Thursday, January 1, 2015

25 Uses for silica gel packets

Google images
Silica gel packets are very useful for drying out objects.  That’s the main reason they are found in many packages: shoe boxes, medicines, electronics, leather goods, etc.  Any item that could potentially be damaged by moisture has silica gel packets in its packaging.

<b>Fresh Step Crystals Cat Litter, 8 Pounds</b>
Google images
Cat litter is a safe version of silica crystals, which are made of silica dioxide sand, oxygen and water.  The gel has tiny pores that absorb up to 40 times their weight in liquid. Any item that can be damaged by moisture but you’d want to store for any amount of time can be stored with silica gel.  

If you find that you’d like to use silica crystals but would prefer to save money by buying cat litter, you can make your own silica packets.  Just like making bean bags, cut two pieces of fabric whatever size you’d like, sew up three sides.  Use the open side to pour the silica crystals in and then hand-stitch the opening closed.  That’s it. All done. 

I found this off-brand, which is much ($10) cheaper at Walmart.  Just make sure the package says "porous silica sand."  Otherwise, you may be getting clay or corn byproducts, which do not work as quickly.

I made many packets with the help of our oldest granddaughter. The largest size is for the truck since Richard tromps lots of water and mud into his truck during the winter.  The medium sized packets are for the car to help with the foggy windshields.  I plan to keep them right on the dashboards.

The small packets are to put under the sinks in the house.  I haven't  had a really big problem with leaky faucets, but the condensation on the pipes does cause some moisture which can draw insects into the house.  Now that the house is getting older, we've been trying to find ways to help alleviate potential problems.  Notice that I used an ugly 80's fabric....why waste new, pretty fabric on something that only potential bugs will see?

Other packets are going into my quilt storage trunk.  Those packets are not yet made as I want to double the fabric to help protect the quilts from the chemicals that make up the silica granules. Supposedly it's safe to use with natural fibers, but I prefer to be extra sure.  Besides, I have no plans for this fabric!

You can use silica packets to keep just about anything dry.  The following are only suggestions as many come from a variety of websites.  I did quite a bit of research, but I’m betting that together we can come up with many more ideas.  

Keep packets to protect, dry out, and store
  1. hearing aids
  2. herbs and dried flowers
  3. electronic equipment, especially cameras and phones  
  4. tackle boxes
  5. stored silver from tarnishing as quickly
  6. tool boxes
  7. out-of-season clothing
  8. bulk pet foods 
  9. Christmas ornaments
  10. quilt storage (and blankets)
  11. fabric and notions
  12. keep razor blades from rusting (and other metals)
  13. keep in suitcases and makeup bags in case of spills
  14. flower and vegetable seeds
  15. silverware drawer 
  16. safety box to protect documents
  17. gym bags and lockers
  18. athletic shoes (absorbs odor-causing moisture)
  19. damp or musty items, such as old books
  20. photos
  21. collectibles, such as trading cards, toys, etc.
  22. the dash of vehicles to help clear foggy windshields
  23. window seats and sills to help clear foggy glass
  24. under sinks to draw out condensation from pipes
  25. behind leaky toilets
If you decide to make a few packets, let us know how you plan to use them.  And if you think of another use for them, please come back and share.


Anita said...

Hi Mary, Thank you for commenting on my blog about my Christmas pillows! I am happy I could spark an idea for you. :) I couldn't reply to your email (no reply) so I came over here to comment. Great blog post for these silica packs! I always throw them in the garbage but I'll have to start saving them up now. I'm glad I came over to your blog!

Karen S said...

Thank you for the great ideas on using these. I need to do some planning!