Top 10 Surprising Uses for Diatomaceous Earth

Top 10 Surprising Uses for Diatomaceous Earth

Have you heard about diatomaceous earth? Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring product that is mined out of old lakebeds. This versatile product is completely organic and safe to use around family and pets. Be sure when choosing diatomaceous earth that you only use the organic food grade variety that is natural-milled, unheated, amorphous (non-crystalline) silicon dioxide. Click here to check out a great choice. There are so many wonderful ways you can use diatomaceous earth and it is so easy to try. Today I am going to share the top 10 surprising uses for diatomaceous earth.




natural pesticide

Natural pesticide


We’ll start with the most common use. Even if you’re generally bug friendly but don’t want them in your home, you’re in luck. Diatomaceous earth is a natural and safe repellent that deters insects from entering in the first place. Dust inside and outside of your home to repel and kill insects. Here is a list of insects many people have used diatomaceous earth to treat:


  • Ants


  • Cockroaches


  • Bed bugs


  • Fleas


  • Spiders


  • Ticks


  • Scorpions


  • And so many others



flea control

Flea control 

Diatomaceous earth can be directly applied on your dog or cat to get rid of fleas. Start at the base of the tail, moving towards the head and pushing the fur up to expose the skin. Apply diatomaceous earth with your hand and place it on the skin. Try not to get DE into your pet’s ears or eyes and remember to apply diatomaceous earth in the home to break the flea cycle.



organic smoothie

Eating Diatomaceous Earth


This is perhaps one of the more “Googled” terms about diatomaceous earth. Many people are interested in the potential health benefits—healthier hair, nails, skin—that come from eating DE. Other potential benefits include DE lowering blood cholesterol and the health benefits of silica (food grade DE is 85 percent silica). Remember to only eat organic food grade diatomaceous earth.


garden pest control


Garden pest control


Sometimes an infestation can grow rampant, to the point it becomes necessary to pull out the diatomaceous earth. The kind of pest you have in your garden generally dictates the mode of application:


Flying insects: Dust your plants with diatomaceous earth after you have watered them. Make sure you lightly spray the plants as well to help the diatomaceous earth stick. Make sure to get underneath the leaves as well. This is best done in the morning to allow the DE to dry.


Ground insects: This works especially well on slugs. Put a ring of diatomaceous earth around the plants that are actively getting chomped on. Be sure to keep any leaf out from touching to soil outside the ring of DE. You don’t want to inadvertently use a “ladder” for these pests to get on.


natural dewormer


Organic de-wormer


Some pet owners want to use an alternative to a synthetic de-wormer, and they do this by adding diatomaceous earth to their pet’s food. Here are the ratios for your pet’s daily dosage:




  • Puppies & Small Dogs: ½ tsp


  • Dog under 50 lb: 1 tsp


  • Dog over 50 lb: 1 tbsp


  • Dog over 100 lb: 2 tbsp




  • Kittens: ½ tsp


  • Cats: 1 tsp


food storage


Prolonged food storage


An article by the University of Minnesota states that almost all dry food is susceptible to a beetle infestation. Diatomaceous earth protects food from infestations and it keeps food dry which prevents food from clumping, germinating, or going moldy. If you have grains, legumes, beans, rice, or corn in storage then adding DE works well to keep it protected and dry.


dust your chicken coop


Dust your chicken coop


Many chicken keepers add diatomaceous earth to their chicken coop and chickens’ dust bath to protect their chickens against lice and mites. Even if you coop currently doesn’t have this problem, a regular regime of diatomaceous earth can prevent these problems from cropping up.


homemade toothpaste


Homemade toothpaste


The funny thing is that lots of toothpastes already use diatomaceous earth as an ingredient because it is a mild abrasive. You can add a pinch of diatomaceous earth to your toothpaste before you brush in the morning and you’ll be surprised at how clean your teeth feel afterwards.


facial cleanser


Facial cleanser


If you have naturally oily skin, then mix diatomaceous earth in water until it reaches the consistency of paste. Place the paste on your face like a mask and let it rest there for at least a few minutes. Afterwards, wash it off with water. Do this no more than once or twice week because diatomaceous earth will dry out your skin.






You can deodorize numerous ways using diatomaceous earth. Here are a few ways to deodorize in your home:


  • For smelly outdoor garbage, sprinkle diatomaceous earth to cover the bottom of a dry garbage can.


  • Add diatomaceous earth to your cat’s litter box by mixing in it thoroughly with a spatula or gloved hands. Coupled with its deodorizing capabilities, DE absorbs liquids twice its weight.


  • For smelly footwear, dust the bottom of each shoe with diatomaceous earth and leave it for at least eight hours.


  • Carpets absorb a lot of smells, so vacuum your carpet and then dust it with diatomaceous earth. Leave it for at least 12 to 24 hours.


I hope that you will try diatomaceous earth and see how fantastic it is for so many different uses!


Have you ever used Diatomaceous earth? What did you use it for and how did you like it? Please contribute to the conversation by leaving a comment.



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Guest Post provided by Beth Haymond. Beth Haymond has worked as the content writer at for almost two years, after graduating from college with a degree in English. She also manages the social media side of things. Check out on Facebook  and Twitter.


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  1. Fabulous post, Shelley! Thanks for all the great tips and suggestions on how to use Diatomaceous earth. A couple of them I have tried, but not all of them by any means.

    As I currently have ants in my kitchen due to the extreme heat here in S. California, I found myself this morning tackling the question of eco-friendly and safe ways to deal with them.

    I used a vinegar-water spray with essential oils mixed in to zap them and eliminate the scent of the ant trail, but realized I should also be using something safe as a preventative. So the idea of using Diatomaceous earth sounds great! I’m definitely going to give it a try.
    Karen Peltier recently posted..Make Your Own Belly-Busting Aromatherapy Massage OilMy Profile

  2. I not only have never heard of this, I couldn’t begin to know how to pronounce it – but it sounds like amazing stuff! Thank you for this very informative article and I am definitely going to take a closer look at this Diatomaceous earth.
    Marquita Herald recently posted..The #1 Obstacle to Effective Problem SolvingMy Profile

  3. Roberta Spain says:

    I am having lots of success with flea control. Thanks for the other tips that I knew nothing about.

  4. Interesting substance, Shelley.

    I used to drink Dr. Jensen’s “Herbal Melange” which is mined from the Dead Sea. It was a pretty incredible bowel and digestive system tonic, insofar as it reduces intestinal transit time and enhances nutrient assimilation. You’ve reminded me to get back to it.

    I had no idea of the other uses that you outline in this article, though. I’ll certainly check out the product you’ve linked to, sounds great.
    David Merrill 101 recently posted..Do You Want To Rank Page One On Google?My Profile

  5. Shelley, All I can say is WoW, all I have ever used it for was the powder that goes in the swimming pool filter that I have to clean out every 6 months, due to the dog hair! Gross I know. But all these ideas are awesome.

    Thanks for sharing, Andy
    Andy Lockhart recently posted..Is the Urchin Annoying you?My Profile

  6. I think Kim was using this in her house because her cats roam around the farm and sometimes acquire fleas from time to time. I wasn’t aware of all the great uses until now.
    Nile recently posted..When Leaving the Internet Marketing Lingo At the Door Is BestMy Profile

  7. Hello Shelley, Nope I have never heard of diatomaceous earth before and cannot believe all the benefits that you have shared here today.. Wowsy Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..6 Tips To Improve Your Communication Skills With Your ProspectsMy Profile

  8. Hi Shelley,
    I’ve never heard of Diatomaceous earth, but I’m sure glad I came to this post! I moved last year and have grown my own garden in a new zone. I used to have my organic mix of bug repellants and other things necessary but my poor veggie garden has been overtaken by bugs..beetles I’m not used to, and also slugs.

    This will sure come in handy for my next crop! Also for my dogs! I just hate poisoning them with chemicals to ward off fleas and ticks.

    This has so may uses…I am grateful you have introduced me to it.

    donna merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  9. Hi Shelley! I’ve never even heard of this but it sounds really interesting.

    Intrigued by the idea of adding it into toothpaste and so useful that it can be used for flea control. I’ve been quite lucky with my dogs and fleas (they rarely if ever get them) but I am wary of some of the commercial flea treatments and the chemicals they contain. I’ll remember this tip!
    Lucy Davies recently posted..Tips For Using Pinterest For Business [The Saturday Infographic]My Profile

  10. I got to get me some of this stuff! It is so versatile and looks like it has so many benefits to it. Until now i have never heard about it. I truly wish most mainstream products were made from such raw and organic substances rather than synthetic chemical made substances. Thanks for sharing!
    Kyle Nelson recently posted..10 Ways To Get More Followers On InstagramMy Profile


  12. Never heard about this stuff, but it rocks. One stuff that one has to have in the house to help solve so many issues and it is safe too.
    Siphosith recently posted..Super Easy Ways To Handle Being Overwhelmed In MLMMy Profile

  13. Thanks for this great round-up of uses for diatomaceous earth. I first came across it years ago as a gardening and pest control aid, it was only when first starting to study naturopathy a few years ago that I found out it had so many more benefits! Loved your suggestion of adding it to homemade toothpaste, I honestly hadn’t noticed it was in some branded products already. Adding that to my to-do list 😀

  14. Love it. Thanks for being awesome!
    Pam recently posted..13 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Eczema NaturallyMy Profile

  15. Hi Shelley,
    thank you so much for this detailed information.
    A while ago a friend of mine talked about it and she uses it too.

    Do you think it would help with the smell of new hot water bottles!

    I appreciate learning so much from your blog posts!
    Love and Light!
    Yorinda Wanner recently posted..Therapeutic Benefits of KnittingMy Profile

  16. Who would have thought. If MacGyver had added distomaceous earth to the duct tape and pocket knife he always carried around, maybe it would still be on the air. Sounds like versatile stuff. I think my first exposure with it had something to do with cleaning a pool. Does that sound right?

    I’ll be sure to use it as a natural bug repellant now.
    Zach recently posted..Car Seat Laws in NevadaMy Profile

  17. It’s spring here in Australia and my roses are starting to bloom but they seem to attract so many things determined to eat them. I’ll have to give distomaceous earth a try.
    Sue Bride recently posted..Your WordPress Theme WardrobeMy Profile

  18. Interesting. I’ve never used diatomaceous earth before. I have used a toothpaste called Earthpaste, which has food grade redmond clay in it. Using it for deodorizing sounds cool, too.
    Leanne Chesser recently posted..The Me & You ManifestoMy Profile

  19. Excellent post Shelley. Your website is beautiful and the tips you provide are priceless. The only time I had used Diatomaceous Earth was when back washing my pool. Other than that, I had no idea there where alternative uses. Seriously, very well done!

  20. Shelley,

    May I say that this article is amazing!

    We have lots of ants starting in the spring all over our property. I have been using lots of Bay Leaves to keep them away from various locations. It works, yet the management is something else. Now, with this method. I can get more out of my time.

    I love all the various useage. I am going to be sharing this will alot of my personal contacts. Hey, I will place this information in my next postcards being issued. Thanks for keeping me updated.

    I would love you to give me a lead on more stuff with diabetes II.
    William Amis recently posted..Enough is Enough!My Profile

    • Thanks so much William! DE works so well with ants so they should make your life a lot easier this spring. I really appreciate your support and sharing this info with your personal contacts. Please feel free to contact me directly at my email for info on helping you with your diabetes.
      Shelley Alexander recently posted..Blood Orange Cherry Turmeric MilkMy Profile

  21. Hi Shelley,

    I can always count on learning something totally brand new when I come to your blog Shelley. The benefits are huge and I am hoping that I can find it at my local health food stores.

    Rachel Lavern recently posted..The Truth About Running a BusinessMy Profile

  22. Wow. Who knew? We have used Diatomaceous Earth for a long time in the garden for natural pest control however I had no idea it had so many other applications. I would never have thought about ingesting it. Very intersting and eye opening post!
    Tracy J Thomas recently posted..Photomontage – The Butterfly EffectMy Profile

  23. Hi Shelley,

    We learned about the benefits of Diatomaceous Earth the hard way when using it for bed bugs control at our own home some time ago in India. Was a harrowing experience as you can imagine but in the end it led us to this great discovery!

    Since then, we are on a mission to promote it in India and have created a product that is specially designed for pest control by fortifying DE with Palygorskite that makes it even more effective for pests like bed bugs, dog ticks and fleas. People here in India are still mostly unaware of the benefits of Diatomaceous Earth and that is where posts like yours provide a lot of good info and assurance to everyone around. Thanks for the same.

    Pooja recently posted..How to use Diatomaceous Earth for Bed BugsMy Profile

  24. DE is one of the best natural pesticides out there. Great post!

  25. WOW! I think it is so amazing how many uses DE has. I think my favorite is getting rid of pests though. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Great article Shelley and Beth! 🙂

    DE is one of those multi-purpose all-natural products with tons of uses.

    Just be careful not to overdo it if you’re trying to apply it around your house. Some folks end up making huge piles of the stuff around there home that only creates more problems than it solves.

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