Diatomaceous earth is used in the garden as a natural insecticide, but it also does great service at home. Let’s find out what this silicon dioxide is more precisely and how to use it at home?
Diatomaceous earth or silicon dioxide: what is it?
Extracted from natural quarries, diatomaceous earth is made up of dead microscopic algae shells, Diatoms. It is therefore derived from the sedimentary siliceous rock, diatomite.
These microalgae grow everywhere when there is enough humidity and light. It can be in the ground, in marine environments, in brackish water, in fresh water but also in the air. These Bacillariophyceae are unicellular algae with a siliceous skeleton. Over time, they fossilized. They already existed in the Jurassic.
It is essential to distinguish between the two types of diatomaceous earth found in commerce. Diatomaceous earth that has not undergone any modification is a non-crystallized amorphous silica. It’s about a uncalcined diatomaceous earth. But there is also a calcined diatomaceous earth which has lost its active ingredients due to its exposure to a temperature of 900°C. This very irritating crystalline silica is mainly used for filtration in the industrial field because it has a high porosity. It does not form mud and its absorbency is very high. It is also used by winegrowers and brewers.
Depending on the environment from which it is extracted and the species of Diatoms that compose it, it presents a variable color. This characteristic is therefore not a quality criterion. She is just as natural, whether she is grey, beige or blanche, and its efficiency is the same. However, some diatomaceous earths with an extremely sombre from India or even China contain impurities.
You should know that the one extracted from European marine quarries contains 90% silica. It constitutes 1/5 of planetary resources. This Celatom amorphous diatomaceous earth is light beige in color and is high purity. It is the latter that is used mainly in the home, with animals and plants. It is completely intended for organic farming. It is both a natural fertilizer and insecticide.
Why use diatomaceous earth at home?
In the house we use the uncalcined diatomaceous earth. For example, it can be used for:
- Deodorize the trash can, refrigerator, cupboards, shoes,
- Shampoo a pet to rid it of parasites,
- Eliminate crawling insects by depositing diatomaceous earth in their passageways and in all interstices (cockroaches, spiders, cockroaches, silverfish, fleas, ants, etc.),
- eradicate bedbugs,
- Kill insects that invade indoor plants (aphids, scale insects, gnats, etc.),
- Feed indoor plants because it contains the nutrients plants need,
- Limit the watering of the plants because it absorbs 1 time ½ its weight in water,
- Absorb moisture on a surface that is difficult to dry or when liquid has spilled into a hard-to-reach place,
- Absorb spilled oil on the floor or on the sofa for example,
- Sanitize cat litter because it absorbs moisture well and eliminates odors,
- Clean without scratching and shine many surfaces such as stainless steel, copper, silverware by making a paste from diatomaceous earth and water. Rub, rinse and dry with a dry, lint-free cloth to obtain an impeccable result.
This highly effective natural insecticide and cleaning product is marketed:
- Either in powder form, with the appearance of talc,
- Or in aerosol.
Since diatomaceous earth is odorless, it does not cause olfactory discomfort.
Finally, you can buy food grade diatomaceous earth if you want:
- Whiten the teeth, note that this solution should not be extended beyond 5 days,
- Eliminate internal parasites,
- Enrich your diet with trace elements,
- Rid your body of heavy metal residues,
- Fortify its appendages (nails, hair, etc.),
- Fixer le calcium.
- Strengthen your skeleton,
- Beautify your skin using food-grade diatomaceous earth as a bath salt,
- Make a face mask for oily skin only to eliminate sebum: in this case, mix 3 drops of Tea tree essential oil with 2 good teaspoons of diatomaceous earth and a little water barely lukewarm to obtain a drying paste to apply to the face, avoiding the eye area. Leave on for 4 to 5 minutes maximum then rinse with clear water.
Diatomaceous earth is inert but it is however recommended to do not inhale it in order to protect yourself from possible risks of irritation. For a human however, it could only cause irritation if a large amount of silicon dioxide was inhaled over a long period of time. Better still wear a mask when handled to protect the respiratory tract. It is emphasized that for skin and internal use only diatomaceous earth for food use should be used.