You've probably seen these little packets in many of the things you buy. The packages contain silica gel. They're included in products to keep your items safe from rot and mold. The gel inside the packets actually absorbs water vapors so your new television doesn't gather moisture and your vitamins aren't ruined by moisture in the air.
If you've just been tossing these packets into the garbage whenever you find them, stop! We've discovered 10 different ways you can use them around the house and garden.
1. Dry flowers
Drying flowers with silica gel is a popular and effective method for preserving their beauty and color. You'll need a lot of those gel packets for this one (or you can supplement with silica from the craft store). After carefully trimming your flowers and covering them with the silica gel, they'll come out dry, but look fresh and pretty.
To do this, you'll need to select the flowers you want to dry and trim their stems to your desired length. Next, find a container with an airtight seal that is large enough to accommodate the flowers without crowding them. Pour a layer of silica gel at the bottom of the container, place the flowers on top, and gently cover them with more silica gel, making sure to support delicate petals and blooms. Seal the container and let it sit for several days to a few weeks, depending on the flower type and size.
The silica gel will gradually absorb the moisture from the flowers, leaving them beautifully preserved with their shape and vibrant colors intact. Once dried, carefully remove the flowers from the silica gel, and they'll be ready for various crafting and decorative purposes.
2. Save your phone
Separate your phone and battery. Place both into a sealable baggie with as many silica gel packets as you can find. Seal the bag and let it set until morning. (It sure beats wasting an entire bag of rice!)
3. Keep your pumpkin fresh
If your Halloween pal molds and rots too quickly, try tossing a few silica gel packs inside the carved pumpkin. It will keep moisture at bay and keep your jack-'o-lantern mold-free a little longer. (Bonus: the gel packs aren't flammable so you should be okay to light your jack--o-lantern as usual.
4. Protect your leather shoes
Toss a few silica gel packets into your leather shoes (or even sports shoes) to suck out the moisture and keep them from getting moldy.
5. Dry your swimsuit
Try tossing a few of these packets into a zip lock bag with your damp swimsuit to suck out the moisture on the fly.
6. Protect your books
Keep your older books from getting musty by placing a silica gel pack in the cover. You can also place the book into a baggy with the packets to remove any musty smell that's already there.
7. Keep your window clear
Your windshield fogs up with moisture when the air and temperature combine just the right way. Prevent the foggy windshield by keeping these packets on the dashboard.
8. Protect your pics
Slip a silica gel packet in each photo frame (behind the photo) to keep your images safe from moisture. They'll last longer.
9. Keep your seeds safe
If you're storing seeds to plant next season, you'll want to keep moisture as far away possible. Store your seeds in a shoe box with one packet to keep them safe.
10. Protect ammunition
Store your ammunition safely by adding silica gel to your ammo storage. This will keep your bullets from rusting and becoming unusable.
Have you used these packets around the house? Make sure to share these tips with your friends on Facebook so they can keep their goods a little safer too.