Binchotan charcoal has been used for centuries in Japan to purify and soften water. As an active carbon it attracts contaminants like chlorine and binds them to its surface, away from the water you drink.
You will notice the difference in taste in about 1 hour, but it ideally can be left overnight for first use. The charcoal can be used directly from the packaging, straight into the coil and into your bottle or jug.
After about 3 months, you may notice a decline in taste. At this point, you can simply boil the charcoal in water for 10 minutes to recharge it, then use for an additional 3 months.
Your charcoal will still filter water even if broken, but if you’d rather buy a new one, there’s plenty of things you can do with the broken pieces. You can learn more about Binchotan charcoal and it’s secondary uses in the FAQ section on the top of this page.