10 Reasons You Should Never Throw Away Those Silica Gel Packets

by Shelby

Chances are, you probably have one of these laying in a drawer in your house somewhere; The little baggie that says’ “Do Not Eat”. Here are 10 ways you can reuse those same little baggies!

Every Time you get a package, you always have the same stuff to throw away. The box, tape, and the little baggy. I always remember playing with the little baggy out of the package as a child. My mom would always take it away from me, telling me it was bad. But, what if those little baggies aren’t so bad? It turns out you can use them in many different ways!

You can’t help but wonder what is inside of the baggy! Curiosity did kill the cat, but we can give in this time. The ingredients in this little baggy are called Silica Gel. It is in the form of beads. In this form, it is used as a desiccant to control local humidity to avoid spoilage or degradation of some goods. Because silica gel can have added chemical indicators (see below) and absorbs moisture very well, silica gel packets usually bear warnings for the user not to eat the contents. It turns out the label only demands you not to eat it because it isn’t food, and it is a choking hazard. Gel silica can be used in several different ways! Don’t throw them away, use them! Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!

  • Drying out a wet cell phone – 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.
  • Camera Condensation – 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.
  • Makeup 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.
  • Protecting photos – Put silica gel packet in the boxes where you store your photos to keep them safe and dry.
  • 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.
  • Flowers – These can be used in a cinch to help the process of drying out flowers go faster. Store in a paper bag with the couple packets.
  • 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.
  • Pumpkins – Protect your pumpkin from mold. Remove the top of the pumpkin. Take a silica bead and embed it into the interior of the pumpkin. Don’t stick the bead in so far that it changes the appearance of the pumpkin’s exterior. When applying the beads, use 3/4 grams of silica for every 100 cubic inches of pumpkin.
  • Protecting Documents – Protect personal papers and important documents by putting some gel in a baggie wherever these are stored.

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