National Diatomaceous Earth Day: The Many Uses of Diatomaceous Earth

National Diatomaceous Earth Day: The Many Uses of Diatomaceous Earth

August 31st is National Diatomaceous Earth Day. This day pays tribute to diatomaceous earth, also known as diatomite and DE, which is the naturally occurring fossilized remains of diatoms—single-celled aquatic algae. Learn what makes this mineral so versatile and the many uses of diatomaceous earth.

What Is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous Earth consists of billions of minute silica frameworks. The frustules are strong and support intricate internal frameworks with maximum void space. Despite the complex framework, each species of diatom offers a unique pore structure that provides diatomaceous earth with excellent particulate holding and removal properties for filtration. In addition, it has an extremely high surface area per unit of volume and typically absorbs twice its own weight. Other features of diatomaceous earth include:

  • Low density
  • High porosity
  • High surface area
  • Abrasiveness
  • Insulating properties
  • Chemically inert
  • Absorptive capacity
  • High brightness
  • Natural silica content

The Many Uses of Diatomaceous Earth

There are many uses of diatomaceous earth that cover many industries and needs. It is so widely used, many consumers are only a few feet away from products created with diatomaceous earth, whether or not they know it!


The silica content of diatomaceous earth is absorbed into plant tissue and helps improve plant structure and resistance to pests and disease. In fact, AAPFCO acknowledged silicon dioxide as a Beneficial Substance and subsequently published an approved method for testing soluble silicon, making diatomaceous earth an essential source of soluble silicon content for home and commercial growers alike.

When used as a high-performance seed coating, natural diatomaceous earth can be a key to a crop’s success by increasing seed size, protecting the seeds, and helping seeds retain applied moisture.


Diatomaceous earth is an effective natural insecticide. Its abrasive qualities cut pests and insects’ exoskeletons, causing them to die of dehydration. It can be used in the home, garden, and around animals. It is one of the few EPA-registered biopesticides.

Around the Farm

Add it to chickens’ dust bath mixture helps prevent problems with lice. And use it to help control fleas on dogs and reduce parasites in horses, pigs, and other farm animals.

Dicalite D4AFA (Animal Feed Additive) and SA-3 meet the USDA requirements for diatomaceous earth when applied according to regulations for this application.

Personal Care Products

Diatomaceous earth is even used in personal care products. Because of its abrasive properties, it is sometimes used in toothpaste and as a gentle exfoliant for skin. It also acts as an absorbent in deodorant.

Restoration and Remediation

It can be used for moisture control and mold remediation. Diatomaceous earth can reduce moisture content in wood, exposed brick and concrete, floods, and burst pipes. This mineral can also absorb mold and dry it up. Diatomaceous earth, when applied with an electrostatic sprayer, is an effective means of mold and mildew prevention in basements.

Food and Beverage Filter AidsNational Diatomaceous Earth Day: The Many Uses of Diatomaceous Earth

These “filters” feature irregularly shaped particles that interlace in a fashion that leaves voids or open spaces for oil to fit through. With billions of microscopically fine interstices between particles, unwanted solids are strained from the liquid. It is commonly used for filtering wine, beer, edible oils, and juice.

Swimming Pool Filtration

  • DE as a filter media: Diatomaceous earth has a very small particle size, a high porosity, and a crystalline structure, making it an excellent filtration medium for many applications, including pool filters.
  • How much it filters: Diatomaceous earth filters are the most efficient type of filtration compared to sand or cartridge. It traps particles down to an impressive three to five microns, so your pool will be crystal clear.
  • Maximum filtration: Your family is safe from dangerous contaminations and bacteria that you cannot see when you use diatomaceous earth filter media.

Paints and Coatings

Diatomaceous earth is used as a functional, inert filler in many paints and coatings. It’s added to paint as a flatting and matting agent and an anti-blocking agent for plastic films. It controls gloss and sheen, extends primary pigments, adds bulk and strength, and enhances coating adhesion.

The Many Uses of Dicalite’s Diatomaceous Earth

There is a variety of diatomaceous earth uses that cover many industries and needs. At Dicalite, we mine, process, and produce diatomaceous earth for specific uses and have a product to meet every need. Explore our Product Search Database to find your diatomaceous earth solution and all the technical information related to it. At any moment in time, you can access our products’ Technical Data Sheets (TDS), Safety Data Sheets (SDS), and sales support materials (when applicable). Finding the right product is easy: simply apply filters, so you only see the solutions relevant to you.

You can also call us at 866-728-3303 to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives who can help you find the right minerals to meet your needs.

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