Silica gel packets are full of small grains of silicon dioxide in solid form. The technical name for it is silica xerogel, but most people just call it silica gel. It’s a desiccant, which means water molecules are drawn to it and out of whatever is surrounding the packet. The water can move through the packaging, which is usually paper. That means they’re used to keep moisture, and thus mold, mildew, damage, odors, and staining, away from sensitive items. It’s also why you find them in so many packages.
- Getting your phone wet is a major hassle, but it happens.
I remember when my phone fell into water and the only thing running in my mind was I am doomed! But, like the old rice trick, silica gel packets can be used to dry out your phone. Remove the battery, SIM card and SD card, set them aside and put them in a bowl filled with silica gel packets or drop your phone into a Ziploc bag with enough gel packets to cover it on both sides. Seal the bag and let sit for 24 hours. (Yes, you can make it 24 hours without your phone!) It should absorb the water. Be warned though some manufacturers advise you not to attempt to remove your battery. Check with them.
- Keep your razors longer lasting
You can make your razors last longer by preventing the oxidation caused by moisture. Keep them in a Tupperware container with a few silica gel packets.
- Stop Camera Condensation
Here is a great photography trick to stop lens or camera condensations. 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.
- Protect your artificial jewellery
Keep a silica gel packet in your jewelry box to keep moisture away from your jewellery.
Moisture causes tarnish, which not only makes jewellery look less attractive, but also means you have to spend time polishing it.
- Keep moisture out of herbs, spices, pet food
Silica gel is inedible, but it can help keep foods like dried herbs, spices, bread crumbs, crackers, and anything else that should be kept as crispy as possible from getting soggy.
If you don’t want to drop the packet right in with the food (which is actually fine, so long as it remains unopened), you can tape a packet to the lid, where it will work just as well.
- Prolong the life of your Jack-o-Lantern
Do you carve pumpkins for Halloween? If so do you know how to preserve. A great tip to extend the life of your Jack-O-Lanterns is to use Silica Gel Packets inside!
- Absorbs the dampness inside your shoes
Silica gel is a desiccant, which means it absorbs and holds water. The gel packs suck up water vapor from the air and keeps shoes dry and fresh.
- Dry out your vacation clothes
Had a last minute dip on your holiday? Fearing travelling back with a suitcase full of damp swimming shorts and bikinis?
Well, try sticking the wet clothes in a plastic bag with the silica gel packets and relax. Same goes for damp towels that you may have if you’re travelling around hostels and brought your own.
- Protect Your Photos
Put silica gel packet in the boxes where you store your old photos to keep them safe and dry.
- Protect your electronics while traveling
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.
- Keep your car windshield clear
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.
- Stinking Gym bags and smelling socks? Silica gel packs to the rescue!
Gym bags and socks can get pretty funky after a while with all the damp, sweaty clothing we shove into them. The smells come from bacteria that live on the moisture, so if you remove the moisture, you remove the smell. Drop a packet or two into your bag and forget them. They’ll quietly pull the moisture away and leave your items fresh. They work in lockers, too.
Tip: If your silica gel packets don’t seem to be working any more, put them on a cookie sheet in a 100 degree oven for an hour to recharge! When you’re not using the packets, keep them in an airtight container to protect them from surrounding moisture.