Now that it’s nearing Christmas, we’re all starting to receive a healthy dose of packages through the mail. And these packages are likely to contain tiny packets of silica gel, the desiccants that manufacturers use to keep moisture from damaging their products.
These tiny, packaged beads are an excellent drying agent and humidity indicator, but otherwise, they’re fairly wasteful and can be very damaging to the environment.
Silica gel often contains chemicals that can be harmful when digested by animals or humans. What’s more, the packaging is made of non-biodegradable plastic, meaning it won’t break down once they’re thrown away.
It’s not all bad news though. By reusing those silica gel packets, you can keep them out of our landfills and oceans — and get plenty of convenient benefits in the meantime.
Toss them in your gym bag
One easy solution is to pop a few of these little gel packets in your gym bag to soak up any lingering moisture. It’s a quick fix to keep you smelling fresh, and it will prevent any mold from growing on equipment like your yoga mat.
Use them to dry out a drenched phone
There really is no greater panic than dropping your phone in a puddle or knocking a drink over your laptop, but silica packets are the perfect way to save the day while avoiding wasting rice. Place your wet devices in a plastic bag (remove the SIM card first) with a silica gel packet and let it sit for a few days. The packets should soak up all the moisture.
Reusable produce bags
Reuse your silica gel packets by popping them inside reusable fruit and vegetable bags. Just add your fresh produce to a reusable bag and toss in a few packets of silica gel. These will soak up any moisture and stop it from going bad as quickly.
Defog your windshield
One handy little trick that reuses silica gel is to place them on the dashboard of your car. The packets will help keep your windshield clear in times of high humidity as well as soaking up any moisture if you have any leaks. You could also use it in a similar way to reduce condensation in the windows at home.
Natural Air Refresher
One fun suggestion from Earth911 is to reuse your silica gel packets to make your own potpourri. Keep your room smelling fresh by collecting a group of silica gel packets, cutting them open, and saturating the silica gel with whatever essential oils you like best. You can also use the silica gel to dry flowers to make your potpourri look more decorative.