Diatomite, or diatomaceous earth, is a type of naturally occurring sedimentary rock.
This soft rock has a wide array of special qualities that set it apart from other natural rocks and minerals.
It offers insulating and absorptive properties, high porosity, high silica content and plenty of other qualities that have led to diatomite having been extracted and used across various industries since the 19th century.
Personal care products
Due to diatomite’s abrasive nature, it has become a popular ingredient of various personal care products.
Its most basic and traditional purpose was as one of ingredients of toothpastes and facial scrubs.
Diatomaceous earth, included in those products, can easily help exfoliate our skin or reduce plaque build-up.
It is also added to certain deodorants as a natural odour blocker that is especially suitable for sensitive skin.
Diatomite as a dietary supplement
Diatomaceous earth is also present in some dietary supplements. Purified, food-grade diatomite is considered safe for both humans and animals.
Thanks to its high silica content, it can be used for treating high cholesterol levels and digestion issues.
There are scientific claims that food-grade diatomaceous earth can aid body detoxification by removing toxins and heavy metals from the digestive system however, this effect has not been officially approved by institutions like the American FDA due to still ongoing research and lack of sufficient evidence at this moment in time.
High porosity, small particle size and a crystalline structure give diatomite high filtration capability and numerous practical uses.
It has been proven to be an excellent filtration medium for swimming pools. In the filtration process, is it able to capture far smaller particles than other commonly used sand- or cartridge-based filters.
Diatomite’s filtration uses are almost unlimited. It can help in the process of cleaning drinking water, or ensure cleaner water in fish tanks.
It is capable of filtering liquids without altering their colour, taste or any nutritional properties, therefore, it is becoming an increasingly popular natural filter for beer, wine, syrups and honey.
Among some of the oldest and most innovative uses was the Berkefeld filter designed in Germany during the cholera epidemic in 1892.
Wilhelm Berkefeld was a supplier of diatomite to Albert Nobel who utilized it for dynamite production.
At some point, Berkefeld noticed that the rock he supplied had germicidal qualities. He constructed the Berkefeld filter which turned out to be especially successful at the time as it produced water free of the epidemic-causing bacteria.
Agriculture and pest control
Diatomaceous earth has the capacity to be a natural insecticide.
It absorbs the protective wax coating from many species of insects.
Without the protective layer, they are not only more prone to damage caused by the rock’s diatoms, but they are also likely to die by dehydration as their outer layer’s purpose is to stop excessive water loss from insects’ bodies.
Diatomite is also widely used to control and eliminate various types of infestations as well as for pest control in grain storage.
Diatomite’s thermal properties enable it to be used as the barrier material in some fire-resistant safes.
The powdered form of diatomaceous earth is commonly used as insulation fire-resistant safes, cabinets and doors.
It is very compatible with cement with which it is mixed and placed around objects that are meant to be fire-proof.
With diatomite-based insulation, a safe or a cabinet can keep the contents intact, even with outside temperature reaching up to 1500 degrees Celsius.
As diatomaceous earth offers excellent absorption qualities, it is commonly used in production of natural, sustainable bathroom products.
A diatomite bath mat, much like our Earthstone Bath Mat, instantly soaks up water from wet feet and dries up within 60 seconds.
Aside from being used in, for instance, previously mentioned water filters and deodorants, diatomite’s antibacterial and odour-eliminating qualities make Misona’s instant dry bath mat almost maintenance-free and an absolute must-have for any bathroom.
You'll save on electricity, water, and detergent because you don't need to wash or dry it like traditional mats.
Given the Diatomite Bath Mat’s long-lasting performance and the lack of any need for machine washing your mat, we estimate that you will save £44.20 per year in care costs compared with having a more traditional bath mat.
You'll also prevent any tiny microfibres, found on bath mats made from synthetic materials, entering our waterways. Having a diatomaceous earth bath mat really is a win win!