in the night and I drink it. I also drink plenty of water throughout the day so that it can continue to absorb the way it should. Within 2 weeks it cured my BV and me and my boyfriend were able to conceive our beautiful little girl. It is safe to take before, during and after pregnancy and during breastfeeding. this clay means so much to me I want to share its wonderful powers with the world. & I do not want another woman suffering from BV to go through all those things that I went through for so many years.

  18. I am just wondering is benanite clay and Redmond clay one and the same? I am finding it hard to get an answe on line?

  19. from what I’ve read online it sounds like it’s pretty much the exact same thing maybe just Sold from a different company. all of the characteristic sound exactly the same! I can’t give you a definitive answer because I’ve never used Redmond clay. so don’t just rely solely on my word.

  20. Hello Sue, I found a Pinterest article “The Ultimate Detox Bath” on One Good Thing by Jillee in which the writer notes that her “little town is home to Redmond Clay, who markets an all-natural Utah bentonite clay used by the Fremont Indians thousands of years ago.” It sounds like Redmond Clay is just one of the companies that markets bentonite clay.

  21. I have not tried using bentonite clay internally but i use it weekly for a face mask. I also combine bragg’s apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of olive oil and use it on my hair.

  22. I, tried it internally for a time before. Make sure that you pace yourself. A TINY bit per day and work your way up. Espcially for highly toxic/sick people. If you take a large amount( like a tablespoon or so per day), dependant upon how toxic you are since this stuff draws in toxins by natural nature, you will be in if you are foolish with the internal use of this stuff, you will be in a little bit of pain, or a lot to total misery since the larger the dose the more toxins that are accumulated. Which means toxins are draw out of your body which is good, but to much toxins draw out of the body at one time could possible damage it. Work your way from a little bit and build it up at your own comfort level from there.

    I, am not a doctor, I just speak from experience, use at your own risk, not mine.

  23. From what I read, it’s all pretty much safe for internal use, the thing is, I have some from Nature’s Food patch that says on the container, external use only, and I can’t find an answer on why. It IS a near white some what cream color, and I know that’s not a good form. But I put it in my tooth powder anyway. Now… I don’t swallow the toothpowder right now, but I hope to be able to. Any answers on WHY this clay says external use only?

  24. Also, in addition, I also have French green clay… It has pretty great benefits as well, but I wonder about it’s lack of an external use only label. Any Ideas?

  25. I don’t personally use it internally. I’d check with the manufacturer – they likely explain why in their site.

  26. I use bentonite clay with honey about once a week or so as a facial mask. A small amount goes a lon way! It’s really great to use at “that time of the month”. It helps prevent full on breakouts, for me, and tones down any redness I might have. My sister uses the french green clay, her skin is a bit more oily, and she loves it! She also mixes with honey or water to make a mask. Removes makeup too! I’ve also heard of people mixing a pinch of clay into their lip balms (esp. tinted ones). I also make a chamomile flower, clay, and oat mixture to cleanse skin. IT’s fantastic and for all skin types!

  27. My son has had eczema that has been nagging for 4 years. I have been to dermatologist and alternative therapy but nothing has stopped my son from itching and suffering at night. Having done research, I came accross Calcium Bentonite which i used in my son’s bath, then applied a paste onm the itchy spots followed by some mixed with his moisturising oil. Ther result was amazing after 3 days, my son started having peaceful night and the exzema dried up. I would recomend this to anyoen, any time!!!

  28. Wow wow wow! Thanks so much for sharing!! I’m so glad you’ve been able to find a remedy that works for him.

  29. I have a powder that is in a metal container and one of the ingredients is clay. Is it bad for my skin now that it has touched the metal? What would it do to my skin?

  30. Does anyone know if it’s safe to use calcium bentonite clay internally while breast feeding?

  31. The main difference in internal /external quality of bentonite clay is whether it is sodium or calcium bentonite clay. One is very absorbent meaning it expands a great deal more when exposed to water. There are lots of web sites that explain the different types of clays. Just type edible clays in your browser and you can get the details .

  32. It’s great. It can also be used as a curl enhancing shampoo. Just put it into your hair, leave it in to dry then rinse it out and add some aloe Vera and coconut oil

  33. Hello
    I am new to bentonite clay, but have been doing a ton of research and am hooked. I ordered Redmond clay ( with all I have read it seems to be best) and I should have it soon. My question though is this..
    I purchased a little sample of home made bentonite clay toothpaste ( from a good source) I have been using it now for a few weeks, and my teeth have become so sensitive I cant eat anything sweet at all, and nothing cold without being in a lot pain. Is this normal? Will this get better with time? And what is going on?
    I would love to hear anyone’s advice or comments. Thank you

  34. Is there baking soda in the toothpaste? If yes, I’d think that may be the cause of the sensitivity, not the clay.

  35. Thank you so much for responding… No its actually sea salt not baking soda in this one. I am thinking I am just going to wait for my clay to arrive and make my own. I have not heard anyone say that they GOT sensitive teeth from using the clay, and I have been researching and researching. So maybe they have added something that my teeth dont like. But they really have become super sensitive..

  36. I have a weekly bentonite/charcoal ritual. I make about a half cup of thick paste mixture by mixing with water.

    I spread it over my face in a thick mask, and let it dry.

    I scoop some onto my toothbrush and give my teeth a thorough scrub (you will not believe how clean your mouth is and how well it whitens teeth-better than any peroxide whitener I have ever used!!!)

    The rest is blended into 16 oz warm purified water, and drink it!!!

    This internal/external detox costs pennies, and is more effective than $100 worth of products!!!

    BTW, if you do a harsh internal detox cleans tgat causes a herx healing crisis that includes skin eruptions, this protocol will make it all better really QUICK!!!

  37. Safe to eat ?
    Don’t know how safe it is but I’m a truck driver and have been delivering bentonite clay from Wyoming to Mcdonald s, Burger King, Wonder Bread bakeries and many other places for 20+ years. Trust me, everybody in Canada and the USA has eaten bentonite clay. Unless they only eat food they grew themselves in their backyard.

  38. I need help! I’m brand new to using bentonite clay, and I used a metal spoon to scoop some powder clay out of my jar. Did I just ruin all of my clay? I’ve only used a metal spoon to scoop one time.

  39. I use bentonite clay for making toothpaste and I’ve also added it to my homemade soaps. I use kaolin clay in deodorant.

  40. I love to use a good clay mask on my hair, but I recently got an email from Amazon stating that the Aztec clay contained high level of lead.

  41. Hi Nadia,

    I’m wondering if the bentonite clay can be replaced with other clay type eg. kaolin or green clay? I was thinking also, can I modify my own clay mask to add in the charcoal? I’m using freeman beauty clay mask. Thanks for your advice

  42. Where do you buy Calcium Benonite Clay? Lost my source-who sold company. New owner company does not have same quality of clay..it smells and tastes..
    Thanks

  43. I’ve been looking for a natural toothpaste for my daughter who is 15 months old right now and found one on amazon called the dirt which has bentonite clay coconut oil stevia extract and other ingredients in a tube of recycled metal. After reading your post and other articles I’m worried that the metal is being absorbed into the toothpaste and since she’s too small to spit out she may be ingesting it. Does the recycled material still react with the bentonite clay? What can I use that would be safe for her to brush her teeth with.

  44. I truthfully am not 100% sure. Other bloggers likely have a DIT toothpaste for children – I’d do a little search!

  45. I have just started using bentonite clay on my hair to detox from all the chemicals in shampoo as I am now going no poor I will be doing this once a month first time my hair was both soft and straw like have been told the more you nose ninth softer the hair. I did not know you could take internally will be trying this soon.

  46. I’m a newby with using this clay as a detox. I was careful to pour in a glass but stirred with a metal spoon! How concerned should I be?

  47. Ive recently started adding bentonite clay to a detox bath (along with a foot spa soaking tub) and the results are phenomenal!

  48. I have ganglions one lg. on mid. finger. I read that bentonite clay can make it disappear by taking the toxins out of my body. I ordered it already prepared in Liquid form hydrated. I took one 32 oz bottle of it. The ganglion is soft and I feel it was working but noticed an old cancer scar under armpit had come to the skin surface and had turned red/whereby before it was only felt under the skin and taped off during annual ultra sounds. It looked bad and had increased to size of marble I went to Cancer Dr. and she wanted to remove it at once that same day I went to surgery and it turned out to be cancer. I am having second surgery in couple weeks since an MRI shows she did not get it all, but is deeper and wider, but no where else in breasts or armpit. What I am wondering is, if the Bentonite clay I took for about one month (one bottle) brought all the cancer cells together that might be in that area and were forcing them to the surface thru that old tiny drainage scar tissue. I am ordering another bottle from Nature’s sunshine as it is already prepared and easy to measure, stir and drink. I want to continue the detox to get rid of the ganglions. Lorayne Pate

  49. I would advise you to see a functional medicine practitioner (in addition to your MD) with this question. Best of luck to you!

  50. I have recently begun using homemade deodorant. I found that the solid kept away the odor but the spray not so much so I began an underarm detox with the bentonite clay and after 3 treatments the spray kept me odor free. I continue to detox my underarms about once a week.

    Blessings,
    Johnna

  51. I’m so glad that I finally found someone with a similar problem as me! I used calcium bentonite clay mixed with organic apple cider vinegar as a shampoo for my hair. As I was applying it my teeth began to hurt and ever since then they have been very sensitive to cold. I have only porcelain fillings, no metal or alloy in my mouth. Any thoughts on why this would happen? I love the results on my hair but not sure I can continue to use it with this sort of side effect, especially if it gets worse.

  52. I use bentonite clay to make toothpaste. I was recently told by a dental hygienist that it should not be used daily as it is like brushing your teeth with sandpaper. I’ve been using it for a little over a month and haven’t had any problems but am now concerned it may be doing more harm than good 🙁 Thoughts?

  53. I’ve been brushing my teeth with bentonite clay for more than a year. I was concerned about it being abrasive and chose not to use sodium bicarbonate for this reason. My dentist assures me that my tooth enamel is in good condition. I make a paste using bentonite clay, filtered water, peppermint essential oil and stevia.

  54. Sorry if this sounds like a commercial, but Wellness Mama has some good recipes for toothpaste on her site and one of them also uses bentonite clay. I prefer this recipe to the “normal” toothpaste, since it makes a kind of mud which is easy to use.
    Will definitely start using it more as a regular mask ingredient to help keep my skin clean. Will also recommend it to my son who sometimes has outbreaks of zits. Thank you!

  55. To anyone wondering why bentonite clay says for external use only, I was told a couple of days ago that the companies were told they had to because people are not drinking enough water when using it and ending up hurting themselves, same goes for activated charcoal. It is recommended that you consume 12 to 16 glasses a day while using it.

  56. I am desperately trying to find a good clay for consumption in Canada with no luck. Any suggestions?

  57. i use it with acv on my face 2x a week but also in my all natural deodorant that i store in the fridge. one depdorant container is made with this recipe – 4Tablespoon coconut oil, 4 teaspoon arrow root powder and 2 teaspoons bentonite clay plus 6 drops of cocoa oil essential oil from edens garden oils. mix well, pour into empty deodorant container, let set in fridge. it smells like chocolate coconut. amazing.

  58. I would like to ask you something….

    I used organic non sulfate shampoos for long time with no problem at all. Than I wanted to go even more natural, so I try to use different clay and herbs to wash my hair and also as skin mask. I tried bentonite, rhassoul, yucca, amla, slippery elm, fenugreek, orange/lime peel, aloe, honey, apple cider vinegar and so on…. I mixed the “saponine” with conditioning herb and aloe for example and rinsed with apple cider or honey… I tried different version of these clays/herbs and I did really like how my hair looked and felt, but a couple of hours after the wash my scalp and also the skin (if used as mask) start to itch like crazy and it lasted at least until the next day ….So now I really want to go more natural but I am afraid to use something new…. could you help me to understand why my hair react like that, since clays are supposed to heal itchiness … I don’t understand why my scalp react the opposite way ?

  59. 1) Your skin may be sensitive to ANY of the ingredients in the wash you created, not necessarily the clay. But 2) clay can be very drying since it absorbs oils, and oils are our skin’s natural moisturizer (including the skin on your scalp), as can apple cider vinegar. Not sure how much honey and aloe you were using but I’d guess you’re drying your scalp out and so it’s itching.

  60. Bentonite clay shouldn’t be pure white. Yes, I use Redmond since it’s what they sell at the local store!

  61. Can charcoal and bentonite clay mixed into a paste for facial masks be stored in a food safe rust resistant steel can that are tin plated and are coated with rust resistant finish?

  62. Neither bentonite clay nor activated charcoal should come into contact with metal, as mentioned in the blog post.

  63. Hi Nadia,
    If I cannot buy the bentonite clay you linked in your post, as I live in a different country, are there other brands of high quality bentonite clay you also recommend?
    Thank you.

  64. Hi, I’m wondering if you could help me…i just mixed up some homemade diaper cream which has a small amount of bentonite clay (1tbsp), i knew not to scoop the clay with a metal spoon, but silly me, after i added all the other ingredients, i stirred with a metal spoon!! Do i need to throw it out and start over?? Is the clay possibly dangerous because of this or just less effective? I only stirred for a few minutes in a glass bowl and stored in a glass jar…thanks so much! Could you please email me to let me know..amya88@sasktel.net

  65. I used it in making an all natural and healing makeup liquid foundation. I have all different recipes that I made up on my own. Some of the things I used either distilled water, green tea or aloe juice or a combination, coconut oil and grapeseed oil, non nanotechnology zinc oxide, Moroccan Red clay, and bentonite clay ( kanwa minerals) I also add a few skin balancing essential oils lightly – palmarosa,clary sage, lavender,and geranium. You use more oil based for thicker coverage. More water based for lighter coverage, and if you want a liquid to powder finish you can add a little corn starch and or arrow root powder, for a smoother consistency you can add either vegetable glycerin or dimithicone. I discovered all this on my own just mixing different amounts of the various different ingredients. I call it activated makeup because of the ionic charged minerals. Awesome stuff and so much fun to be able to say you’re wearing makeup you made. Just store it In bpa free plastic or glass and to keep it eXtra fresh feeling you can store it in your refrigerator

  66. Redmond’s clay is one of the best clays on the market. I just bought mine from Amazon and the 10 oz jar was an add-on item for a great price! I also bought their ebook called We Eat Clay (and Wear it Too) from Amazon for.99¢. I got the book years ago but am kicking myself because I threw it away. It has some great information in it. Two years ago I had the knee replacement from &$#@ and I’m still trying to recover. I’m planning on making a poultice to put on my knee and see if that helps. I just started drinking it two days ago to see if it would help with some digestive issues and it has already helped things to improve.

  67. I just started using bentonite clay. I break out with heat rash on my legs when at work. I have been mixing it with equal cider vinegar and water before applied. I want to know if I can use it daily.

  68. I am using the bentonite clay mask for the first time, and it says in the instructions that it will make your face slightly reddish but after using it, i notice that there is no reddish color that appeared in my face, why is that so?

  69. Mountain Rose Herbs has changed the type of bentonite they use. Do you still recommend them?
    Just ordered your book today!
    Love the foaming wash….looking forward to making more DIY skin care.

  70. Is it my DIY face mask?

    It’s certainly NOT a problem if your skin isn’t red – as it dries, it tightens and can make skin rosy/red, but it fades.