What Do Those Little Packets Do Anyway?
Silica gel packets are full of small grains of silicon dioxide in solid form. The technical name for it is silica xerogel, but most people just call it silica gel.
It’s a desiccant, which means water molecules are drawn to it and out of whatever is surrounding the packet. The water can move through the packaging, which is usually paper.
That means they’re used to keep moisture, and thus mold, mildew, damage, odors, and staining, away from sensitive items. It’s also why you find them in so many packages.
Silica gel is also used in cat litter, water filtration, and as an anti-caking agent in some foods.
But you can also use it around the house!
Use #1: Dry Out Your Phone
Getting your phone wet is a major hassle, but it happens.
To dry out the small openings and components quickly and thoroughly, drop your phone into a Ziploc bag with enough gel packets to cover it on both sides.
Seal the bag and let sit for 24 hours. (Yes, you can make it 24 hours without your phone!)
You can also use this if you’re going to be in a damp environment and want to keep moisture away from your phone — but this is not a waterproofing technique!
Use #2: Keep Jewelry Bright And Shiny
Keep a silica gel packet in your jewelry box to keep moisture away from your jewelry.
Moisture causes tarnish, which not only makes jewelry look less attractive, but also means you have to spend time polishing it.
Place some gel packets in the bottom of the jewelry box to keep the moisture out. This is especially good with plush-lined boxes, as it will keep the fabric moisture-free, too.
Use #3: Banish Odors From Your Gym Bag
Gym bags can get pretty funky after a while with all the damp, sweaty clothing we shove into them.
The smells come from bacteria that live on the moisture, so if you remove the moisture, you remove the smell.
Drop a packet or two into your bag and forget them. They’ll quietly pull the moisture away and leave your items fresh. They work in lockers, too.