19 Ways to Use Diatomaceous Earth

Holisticole - 19 Ways to Use Diatomaceous Earth

Have you heard of Diatomaceous Earth before, short form "DE"?

This multi-purpose powder has got me going "whoa", due to all of the things it can do! From cleansing, skin care + health, collagen production, use for gardening, pets and pests.

Before I get head of myself and jump into the 19 Ways to Use Diatomaceous Earth.. What in the HECK is 'DE'?

Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder that is made from naturally occurring fossilized "diatoms", or tiny aquatic organisms - typically phytoplankton - which are found around rivers, streams, lakes and oceans... Weird right? But the process is a natural part of life, and the use of the fossilized remains from single celled algae propose many benefits for your health & home!

But now, before we begin with the benefits.

I have two VERY important notes.


  • You cannot and should not use DE from your pool or hardware store as this is not the DE I am talking about. These versions are designed for industrial use and I do not recommend ever purchasing these. 
  • DE is a very inexpensive product, it's about $14.00 CAD for 2 kg, and i'm sure you could find cheaper.
  • Use Food Grade for everything, it's safe for YOU and better for the environment.

#2 Don't Breathe It In

  • Food Grade DE is not poisonous or toxic - however, it is not recommended that you expose your lungs to it.
  • Avoid breathing-in this powder, this is due to it's naturally abrasive structure and it's ability to absorb two times its weight in water. 

Now that those hefty disclaimers are out of the way, let's get going!


19 Ways To Use Diatomaceous Earth

#1 Supports Collagen Production

The skeletons of this fossilized algae are made up of 80-90% silica content.  This mineral is essential for the formation of collagen - our most abundant protein! This protein greatly benefits the hair, skin, nails, digestion, joints and bones! In addition to using DE to promote collagen production, you can also take a hydrolyzed collagen powder, use grass-fed gelatin and add it into recipes like these: chewy matcha coconut cookies or love gummies. Also be sure to get in sufficient Vitamin C if collagen production is your goal!

#2 Promotes Healthy Hair

Supplementing with silica is known for strengthening hair and increasing hair thickness. When you take DE internally you benefit from it's high silica content as well as it's natural cleansing properties (win, win!). Positive effects on your hair, skin and nails are often your first short-term result in taking DE.

#3 Strengthens Your Nails

Along with biotin and gelatin, silica is essential for building strong and healthy nails. DE can prevent chipping, peeling and  can promote healthy nail growth!

#4 Makes a Great Face Mask & Scrub

Since Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder, it makes for a gentle yet effective  exfoliate or mask. Along with it's mighty silica content, DE also contains calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium and phosphorus. Since minerals can be absorbed through the skin, this is a wonderful way to complement a mineral rich diet. Under a microscope, DE has an abrasive looking structure - effective at buffing off dead skin cells for smooth and clear skin! Try out my self-love recipe for a honey cleanser to compliment your DE mask or scrub.


Mix roughly 1 tbsp of DE with a few drops of water to make a thick paste. Using your fingertips, massage the paste lightly over your face using small circular motions. Avoid the eyes and any sensitive or chapped skin. Allow the paste to set for 1-2 minutes, then gently remove with a warm washcloth - again, using small circular motions. This removal step is where you will get the most benefit, as this is where the most exfoliation occurs. Follow with a toxin-free cleanser and moisturizer, such as those from the Skin Essence Brand, see their products on Amazon.

#5 Pearly White Teeth

Sprinkle a little DE on your fluoride-free toothpaste such as the Himalaya Complete Care (my fav), for an extra deep, dentist-like clean. Since DE is abrasive in comparison to clay, only a little wee sprinkle is needed to effectively remove stains, (don't do this every day). See here for my homemade toothpaste recipe with diatomaceous earth and turmeric.

#6Effective Deodorant

Our primary detoxification pathways are through our liver, kidneys, colon, lymphatic system, skin and lungs (learn how to support your superstar detoxification organs). We don't want to block our body's ability to sweat with nasty antiperspirants, but we can keep things fresh in the underarm area by naturally neutralizing odor! DE is great for this, since it is not as alkalizing as baking soda, it is often preferred by those who have experienced reactions in the form of rashes or irritation after applying a baking soda based deodorant. See here for my deodorant cream recipe which contains DE.

#7 Strengthen Teeth & Bones

 Silica is essential for the formation of the hard outer enamel that protects our teeth, likewise silica is needed for overall bone formation and health. See here for my homemade toothpaste recipe with diatomaceous earth and turmeric.

#8 Support JoinT Health

Silica can relieve pain and even restore the body's self-repair process. Silica is responsible for the depositing of minerals into the bones, especially calcium. It speeds up the healing of fractures and can also reduce scarring. Research shows that  when calcium is insufficient, the body can turn silica into calcium that the bones need.

#9 Support Healthy Cholesterol Levels

Supplementation of Food Grade DE for periods over 4-weeks has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride by positively influencing lipid metabolism [1]

#10 Cleansing and Detoxing Properties

Food Grade DE has negatively charged ions which are effective for eliminating bacteria, parasites and some viruses. It also has benefits for cleansing the colon! Diatomaceous Earth is taken on an empty stomach, meaning:

  • First thing in the morning, waiting 30 minutes to eat afterwards

  • Three hours after eating

Start with 1 tsp in at least 8oz of water. After one-week, work up slowly to 1 tbsp. Schedule breaks from DE so that the body does not get overwhelmed, it can be used for 1-month continuously, then only take about 1-2 tsp once or twice per week. Click here for DETOX approved recipes.


Now to me, those are some of the most impressive benefits where DE can be used in both personal care and internal health. In my own lifestyle I take DE internally for the collagen production and cleansing benefits, I it use to brush my teeth, as a face mask and exfoliate and I add it to my homemade deodorant. But the possibilities don't end there; here are some more uses for DE in your home and garden. 


#11 Food Storage

  • DE can be added to your dried whole grains, beans and legumes to prevent spoilage. It keeps food dry, prevents mold and protects against pests!


#12 Bye-Bye Bed Bugs

  • Diatomaceous Earth can be used against bed bugs and flees alike. Look for a tutorial on exactly how you can do this (or else my blog post will be a book). 


#13 Fight Fleas

  • You can find videos on how to treat pets for fleas using DE, keep in mind that it is also important to treat any carpets that pets come into contact with.


#14 Eliminate Garden Pests

  • DE can be used to kill slugs, beetles and other unwanted pests in the garden.


#15 Cockroach, Earwig, Tick and Spider Control:

  • DE is approved for use against all of these home pests. Experts recommend using a hand duster to puff DE into the cracks and crevices where bugs are likely to hang out.


#16 Odor Absorbent:

  • DE absorbs smells and moisture, making it perfect for keeping the smell out of kitty litter.


#17 No More Stinky Shoes:

  • Sprinkle DE in stinky sneakers or shoes to remove the odor!


#18 Garbage Can Deodorizer: 

  • Sprinkle in the bottom of the can to help neutralize odors


#19 Fridge Deodorizer: 

  • Just like baking soda, a small container or box of DE can be left in the fridge or freezer to neutralize odors. Replace this every 2-3 weeks.

Did you know about all of these uses for Diatomaceous Earth? Who knew that fossilized algae could do ALL that? I sure was surprised by all it's potential uses! DE is an essential in my home for it's many uses - here is my product pick for 100% Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth which you can get on Amazon


SHARE below in the COMMENTS how you use DE, or how you plan to use DE. 


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