Now here’s one versatile natural product no household should be without!Diatomaceous Earth (pronounced dia-tome-ay-shus) can be used as a natural deodorizer, a non-toxic cleaner, in making beauty products, in the garden, and more! So why should every household stock up on this soft white powder? What is Diatomaceous Earth? An amazing naturally-occurring sedimentary rock, diatomaceous earth (DE) is notably soft and crumbly, forming a fine white powder that can range in texture from soft to abrasive (like pumice powder), depending on the granularity. It is created from the fossilized remains of diatoms, which is a type of hard-shelled algae believed to have originated during the early Jurassic period. First discovered in Germany in the 1830’s, diatomaceous earth has been found to be useful in a number of applications, especially in deodorizing, cleaning, gardening, and in beauty applications. Using Diatomaceous Earth as a Natural Deodorizer
- Stinky garbage got you down? Sprinkle enough diatomaceous earth to lightly cover the bottom of your garbage can. Replace each time your garbage is taken out.
- Do you use baking soda to keep unwanted odors from swarming your refrigerator? Diatomaceous earth can be used the same way by keeping ½ – 1 cup of DE on a shelf in the fridge.
- Deodorize while you vacuum? Yes, please. Add 2-3 tablespoons of diatomaceous earth to your vacuum bag or canister each time before you vacuum. As an added bonus, you can also add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil(s) to the filter for added deodorizing power!
- What litter box smell? Mix ¼ – ½ cup of diatomaceous earth with kitty litter to help eliminate unwanted litter box odors. As an added bonus, the DE will also help with clumping after Fluffy does her business!
- No one likes smelly shoes or gym bags. Sprinkle a small amount of diatomaceous earth into stinky shoes or sports equipment. Let the powder sit overnight, then shake out and wipe clean the next morning.
Using Diatomaceous Earth as a Non-Toxic Cleaner
- Forget the chemicals. Combine diatomaceous earth with dish soap and a few drops of vinegar and mix well. This will form a soft paste that can be used as a household soft scrub.
- Not the rug! Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on wet carpet stains to absorb the moisture and let sit for up to 2 hours—do not scrub. Go over the stain with a vacuum.
- Make that silver shine! Combine diatomaceous earth with water until a paste forms. Using a soft cloth and a small amount of paste, gently polish flatware, silver, gold, and jewelry.
- Feeling lack luster? Remove tarnish by rubbing spots with dry diatomaceous earth and a soft cloth.
Using Diatomaceous Earth as a Beauty Product
- Some say it’s better than clay! Create your own facial mask by combining diatomaceous earth with pure water, mixing until a paste is formed. Use a tongue depressor to apply to the skin, leaving on for up to 5 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
- Doing an at-home manicure? Turn that polish party into an at-home spa experience by making a nail soak with diatomaceous earth, water, and a couple drops of your favorite essential oil(s).
Using Diatomaceous Earth in the Garden
- Need to amend your soil? Diatomaceous earth’s natural supply of trace minerals makes it the perfect soil-enhancing amendment in the garden at the start of the season.
- Dealing with light, sandy soil? Diatomaceous earth has natural moisture-retaining properties that help keep soil nice and moist for your plants.
- Pest problem? Combine 1 cup of diatomaceous earth with ½ gallon of water and stir well. Use a soft brush to coat the leaves of plants that are experiencing problems with pests. Keep children and pets away from these plants for 2-3 hours after applying. This should help with any existing pests and help prevent new ones from showing up to your garden.
- Preserving bulbs for next season? Lightly coat your flower bulbs with diatomaceous earth, then place in a permeable bag. Hang this bag in a dry place with optimal airflow to store those babies for next year.
How do you use diatomaceous earth around the house? Have you tried any of these uses? Share your experience with us in the comments!