Diatomaceous Earth: Benefits for your Health and Home

There is no better time to make a change for the better than right now! Natural remedies may be all the rage, but it’s tough to find out which products really work and which are all hype. One product that several dieticians and researchers have been discussing is diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth has been a proven natural pesticide, water purifier, and deodorizer. Plus, other benefits such as healthier hair, skin, nails, and improved digestive health have been found as well. Follow along to find out what diatomaceous earth is, how it works, and why the world is raving about it.


What is Diatomaceous Earth?diatomaceous earth bag sold at Rural King

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a powder made from fossilized remains of diatoms, an aquatic plankton. Over a long period of time, their shells accumulate in around rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans. Now, they are mined from areas around the world.

Once the shell of this plankton has been crushed into a fine powder, it is either sold as is or treated with high heat to make pool grade diatomaceous earth. Before it is heated, diatomaceous earth is actually safe for human and animal consumption.

Today, we will be covering the benefits of Food Chemical Codex Grade (or “Food Grade”) diatomaceous earth.

Before I start the list, I want to let you know that DE is dangerous when inhaled. Very small quantities won’t hurt you, but inhaling a lot of DE has been known to lead to breathing difficulty. Just make sure when working with large amounts you are in a well-ventilated area or wearing a mask.


Diatomaceous Earth in the Garden

1. Natural Garden Pest Control

If you’re having troubles with bugs eating away at your plants, sprinkle some diatomaceous earth around them. Focus on areas where the bugs are likely to hide, like cracks and crevices. DE dehydrates pests, like beetles, slugs, and flies by removing their waxy coating, and bugs cannot become immune to it.

Crisp macro photo of Leaf footed bug adult and orange nymph feeding on green tomato in garden.

It’s also completely safe to use on the plants, so you don’t have to worry about safety concerns if you are adding DE to fruits and vegetables.

The only warning I have for using DE on plants is to avoid placing the powder where honey bees are likely to land. Diatomaceous earth can harm bees as well, so just spread the pesticide along the bottom, away from budding flowers. The bees shouldn’t come in contact with it there.

2. Great for Compost

When used in a compost pile, DE not only fights off the pests you don’t want, but also kills off the nasty smell. You don’t have to worry about the worms and beneficial organisms because the DE doesn’t affect them.

3. Great for Livestock, Such as Chickens and CowsDomestic chicken having a dust bath to keep healthy

Diatomaceous earth is a great way to get rid of parasites and toxins in the body of any animal, including humans. Simply mix some in with their feed. Be sure they have plenty of fresh water throughout the day to help with the flushing effect

It can also be a great dirt bath for chickens to get rid of fleas and mites. I’m not sure how much cows and horses like dirt baths, but spreading some DE on them can protect them from flies, fleas, and more.


Diatomaceous Earth in your Home

4. Add to the Cat Litter

DE is absorbent! It kills odors and is used for oil or water based spills. If you mix this in with your cat litter, it will help keep everything dry and keep that stink away.

5. Stain Removal

coffee stain on a shirt

Since diatomaceous earth is so absorbent, it is very useful when trying to remove stains from clothes and other surfaces. Work a bit of DE into the stain and wait while it absorbs the oil. Then, wash.

This also works for your carpet, but you’ll want to leave it in for about 24 hours to make sure it gets down into the stain. Using this powder will also kill carpet odors, so you’re killing two birds with one stone!

6. Rid Pets of Fleas, Ticks, Mites, and Parasites!

As stated before, diatomaceous earth is a natural pesticide and dewormer for all animals. That includes your dog, cat, rabbits, and all inside animals as well. Just sprinkle DE on the back of your pet to rid them of pests on the outside, and add a bit of DE to their food for a natural dewormer.

You can also protect your pet from these pests by sprinkling DE on your carpet and in your yard. The powder will dehydrate and kill those bugs before they can reach your furry friend.

Learn more about the use of DE for your pets and livestock HERE.

7. No More Stinky Trash Cans

We all have stinky trash, but sometimes that stink lingers. If you have a trash can that you’d rather have outside than in your kitchen, sprinkle some DE in the bottom. The powder will kill the odors and soak up any spills your trash bag left behind.

8. Clean and PolishWoman doing chores in bathroom, cleaning modern tap.

Diatomaceous earth is a mild abrasive, so it works pretty well as a cleaner for more than just your insides. Make a paste with DE and water, mix in some vinegar or lemon juice, and scrub around faucets, bathtubs, door handles, etc. The product will be perfect as a natural house cleaner.

9. Keep Bugs Out of the Home, Including Ants & Spiders

Any bug with an exoskeleton can be repelled with the use of DE. You can create a bug barrier around your house by putting down a line along the baseboards of your home, and/or around the foundation outside. This will ensure that your house is protected from unwanted visitors.


DE for Health & Beauty!

This product seems a little too good to be true, but there many personal accounts and some research that suggests diatomaceous earth for health and beauty as well.

It’s important to note that the FDA has not approved DE as a dietary supplement. However, it has been approved as a food additive.

10. Detox and Parasite Removal

We take in more toxins than we realize. That mixed with parasites that might live in your body can make you feel sluggish, susceptible to disease, and have poor digestive tract.

diatomaceous earth

Since the diatomaceous earth has a negative charge, it attracts parasites and toxins in your body when taken orally. It pulls the negative out so you can put that spring back in your step.

To remove the negatives from your body, simply put 1/2tsp – 1 Tbsp of food grade diatomaceous earth in an 8oz glass of water, stir thoroughly and drink once or twice a day. Start out with a small amount (most people start with 1/2tsp), and be sure to drink a lot of water throughout the day (2 Liters/ 8 cups).

11. Improve Joint and Bone Health

Silica is a prime ingredient in diatomaceous earth. It is also a trace mineral found in your joints, ligaments, and bones. By drinking the mixture discussed above (1/2tsp DE + 8oz water), you are adding more silica to the body. It isn’t a miracle cure for osteoporosis, but I’ve read several first-hand accounts that have discussed their joint health improved after taking DE.

12. Clean Hair, Teeth, and Nails

Diatomaceous earth is already an ingredient in toothpaste and shampoos. It is slightly abrasive, removes harmful toxins, and is already a natural part of the body. Adding more to these areas improves the strength.

For stronger hair, teeth, and nails, simply drink the mixture stated above. You can make a natural DE shampoo by following this Diatomaceous Earth Shampoo Recipe. And, for a natural way to have cleaner teeth, you can try this Natural Peppermint DE Toothpaste Recipe.

13. Natural Facemask

The water and diatomaceous earth mixture can make you have naturally glowing skin. If you’d like a double dose of silica for your skin, you can create a facemask using DE. Follow this Natural Facial Exfoliator Recipe to have naturally healthier looking skin.


Many More DE BenefitsDiatomaceous earth, natural and organic insecticide that kills insects by breaking their exoskeletons causing them to dehydrate. Also used in industry as filtration aid, abrasive, absorbent, stabilizer, thermal insulator and filler.

There are so many benefits to using diatomaceous earth. Whether you are trying it for your health or your garden, you’re sure to see some impressive results. Find more ways to use diatomaceous earth Here.

Have you ever use diatomaceous earth for your garden, livestock, or health? Please share your stories in the comment section below.

Check our Blog every Friday for more tips for the farm, home, and more!

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4 thoughts on “Diatomaceous Earth: Benefits for your Health and Home

    1. Mandi Mundhenk Post author

      Scott,
      I would suggest performing a bacteria and water analysis on the well water. You may have iron and sulfur bacteria in your water causing the smell.

      If you’re looking to filter the water, food grade DE will just dissolve in water so the only diatomaceous earth that you should use for water filtration would be calcined DE. However, you do NOT want to pour that into your well water. You would need to use that in conjunction with a water filtration system that is hooked up to the well pump/holding tanks system.

      I hope this helps!

    1. Mandi Mundhenk Post author

      Bill,
      You are absolutely right. I mention that this blog is specifically about the Food Grade DE, but you certainly wouldn’t want to confuse it with pool grade. Thanks for the link!

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