How to Clean Diatomaceous Earth from Hardwood Floor

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In this article, we will see how to clean diatomaceous earth from hardwood floor, safety tips for cleaning diatomaceous earth (DE) and saving yourself from any accidents. Moreover, uses of it and answering most common DE questions.

Read on…

how to clean diatomaceous earth from hardwood floor

If you want to have a look at a few of its uses, click here.

How to clean diatomaceous earth from hardwood floor 

Now, let us have a look at the process for cleaning diatomaceous earth from the hardwood floor, without damaging the wooden floor.

Step 1: Applying the diatomaceous earth 

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth over the affected area using a large sieve. Using a sieve will sprinkle it evenly as well as quickly. It absorbs moisture. So, when sprinkled on insects, it dehydrates them and completely dries them out. Make sure the floor is dry before you apply diatomaceous earth.

Leave it on the floor for 50 minutes to 1 hour at least and let the compound do its work. Don’t forget to use a mask and a pair of gloves. Details for this are mentioned in the tips section below.

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Step 2: Sweeping the floor

Using a vacuum cleaner does sound appealing but we will save it for later. Using a vacuum cleaner this early will surely damage your vacuum cleaner.

Use a broom and sweep all the powder and fleas. Gather it in a dustpan and get rid of it.

Broom twice for better results. Because brooming gets rid of the visible garbage very well. Hence, making all the further steps easy to conduct.

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Step 3: Vacuum clean the place

Vacuum clean the place after sweeping. Vacuuming after sweeping will drastically reduce any chance of damaging the vacuum cleaners’ filter. It will clog the cleaner. because of diatomaceous earth. We should be very cautious while dealing with chemical compounds because it is very difficult to understand the structure of the equipment as well.

Step 4: Mop the floor

Mop the floor using floor cleaner and water. Don’t forget to wash and rinse the mop multiple times to get rid of the fine particles. Use a ph-balanced cleaner. This will prevent the hardwood floor from becoming rough and decolourisation.

After mopping the area, you have a floor free from flea infestation and diatomaceous earth particles. 

Safety Tips for cleaning diatomaceous earth

Tip 1: Floor condition before applying diatomaceous earth

The floor must be completely dry before you apply diatomaceous earth. Otherwise, it will be a waste of effort and time. Wet diatomaceous earth doesn’t serve its purpose. 

Tip 2: Gloves

Wear gloves at all times while dealing with diatomaceous earth. It’s extremely dry and might irritate your skin if exposed for long durations. Use rubber cleaning gloves because they are multipurpose gloves and are reusable.

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Tip 3: Masks

Wear a mask and cover your face when brooming or sweeping. It’s a very fine and naturally very light powder. So there is a high chance that you might inhale the airborne particles of diatomaceous earth while brooming. To avoid that use a mask and protect yourself from the tiny dust particles.

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  • ADJUSTABLE NOSECLIP: Reduces potential for eyewear fogging and helps provide a custom and secure seal
  • TWO-STRAP DESIGN: With welded dual point attachment that helps provide a secure fit. The 3M 8210 is designed to fit most adult faces
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Be careful while using the mask as well. Don’t put on a mask for too long. You might get out of breath sooner than you usually would if you work with your mask on. Take breaks and see that you don’t run out of gas.

Tip 4: Mopping

Change the water multiple times if the need arises. This will ensure that you get spotless floors in the end. You don’t want the diatomaceous earth’ particles to set on the floor. Be as quick as you can while mopping. Wearing a mask is not necessary while mopping because we got rid of the major portion of diatomaceous earth while brooming and vacuuming. 

Tip 5: Vacuum cleaners

Broom thoroughly. Excessive diatomaceous earth will clog the motor and the filter. Use it only for the particles that are left after brooming meticulously. You will be doing your vacuum cleaner a great favour by brooming.

Uses of Diatomaceous Earth 

Diatomaceous earth, also known as diatomite, is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock. These sedimentary rocks are composed of fossilized remains of diatoms, a major group of algae. This composition might sound pointless to you but it’s always better to understand what you are dealing with.

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Diatomite is 80-90% silica. It has various medical, industrial and other day-to-day uses. We have mentioned a few uses for diatomaceous earth relevant for households.

  • Indoor and outdoor pest control
  • Plants pest control
  • Shoes and refrigerator deodoriser 
  • Abrasive cleaning accessory

Food grade diatomaceous earth is claimed to be safe to consume but under certain circumstances, it’s advised not to consume diatomite. For instance, during pregnancy, breastfeeding and if you have some lung problem it’s better to avoid consuming diatomite. After all, prevention is better than cure.

I am staying on the safer side by not listing any uses involving ingestion of diatomite. If you understand it better, you can do as you see fit.

You can use filter grade diatomaceous earth for the above-mentioned uses. If you need to ingest it, make sure you use food-grade diatomaceous earth because filter grade is toxic to humans.

FAQ

How long do I leave diatomaceous earth on the floor?

Leave the diatomaceous earth on the floor for 50 minutes to 1 hour. This much time is necessary for getting rid of flea infestation and getting the best results. Ensure the floor is dry. If the floor is wet then diatomaceous earth absorbs water and becomes wet. And wet diatomaceous earth loses its bug-killing abilities. 

Once it dries again, it regains that property though. But this drying process requires more time. Hence, it is best not to get it wet in the first place.

Is diatomaceous earth safe for hardwood floors?

Yes, It is safe to use diatomaceous earth on hardwood floors. After the work is done it is easy to clean as well using the above-mentioned cleaning steps.

Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe for Pets?

Yes, it is safe to use it on pets. Just be careful and use ONLY the food grade diatomaceous earth. The filter grade could prove to be harmful to pets. Using filter grade on pets is a risk not worth taking at all. We must follow as the saying goes and as I mentioned before as well; prevention is better than cure.

Will diatomaceous earth ruin my vacuum?

Large quantities of diatomaceous earth might damage the vacuum cleaner filter. That’s why we broomed the floor first and then used the vacuum cleaner. If you want to use a vacuum cleaner for removing diatomaceous earth from rugs or carpets, make sure you change the filter multiple times and clean the filter as soon as you are finished vacuuming.

I would not go as far as saying that it might ruin the vacuum cleaner but, a little filter damage can be expected.

How long for diatomaceous earth to settle?

There is no proven time to give an exact number as an answer to this question. It is safe to go with the time limit mentioned above, which is 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Wrap up

Using diatomaceous earth is a very good choice and effective choice. If used properly, the results are nothing short of absolute satisfaction. 

At places like areas under the sink, under the fridge and outer boundary walls, you can just sprinkle diatomaceous earth and clean it on a weekly basis for preventing any flea infestation. Just make sure to wear a mask and gloves and avoid direct contact with diatomite. Although diatomaceous earth is not known to affect adversely. If you are careless, It causes mild skin, eyes and upper respiratory tract irritation.

It’s safe to consume food grade diatomaceous earth. It has even been accepted as a nutrition supplement but, it will NEVER be okay to inhale diatomaceous earth. It will become a very uncomfortable irritant for your respiratory system. Be extra careful considering this fact and future consequences of the same. I hope this article has provided you with a proven procedure on how to clean diatomaceous earth from hardwood floor.

Be safe and clean diatomaceous earth away from the hardwood floor!

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