Carefully slipped into shoe boxes, handbags, electronics, and other goods are silica gel packets. In bold letters we’re instructed to “THROW AWAY” and “Do Not Eat” the tiny envelopes. But keeping them around may not be such a bad idea.
Processed until it forms the little gel beads we’re familiar with, silica gel acts as a dehumidifier and moisture sticks to the surface of the beads. The process is called adsorption. Yup a-d-s-o-r-p-t-i-o-n. As you wrap your mind around that word, we’ll break down why it’s so helpful and how you can use it around the house.
Its adsorption powers suck the moisture and water vapors from sealed spaces. That’s why you find them dropped into electronic device packages to prevent condensation buildup, or leather products where they aid in preventing mold. You’ve probably noticed them in tons of other places too.
Wochit’s video below highlights eight reasons not to chuck your silica gel packets, but we’re going to give you four of those here.
When you purchase large bags of pet food, store some in an airtight container with a gel packet taped to the lid to keep it fresh. Your wallet and your pet will thank you.
Drop a packet into a photo box to keep your pictures safe from moisture and humidity damage. Bonus: they can also be stored with cameras (especially underwater versions) to stave off fungi growth on the lenses.
Beat sweat, mildew, and funk on your laundry by tossing a few sachets of silica gel into your hamper or gym duffel. They’ll help to keep odor-producing bacteria from getting out of control. Go the extra mile and place one or two in your gym locker too.