Posted: May 5, 2015 in Home
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When most of us get a packet of silica gel enclosed in a pair of shoes or a new bottle of over-the-counter medicine, the instinct is to toss that baby into the garbage can.  After all, it says right on the packet “DO NOT EAT.”  But there are a lot of other uses for these packets besides keeping your Omeprazole and your beef jerky dry… uses that savvy do-it-yourselfers have been practicing for years.  Below, you’ll find many useful ways to put these packets to work for you!


  1. Protecting your photographs – Put silica gel packet wherever you store your photographs to keep them safe and dry.
  2. Keeping luggage dry – Silica gel packets do a great job of keeping luggage dry. You can simply toss a few silica gel packets into your luggage to keep it moisture and odor-free, especially if you store your luggage in a storage unit or a basement. This could really help to extend the life of your luggage.
  3. Windows – Placing a few silica gel packets between the panes on your windowsill, especially in the winter and the rainy seasons, can eliminate much of the condensation that forms on your windows, keeping your view of the world outside much clearer.
  4. Dry bulk pet food – Storing your bulk pet food in a bin with some silica gel packets taped to the lid can help keep the food free of moisture, leaving it fresh and tasty for your pet to enjoy.
  5. Jack-O-Lanterns – Implanting a few beads of silica gel into the rind of your jack-o-lantern can help lengthen the life of your pumpkin, keeping moisture and mold at bay for much longer than if you hadn’t used silica gel. If you’re not planning on lighting a candle in your pumpkin, or if you’re using artificial light rather than a flame to illuminate your jack-o-lantern, then impaling a packet of silica gel to the lid of your pumpkin with a toothpick is a fantastic idea!
  1. Protecting documents – Keep moisture away from your important papers by including some silica gel packets wherever you store your documents.  Keeping your papers dry will also help to prevent yellowing.
  2. Keeping fabric dry– Keeping a few packets of silica gel inside your sewing kit will keep your fabric in a dry, pristine condition and will also help to keep your metallic objects from oxidizing.
  3. Saving your cell phone – This one is HUGE! If you drop your phone in a sink, toilet, or pool, immediately remove the battery and any memory cards from the phone and place them in a bowl filled with silica gel packets overnight to dry them out.  Dry, white rice will do the trick, too.
  4. Preserving razor blades – Following your shaving ritual, blotting your razor on a towel and then placing it in a bag with a few silica gel packets will help lengthen the life of your razor!
  5. Protecting Silver – Tarnish and corrosion on your silver can lead to a lot of work and wasted time!  Placing a silica gel packet or two in your silver chest or jewelry box will keep those items tarnish-free and looking great!
  6. Gardening – Keeping your seeds dry is vital to protecting them from mold.  Placing your packets of seeds or baggies of seeds in a shoe box with a single packet of silica gel will ensure that your seeds will remain healthy until planting season!
  7. Protecting Christmas Ornaments and lights during storage – Storing your Christmas decorations with a few strategically placed silica gel packets will ensure that they’ll be moisture free for the next 11 months, ensuring that your family will be able to enjoy them for generations to come!
  8. Preserving your collections – What is it that you collect?  Stamps?  Baseball cards?  Butterflies?  Placing a silica gel packet between the card stocks in your collections will go a long way in protecting them from the dangers of moisture.
  9. Drying Flowers – Use silica gel packets to help speed up the process of drying your flowers!
  10. Keeping tools dry – Throwing a few packets of silica gel into your tool chests will help prevent oxidation and rusting!
  11. Keeping ammunition dry – Placing a silica gel packet inside your ammo cans or your gun safe will ensure that moisture has no chance to damage your goods.
  12.  Storing cameras and film – Silica gel packets can help to lengthen the life of your cameras and help keep your film fresh and ready for use!

 Keeping engines dry during storage – Put the gel in plastic 35-mm film canisters and then drill holes in the canisters that are smaller than the beads so they don’t come out.  Then, put one canister inside each carburetor intake to help keep moisture out of the engine while it is in storage. This helps keep the bearings from pitting and the internal parts of the engine from rusting. Snowmobilers could benefit from this during the summer while their sleds are not being used.

This post was originally written by Eric Schlehlein for the Facebook page of Emergency Disaster Recovery, for whom Eric writes frequently.  Visit their Facebook page here:  or see their website at:

  1. Peter Klopp says:

    Very useful information! Thank you!

  2. dreamymichaela says:

    Your article is informative and timely! Now I will know what to do with future silica gel packets! (yep….I always threw them out). Thank you, Eric. 🙂

  3. Whoa, I always felt like i should be able to use those for something else…jack-o-lanterns are one of my most favorite objects ever, and I always end up picking and carving my pumpkin too early for Halloween, so thanks so much for the tip!

  4. Mindy says:

    Now I’m thinking about all the packets I’ve thrown away and let go to waste!

  5. Jana says:

    Thank you very much for sharing this. I will definitely think about this post when holding the next silica gel pack in my hands while standing close to the trash bin… 😉 Best from Toronto, Jana

  6. I feel like I’ve been wasting a precious resource, having read this. That last one’s very specialized, though; only serious photography wonks still use film!

  7. Reblogged this on marybradyblog and commented:
    i should start collecting:)

  8. othermary says:

    Very good information. And by the way, silica gel packets are toxic to cats.

  9. Very clever…I am going to try some of these!

  10. jhana jian says:

    That is so cool…!

  11. I’ve got another one! The really tiny ones are great for your spices that get damp and clog up the shaker – could be salt, could be garlic! I also use them underneath my motorcycle tent, but that is an excercise in futility, in Ireland.

  12. zenzalei says:

    Ooh, what an awesome post. I never knew what to do with those things. Now I do!

  13. Garfield Hug says:

    Great tips and thanks for the share 🙂

  14. A. J. Lee says:

    A very interesting read. Thank you for popping in to look at my blog 🙂 AJ

  15. Shery Alexander Heinis says:

    Well, who knew? I always throw these away. Now that I now they can help to dry out a cell phone, I’ll certainly be saving them! Thanks for this info.

  16. Interesting how something that I have always just tossed out has so many uses… I wonder if we as people could learn something from that, the fact that something seemingly small may have many useful qualities… But I digress, as I over philosophize. This was really nice to learn! I’ll have to bookmark this.

  17. Thank you for following my blog. I enjoyed reading these tips too, especially the ones about using silica gel packets for protecting photographs and for storing seeds. Thanks for sharing them. 🙂

  18. writesofdan says:

    I had literally no idea! I’ve thrown tons of these away!

  19. I.L. Wolf says:

    These are some absolutely great ideas to reuse something we rarely think about. Thanks 🙂

  20. tumbarger says:

    What great ideas! So good, I just pinned this on Pinterest. I was actually just wondering yesterday if there wasn’t some use for those things.
    Thank you for liking my “Battle Paradox.”

  21. Mabel Oza says:

    I always have these laying around my house, finally I know what do to with them.

  22. I never throw them away. I get large packets in my printer toner boxes at work. I have a home music studio and use them to keep my microphone moisture-free 🙂

  23. JM Stories says:

    Holy Moly, I had no idea. Thanks – I didn’t know the topic of gel packs would be so helpful, it sounded random at first but whewee, you’ve got me thinking now!

  24. Lola says:

    Good for keeping the moisture out of your underwater camera cases too!

  25. Gary Wellings alias Sunburst2014 says:

    What a clever idea dude. I’m on it right now checking in my Viagra meds. Thanks.Just out now is a new nail polish that detects date rape drugs.Just swish your finger in your drink and it changes color if detecting drugs. Checking around your blog looks like fuun.

  26. pallix says:

    Reblogged this on Phase Three.

  27. sheenmeem says:

    Thank you Eric. It was highly informative.

  28. A. L. Kaplan says:

    Great ideas. Thanks.

  29. chewy8888 says:

    Very useful tips, thank you. Now I see why my mom doesn’t throw away those little packets 😆😆 Then again, keep posting more tips like this.

  30. katiegatto says:

    Wow. I would have never thought of all of those uses.

  31. Wow…learned a few things…
    Thank you for the very useful information

  32. floridaborne says:

    Great ideas. I did, once, accidentally mix a gel packet in to a protein shake. Yuck.

  33. Fancy that! Thanks for the suggestions

  34. Chibimoekko says:

    Thanks for stopping by mine 🙂 Wow, I learned something today! I’ll see if I can find any gels to save and use for later~

  35. pacelinebiz says:

    Thanks for stopping by and liking my most recent blog.

  36. lilylance says:

    Wow that’s really cool! I did not know most of that stuff! And thanks for liking my post Mind Blowing!!!!!! On my blog gsus Luvs u!

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