• Home Home

Gardener offers 'genius' method for making the most of silica bead packets: 'I never thought about that'

"I use these in all sorts of things."

"I use these in all sorts of things."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Do you throw out the silica gel packets that come in beef jerky, dried fruit, and vitamins? If so, you may want to hang on to them after learning how they can prolong the life of other foods.

TikTok gardener Jennifer (@5mingardener), who shares "bite-size advice" about sustainable living, showed viewers how to use silica bead packets to keep herbs fresh and moisture-free. 

The scoop

You've probably seen silica gel packets in packaged foods like beef jerky and seaweed and products such as new shoes and electronics. They help prevent damage from moisture and maintain the freshness of foods. 

If you save them, you can reuse them in other creative ways, such as in herbs and spices. Simply transfer leftover silica gel packets to your herb containers and seal the lid tightly, as Jennifer shows in the video

@5mingardener Click + for more herb drying tips! #garden #herbs #dry #growyourownfood ♬ Solja Boy X Lil Jon - Alexo Londoño

"When you guys get to the end of these supplements, and you have that little silica gel packet in there, it will still be useful in your herbs. The point is to not have any moisture in there, right? So, they're still good; don't throw them out," she says.

However, when it comes to keeping food moisture-free, only reuse silica gel packets that come in foods since chemicals from factories may contaminate the ones in clothing or electronics. 

How it's helping

There's nothing more disappointing than opening your pantry to grab a spice only to realize it's clumped together, making it unusable. This is especially frustrating if you're in the middle of cooking dinner. By keeping your food fresh longer, you won't have to waste money and time making an unexpected grocery run to restock your herbs. 

Reusing silica gel packets also reduces plastic waste that pollutes landscapes and clogs landfills. While the beads inside are made of silicon dioxide — a compound found naturally in sand worldwide — the packets themselves often contain non-biodegradable, nonrecyclable plastic

When you consider the fact it takes over 51 tons of plastic packaging to make 100 million five-gram sachets of silica gel, according to Micro-Pak, that's a mind-boggling amount of plastic in the environment. 

You can repurpose silica gel packets in other nifty ways, such as tossing them in your gym bag or reusable produce bags, drying out a wet phone, or even as a natural air freshener. 

What everyone's saying

Commenters thanked the OP for the brilliant suggestion and offered other uses for silica bead packets

"I never thought about that. Thank you," one person commented.

"Genius! I have some laying on my dresser I didn't want to throw away. I knew there was a reason!" another exclaimed.

"Yep! I use these in all sorts of things like dried herbs, homemade laundry powder, [and] the toolbox (helps prevent rust). Great tip!" someone else shared. 

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider