Desiccant silica gel is essentially a form of sand (silicon dioxide) capable of absorbing up to 40% of its mass in water. It is used in two forms: indicator silica gel and non-indicator silica gel. Indicator silica gel contains cobalt which causes the crystals to change color when moisture is absorbed. Since cobalt is toxic, care must be taken to avoid contact with food.
It is not classified as hazardous waste within the meaning of Directive 91/689 / EEC. For you and me, that means it can be added to your compost pile without fear of contamination. Soil naturally contains silica. Therefore, although the crystals do not decompose, they do not fundamentally change the nature of the soil.
If you’ve recently purchased a pair of shoes or an electronic product, you’ve likely seen the little paper bags that come with them. They can be added to your recyclable household waste, but why not keep them and use them again? You can revitalize it by placing it in a hot oven for a few hours (less for small bags) and using it over and over again. Here are some ideas to make it useful at home:
Mobile phone drying.
This is perhaps the most well-known use of silica gel sachets. Put the phone in an airtight container. Add silica gel bags. Leave it on overnight or for a few days if that isn’t long enough.
Keep your powder dry.
Powdered and granular products will still be flowable if you add silica gel packs to the mix. Just make sure the bag is airtight and if you put it in food, don’t use indicator bags, as they contain cobalt, which is a toxic substance.
Keep your memories.
It’s not just our memories that fade over time. Pictures and messages we associate with them, too. Photographic pigments and ink fade if exposed to moisture. On the other hand, storing them in boxes with a few small pouches will help preserve them.
Keep your books.
Anyone who has stored books in the attic or bought them at a second-hand store will confirm that they often acquire an unpleasant smell. Moisture that attracts bacteria is the cause. To prevent precious volumes from suffering the same fate or to replenish a limited edition, put them in a box with silica gel and remember to refill the bags regularly for long-term storage. Remember that if you have important documents kept in a drawer or even in a cupboard, you may also need to protect them from moisture in this way.
Freshness of the bags.
Here’s a product for soccer moms: Put one of these big bags into a gym bag and when they bring back their sweaty clothes, you don’t have to look for a respirator before opening it. It is also a good addition to your luggage if you are going on vacation in a damp place.
Silica gel bags at the bottom of your jewelry box or with your silverware will prevent it from fading and tarnishing.
The house is dry.
The same goes for old windows in the house. If they are not sealed (or if they need to be replaced), condensation forms on the panels and drips onto the frame. If left untreated, it creates unsightly mold and causes mildew. Sure, silica gel refills will clear up the drops in no time. You will need the longest, as there will be a lot of water.
Plan for all seasons.
Do you put away clothes and shoes at the end of the season? Keep it cool for next year by putting packets of silica gel into shoe boxes and placing them between clothes.
Bring your spices to life.
Steam from cooking will not help the spice drawer. To preserve their freshness and flavour, protect them with silica gel sachets.
Keep your car cool.
Did you know that silica gel bags can also be used in the car? For example, if you live in a humid climate, you may find that your car windows get foggy more frequently. Silica gel packaging can help absorb moisture from the air and prevent fogging of windows.
Just put one or two bags on the dashboard, and you’ll notice a difference. So you can use silica gel sachets to keep your car smelling fresh. Just put some bags in the glove box or under the seats. This way you can enjoy a refreshing scent. Next time you find silica gel packs, don’t throw them out and put them to good use in your car!
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