Best way to store leftover diatomaceous earth?
August 7, 2021 6:54 AM   Subscribe

Hi there - I hate storing things long-term in sacks, especially opened, partially-used sacks. Double that for anything that will irritate my airways if it's not kept under control. Today I have to open this around-a-gallon-sized sack of diatomaceous earth, and I need to figure out how to store the leftovers.

I only need about a tablespoon of this for my use today. How should I store the rest so that it will be easy to handle while it hangs around my house/shelves for the next few years, and so that I can quickly and easily dispense small amounts if I need them in the future?

I can pour it outside and, hey, I have a mask I can wear - so fortuitous! I have assorted funnels, some empty dry milk jugs and other items, and a trip to the hardware store planned for today.

It could be cool to put into a ketchup dispenser I guess, so that I could deploy it in a line if needed, but I'm going to have way too much for that to be the only storage.

I was wondering if a wide-mouthed jar thing would be a good choice. Not sure of the specific type of jar to use or get.

I could, I guess, cut the entire top of the sack off so I could scoop from that, but then the sack itself would need to be put into some kind of appropriately-sized box to protect it from falling over, punctures, etc., and so that I can stack things on/around it and not have to worry about it slouching over and falling off a shelf.

Any ideas? How do you store yours?
posted by amtho to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Small bucket or large tupperware.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:57 AM on August 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

Gallon paint can from the hardware store.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:57 AM on August 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

Yeah, appropriately-sized bucket with lid is the way I'd go. There are a lot of options at, say, Home Depot - "paint bucket" appears to be the category.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:09 AM on August 7, 2021

Those rectangular Tupperware made for cereal
posted by Neekee at 7:11 AM on August 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

I keep the lidded buckets that pool chlorine comes in for jobs like this. Four litre ice cream containers work too.
posted by flabdablet at 7:56 AM on August 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

You can buy two gallon plastic zipper bags to double bag and keep everything contained without kicking up dust pouring it out of the original bag.
posted by momus_window at 12:25 PM on August 7, 2021

yea, it's very fine stuff, so I'd leave it in the original bag, but then put the bag into a tupperware it will fit into
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:28 PM on August 7, 2021 [3 favorites]

See-through Tupperware with a screw-on lid. Use several small containers so that you can give away what you do not want, and if it spills or gets wet you only lose one container. Easier to store than a big mostly empty container. Add a light-colored duct tape label identifying the contents and the date of purchase, if applicable.
posted by TrishaU at 2:12 PM on August 7, 2021

Also -- add in part of the bag to one of the Tupperware containers if the brand name, ingredients, instructions, etc. are important.
posted by TrishaU at 2:14 PM on August 7, 2021

I like to store things in one gallon glass jars. They're an efficient use of space, they don't sag or get brittle - admittedly not a problem with decent Tupperware, but with glass this isn't a problem on geological time scales - and you can see inside. Also they're attractive.
You used to be able to walk into any restaurant and they'd give you a couple. I don't know if this is still the case, but they're readily available on the web. Amazon has them for $14, Uline has them for $3.70. There are lots of others. Ball makes them for canning, but they're more expensive.
For those who don't know, diatomaceous earth is a good way to kill insects on plants.
It's also good for getting rid of bedbugs. My daughter bought a beautiful, filthy, very high-end leather couch from two guys she met in an alley. When the dust settled we were very good at dealing with bedbugs. Diatomaceous earth is the carpet-bombing of bedbug war. I always keep some around.
posted by AugustusCrunch at 3:22 PM on August 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

Use a funnel filll a used milk jug..
posted by hortense at 3:36 PM on August 7, 2021

I am also a fan of large glass jars for powdery storage. Recyclable, dishwasher safe, never get strange or sticky with long term storage.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:57 PM on August 7, 2021

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