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VAS

Why you shouldn't throw out those little silica gel packets just yet

Your Home By The Mirror
Photo: Courtesy

You might want to think twice before chucking them in the bin

They may seem pretty useless but those silica gel packets could prove useful.

You've probably found in them the bottom of your new bag or tucked into your new shoes and absentmindedly thrown them in the bin.

Next time, don't. The little sachets can come in handy for everything from freshening up a your sweaty gym kit to drying out your phone when it gets wet.

The silica gel packets have little beads inside that help keep the products you buy from moisture.

It follows that they're pretty good at drying stuff out, which means they're brilliant for plenty of annoying household tasks - or when your phone falls into the toilet.

Here's a few ways you can use them.

1. To dry out your phone

Woops, your mobile phone takes a tumble into the toilet. Don't worry, get a few silica gel packets.

First, remove the battery, SIM card and SD card (if there's one inside) and set aside, then put it in a bowl filled with silica gel packets to absorb the water.

2. Wet clothes

You've just got back from holiday. Let's be honest, you didn't pack properly. There were drinks to be drunk, and beaches to lounge on.

Now you've got wet clothes in your suitcase and it's the end of the world. Or not.

Throw the wet swimming costume in a different bag with a few silica gel packets. It absorbs the extra moisture while you're traveling. No mouldy smell when you get home.

3. Protect your razor

No one likes a rusty razor. Disposable razors can start to dull earlier than they should thanks to oxidation caused by moisture. Not really helpful if you keep yours in the bathroom.

Keep razors in a tupperware container with about five silica gel packets and they'll last longer.

4. Protect photographs

Drop a few packets into a zip lock bag with your photos to make sure they don't get damaged by moisture.

5. Save those seeds

One for the gardeners. Keep your seeds from getting mouldy before spring comes around.

Put them in small envelopes in an airtight container with silica packets.

6. Preserve pet food

He wouldn't be impressed with soggy pet food

Pet owners often buy pet food in bulk, but that means it can get soggy if moisture gets into it.

Keep it in a plastic bin and tape a few silica gel packets to the inside. Dry food, happy pets.

7. Keep an underwater camera dry

While underwater cameras might be OK while you're swimming, you have to be careful. A build up in condensation can leave streaky fog marks on your lens. Two packets of silica gel can absorb the left over water. No ghostly photos.

8. Save the food for later

This works better with root veg, pumpkins at Halloween and so on.

No one wants to eat the whole thing at once (if you do, how!?) but you can leave a silica bead into the flesh of your leftovers so it doesn't get damp and mouldy. It should keep it going for at least a week more. Hmmm, all that pumpkin pie.

9. Smelly gym bags

No one likes a smelly gym bag. They stink.

The packets reduce the damp build up and - thank goodness - stop the odour-causing bacteria. While you're at it, shove one in your stinky trainers too. Everyone will thank you.

10. Musty old books

If you don't like the smell of old books (I do, there's something reassuring about it) you can prevent it.

Pop a silica gel packet into a bag along with the book, leave it for a few days and it will dry it out a bit. Maybe don't do this for a whole bookshelf, or a library. That'd take ages.

So, it turns out they're actually useful, pretty much life-savers. Who knew?


silicon silicon packs

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