You have probably seen those little silica gel packs that come in products to keep them dry. You've probably even found one in the pocket of a coat you've purchased at a store.

Usually, those little packets (that clearly state "Do Not Eat") get tossed into the trash as soon as they are discovered. Instead of throwing them away, check out this great list of ways to reuse these packets.

How Do Silica Gel Packs Work?

According to Science World, silica gel packs work by absorbing and storing moisture (water).

Silica Gel is a desiccant that can hold 30 to 40% of its weight in water. - Science World

The website goes on to explain that each tiny little grain of silica looks sort of like a sponge. They explain it as "many tiny interconnected pores" and, being so many, they make up a lot of surface area; much more than you would expect in such a tiny bead.

Townsquare Media Photo by John Falcon
staff photo

Even after soaking up all of that moisture, the beads still feel dry and, unless exposed to a large amount of moisture, they should continue to work for a long time.

Where Can I Find Silica Gel Packs?

The purpose of those silica gel packs is to remove moisture from the area to prevent mold/mildew, sogginess, and any other ill effects of that moisture. That's why you'll find these packets in some medicines/supplements (to prevent them from getting soggy/breaking apart), clothing/shoes (to prevent mold/mildew), and in the packaging for some electronics (so the moisture doesn't corrode the wires/connections).

When you come across silica gel packs, keep them. Put them in a Ziploc (or similar) bag to protect them from moisture until you are ready to use them for one of these creative ideas.  (Jillee has even more suggestions here, and ric2z has suggestions here)

Great Uses for Silica Gel Packs

While you shouldn't eat them, the silica gel packs you find packed with items you buy can be used in a variety of locations to help keep moisture levels down. Here are just a few that you could try.

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