Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Back-to-School Bonanza: Got Stink? Try Bamboo Charcoal {REVIEW}

September 20th, 2010 · 6 Comments · What to Buy

The strangest looking thing is sitting in the soap tray in our bathtub right now.

It’s black.

It’s slippery.

It’s heavy.

But it makes white suds.

Ever Bamboo makes products from bamboo charcoal, which is easily renewable, super porous, and even anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, according to the company. Most of their products are for odor control and removal, using the bamboo charcoal’s porous quality to freshen up diaper pails, refrigerators, shoes, and stinky hockey gear.

The one in my bathroom is just soap, made for faces and bodies.

And I’m not kidding when I say it’s black.

I know you’re thinking I mean a really dark gray, like a color that might be called “charcoal” on a paint chip at Lowe’s. I mean black, like a car tire, only darker and glossier. See?

image That’s the box on the top, the bar on the bottom. And yes, they are exactly the same shade of black.

It trips me out that the residue of the soap is black (I thought it might stain light colors, but so far, so good), yet the suds are white. I keep using too much just because I’m watching it change!

I’m trying the soap on my face, and although it takes a little work to get off eye makeup, it’s definitely doable. I generally use coconut oil for eye makeup remover, anyway. (What else can you do with coconut oil?) I don’t know that I’ve been at it long enough to report conclusively, but so far, it’s doing okay. The massive size of the bar makes me think it will last forever, and for $19.95, that’s a great thing.

What’s in it?

Ingredients: Organic castile base (glycerin, water, sodium palmitate, sorbitol, sodium cocoate, palm acid, coconut acid, pentasodium pentetate, tetrasodium etidronate), lavender, bamboo charcoal powder, bamboo vinegar.

I looked up all the ingredients, one by one, at Wikipedia and the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, and everything rated ONE (ultra safe). They’re all made from palm oil, coconut oil, or are deemed otherwise harmless. I admit that when I saw ingredients I couldn’t pronounce, I was a little worried, but I feel like I can stand behind the eco-integrity of the product based on what I learned so far.

What does it smell like?

With lavender in the ingredients list, I was worried it would smell flowery and feminine, but on the contrary, I would place the scent squarely in the category of “slightly masculine.” It’s fresh and pleasant, and something that could really go nicely gender neutral.

Ever Bamboo Deodorizing Products: Review

I may not be the perfect person to review deodorizing products, not because we have no odor issues in our house, but because sometimes I’m not very observant. Case in point: we threw away the diaper pail deodorizer on accident after a week. Good thing they come in 2-packs!

Sigh. Case in point no. 2: The second packet broke open and is half strewn across the bottom of our pail. The instructions said to put it taped to the top of the lid or the bottom of the container if using a liner. Since we have no lid and I didn’t want it thrown away again, I taped it to the side. That’s what I get for not following directions!

Diaper Pail Deodorizer Testing (While I Could)

image I specifically left a poopy diaper in our nursery garbage when I went away for Labor Day weekend, thinking that the room should smell overpowering when we got back. It didn’t. Sometimes I’d still catch whiffs of yucky smells during that week, but overall, I’d have to give Ever Bamboo’s diaper pail deodorizer a cautious thumbs up.

All their deodorizers are supposed to last about a year. To care for them, you have to put them in the sunshine 2-3 hours per side, once a month. I will have to put a reminder in my Google calendar for that. I only wonder what I will be able to accomplish with a wintertime sun here in Michigan. That may be a flaw in the system! UPDATE: See a great idea in the comments section.

After the packets are tapped out, the charcoal can be mixed in with garden soil. Ever Bamboo is very careful to stay low waste, even printing instructions for use on the bags instead of including a separate insert. Love that!

Hockey Equipment Deodorizers

The hockey deodorizers are the ones that really caught my eye. If anyone in your family (or perhaps even your block) plays hockey, you know what I mean. That equipment is rank! My husband’s entire car smells of stale male sweat because his hockey gear lives in his trunk. I may not be using the term “lives” as jokingly as you might think there.

Our conclusion on the effectiveness of the Ever Bamboo deodorizer?

The smell is definitely decreased after the first week, when the gear was stashed in the garage because I had to drive his car (which smelled like sweaty hockey gear, even in the absence of the gear). Once the hockey stuff was back in the trunk, I climbed in to test. In my unprofessional opinion, I think it’s better. The four deodorizer packets are in his skates and gloves, so there’s still some equipment untouched by the bamboo. And again, if you’ve ever smelled hockey gear, you know it’s a serious stink. When I opened the trunk, I could smell it, but the odor immediately wafted away on the breeze. Pretty sure that didn’t used to happen! I’m wondering if he could keep on packet loose in the bag to tackle the shoulder and shin pads, rather than in a skate. We’ll have to experiment more!

We also got a sample of the fridge and freezer deodorizer and the shoe deodorizer. Other than ease of use over baking soda, I don’t know that I can say much about them, because my fridge contents and smell change too much for me to realize the effectiveness of the former, and we didn’t have stinky shoes to test for the latter. Anyone interested?  ;)

Actually, if you’re interested, go enter the giveaway where two winners can have their choice of any three products from Ever Bamboo!

There’s also still 4 more days (through September 23rd) to enter the $250 lunch packing giveaway HERE.

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Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

Disclosure: Ever Bamboo is a September sponsor of KS, but that in no way affected my opinion on this review post. See my full disclosure statement here.

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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