Nine ways to use diatomaceous earth

You may have seen it in health shops or pharmacies, either as a pill or powder: diatomaceous earth. It's a fine, white mineral powder that's said to promote healthy skin and strong hair and nails. What few know, however, is that there are many additional uses for the powder around the house. Here are nine ways to put diatomaceous earth to work:

Clean the toilet

Next time you clean the toilet, try sprinkling a little powder in the bowl before you begin. It gives texture to the cleansing liquid and will help you scrub the grime away.

Facial mask

Mix some diatomaceous earth with water, milk, or aloe vera juice to make a fantastic facial mask. The mixture will offer your skin many beneficial minerals and will cleanse away excess dead skin. The mask should have a creamy consistency and be gently massaged into your skin.


Fight off bugs

Diatomaceous earth damages the outer shells of certain insects, which causes them to dry out. If you're dealing with an infestation, try sprinkling some powder around your doors and window frames. Of course, if you're dealing with a serious bug problem, you should always call a professional.

Homemade deodorant

To make your own natural deodorant, try melting 1/4 cup coconut butter together with 1 tbsp beeswax. Add 3 tbsp diatomaceous earth to the mix and 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Pour the mixture into an empty deodorant stick and let it harden. This mixture is good for people with sensitive skin.


For the bath

If you want to give your skin some extra TLC, add a handful of diatomaceous earth to your next bath. Your skin will come out wonderfully soft. But don't forget to rinse your tub well afterwards!

Homemade toothpaste

If you want to make your own toothpaste, try mixing 3 tbsp coconut butter, 3 tbsp diatomaceous earth, 25 drops of peppermint essential oil, and 2 tsp plant glycerin.


In the fridge or trashcan

A small container filled with diatomaceous earth will absorb unpleasant odors and help keep bugs away. Try placing an open container in the fridge or near your trashcan. Remember to replace the powder every 7-14 days.

In the compost bin

Sprinkle a bit of diatomaceous earth on your compost pile and the typical decomposing smell will be masked. Disadvantage: You'll harm some insects that are important for the decomposing process.


To drink

If you're tired of swallowing pills, you can add diatomaceous earth to smoothies, juice, or water instead.

flickr/Tim Patterson

Perhaps a bag of diatomaceous earth will find its way into your basket next time you're in the health food shop. It's good to know that it's so versatile!


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