What Is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous earth is inert dust made of the fossilized remains of diatoms. This talc-like powder is porous, making it ideal for trapping particles. This capacity is what accounts for the wide range of diatomaceous earth’s abilities.
Diatomaceous earth is used in many commercial products such as toothpaste, lotion, polishers, filters, and non-toxic cleaners.
Beyond the commercial uses, diatomaceous earth is a must-have in the home.
As an alternative to many chemical cleaners and deodorizers, you can maintain an all-natural home with these different uses for diatomaceous earth.
The name diatomaceous earth often trips people up. It sometimes gets called diatomic earth, damascus earth, diamantis earth, demetrius earth and diamond tacious earth. But it has nothing to do with diamonds!
Read on to learn more about how to use diatomaceous earth indoors.
1. Diatomaceous Earth is a Natural insecticide
The best way to insect-proof your home is to seal up any cracks or crevices. Check window wells and your door to make sure everything is sealed properly.
Keep all food waste to a minimum and clean where food is likely to drop (under appliances and in your couch, if you’re prone to eating in the living room.) Generally, the best insecticide is prevention.
But if you already have pests invading your home, you can use diatomaceous earth as a natural insecticide.
2. Diatomaceous Earth is a Natural Ant Repellant
Ants are one of the most common insects to content with in the home.
How to use diatomaceous earth for ants
A natural solution is to dust diatomaceous earth in the entryways where the ants are marching in and out. Ants hate diatomaceous earth!
Simply sprinkle Diatomaceous earth on the entry and exit points where you see ants and they will dissapear.
Does diatomaceous earth kill ants?
Yes, diatomaceous earth is toxic to insects with an exoskeleton, which includes ants.
It is perfectly safe for humans and other animals.
3. Use Diatomaceous Earth to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
how to use diatomaceous earth for bed bugs
You can you diatomaceous earth for bed bugs! Bed bugs are essentially the plague in the bug world, and dust using diatomaceous earth alone will not get rid of them. It’s best to use a combination of intense cleaning, de-cluttering, and diatomaceous earth application.
Does diatomaceous earth kill bed bugs?
Yes, just like ants, bed bugs have an exoskeleton and hate diatomaceous earth.
4. Use Diatomaceous Earth to Get Rid of Cockroaches
Cockroaches hate diatomaceous earth and will avoid it!
How to get rid of cockroaches with Diatomaceous Earth
First, you need to cut off their food and water supply. Dry up any areas that are moist and check pipes and faucets to ensure no leaks. Clean up any food that has fallen down on the ground. Cockroaches are brought into your home on cardboard and paper that is used on food products. They lay their eggs and when the paper gets wet the eggs hatch into your home.
Put a sticky note wherever you’ve seen a cockroach and then dust liberally with diatomaceous earth.
5. Use Diatomaceous Earth on bad smells
Diatomaceous earth is a natural deodorizer you can use around the home. Here are some ideas to freshen up your home with a bit of diatomaceous earth.
6. Use diatomaceous earth to keep your fridge clean
Place a cup of uncovered diatomaceous earth in the fridge to keep it smelling fresh.
7. Diatomaceous earth works on smelly shoes too!
For a pair of smelly shoes, add some diatomaceous earth to the soles and leave it for a day. After a day has passed, dump out the diatomaceous earth and your shoes won’t smell anymore.
8. Use diatomaceous earth on your carpet
How to deodorize your carpets with diatomaceous earth
If you have pets in the home, you’re no stranger to a smelly carpet. Vacuum and then dust your carpet with diatomaceous earth and use a cleaning brush to coat the carpet fibers.
Leave it overnight, up to 24 hours is best, to let it really deodorize. Before you vacuum it up, be sure to break up any big clumps to help your vacuum out.
9. Get rid of kitty litter smell
Add about a 1⁄2 cup of diatomaceous earth to the kitty litter box to deodorize and absorb up to twice its weight. Since diatomaceous earth is odorless, you won’t have to worry about your cats noticing its addition to the kitty litter.
10. Clean and deodorize your garbage can
The garbage (indoor and outdoor) accumulates horrendous odors over time. Wash the garbage can out with soap and water, and then dust the inside of the can with diatomaceous earth.
11. Food storage
You can add diatomaceous earth to grains, legumes, beans, rice, corn, and other foods to prevent clumping, germinating, or molding.
There are other benefits to using diatomaceous earth in food storage. It works as a natural pesticide to protect against beetles and weevils.
How to use diatomaceous earth in food storage
The general rule is to use 1 pound of diatomaceous earth for every 50 pounds of grain. For long-term storage, increase the amount of diatomaceous earth up to 2 pounds of diatomaceous earth per 50 pounds of grain.
To maximize its efficiency, it’s best to layer the diatomaceous earth in the container so it’s mixed evenly.
You can do this by adding about a teaspoon of diatomaceous earth for every 3 pounds of grain. Mix the grain together afterward with a device. The more coverage diatomaceous earth gains the better it can protect your food.
12. Use Diatomaceous Earth to Absorb Spills
Because diatomaceous earth can absorb up to twice its weight, this feature makes it an ideal stain remover. Liquid stains like oil, grease, or soda are often a bigger problem than a paper towel.
Diatomaceous earth uses its porous diatoms to soak up messy spills without a hitch.
Let the diatomaceous earth soak up the spill until it’s dry. Then sweep or vacuum it up to dispose of spill and the diatomaceous earth.
If the spill has caused a stain, then proceed to clean it up with hot soapy water (or any other useful spill cleaning chemical).
Use extra caution on any hardwood surface to prevent scratching. The stain should be relatively mild since diatomaceous earth will have absorbed the residue out of the stain.
13. 4 Chemical-Free Diatomaceous Earth Cleaning Recipes
Diatomaceous Earth Polish
Mix together diatomaceous earth and vinegar to make a paste to polish your utensils. Add a few drops of lemon to leave your utensils smelling fresh.
Use this paste in the bathroom on faucets, showers, and sinks for a deep clean. The diatomaceous earth cleaning paste is ideal for copper pots and is a gentle abrasive.
Keep Silverware from Tarnishing
Use this if you rarely use your silverware and you need a way to keep it from tarnishing. Dust a little diatomaceous earth on top of your silverware.
If you don’t have a container, wrap you silverware into muslin, thin cotton, or handkerchief cloth.
Make a diatomaceous earth Spray Bottle
Add 4 heaping teaspoons to a gallon of water and shake vigorously. Diatomaceous earth won’t mix completely rather it hangs suspended in the water. Because of this, be sure to shake a little before you spray.
You can use this as a cleaner or to apply diatomaceous earth to some tricky areas as a pesticide.
How to clean up diatomaceous earth
The wonderful thing about diatomaceous earth is that it is a completely natural product. If you spill diatomaceous earth outside, you can simply all it decompose in the environment.
For spills on carpet, use a filterless vacuum cleaner to suck it up. For spills on hardfloors, a dustpan and broom or a damp cloth will remove any last traces from your floor
Beth Haymond graduated with an English degree and has been working at DiatomaceousEarth.com for the past two years. In addition to being the content writer, she manages all things social. Check out DiatomaceousEarth.com on Twitter, and Pinterest.
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