Keep Our Service Free-Donate

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Unusual Uses for Charcoal-+Black Powder Recipes

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

 Unusual Uses for Charcoal-+Black Powder Recipes

   Everyone knows about using charcoal for BBQs or in making gunpowder but did you know you can use to keep your garden tools rust-free and ensure they last for years?  Simply place a few lumps of charcoal into a leg of old panty hose and tie it closed, then place the schet wherever you store your tools.  The charcoal will absorb rust-causing moisture!

Eliminate static from a radio.  You brought a radio along on your family camping trip, but the appliance isn’t picking up a signal and all you get is static.  Here is the fix [I learned this in the Navy]:  Place a piece of charcoal on top of the radio-it will attract electromagnetic radio waves in the air and transfer them to the radio to provide static-free audio.

Soak up litter box odor.  If you cat’s litter box always smells no matter how often you scoop it, place a few briquettes in an old sock and tie it shut with a string and bury it in the box…the charcoal will absorb the odor.

Ward off bathroom mildew.  A low-cost way to prevent summer heat and humidity from causing mold to grow in your bathroom [works in our bath which has no venting] is to place a few briquettes in a small bowl and hide it behind the toilet.  The absorbent charcoal will trap moisture and bacteria lurking in the air before it can transform into mildew.

Ensure your garden stays hydrated.  Prior to heading out of town for a weekend, break several charcoal briquettes into one inch pieces and sprinkle them on your flower beds and beneath bushes.  The porous pieces will absorb and retain water and slowly release it into the ground so your soil stays moist until you return.

Protect plants from pests.  To deter slugs that have taken a liking to your garden and destroying your plants, grab some charcoal and sprinkle a circle of cooled charcoal ash around the base of each plant where pests frequent.  Slugs dislike the gritty texture of ash and will avoid those plants.

Nourish Your Compost Heap

Mix charcoal into your compost pile to increase its carbon content. (If the pile smells like ammonia, it needs carbon.)


Charcoal has long been used in a variety of filtering applications including cigarettes and air filters. 

Here’s a basic recipe for making your own gunpowder [I knew you would ask}:

So before you can make your black powder you need to determine which of the following ingredients you have the ability to make on your own. Here is a list with link on how to make each possible ingredient.

1. Saltpeter
2. Charcoal
3. Sulfur
4. Sugar
5. Honey
6. Alcohol

You don't need each of these ingredients. It depends on your recipe. That is simply a list of ingredients for all of the recipes.

Here are some black powder recipes!

Recipe 1:
75 parts of saltpeter
15 parts of char coal, and (Parts given by weight)
10 parts of sulfur

Recipe 2:
100 parts of saltpeter
24 parts of char coal

Recipe 3:
45 parts of saltpeter
5 parts sugar
9 parts charcoal

Keep in mind that these ratio's are not written in stone. Since each batch of your ingredients is likely to vary it is always a good idea before mixing the ingredients to run some test varying the ratios of the ingredients to find what works best. But these recipes should be a good starting point.

Note: This is just a list of ingredients so far. There is more to the process then just mixing the ingredients.

How to take your ingredients and combine them to make gunpowder:

Step 1.  Ball mill each of the ingredients seperately.
Step 2.  Mix in the proper ration the sulfur and charcoal.
Step 3.  Add isopropyl alcohol to charcoal/sulfur mx and mix throughly.
Step 4.  Measure 1/4 cup (40 ml) of water for every 1/2 cup (100 grams) of potassium nitrate in an old pan. Add your potassium nitrate. Bring to a boil. Stir continuously. Add little bits of water at intervals until the potassium nitrate is completely dissolved.
Step 5.  Add the charcoal/sulfur or sugar mixture to your pot of boiling potassium nitrate. To attain the proper recipe solution. Stir.
Step 6.  Add the hot solution to your isopropyl alcohol. Stir together.
Step 7.  Let cool. Quicker the better?
Step 8.  Filter everything through a cloth to remove all liquid buy squeezing out the liquid.
Step 9.  Begin to dry the gunpowder slowly. Do not use artificial heat such as a stove or oven.
Step 10.  Press the Blackpowder through a fine sieve while it is still slightly damp. Then spread the small pellets out to dry completely.
Step 11. Store your black powder in a cool, dry place. Plastic or Glass containers with lids work great.

You are finished... Finally!

*Note: You can substitute drinking alcohol or even water for isopropyl alcohol.

*Note: The above steps are not the only way to do this. Some simply mix the ingredients and then wet with water. And push through a 16 hole per inch screen when damp. To wet it won't go through the screen. To dry it will not stay clumped.

*Note The object of these steps is to get the potassium nitrate infused into the charcoal as much as possible. The sieve pelletizes the gunpowder. Gunpowder needs to be pelletized so that when the first part of the gunpowder ignites it can more quickly ignite all the powder at once instead of having to burn through the powder to ignite the rest.


Yours for better living,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


Additional Resources

Canned Foods With Longest Shelf Life For Prepping


Try sprouting lentils. Just put about a 1/4 cup in a mason jar, cover with water, drain after one day and rinse, then rinse and drain daily for 2 or 3 more days and you'll have a nutritional powerhouse of extremely cheap food. Also good for emergency prepping - no heat or energy needed to prepare!

Honestly, I can’t stress enough the importance of stockpiling emergency food and water. I know it makes me sound like a broken record, but in crisis after crisis, we’ve seen individuals get desperate when faced with a lack of supplies and the burden to provide for their families. Don’t be one of those people.

Get your provisions in order now — before the next disaster. And while you’re at it, read this detailed article on water storage. It goes over several dos and don’ts, includes links to other great resources and highlights my personal favorite long-term storage solution: the WaterBricks water storage system.

When you’re finished reading, click here for a great deal on WaterBricks so you can start stocking up on emergency water today.

Contributors and subscribers enable the Poor Man Survivor to post 150+ free essays & free reports that I provide annually. It is for this reason they are Heroes and Heroines of New Media. Without your financial support, the free content would disappear for the simple reason that I cannot keep body and soul together on my meager book sales & ecommerce alone.  You can make a donation at top of this page via PayPal.


Support our efforts by shopping my storefront…


A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production



Yvonne said...

Great tips-I'm going to try using that charcoal idea in my bathroom as it has not venting and mold builds quickly!

DAR said...

good always.