How to Dispose of Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth is a powder that forms from the fossilized algae in the water.

It has a lot of silica content and can be found all over the world. Before now, people utilized it for building purposes. 

Types of Diatomaceous Earth

There are two types of diatomaceous earth, and they both vary when it comes to how much silica they have.

These types include:

Food Grade

It contains about 0.5% to 2% of silica content. You can ingest this one into your system as part of your meal.

You can also use it as an insecticide.

Filter Grade

This type of diatomaceous earth has about 60% of silica content which is very toxic and poisonous. 

Today, it has several industrial applications, which prove the essence of the material. People use it when manufacturing dynamite or during the process of filtering water. 

However, it is poisonous to both humans and bugs. How then should you clean up diatomaceous earth when it spills on the floor? How do you dispose of it?

How to Clean Up Diatomaceous Earth

When using DE, you should never use a large amount, but if you spill some, you need to clean it up.

Diatomaceous can be an irritant for your lungs and eyes, so be sure to wear a mask and gloves when cleaning. 

Here are some methods for effectively and safely disposing of diatomaceous earth. 

Use a Wet Towel/ Mop

You can clean up diatomaceous earth by using water or a wet towel. Adding water removes its effectiveness and capability to function optimally. 

When the water molecules moisturize the powder, it will lose its integrity, especially as an insecticide.

Therefore, a mop or a wet towel will help you to remove it quite easily.

Also, make sure to keep the towel away from regular clothes. Do not wash your other clothes with them. 

Doing this will keep any traces of diatomaceous earth away from your body.

Vacuum It Away

Do not just use any type of vacuum because the diatomaceous earth can destroy the motor and clog up the vacuum cleaner. 

Use a vacuum with a quality filter, and vacuum it slowly.

Doing this will help your vacuum clear off everything without any risk to itself.

Sweep It Off

You do not want to allow the diatomaceous earth’s particles into the air.

So, spray a little water on the floor, get a broom, sweep it up, and dispose of it in the trash can.

Carpet Cleaner to The Rescue

If none of the above solutions work and you can still find traces of diatomaceous earth on your carpet and floor, then it is time to bring in a carpet cleaner. 

These professionals should get every trace out of your rug and carpet in no time and at affordable rates.

How Hard Is It to Clean Up Diatomaceous Earth?

All of the above cleaning methods show how easy it is to clean off diatomaceous earth. 

If you have a hard floor, you can use three methods to clean the diatomaceous earth away.

However, if you have a carpet or a rug, a vacuum cleaner is your best option.

You must remember that you need a vacuum cleaner with a strong filter or no filter at all.

Diatomaceous earth is very abrasive and can destroy both the vacuum’ motor and its filter, so you have to be very careful. 

Safety Precautions While Cleaning

Before you clean up diatomaceous earth, you should ensure that you follow these safety precautions to avoid any lingering issues long after the cleaning.

  • Avoid contact with your eyes, so wear goggles to protect them.
  • Wear a face/breathing mask to protect your throat and lungs from inhalation
  • Ventilation is important. Make sure you have adequate ventilation in your apartment, allowing air into your home, reducing the toxicity of the diatomaceous earth.

What Are The Uses of Diatomaceous Earth?

If diatomaceous earth is problematic enough that you need to be careful when cleaning it up, why do people use it?

There are several benefits of using diatomaceous earth, and even though some are not proven yet, there is strong evidence that they have beneficial qualities. 

Here are some of the reasons, you might use this substance. 

  1. It Helps to Reduce the Body’s Cholesterol Levels

One of the suspected uses of diatomaceous earth is that it helps reduce the body’s cholesterol level, which reduces the risk of hypertension and heart attack.

  1. It Can Treat Constipation

Another suspected medical use is that it treats constipation, helping free your stomach of all disturbances. 

These medical benefits don’t have a lot of scientific evidence to back them up. They are theoretical, with scientific research still ongoing on these qualities.

  1. Used in Insecticides

It is perfect as a major ingredient for your insecticides. Since it is a chemical with about 90% silica, it is a powerful agent for cleaning insects. 

However, it is not all insects that it will kill, especially if such insects lack an exoskeleton. 

The diatomaceous earth works by rapidly dehydrating the pest’s internal moisture through the exoskeleton. It is a swift killer.

  1. Exfoliates the Skin Well

Do you want spotless skin?

Well, diatomaceous earth is an excellent material to exfoliate and keep your skin clean. 

  1. Dental Cleaning

Apart from skin cleaning and other uses, diatomaceous earth has shown positive evidence as a tooth cleanser.

If you’ve got bad teeth, this might be the cleanser for you.

Other Uses 

Apart from all these, you can also use it to prevent lumps from forming in your food or to remove unwanted materials.

Remember that when using DE, you must be careful to protect your eyes and lungs, as it can irritate these places.

However, it provides enough benefits that if you use it correctly and dispose of it properly then you should have no problems.

Remember that for personal use you should always be using food grade DE. 

How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth

There are several ways you can apply diatomaceous earth and several places where it is functional. 

While you will mostly enjoy its operating system when it is dry, you might also need to wet it to get your desired result. 

It is a question of when you need the wet and the dry form of diatomaceous earth.

When you need to apply a dry form of this substance, you can use a flour sifter as application equipment. 

Sprinkle it around the places you want to apply it, and wash your hands afterward.

With a flour sifter, you can apply diatomaceous earth to cabinets, your garden, behind cupboards, and all those tight spaces that house insects in the home. 

On the other hand, if you need the wet option, you will need to mix some water with your diatomaceous earth. 

Mix the water and the earth in 2:4 tablespoons to gallons of water. It should have a pasty form. 

You use this form of diatomaceous earth mainly in your garden. Although, sometimes you might require it in your home. 

Try not to toss it around. Always be intentional about where you apply this substance in your home.

Can You Apply It to Your Pet?

You can use it around your pet’s bedding and other necessities. It is safe for your pet. However, try not to put it in a place where your pet can chew on it. 

Also, make sure to check the type of diatomaceous earth to confirm that it is not the toxic one that you’ve got in your hands.

Frequently Asked Questions

Several questions surround the use of diatomaceous earth in the home and the garden. There are also many others about its applications. Check out a few of these questions.

What Is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous Earth is a powder that forms from the fossilized algae in the water.  It is a compound that has a high silica content. 

You can find several deposits of this substance around you, especially if you have a water body in your area.

Is It Poisonous?

There are two types, the food grade, and the filter grade. The filter grade is poisonous to mammals. On the other hand, you can ingest the food grade, but it is toxic to insects.

How Should I Apply?

You should apply depending on your need. If you are applying in the home, you will most likely need its dry form. 

However, if you are applying it in the garden, you might have to mix some water in it on your plants.

Can I Apply It to My Garden?

Yes, you can. It is safe to apply to your plants and garden.

Is It Safe for My Pet?

Yes, it is safe for your pet. You should apply it to its bedding and around its essentials to prevent insects around your pet. 

However, try not to be too generous with your application.

How Strong is DE as an Insecticide?

It is pretty powerful, and most insects have an exoskeleton. When you apply diatomaceous earth, they absorb it into their exoskeleton. 

The DE dries up their internal moisture quickly, causing rapid dehydration and instant death.


Diatomaceous earth is an abrasive substance with many beneficial uses. However, you must be careful with its application. 

In cases where you have used too much of it, make sure to clean it up well to protect yourself and your home.

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