The Truth About Silica Gel

March 6th 2016

You’ll find them when you open a box of brand new shoes or when you’re digging through a newly purchased handbag. We usually toss out those small packets of beads that say "choking hazard” without a second thought. But it turns out that those silica gel packets are actually one of the most beneficial things to keep.

silica gelFlickr/chrstphre ㋛ campbell - flickr.com

They contain a substance called silica gel, which dries out anything around it, according to a video from Business Insider. The gel prevents anything that could be ruined by the presence of excess moisture and condensation, such as electronics or leather. Plus, they're non-toxic and non-poisonous. Although it's not advised to eat them.

So although we may be inclined to throw these packets away, here are six practical ways that these bags can be a total life-saver, according to Business Insider.

1. Prevent mold and bacteria

As you may know, moisture in the wrong places can definitely cause a problem; it can lead to the mold and bacteria. And for some of us, our gym bags in particular are a hot, humid, stinky mess. But if you take several packs of silica gel and toss into your gym bag, you can take away the nasty smells and prevent mold and bacteria from growing inside.

2. Save your phone

The next time you drop yor phone in water, don't freak out. Instead, just grab a container of silica gel packets and toss your phone in there. Silica gel can absorb 40 percent of its weight in moisture and remove humidity in a closed container to about 40 percent. Rice might also be an option in this type of a nightmare situation, but your phone is more likely to recover when it's placed in silica gel.

3. Preserve pictures

Physical photographs naturally deteriorate over time and can require costly specialized conservation treatment. The natural breakdown of chemicals in the photos age the photos and damp conditions can result in mold and discoloration, according to the Institute of Conservation. To help slow down this process, place some of the silica gel in a box with some older photos, and it could save them from sticking together or getting ruined.

4. Defog windows

Forget burning up extra energy on your car and spending time waiting for your window to defrost. Instead, try putting some of these silica gel packets inside near your car's front windshield. This is a quicker and more effective way to clear up your car's windshield.

5. Extend the life of razors

It can be a pain having to purchase multiple razors all the time. But life can be a little easier for you if you put your razor in a container with silica gel packets. The packets help to remove the moisture and this helps to reduces the amount of bacteria, extending the life of the razor blade.

Check out the full video from Business Insider below.

[h/t Business Insider]

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Do you throw away silica gel bags?

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