18 Genius Ways To Re-Use Silica Gel Packets

18 Genius Ways To Re-Use Silica Gel Packets

Silica gel packets – the small pouches of tiny clear beads you find inside the packaging of everything from vitamins and beef jerky to new shoes and electronics – are thrown away by the thousands in households around the world. What most people don’t realize is that these tiny innocuous packets possess incredible re-use value.

Silica gel is a powerful desiccant, and when placed inside an air-tight container it will absorb unwanted moisture, preserving and protecting stored items from damage from water, mold, mildew, and bacterial growth. Read on to discover some of the many clever uses and re-uses for silica gel packets. You’ll never want to throw them away again!

1. Protect Important Papers

Toss a couple of silica gel packets inside your safe or fireproof box to keep moisture out of important documents like birth certificates, social security cards, passports, land titles, deeds, and other financial papers.

2. Guns and Ammunition

Whether you keep them in the gun safe or take them with you on a hunting trip, silica gel packets are perfect for keeping gunpowder dry. As an added bonus, silica gel in the gun safe will also keep moisture out of your stored weapons, cases, and holsters.

3. Seasonal Clothing

Drop silica gel packets into the pockets of your jackets and other clothing before storing them away for the summer. Hang packets of silica gel around summer clothing before storing over the winter. This will prevent mold, mildew, and that musty odor that frequently permeates items stored in a closet for long periods of time.

4. Photos, Film, and Cameras

Stash a silica gel packet inside the frame behind photographs to absorb any moisture that might accidentally seep in around the photo. Keep a packet inside your camera case to prevent moisture from creeping in behind the lens. Silica gel packets stored next to film will keep moisture out of the canisters until they’re ready to develop.

5. Books and Albums

photo-album

Want to keep moisture out of your family photo album, scrap book, or other important volumes? Simply tuck a silica gel packet between the pages to keep them nice and dry. For books that have already been exposed to water, dry the pages then store in an air-tight container with a silica gel packet or two to remove any lingering moisture. Use the same technique to remove the damp musty smell from old or used books.

6. Refrigerator and Freezer

Keep silica gel packets or bowls of loose beads in drawers in your refrigerator where you store food that needs to stay dry. Silica gel packets or loose silica gel in a bowl in the freezer will absorb moisture and prevent icing.

7. Tools and Fasteners

Keep silica gel packets in your tools box to prevent rust on tools, screws, nails, or any other stored metal items. This is especially useful if you keep your toolbox outside in a shed or garage.

8. Seed Storage

To keep harvested seeds dry until the next planting season, store them in airtight containers with a silica gel packet. Also, be sure to keep these containers in a cool, dry location. This will prevent seeds from germinating prematurely or growing mold and mildew over the winter.

9. Holiday Decorations

christmas-lights

If you’re like most people and you store your seasonal décor in the attic or a closet for most of the year, consider adding a silica gel packet or two to each box before you seal them up and put them away. This will ensure that your precious ornaments stay clean and mildew-free until they make their debut again next year.

10. Windows and Doors

Attach a silica gel packet to the inner corners of window sills and door frames to help ward off mildew from wooden frames and condensation from glass panels. Secure packets of silica gel inside your vehicle under the windshield, on the package tray, and around side windows to prevent interior fogging and condensation during humid weather.

11. Transporting Luggage

Especially if your belongings will be traveling in the belly of an airplane or if you plan to take a cruise where your belongings may be exposed to excessive moisture, tuck a few silica gel packets inside your luggage to keep the contents free of humidity.

12. Long-term Storage

No matter if you’re storing old furniture, vehicles, or any other personal items (especially if you don’t have access to a climate-controlled storage unit) silica gel packets can help to keep moisture away from your belongings and protect them from mold, mildew, water damage, and that signature musty odor that tends to permeate porous items like wood or cloth that have been kept in storage for a long time.

13. Dry Goods

You’ve probably heard of using grains of rice to keep the moisture out of dry goods like sugar, flour, and salt. However, silica gel packs work even better. Tape a packet of silica gel to the bottom of the lid before sealing up any dry goods for storage. This also works great for keeping moisture out of dried herbs!

14. Powdered Detergents

The kitchen a laundry rooms are two of the three most humid rooms in the average home. Drop silica gel packets into containers of powdered laundry and dish-washing detergents to keep the inevitable moisture in these areas from turning them into soap-bricks.

15. Granular Fertilizers

Nothing beats opening that leftover bag of expensive fertilizer from last year and finding that the tiny granules have turned into solid rock over the winter. Instead of tempting fate, empty the bag into an airtight container at the end of the growing season and drop in a few silica gel packets before you seal it up to keep the fertilizer fresh and workable.

16. Wood & Metal Utensils

Keep razors and other metal items commonly stored in the bathroom from rusting by sealing them in a plastic bag or other airtight container with a silica gel packet. Place silica gel packets in drawers in the kitchen where metal or wooden utensils are stored to keep them dry and tidy.

17. Homemade Air Freshener

Soak silica gel beads in essential oils to make your own air freshener. Hang bags of scented silica gel around the house or even in your car to keep your environment smelling good. Once the smell wears off, simply re-soak the beads and use them again.

18. Refresh Saturated Silica Gel

Eventually your silica gel will absorb the maximum amount of water that it can hold. When this happens, spread the saturated beads on a clean cookie sheet and place them in the oven. Bake them at 200º F (but no higher than that) for at least two hours to evaporate the water from the silica. Then repackage them and use your silica gel again and again.

Want to try out all of these uses for silica gel, but don’t have any packets lying around? No worries! This bag of 50 silica gel packets from Amazon.com is enough to employ all of the tricks and tips listed above (and maybe even some we haven’t thought of, yet.)

For more genius up-cycling tips and tricks, check out 524 Amazing Ways To Reuse Things You’d Normally Throw Away

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