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This is Why You Should Never Dispose of Silica Gel Packets

This is Why You Should Never Dispose of Silica Gel Packets
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Almost any box you open has at least one small silica gel pack inside. Ever wonder why? Simply to help keep whatever it is you purchased fresh and dry. Silica gel is a desiccant, a fancy word for a substance that absorbs moisture. Because it’s very porous, dry, and hard rather than wet and gel-like, it can take in the moisture hanging in the air. It’s made from silica dioxide, a substance also found in quartz and sand, so silica packs are non-toxic.

So instead of throwing it away, why not take advantage of them? Silica gel packs can be just as handy around the house as they are in manufacturing and shipping.

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Here are 11 ways you can put silica to use at home

1. Keep dry goods fresh and dry

Keep dry goods fresh
© USA Today

Reuse silica gel by putting a pack or two with your dry goods such as rice, herbs, pasta, bread crumbs, and crackers (there’s nothing more disappointing than soggy graham crackers). It will keep them from getting moldy or soft from humidity. However, make sure the silica pack isn’t damaged in any way, especially if you’re putting it in something that the silica grains could easily blend in with. A grain of silica won’t hurt you, but it won’t enhance your cooking either. This warning applies to food containers that children may get to. As the packages themselves usually warn, they should not be left around children.

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40 Comments

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  1. Well I’ll be darn!! You’ve given me a great tip that I’ve NEVER heard of. And to think that I’ve tossed HUNDREDS of those packets away. I’m a Great-Granny and I thought I’d heard it all. Bravo…

    • I kept them and put them between the windows so they kept the windows without fog. Does a great job.
      Just put 2 between wimdows on the track , and the job is done.

    • It depends on you humidity. They might work for just a few days in a humid environment and need drying out to be the least bit effective. This article fails to mention any of that. If you save enough to be worth the electricity to recharge, you can dry them out in a 200 degree oven for 1-2 hours.

  2. We like to put them on a platter, flat, then put them in a 125* F heated oven, to “bake” any moisture out of them. After they have cooled down, we place them in an airtight jar, or container, for future use.

    • Me too! Great ideas I never thought for uses around the house. Ugh….all this time I threw hundreds away.

  3. My chiltepin peppers get soft every year during the rainy season and become impossible to use. Thanks for the solution to this problem. I am always grateful for a way to make life less stressful!

  4. I store a lot of grain…rice, peas, beans varied grain flour.. I have always put in tiny amounts of cloves and bay leaves to protect against insects, like, weevils. I never thought about moisture…. I have a 500ml jar of silica pkts, having collected them from food supplements over the years. In the midst of decluttering, up to this morning, I looked at it and wondered… Thank you, ever so much for this information.

    • Just think about where those silica gel packets came from before putting them in with food. Are they clean enough to touch what you will be eating?

      • I was thinking the same thing…….ugh! Maybe I’d wipe them lightly with an alcohol based wipe? I never gave it any thought as to what to do with those silica packs. There are some really great ideas out there! Thanks!

  5. I take the larger ones and throw them in the bottom of my rifle locker. It works great to keep the moisture out and eliminates any chance of rust.

    • Some ammo I don’t have enough ammo cans for, so in those boxes – – I use these packs to keep my ammo dry.

  6. I have also saved them in a bag they work great on a cell phone ive saved a few after getting them wet.shut the phone right away and take out the battery air dry with low heat (blowdryer)and put the phone in the bag full of the silica packets.leave over nite and thru the next day..really as long as you can 2 days even better.it works.;)

    • I live in a humid area so I put a small packet in my hearing aid case. Way cheaper than the driers they sell. Big win!

    • Whoops, I just posted a similar comment about ammo. Sorry my Friend, wasn’t trying to steal your thunder. >Salutes!<

  7. How can I tell if one needs to be dried so it’s ready to go again? How can I tell when the drying process is complete? To me the packs always feel the same. If they were dried in sunlight would that work and wouldn’t that kill the germs and viruses (even Coronavirus-19?).

    • Yes. UV light is the best to kill germs. Especially Corona Virus. You can buy UV Torches if you cant get to the sunlight

  8. Great tip. I have some packets from food packaging so I was thinking of using them in my salt and pepper shakers as I live in a tropical environment. Has anyone tried that? right now I use rice.

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