Activated bleach clay is any clay material that has the capability to decolorize oil or other liquids without chemical treatment. Fuller's earth typically consists of palygorskite (attapulgite) or bentonite. Modern uses of fuller's earth include absorbents for oil, grease, and animal waste (cat litter) and as a carrier for pesticides and fertilizers. Minor uses include filtering, clarifying, and decolorizing; active and inactive ingredient in beauty products; and as a filler in paint, plaster, adhesives, and pharmaceuticals.
Uses: In addition to its original use in the fulling of raw fibers, fuller's earth is now utilized in a number of industries. Most important applications make use of the minerals' natural absorbent properties in products sold as absorbents or filters.
Treatment for poisoning. Even given the risk of salmonella, the clay content of soil could save the life of a person exposed to paraquat, for example, as paraquat is intended to break down in soil.
Decontamination: Fuller's earth is used by military and civil emergency service personnel to decontaminate the clothing and equipment of servicemen and CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) responders who have been contaminated with chemical agents.
Cleaning agent: In the Indian subcontinent, it has been used for centuries to clean marble. As a good absorbent, it removes dust, dirt, impurities and stains from the surface and replenishes the shine of the marble. It has been used numerous times to clean the Taj Mahal, India with positive results.
Litter box: Since the late 1940s, fuller's earth has been used in commercial cat litter.
Cosmetology and dermatology: The same properties that make fuller's earth effective at removing oils, dirt, and impurities from wool are also effective on human hair and skin. Since ancient times it has found extensive uses in the beauty industry, both as a cosmetic and as a treatment for acne and other skin problems. Some clays have antiseptic properties, which enhance their effectiveness as skin treatments, though not all forms of fullers earth are truly antiseptic.