Genius Uses for Those Annoying Silica Packets

What is silica gel?  What is silica used for?

Silica gel packets are used to absorb moisture and keep things dry.

Many manufacturers add these desiccant packs to their new products to keep them fresh and moisture-free for the consumer.

8. Moisture Prone Areas

We have already talked about the types of materials that are often stored away for months/seasons at a time that are prone to becoming victims of moisture, mold and musty smells. However, it’s typically caused by the location in which they are being stored. Certain areas of your home are more prone to humidity and increased moisture levels. Although it’s hard to prevent an entire area from these types of conditions with the use of just silica gel, there are some other tips to help keep your belongings safe.

  • Basement/ Crawl Space – Take a look around your basement area and make sure that anything stored that is susceptible to mold/ moisture is protected from these elements. Protect them with a sufficient amount of silica gel and consider airtight containers to minimize any effects. You can also consider dehumidifiers and other tools for the space.
  • Attic/ Loft – Similarly, the attic areas are often hot and humid spaces that can result in damage to your belongings. Preventing this area from experiencing these conditions is preferred but take a look to see where silica gel can also be used for extra protection.
  • Garage/ Shed – Take a look at the belongings stored in these areas and use silica gel where it can be effective.

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#3. Keep your razor blades sharp

Using a razor blade multiple times is not that big of a deal, more so if it’s made from good quality material. However, even these blades tend to rust in the long term. To prevent that, place the razor into a Tupperware box and add some silica gel bags to it.

6. Seeds Flowers

Silica gel as we now know is an excellent way to absorb moisture from the surrounding areas and items. They are so efficient that they can even be used for gardening in more ways than one!

  • Seed Storage – If you keep a stockpile of seeds for your planting seasons you should know the importance of keeping them dry. Silica gel packs can help reduce the humidity and moisture in the environment and keep them ready for next year’s planting season.
  • Preserving Flowers – Fresh cut flowers are beautiful but often short lived. However, they do not have to be! Preserve flowers from special occasions like weddings and anniversaries by using silica gel. Pour your silica gel beads directly into a container (one with an airtight lid) the layer should be about 1.5 inches thick. Place your flowers snuggly into the container face up and add more silica beads on top of them (don’t fully cover). Close the container and leave anywhere from 3-7 days depending on the type of flower.

48. Keep tobacco fresh

If you keep tobacco as part of your preps, or if you use it for yourself, you can keep moisture away by using the silica gel packets. Toss them into your bag with the tobacco, or store them in the container that the sealed bags are packed in, and you will know that your tobacco will be usable when you need it.

22. Freshen your gym bag and lockers

Moisture in the gym, specifically your sports bag and lockers can attract bacteria and bad odor. Keep these places fresh with a few pieces of silica gel packets.

13. Protect luggage

Keeping your luggage tucked somewhere in the attic or basement makes them musty, damp, or smelly. Store them well with the use of—again—our trusty silica packets.

Make Your Razors Last Longer

Razors deteriorate quickly in humid areas or during those particularly humid months. Even if you feel like you’ve dried the blades really well, it’s almost impossible to rid of them of internal moisture.

One interesting way to do so is to take your razors and place them in a jar along with a few silica gel packets. This will make sure to keep your razors dry because the silica gel will absorb all the moisture. Your razors will last longer as a result.

MORE: 40 Healthy Life Hacks Every Girl Should Know

Defog a Windshield Foggy windshields are not only a nuisance and sometimes difficult to clear, they can also be seriously dangerous. Fog on windshields is condensation caused by humidity or a difference in temperature between the outside of your car and the inside of your car. An easy fix, as suggested by My Thirsty Spot, is to keep a few gel packs in your ride, specifically on the windshield. The packs should absorb some of the excess moisture caused by humidity and keep your windshields less foggy.

Freshen a Gym Bag Stinky gym bags are the absolute worst—but they’re also hard to avoid. You throw your sweaty workout clothes and sneakers in there, zip it up, and go about your day. If you keep a few silica gel packs in the bag, they’ll help to wick away some of the moisture (read: sweat) that gives gym bags a bad rap. Also, as Wonder How To points out, less moisture means less bacteria, which is something everyone wants. This seems like a no-brainer.

Why You Should Keep Silica Gel Packets

If you normally throw these packets away, it’s time to break that habit. There are so many uses for silica gel around the house. Silica gel is incredibly absorbent with the ability to absorb over 40 percent of its own weight in water. The materials surrounding the bag are well protected against the penetration of moisture.

Tip: Collect silica gel packets in an airtight container and leave them in a dark and dry space so that you always have a small supply when needed.

Is silica gel toxic?

Despite the dire warnings on the packet, the little silica beads don’t really tend to be poisonous, although some toxic chemicals could be added in the mix.

Alone, silica gel is non-toxic, non-flammable and chemically non-reactive. However, some of the beads may include a moisture indicator such as cobalt chloride, which is carcinogenic. This is the reason most silica gel packets are labeled as dangerous or poisonous when eaten.

Desiccant packs that contain clay are not poisonous either- but you should not eat those either obviously.

The biggest danger, however, is a potential choking hazard, so you should keep them away from kids, pets and anything that might accidentally ingest it.

While silica gel is biodegradable and non-toxic, often times the packets contain materials that do not biodegrade over time, which is a great reason to re-purpose these pouches for another use!

7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Throw Silica Gel Packets Away

 

1 Save your phone

There is no worse feeling than when you drop your phone in the pool, bath or even more frustrating, the toilet.

Silica gel is a great way to get moisture out of your phone. Separate your battery from the phone and gently wipe off any water with a cloth. Put the phone, its battery and silica gel packets into a zip-lock (sandwich) bag, close it up and leave it for about 8 hours.

Don’t use the beads without a bag – they can get trapped in your device’s sockets and potentially damage them.

 

2 Keep rust at bay

Are you replacing razors more regularly than you’d like to? Razors deteriorate quickly due to excess moisture in the shower or wherever in the bathroom you keep them.

Keep your razors a little drier by sitting them on a silica gel packet whenever they’re not being used. By soaking up extra moisture, the packet will help prevent rust and prolong the life of your razor.

You can also put some of the packets in the toolbox to keep your tools free of rust.

 

3 Freshen up your gym bag

Sweaty towels, shoes, socks and dirty gym clothes create a perfect storm for bacteria and odours to thrive.

If you keep a few silica gel packets in your bag, they’ll absorb moisture and odours to help keep your bag clean.

 

4 Say goodbye to smells

Silica gel packets can be kept at the back of towel cupboards or storage containers to stop musty smells.

You can also keep packets wherever there may be unpleasant smells around the home. Place some in areas such as under the sink or in the garbage bin (before you put the bag in) to reduce odours.

 

5 Protect electronics

Items like cameras and laptops are highly susceptible to moisture – using silica gel packets where you store them or in their cases can protect them from damage.

 

6 Look after important items

You can protect documents such as birth certificates and other important documents by placing a silica gel packet in the filing cabinet or wherever you keep your records.

Older photographs can be protected with silica gel, too. The packets will stop the prints from sticking together or from discolouring.

 

7 Preserve food

If you don’t want your seeds, spices, herbs or pet food to go stale, try storing them with silica gel packets. This will also help to prevent mould and mildew growth.

Weird Uses for Silica Gel Packs

Save your phone from water damage

If you accidentally drop your phone in some water, immediately place it in a sealed Ziplock bag with enough packets to cover it on both sides. Leave it alone for 24 hours. You can also use this to help protect your phone when you are going to be in an area that is prone to excess moisture. This isn’t a waterproofing technique but can help prevent moisture damage.

Defog your windshield

Never wait for your windshield to clear up in the mornings again – instead, simply place a few of these bags under your windshield on the inside and they’ll keep it dry and clear regardless of the weather.

Extend the life of your razor blades

Excess moisture with dull your blade quickly. Place the razor in a small plastic container when it isn’t in use with a few packets to help keep the moisture away from the blade.

Keep your gymbag fresh

You can avoid mold and bacteria stinking up your sweaty gym gear by adding a couple of these sachets to your gym bag.

Protect your old photos

Many of us store our old photos in attics, cellars, or other equally damp places, which can lead to the pictures sticking together and deteriorating over time. Keep them in a box with a few silica sachets and it should keep them dry and intact for longer.

Prevent Silver Tarnish

Keep a silica gel packet in your jewelry box to keep moisture away from your jewelry.

Moisture causes tarnish, which not only makes jewelry look less attractive, but also means you have to spend time polishing it.

Place some gel packets in the bottom of the jewelry box to keep the moisture out. This is especially good with plush-lined boxes, as it will keep the fabric moisture-free, too.

Make Poupourri

For this, you’ll actually need to open the packet!

Tear open a silica gel packet or two (or more, depending on the size of the place you’re trying to scent) and pour the beads into a small bowl or container.

Add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil for instant potpourri.

Also, make sure you keep the beads far from the reach of children and animals.

Put them in your shoes

If you have sweaty feet that make your shoes smell, then drop a few sachets in your shoes after you take them off. It will help prevent funky smells and bacteria from growing.

Prevent rust in your toolbox

Toss a couple of silica gel packets into your tool box. The gel will absorb excess moisture and help keep your tools rust-free.

Protect Your Electronics

Keep a silica gel packet wherever you store any electronics with a lens or a screen. These items are particularly sensitive to moisture and condensation, so storing a gel pack with them can be a cheap insurance policy against moisture damage.

Keep Books Dry

Keep your book collection dry and less musty smelling by storing them with silica packets. You can distribute a few around your bookcase, or even store a packet within the pages of your most treasured old book.

When You Travel

Keep luggage dry while it’s in storage by tossing a silica gel pack in each suitcase. Toss a few silica gel packs in a Ziploc bag if you can’t dry your bathing suit before packing it.

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