Ways to Reuse Silica Gel Packets
These little sachets of desiccant that arrive with a new pair of shoes or vitamins have a variety of applications around the house. Silica gel packets can help alleviate moisture problems almost anywhere. So, before throwing these packets away, here are some ways these packets could be reused around your home.
What is Silica Gel?
The ingredients included in these little packets are known as desiccants. A desiccant is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “a substance used to eliminate moisture.” And that is essentially what they do.
Desiccants come in a variety of types, but silica gel is the most common since it absorbs a large amount of moisture, often up to 40% of its weight. It works across a wide range of temperatures, up to around 100 degrees Celsius and can also absorb a wide range of compounds other than water, including ammonia, alcohols, aromatics, and other substances typically used in manufacturing.
Is Silica Gel toxic?
Silica gel is non-toxic, however it can cause choking in young children.
In rare instances, though, producers coat silica gel in cobalt chloride, a toxic compound. Consuming cobalt chloride-coated silica gel will almost certainly result in nausea and vomiting. Cobalt chloride is a moisture indicator that appears dark blue when dry and pink when wet. Cobalt chloride-coated silica gel is not commonly utilised in consumer goods.
What happens if it is consumed?
Unfortunately, children may mistake a packet as food, candy, or a chew toy and consume the silica gel or the entire package. Adults may sometimes mistake silica gel packets for salt or sugar packets.
Silica gel is chemically inert. This implies it will not break down in the body and cause poisoning. However, because it will not break down, the gel might induce choking. As a result, producers frequently label them with “Do not consume” or “Throw away after use.”
You will not get ill from eating silica gel. Most of the time, it will flow through your body and out without harming your body.
Although silica gel is unlikely to harm you, it doesn’t mean you should consume a lot of it. If consumed in excessive amounts, the gel has little nutritional benefit and may induce intestinal obstruction.
Is it biodegradable?
Silicon dioxide occurs naturally on Earth and is a major element of sand in many parts of the world. It is typically regarded as safe to dispose of. However, depending on the materials used, the packets themselves may or may not be biodegradable.
How to reuse Silica Gel
So silica gel is certainly useful, and guess what? It may also be reused several times without losing its absorbency! Once it has absorbed water to its capacity , it may be heated to evaporate the water. What a waste to throw it away! Here’s a list of uses for these handy small packages in everyday life. By placing a few packets in bags and cartons, they can assist to keep many ordinary products fresh and free of undesired dampness and moisture.
In the Kitchen
- Protect your vitamins against moisture damage. (It’s a good idea to save the silica packets that come in the vitamin containers once the vitamins are finished.)
- Keep dry food and pet food fresh and crispy with a silica gel pack taped to the lid of your storage container.
Inside the Closet
- To absorb moisture from damp clothing or towels, place a few silica gel packs at the bottom of your laundry hamper.
- Speed up the drying process of damp shoes or boots with a pack of silica gel.
Around the House
- Reduce condensation on window panes by setting a silica gel pack on the window sill. (Always keep them away from children and pets.)
- Help dry out a non-water-resistant cell phone by putting it in a sealed bag with many silica gel packs.
- Protect important documents and photos from moisture with a silica gel pack inside the box or file cabinet.
- Preserve paper memories in storage, such as old documents, pictures, or notebooks, by placing silica gel packs in the same container to absorb moisture.
- Prevent corrosion of electronic equipment by Keeping silica gel packs near them.
- Prevent moisture damage to medicines if you store medicines in your medical cabinet, store some silica packs inside. The silica gel packets will help with reducing humidity.
- Safeguard razors from moisture damage by storing them in a sealed container with a silica gel pack.
- Cut open the sachets and soak the silica gel in aromatic oils to make your own potpourri. To make your potpourri more attractive, use silica gel to dry flowers.
In the car
- Maintain a clear windshield in high humidity by placing a few silica gel packs between your dashboard and windshield.
- Leave a few in your Sunglass cases to keep excess moisture away..
Uses for Pets
- Place the dry kibble in a bin and tape silica packets to the bottom of the lid to keep those big bags of kibble from getting soggy. Before using the packets, carefully inspect them and discard any that are torn or have holes – you don’t want your pet to ingest silica.
- You may also scatter the beads over cat litter (if the company does not already) to absorb excess moisture in the litter. This will result in fewer litter changes and make it more worth your money.
- Keep luggage dry while in storage by tossing a silica gel pack in each suitcase.
- If you can’t dry your bathing suit before packing it, put a couple of silica gel packets in a Ziploc bag.
Bonus Tip: To “reactivate” fully saturated silica gel packs, lay them on a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven for two hours.
In conclusion, while seeing these silica gel packets everywhere may appear to be a waste of resources, they have the potential to increase the life of many goods significantly. They should also be collected for recycling because they can be reactivated multiple times.