Removing Diatomaceous Earth from...papers (and my room)
February 6, 2013 6:23 PM Subscribe
I have some documents that have been sprinkled with diatomaceous earth. How do I get the diatomaceous earth off so I can use the documents without breathing any in?
posted by needs more cowbell to home & garden (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Due to circumstances that aren't really relevant here, I have some papers in a Rubbermaid container (slightly larger than a shoebox)...with diatomaceous earth (food-grade, I think--bought in bulk at a health food store) sprinkled around them and mixed in with them. Not huge amounts but it is present.
I would like to remove the diatomaceous earth from the papers, if possible, without spending a lot of money or endangering myself.
Also, I rummaged around in the shoebox (for some specific documents) a few weeks ago, and then left the box open. Under my bed. In so doing I imagine I spread some diatomaceous earth into the air and around my room.
How much damage (in terms of putting diatomaceous earth into the air in my room and getting it into my lungs) have I done, and how do I clean THAT up? I haven't felt "sick" but I've felt some asthma-like chest tightness (without having a cold--unusual for me) and I'm worried it could be from the diatomaceous earth. (The tightness itself is manageable and intermittent so I don't feel a need to see a doctor, as long as it goes away soon.)
I don't have a lot of money (I'm unemployed) and I do not own a) a respirator mask or b) a vacuum cleaner, so I'm wondering if I can get away without them.