If you’re like most people, those silica packets you get in the bottom of a new handbag or box of shoes usually end up in the bin with the rest of the packaging.
You shouldn’t throw them out just yet though.
Those handy packets can be used for a range of tasks around the home. These are our faves.
What Are Silica Gel Packets?
Silica gel packets comprise small grains that are silicon dioxide in solid form. It is a drying agent that is able to draw in water molecules through the paper packaging.
The packets are used to absorb moisture and condensation, helping to keep products dry.
Manufacturers use silica gel to protect their products from spoiling, mould and moisture build-up.
7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Throw Silica Gel Packets Away
1.Save your phone
There is no worse feeling than when you drop your phone in the pool, bath or even more frustrating, the toilet.
Silica gel is a great way to get moisture out of your phone. Separate your battery from the phone and gently wipe off any water with a cloth. Put the phone, its battery and silica gel packets into a zip-lock (sandwich) bag, close it up and leave it for about 8 hours.
Don’t use the beads without a bag – they can get trapped in your device’s sockets and potentially damage them.
2.Keep rust at bay
Are you replacing razors more regularly than you’d like to? Razors deteriorate quickly due to excess moisture in the shower or wherever in the bathroom you keep them.
Keep your razors a little drier by sitting them on a silica gel packet whenever they’re not being used. By soaking up extra moisture, the packet will help prevent rust and prolong the life of your razor.
You can also put some of the packets in the toolbox to keep your tools free of rust.
3.Freshen up your gym bag
Sweaty towels, shoes, socks and dirty gym clothes create a perfect storm for bacteria and odours to thrive.
If you keep a few silica gel packets in your bag, they’ll absorb moisture and odours to help keep your bag clean.
4.Say goodbye to smells
Silica gel packets can be kept at the back of towel cupboards or storage containers to stop musty smells.
You can also keep packets wherever there may be unpleasant smells around the home. Place some in areas such as under the sink or in the garbage bin (before you put the bag in) to reduce odours.
Items like cameras and laptops are highly susceptible to moisture – using silica gel packets where you store them or in their cases can protect them from damage.
6.Look after important items
You can protect documents such as birth certificates and other important documents by placing a silica gel packet in the filing cabinet or wherever you keep your records.
Older photographs can be protected with silica gel, too. The packets will stop the prints from sticking together or from discolouring.
If you don’t want your seeds, spices, herbs or pet food to go stale, try storing them with silica gel packets. This will also help to prevent mould and mildew growth.
Some Words of Warning
There’s a reason silica gel packaging usually advises to ‘throw away’ the sachet. It isn’t toxic however the gel beads inside are a choking hazard (they won’t break down in the body), which is why it should be kept away from children and pets.
If you’re leaving packets in cupboards or drawers, tape them down to deter any prying hands.
Silica gel packets will stop working after a while, as they will become full of moisture themselves and lose effectiveness.