Silica gel is one of those things that you come across all the time, without ever really thinking about why it’s there. Little packets of silica gel can often be found inside the packaging of anything from clothes and handbags to furniture. You may have even collected a few from the lateral flow Covid test kits too. They’re included because silica gel is a drying agent, which stops moisture from damaging products.
But what do you do with it once you’ve opened the product and seen the little silica packets fall out? We must admit, we’ve been throwing them away without a second thought… until now.
Consumer group Which? shared a video on Instagram showing all the handy uses for silica gel packets around the house, and it’s a serious game-changer.
The first suggestion for the small packets is to place a couple in your toolbox, to prevent tools from rusting. You can also prevent razors from getting rusty by putting a packet alongside them.
Do you get condensation on the inside of your windows? Place a couple of packets on the windowsill to help capture excess moisture. This works to keep mould away from natural fibres like seeds and paper, too. For example, to protect documents and photographs, you can tuck a packet or two inside a folder where they’re kept.
You can even keep your gym kit or sports bag smells at bay with a couple of silica gel packets stashed in there – a very handy tip to know!
Followers of Which? were impressed with the nifty tips and shared their own handy uses for silica gel.
‘I tape to the bottom of my food waste bin, good for dealing with bin juice,’ one person wrote.
Another commented: ‘I used them to dry flowers! Leave flowers to air dry for a couple of weeks, then store them in a shoebox with these sachets.’
The initial video was so popular that Which? created a second video containing their followers’ suggestions.
Dropped your phone or watch in some water? Place it in a bag with a silica gel packet to dry it out! Other suggestions include using them to stop silver tarnishing, help clear your car windscreen when it’s humid, and prevent mould in tent bags.
Remember though, it’s important to keep silica gel packets well away from children and pets, and they must never be eaten. Silica gel is chemically inert, which means it won’t break down in the body and can cause poisoning. Also, because it won’t break down, it can cause choking if swallowed – so be careful!