Silica gel is commonly found in packets and inserted into products to keep them dry. However, these tiny little beads can also produce a lot of benefits that make them worth keeping around for a rainy day. Here are a few examples of how they can be put to good use.
Keeping Things Dry
Silica gel’s main role is to absorb moisture. However, not a lot of people use them as a way to keep things dry. For example, you can buy silica gel beads in bulk and use them to dry clothing, electronics or absorb moisture from shoes and boots. Simply put the wet clothes into a plastic bag along with a generous portion of silica gel packets or beads. Consider wrapping loose beads into tea bags, cheese cloth or coffee filters to keep them contained.
Let the material rest overnight and you’ll be amazed at the difference. We’ve all shoved wet towels, swimming suits, socks or other small items of clothing into our suitcases or backpacks, and silica gel beads can go along way with preventing odors, the formation of mold and other gross by-products of not being able to dry material properly beforehand.
The can also be used to dry electronics that have become accidentally soaked. Simply remove the battery, any memory and sim cards and place the device into a bed of silica gel. Cover with the material and let rest until dry. The drying time will vary depending on the moisture content and size of the item as well as how many packets or beads you are using.
Silica gel is an excellent way to minimize the formation of condensation on anything from cameras and phones to goggles. Simply place a couple of packets of the gel into a plastic bag along with the devices, or add them to their respective cases. Allow the gel to do its work, and you will be condensation-free before you know it.
Silica gel can work as well as baking soda in terms of sucking the odor from stinky shoes, laundry baskets and garbage cans. They can also be inserted into boots as a way to reduce moisture buildup and subsequent odors while hiking.
Keeping Food Items Dry
Tossing in a packet or two of silica gel into containers prior to storage will go a long way with respect to keeping dry goods moisture-free. This can significantly prolong shelf life in addition to enhancing freshness when the items are consumed later. You can also toss a packet into your salt and sugar dispensers to keep the contents from clumping.
Another benefit of silica gel is that it is an anti-oxidizing agent, which means that it helps to prevent rust and corrosion. Place a packet in pouches that contain small tools and first aid supplies. Silica gel is also known to extend the life of disposable razors as it helps the metal to retain its structural integrity while preventing the formation of rust over the course of time.
You can also use silica gel to protect documents and photographs that are boxed away in storage. Placing a packet of silica gel into seed bags can also help to fend off moisture and keep them fresh until the next growing season. Silica gel can also be used to reduce the formation of condensation on windows. Put a couple of packets on window sills or on top of frames as well as on the dashboard of your vehicle. Putting some on the back panel below the rear window will also help to reduce the formation of condensation which can reduce the amount of time that is required to clear windows before driving.
Keep in mind that silica gel packets are only going to be able to retain so much moisture before they lose their effectiveness. However, you can extend their useful life by placing them on a baking sheet and putting it in the oven at the lowest possible setting until they dry out. Store used and dried packets in an airtight container for future use.
These are just a few of the many useful benefits of silica gel, and you can never have too many packets lying around. Start building your collection today in order to take full advantage of their versatility and effectiveness.