Vitamins, shoes or electronics – these little white packets are becoming omnipresent, popping out of packages everywhere. Silica gel is really not a gel; it comes in little beads sealed into the packet. Silica gel has the ability to absorb water that causes mold or moisture damage. It can absorb up to 40 percent of its weight. Silica gel is non-toxic and non-flammable. It doesn’t create any environmental hazards.
Silica gel has the best desiccant properties. It prevents the formation of moisture in various materials that can further encourage the growth of mildew and spoil valuable materials. Silica gels can in fact also prevent condensation that may harm electronic equipments. You can also find drug manufacturers using these silica gel packets to prevent the decomposition of medicines
Small silica gel packets are also used to maintain the relative humidity (RH) inside a high frequency radio or satellite transmission system. They are also being increasingly used today in industrial compressed air systems to absorb moisture from the air. This prevents damage at the point of use of the compressed air that may happen due to condensation or moisture. This is very effective in railway locomotives, where moisture filled compressed air in the brake pipes may result in brake failure.
You would also find silica gel packets in museums and libraries for better storage and as a preservation tool to control relative humidity. Even in the medical industry it is used extensively in varied application areas like diagnostic test strips, syringes, bacteria & hospital sanitation kits, inhalation devices, drug test kits, and all sorts of moisture sensitive device.
Silica gel has massive potential for reuse. Here are several great suggestions for using these packs around the house:
Have any old photographs or papers you want to preserve? Put a silica gel pack in a Ziploc bag or air-tight box and add your old photos to store them indefinitely. You can even put in keepsakes, such as your wedding favors or collectibles including baseball cards.
Keep razor blades sharp longer
Razor blades get dull because of use but also on account of oxidation; Keep your razor in a plastic container with gel packs. Blot it dry and put it in the container with silica gel to keep them sharp longer.
Dry out a wet cell phone or ipod
If your electronic items have become wet leave it turned off so it won’t short out. Take out the memory card and battery then put it in a resealable bag with silica packs. Leave it for a couple days..
Keep your tools free of oxidation
Toss a couple packets in your toolbox and the your tools will stay rust-free
Box it up with books
Can’t part with your favorite novels? No problem. Keep them safe by tucking a packet or two in the box with the books before storing it away.
Mildew-proof your papers
Protect personal papers and important documents by putting some gel in a baggie wherever these are stored.
Even more fun with silica get packs…
• Place with seeds in storage to thwart molding.
• Stash some in window sills to banish condensation.
• Tape gel packs to the lid of your pet food container to keep it from going soft or soggy.
• Make potpourri by cutting open packs and saturating the beads with essential oil.
• Pack into your suitcase.
• Use them to keep items in storage safer. Put in shoes, handbags and pockets.
• Collections of old video tapes, CDs and DVDs will last longer kept dry.
• Put silica packs on car’s dashboard. It will keep it from becoming foggy when the humidity would cause condensation.