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.
Here are 11 ways you can put silica to use at home
1. Keep dry goods fresh and dry
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.