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Saturday, February 18, 2012

17 Clever Ways To Use Silica Gel That You Never Knew



I am sure you have many of these Silica Gel packets from a new purse, shoes, headache medicine, beef jerky or any other random item.  I just received a couple in a new purse yesterday, and I think of them more as a pain, and inconvenience. Especially when I turn my back for 2 seconds and my kitten has somehow pulled one off of the counter and is tearing it to bits.  After my initial panic attack from trying to figure out if my cat had eaten poison, I immediately looked up on the internet to see if I needed to rush her to the vet. 

Fortunately, everything I read said that somehow Silica-Gel is not toxic to pets - cats or dogs. Which is weird since it seems everything is toxic to animals, but I guess not this. However, it is toxic to humans to please keep an eye on your kids or babies. Oh, and my kitten Sophie is fine, in case you were wondering. 

So since I seem to have these around, I wanted to see if there was any use for these packets that could be used to help me for other things. I found quite a few uses. So I was excited to share with all of you!

Keep Underwater Cameras Dry - Waterproof cameras are super fun but sometimes the condensation can end up damaging the camera or leave a fog streak across your lens. Stop this from happening by storing a packet or two of silica-gel packets in the camera case or with the camera. It will dry all of the excess water out. 

Dry Out A Wet Cell Phone - This one is much needed knowledge. How many times have we accidentally dropped our phone in some water like a pool, toilet or the kids or yourself spilled a drink on your phone? It always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Here is how you can fix it fast. Remove the battery and any memory cards from the phone, then toss it in a bowl filled with silica gel packets (dry rice will work, too, in an emergency). Leave it there at least overnight before powering it on again.

Stop Camera Condensation - As a blogger, I take my camera everywhere. It is a must for most of us ladies nowadays. Here is a great photography trick to stop lens or camera condensations. If you're taking your camera out into the cold, it can face serious condensation when you bring it back into a warm room. Remove the battery, memory card, and lens if applicable, and place the camera in a bowl of silica gel to suck up the moisture.

Extend the Life Of Razor Blades - Oxidation and moisture is the reason that razor blades fall to pre-mature dulling. A good tip is to keep a Tupperware half full of silica gel near by and after shaving, blot dry your razor and store the razor in the closed Tupperware that has 4 -5 silica gel packets.

Dry Makeup or Travel Bag - If you toss a few packets of silica gels into a Ziplock bag, it has enough water and moisture fighting ability to withstand any spills.

Keep Fabric Dry - If you like to sew, or use fabric for craft projects, keep a few of the silica packets with the fabric in a plastic or Ziplock bag to keep the moisture out.

Wet Vacations Clothes - Sometimes when we go on vacation, there is swimming involved. Most of the time we are enjoying the water up until the vacation is over. The worst is putting wet clothes in your suitcase. Put your clothes or wet towel into a bag with a bunch of silica gels and it will help to remove some of the moisture. The more gel packets the better.

Protect Your Photos - Put silica gel packet in the boxes where you store your photos to keep them safe and dry.

Protect Silver - Moisture can lead to tarnish and corrosion on silver and jewelry. Slip a silica gel packet in your silver chest or jewelry box to keep those items tarnish free and looking great!

Keep Luggage Dry - These tiny packets can do a great job of keeping luggage dry. You can simply toss a few silica gel packets into your luggage to keep it moisture and odor-free. This could really help to extend the life of your luggage.

Gardening - If you save your own seeds for planting next year, storing them so they don't mold is important. Add a silica gel packet to your container, making sure it's airtight. Store the different seeds in small envelopes and then put them all in an airtight container together with the silica gel packet. You only need one per shoe box-sized container.

Pills and Vitamins - You will often find Silica Gel packets enclosed with packets of dried foods, pills, and vitamins. This is because moisture can lead to mold, decomposition, and spoilage of these items. Storing these items with a packet of Silica Gel can help preserve their freshness. Vitamins and pills are often stored in bathrooms, a very humid environment. Moisture can get into the container each time it is opened, which can lead to any coatings being prematurely dissolved.

Protect Documents - Protect personal papers and important documents by putting some gel in a baggie wherever these are stored.

Flowers - If you love to dry flowers, these can be used in a cinch to help the process go faster. Store in a paper bag with the a couple packets.

Windows - If you notice that the windows in your house seem to have formed some condensation in between panes, store some packets on the sill to absorb that moisture. (Careful of your children with this one.)

Bulk Pet Food - Have you noticed that if you buy a big bag of pet food, it can get soggy? Store your kibble in a bin and tape some silica packs to the bottom of the lid.

Foggy Windshield - Stash some packets away in your car, especially on your dashboard. This will help maintain a clear windshield and leave it less foggy during times of high humidity.

Tip: If your silica gel packets don't seem to be working any more, put them on a cookie sheet in a 100 degree oven for an hour to recharge! When you're not using the packets, keep them in an airtight container to protect them from surrounding moisture.

34 comments :

  1. This is not a very good idea. Sorry for saying that, but this silica gel packs MAY (not every has)contain a poison stuff, which helps against molding. Can't find the webside I read it on...

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  2. I thought I read the same thing, but couldn't remember where. So, I went in search of... I found this information from a poison control center. They say that not only are the silica gel packs non-toxic, but they advise to throw them away immediately, because 1) they are not food; 2) because they are a choking hazard for children and pets. Hope that helps. :)

    http://www.ncpoisoncenter.org/body.cfm?id=113

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  3. Thanks for the info ladies. I also mentioned that in my intro. I am glad to know they are non-toxic, but you should only use these if small kids and pets are not able to get to them. It is up to everyone's discretion if they want to use these tips or not. I just wanted to find some uses for them that are helpful for DIY.

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  4. Great tips! I get these in everything I purchase it seems...good to know some uses for the little buggers. Thanx alot, love your blog! - oh..and also, I do not have any kids but I do have a cat..I'll use them responsibly and I'm sure I won't have a problem.

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  5. So these packs have an indefinite life span? I can keep "recharging" them and they will remain absorbant? If so, that is really cool...

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  6. Silica gel does not have an infinite lifespan. It can be recharged and last for quite some time, its capacity to adsorb lessens after awhile and eventually new silica gel will be needed to replace the old.

    Blue silica gel is the type of silica gel that is toxic, orange and white silica gel is not toxic, so those are the safest to use.

    Fun article by the way.

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  7. I put these little packets in my rolling tool box drawers to prevent rust on my tools...

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    Replies
    1. White chalk works for your tool box too.

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  8. Hi Anonymous,

    Thanks for commenting and the great tip! That is really good to know!

    Cheers!

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  9. I put them in my skate bag, to absorb moisture from sweaty skates & pads.

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    Replies
    1. I thought that too. I may have to stock up ad I have 3 skate bags

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  10. I used to work in a factory which received LARGE rolls of aluminum for making pots & pans. To keep the rolls free of moisture, silica gel packs where inside each roll. Our company had no use for these packs and were just thrown away. These packs were about 10"x 4" and 3" thick. After asking, I was able to take a few home for use in home safe. Parents had a safe which had gotten moisture in it which ruined money, deeds & many items of value. Always throw these packs into a safe!

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  11. the headlights on the car are always misting up so i will put a couple off packets in to see if it works

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  12. What good ideas! I like to re-purpose items and this is one more for the list. I am going to start by adding a pack to my toolbox. Thanks for all the ideas... both in your article and other commenters.

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  13. I save them all year long and toss them in my totes with my holiday decorations

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  14. I crochet and I have many, many cabinets full of various yarns. I put the packs in there to prevent moisture. I also put them into all my camera cases, and all of the tool storage containers, and tool ,boxes in my shop. They're wonderful little things, and free too...that makes them just about perfect. :) Oh, no kids, and no pets in my home!

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    Replies
    1. Might be neat to crochet around a few of the packets as it would deter kids or pets from eating them .Might be a good resale item.

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  15. I remember watching Billy the Exterminater on tv he said if you grind them up in a coffee grinder and to water place in a spray gun and spray on bushes and plant that it would keep the BEES AND WASPS AWAY.

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    1. We need all the BEES we have. PLEASE don't do this. They are our pollinators. Without them we are in MAJOR trouble.

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  16. Another tip for silica is to use this when planing new plants or newly germinated seeds or cutting to induce root growth. It is like Willow juice from Salix ie. salicylic acid or silica.

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    Replies
    1. Just because two words sound similar does not mean that they are interchangeable.

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  17. I wonder if this would work on potato bugs before they get their hard shells.

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  18. I use them in my spice containers, also in sugar and salt so they don't clump up

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  19. My son has several in his gun case. Also, I have read that you can put some inside your jack o'lanterns to keep them from going mouldy so quickly.

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  20. I use these small packs of silica gel in the non-airtight containers I keep my home dehydrated fruits and veges in.

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  21. Billy the Exterminator also used them for roaches. cut a small slit in the bag and place them in your cabinets and drawers in the kitchen. Had a friend who tried this and it really worked. It dries them out and they die, they also carry it back to the nests.

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  22. Super article plus the comments will keep these out of my trash from now on. Love it!!

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  23. I use them in the gun safe to keep moisture from rusting the guns

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  24. For those worried about poison in them don't worry. My youngest chewed on a pack so I called Poison Control. There is nothing bad in them, no poison. So they are safe. The warning on the packet is to just tell us they are not edible.

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  25. This is the same stuff they sell in craft department for drying out flowers. Its sold with a use, just as well keep the free for other uses!

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  26. Great for ammunition storage.

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