rinsing diatomite

Slippertalk Orchid Forum

Help Support Slippertalk Orchid Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Awardless studette
Aug 4, 2007
Reaction score
Northeast Illinois
I found one thread that references rinsing this product-
I fertilize in every watering and rinse the medium once a month.
My question is, should this product be rinsed before adding it to a mix?

I've soaked and rinsed every other product I've used in a mix until the water runs clear but this product is really nothing more than Diatomaceous Earth and I came home from being gone for a bit and it's cold outside and I'd prefer not to have to wash the Diatomite if at all possible.
I don't usually rinse mine, but it can be helpful to get rid of some of the dust. In either case, i do moisten the mix before potting things up.
I usually don't rinse either. Do the finer particles breakdown quicker, therefore being accessible to the plant sooner? With the flushing we do, you're going to lose some of the fine particles there. I do moist before as well.
Rinsing outside would be preferable but last night the tempsdropped into the 30's and currently we're only in the 40's. Brrrrrr, cold. Normally I would have simply rinsed the Diatomite as a matter of routine but when the temps started dipping, the thought of being cold and damp out there got to me so I was simply wondering if I could forgo the rinsing for this particular product. The dust is bad to breathe so I don't want it in my house.

I suspect over time all the diatomite chips, regardless of size, will bump against each other as well as other ingredients in your mix and wear down with basic watering to sediments but by then you'll have probably re-potted your plants into a new medium. I would think that the different sizes of the Diatomite don't really matter as far as accessibility to the plant goes, Diatomite is really nothing more than diatom skeletons. Had to look up what it was and found it to be comprised of 85% silica the balance being other inert oxides.
Diatomaceous Earth lacerates some pests in the soil. I suspect when the dust is inhaled that it probably does a number on our lungs.
I expect when any fine dust is inhaled it can do a number on your lungs as well.
DE is "supposed" to lacerate the pests....I'm convinced that's mythological. Putting it my garden did nothing for slugs...they slimed their way over it on their way to eating my veggies. I had a student do an experiment raising crickets in medium containing DE, and another medium without it....no fatalities in either group....Eric
All I can say is ....... I use it once a month as a dewormer for my dogs. I feed a raw diet & was able to get some whole frozen uncleaned rabbits. I noticed a couple of tapeworms on one of the dogs stools. A holostic friend of mine recommended I get human grade DE & add it to their veggie mix. I'm a believer when I saw slimmy, chopped up worm segments in the stools the next day!