Diatomaceous Earth: 14 Surprising Everyday Uses

Buy it on Amazon

Diatomaceous earth (DE), also known as diatomite, is a soft sedimentary rock made up of the fossils of algae-like organisms called diatoms. It’s 80-90% silica and usually comes in the form of a fine, white powder, commonly used in things like water filtering, food manufacturing, skin products, and farming practices.

You can buy two kinds of diatomaceous earth: industrial grade and food grade. Industrial grade DE comes from saltwater sources, and food-grade DE comes from freshwater sources. Knowing the difference is critical both because of where you’ll look to buy it, and how you’ll use it.

What the heck is Diatomaceous Earth? Sounds like it’s from when the dinosaurs roamed around. 🦕🦖 . Well, truth be told it's a powder formed by fossilized remains of diatoms (type of hard shelled algae). . The best part is it’s 100% natural. It’s an organic and naturopathic grade food product and it contains 15 trace minerals! It’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-parasitic and anti-fungal.🙌🏼 . It’s so effective at thoroughly cleansing your digestive system by gently removing build up, toxins, metals and parasites.👊🏼. It is also naturally high in silica, which is necessary for bone, hair, nail and skin growth, and has 15 trace minerals. It can also help restore body tissue and improve digestion.💪🏻 . So what else can you do with DE? I like making diy deodorant, natural bug and pest repellant, pet health, face masks, diy toothpaste and more..what do you use @diatomaceousearthcom for? . **IMPORTANT: It is important to make sure it’s FOOD GRADE for consumption. Other forms of DE are not considered safe and can be harmful to your lungs when inhaled. . . . #diatomaceousearth #detoxsupport #nourishyourself #selfcarejourney #healthjourney #healthymama #glutenfreevegan #parasites #healyourgut #superfood #naturopathy #fossils #pethealth #nourishyourself #naturopathy #travelingfamily #holisticnutrition #bodyandsoul #healingherbs #momtog #healingfoods #yleos #detoxification #nutrients #bugrepellent #naturopathicmedicine #kidshealth #justeatrealfood #plantbasedlife #naturalliving

A post shared by Orange Expressions (@orangeexpressions) on

Industrial diatomaceous earth is used in things like filtering pool and fish tank water and is not safe for human or pet consumption. So, it shouldn’t be used in our homes or our gardens. Food-grade DE is what we’ll be focusing on in this post.

Diatomaceous Earth

Find it at Amazon

DE has a surprisingly long list of benefits and is in some surprising places. Why so beneficial? Well, because DE is primarily made up of silica, and as we’ll discover, silica is a heavy hitter when it comes to making a difference in our soil, our bodies, and even for our pets. Let’s take a look at 14 uses for diatomaceous earth.

1. Garden Pest Killer

One of the most common uses of DE is as a cost-effective, simple garden pest killer. It’s a safe pesticide that can be used on crops to kill slugs, beetles, bugs and other unwanted pests.

You can also sprinkle it on the ground or into cracks where bugs hide. Diatomaceous earth dries out their exoskeleton, and they die from dehydration.

2. Compost Pile

Another area of your yard where you can use diatomaceous earth is your compost pile. It kills pests without affecting our worm friends and eliminates odors.

3. Flea & Tick Killer

Because fleas and ticks also have an exoskeleton, DE is an effective flea and tick killer and is completely safe for use on your dog. Brush the powder through their fur, being careful not to get it into your eyes or theirs. Also, be sure that neither you nor your dog inhales DE, as it can be harmful to the lungs.

4. Insect and Ant Killer

Luckily, because DE is safe for humans and pets, it’s an easy and inexpensive way to eliminate insects and ants from your home.

To do this, put a small amount of DE into a squirt bottle, shake it to create dust, and puff the dust directly onto the insects or ants or in the areas where they have been found.

🐜 got some diatomaceous earth for the garden. A natural pesticide, DE is classified under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act as a safe substance for household use. It’s a natural insecticide, since it absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects’ exoskeletons, which causes them to dehydrate and die of water deficiency. Even better, it has numerous helpful effects to humans! Some of the benefits of using DE internally include reducing odors, helping to curb gas, cleansing the digestive tract, boosting liver function and absorbing harmful toxins within the blood. • • • Here’s a quick list! • • •improved digestion and more regular bowel movements •better liver and colon functioning •improved detoxification and removal of heavy metals •stronger immune function and protection from illnesses •a cleaner home, free from parasites, bed bugs and viruses •healthier-looking skin, hair and nails. •stronger bones and protection from fractures or osteoporosis •improved joint and ligament health •improved energy Can’t wait to try this internally! 🐜 • • • • • • • • • #plantagram #plant #gardenhacks #garden #gardener #pesticide #natural #diatomaceousearth #diatomaceousearthfoodgrade #bugs #plantmom

A post shared by briee (@plantagram_) on

You can also apply a fine layer of DE to areas of concern with a hand duster. You will only need enough so that as insects move through it, it clings to them and eventually they die of dehydration.

5. Enhance Your Soil

Because diatomaceous earth can absorb and hold water in the soil without interfering with natural drainage, it can be used as a soil conditioner in potting soil and in hydroponic gardens.

Mix DE into the soil prior to planting the garden.

6. Cleaner

It may sound improbable to talk about using diatomaceous earth as a cleaner or using dirt to clean dirt…? Well, yes. Sort of. DE is mildly abrasive and can be used as a polish or cleanser.

Beautiful, fresh bag of DE!!! #sopretty #diatomaceousearth #whereyougetyoursilicabro #govegan

A post shared by Melissa Anne (@melissa_the_chill_vegan) on

DE is an eco-friendly, non-toxic alternative for cleaning pots and pans. It can also be used to clean toilets and other areas of the home where you’d normally use cleaning products. Additionally, it’s safe to use when polishing your silver.

7. Stain Remover

Before you spend another dime on commercial stain remover, give diatomaceous earth a try. The powder pulls oil out of a garment which can then be washed as normal.

8. Carpet Stain Remover

As with clothing, DE can be used to remove stains from carpeting. Rub a generous amount of it into the stain, let it sit for a few hours, then vacuum as normal. Depending on the stain, it may take a few applications to remove it completely.

9. Carpet Deodorizer

Because of its dehydrating power, DE is an alternative to store-bought carpet deodorizers. Even if you have no stains to remove, sprinkle your carpeting with DE, let it sit for 24 hours, and vacuum it up. It’ll leave your carpets smelling clean without a perfumed scent masking the odor.

10. Facial Exfoliant or Mask

If you’re a fan of DIY personal care products, you’re in luck. Diatomaceous earth is used in many of the products you’re already buying, so why not make it yourself without all of the added chemicals and save a few bucks? For example, facial cleansers and masks.

To do this, mix DE with a few drops of water and some essential oils of your choice (this is optional), forming a paste, and gently scrub it into your skin. Either rinse immediately or use as a mask and let it dry. Be careful not to leave it on for longer than 15 to 20 minutes as it can severely dry your skin.

11. Toothpaste

Another DIY personal care product you may want to consider making with diatomaceous earth is your own toothpaste. It’s mildly abrasive quality makes it effective.

Mix one-part coconut oil with one-part diatomaceous earth and add peppermint essential oil (for taste). You can also change the texture with a few drops of vegetable glycerin if you’d like.

12. Deodorant

While we’re on the topic of DIY personal care products, let’s talk about deodorant. Considering its ability to absorb odors, it seems almost obvious that DE would be an ingredient we’d look to when making deodorant.

DIY Deodorant remix. The deodorant I made AND love with baking soda, is unfortunately very irritating to my husband. I found an alternative using D.E. so let's hope this will be better for him. We've decided to switch to making our own for health reasons feel free to DM me questions, however here is the recipe: 1/2c D.E. (don't make me spell it) 1/2c Arrowroot powder 1/2c Shea butter (I used mango butter) melt it 1/2c coconut oil Combine, sit in an ice bath until solid, blend with a handmixer and bam, MAGIC🕴. For people who have sensitivities to baking soda you may want to give this a try. . . . #diy #naturaltings #deodorant #bakingsodafree #naturalalternatives #healthierlifestyle #healthieroptions #naturalproducts #safeproducts #aluminumfree #aluminumfreedeodorant #diatomaceousearth #DE #livingsimplistically

A post shared by Christie R. Edwards, MPH (@livingsimplistically) on

Not only does it kill odor-causing bacteria, but it also absorbs toxins and moisture, and it’s safe for even sensitive skin. To make DE deodorant, sift together three parts cornstarch or arrowroot powder, one-part DE, and gradually stir in two parts melted coconut oil and your favorite scented essential oils.

13. Detox

Some people use diatomaceous earth as an option when they detox their bodies. DE adherents say that it flushes heavy metals from the body, reduces odors and gas, cleans the digestive tract, increases liver function and absorbs toxins.

To do a DE detox, take one teaspoon of DE mixed with a cup of water daily, either one hour before eating or two hours after. Do this for a total of 10 days.

14. Health Supplement

Because diatomaceous earth is rich in minerals, it is thought to be an effective supplement, improving things like skin, hair, and nails, lowering cholesterol, boosting the immune system, controlling blood sugar, balancing candida (yeast) levels and even aiding in weight loss.

From your home, to your yard, your pets, and your own body, diatomaceous earth is already present in many products you already use. Consider the many ways you can use DE to make your own products, enhance your gardens and even your own health.

Written by Jessica Barrett Halcom

Jessica is an outdoor enthusiast who can be found dreaming up any excuse to make her way to the woods, the mountains, or the beach. Growing up in the country in a small town in Wisconsin, she had aspirations of one day moving to a big city to make her living as a writer. Her love of the country won out over the city, and though she makes her living writing, she has chosen the hills of Tennessee as her home where she lives with her family.


Leave a Reply

One Ping

  1. Pingback:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

weathervane at sunset

20 Unique Weathervanes For Your Homestead


Growing Corn