Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized shells of diatoms, an ancient kind of algae. As time passed, these microscopic shells, consisting mostly of the mineral silica, accumulated in freshwater lake beds and formed huge silica deposits. When mined and ground into powder, it becomes what we call diatomaceous earth. This chalk-like powder is microscopically very hard, coarse, and absorbent, which makes it useful for many things.
There are different kinds of DE, known as grades. Which grade you buy depends on what you plan to use it for. Let's take a look at the different grades of DE and what they are used for.
DE in its purest form is organic and safe to ingest and use around your home, children, and pets. This kind of DE meets the Food Chemicals Codex requirements to be called food grade. Because of its high silica content and trace minerals, people often take food grade DE as a health supplement. People also take it as a way to detox. Its microscopically coarse texture gives your insides a gentle scrub as it absorbs toxins from your body. Food grade DE also offers similar benefits for animals.
Food grade DE has many other uses as well. People use it as a facial scrub or mask, natural cleaning agent, grain preservative, garbage deodorizer, and as a special ingredient in DIY deodorants and soaps.
DE is a very effective natural insecticide, and you can buy pest control grade DE for this purpose. DE is naturally free of chemicals, yet its mechanical structure makes it a bug killer. DE sticks to bugs, wicking away valuable moisture from their exoskeletons. If bugs encounter enough of it, the DE will dehydrate and kill them. This makes DE a valuable remedy for fleas, bed bugs, ants, and other insect infestations.
It's important to note that not all pest control DE is chemical-free. Some companies add chemicals to their DE to make it kill bugs faster. We do not add any chemicals to our DE. In fact, our pest control DE is the same as our food grade DE, just packaged with different labeling to meet the regulations of the EPA and FDA.
Pool grade DE can be great as a filter aid for swimming pools, but it should not be used for any other purpose. Pool grade DE has been superheated, which crystallizes the silica. This process increases its effectiveness in pool filters but makes it toxic to inhale or ingest. It can even cause cancer. While shopping for DE, avoid buying pool grade DE unless you plan to use it in your swimming pool.
As we've shown here, DE is a natural product that comes straight from the earth, and using it has numerous benefits, but this article barely scratches the surface. We've created an A-Z Guide to help you navigate your DE experience and get the most out of your purchase. This resource contains nearly 100 articles, all with the purpose of helping you know how to effectively use DE to benefit you, your family, home, and pets. Go ahead and take a look!