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Sneakerhead reveals secret to keeping shoes in pristine condition using an unlikely object: ‘I never knew what these were for’

“Protect your sneakers from mold and sole [separation].”

"Protect your sneakers from mold and sole [separation]."

Photo Credit: TikTok

If humid environments have been compromising your sneakers’ aesthetics and structural integrity, fear no more. One TikToker’s simple solution to keep his kicks in pristine condition requires something frequently overlooked and often discarded.

The scoop

In a video that has earned over 66,000 likes, TikToker DJ Ryss (@the3rguy) encourages viewers to keep silica gel packs, showing the personal stash he’s accumulated from various packages and boxes. He then places them all over the shoe containers that hold his collection of Nikes and Jordans. 

“Protect your sneakers from mold and sole [separation] using silica gels,” he wrote in the caption. “This absorbs moisture to prevent mold build-up and prevent high room temp that melts the shoe glue causing sole [separation].”

@the3rguy Protect your sneakers from mold and sole seps using silica gels. This absorbs moisture to prevent mold build up and prevent high room temp that melts the shoe glue causing sole seps #sneakers #sneakerhead #sneakersaddict #sneakerhacks #hacks #lifehack #nike #jordan #mold #soleseparation #silicagel #fyp #foryou #ad ♬ wet the bed – Ryle Ichijo

How it’s helping

​​Silica gel packs are a desiccant — an agent meant to absorb moisture and keep products dry and stable. They can be found in everything, including food product containers, medication bottles, coat pockets, and packaging for electronic devices. 

The gel packs are labeled with warnings not to consume them, leading some people to believe they are poisonous. However, the caution has nothing to do with toxicity, as silica is made of silicon dioxide — a naturally occurring compound that can be found in rocks, sand, and even bananas, according to Michigan State University’s Center for Research on Ingredient Safety. Rather, it’s simply a choking hazard.

Silica gel packs’ ubiquity means you might have a few lying around the house. So whether you own a pair of beaters or are trying to keep some shoes in deadstock condition, using them beyond their initial application can help prevent more trash from entering landfills.

What everyone’s saying

Some commenters offered alternative uses for silica gel packs to protect items like documents or camera lenses from moisture damage.

Others were unaware of their function and found the tip extremely helpful. 

“I never knew what these were for or didn’t think to research it,” one user wrote.

“I should start collecting the ones from the little seaweed packs now,” another said.

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