What Is Diatomaceous Earth?
Ever since tens of millions of years ago, single-celled algae called "diatoms" existed, and they have been supplying 70% of the oxygen on which the earth relies — a real cradle of life indeed. At the end of their lifespan, diatoms' cell walls deposit at the bottom of the ocean. Over time, fossilization occurs, and a very porous bio-sedimentary rock "diatomite" is formed. When it is crushed into a powder, it is called "diatomaceous earth". Being a natural rock powder, diatomaceous earth requires a small amount of fixation agent (usually concrete or resin) in order to be made into a product.
Due to its porosity, diatomite has strong water absorbency, and water is also easy to evaporate from it. Simply put, it dries easily.
Diatomite is deodorizing the same way bamboo charcoal, activated carbon and coffee crumbs work: they are all porous materials. Therefore, the diatomaceous earth also has an air filtering effect.
Diatomite is non-flammable just like rocks are not flammable. Also due to its porous nature, it does not conduct heat to its surroundings.
Although diatomite does not actively kill bacteria, since it dries quickly in most environments, bacteria are less likely to grow on products made of diatomaceous earth, and they will also be less prone to mold.
Diatomite products have no specific lifespan. As long as they are properly taken care of, they can indeed last for a long time.
Before First Use
Some diatomite products may have a layer of diatomaceous powder residue from manufacturing. It is normal and harmless. Give it a rinse with cool water and let it dry, then it's ready to go!
Let It Dry
Although diatomaceous earth absorbs water well, it is relatively fragile when completely wet. Allowing your diatomite products to dry properly will extend their lifetime, but since they fast on their own, unless the environment is constantly overly humid, there is no need to do anything other than letting it air dry. Leaving diatomite products under direct sun exposure may result in overheating, causing them to crack.
Frequent cleaning is not necessary. Light dusting and wiping are usually sufficient. Dark marks may appear on a diatomite product where it comes in contact with our skin frequently. This is because the oil from our skin is transferred onto the product over time, clogging its "pores". Much like our skin needs to be exfoliated once in a while, all you need to do to get rid of these dark marks is to sand it lightly, and its water absorbency will go back to normal. Washing with detergent is not recommended as it may damage diatomaceous earth's porous structure, resulting in a decrease in water absorbency.