This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com
What is silica gel?
Silica (silicon dioxide) gel is what you find in those little packets when you buy leather goods, electronics, vitamins and certain foods. It is a desiccant, which absorbs moisture. As you know, excess moisture can damage electronics, leather, preserved foods and other products. Silica gel is porous and can absorb 40% of its weight in moisture.
I’ve seen some board discussions where people are confused between silica gel and oxygen absorbers- Oxygen absorbers are for air, while silica gels are for moisture.
I used to immediately throw them away as soon as I opened up packaging, until I found out they have a lot of uses.
Dry out a cell phone
My niece dropped her cell phone in the pool and was trying to dry it out. She turned it off and placed it in a bowl of rice for a couple of days. Unfortunately, the rice did not work. When she went to the store to replace it, the rep told her that silica gel packets work much better than rice. Just leave the phone in a large zip lock bag with lots of silica gel packets for several days. To be on the safe side, don’t turn it back on for a few more days after it dries.
Protect your ammo
Place several silica gel packets in your stored ammo cans to prevent moisture from seeping in.
Keep your tools from rusting
Excess humidity may cause your tools to get rusty. Take proper care of your metal tools, and place silica gel packets in your toolbox to prevent rusting.
Keep seed packets from getting soggy
I had stored some seeds from last year; when I checked them recently, I was dismayed to find out that moisture had seeped in. This time I am leaving a few silica gel packets with the seeds.
Protect camera and night vision lenses
You don’t want moisture getting into your camera lenses or night vision lenses. Store them with silica gel packets.
Store with your important documents and photos
Moisture is also a threat to your important documents and photos. Wherever you store your important papers and pictures, slip in a few silica gel packets to protect them.
Keep your bug out clothes dry
If you live in a humid environment, you know moisture can get into suitcases and bags. You can feel the dampness and smell the musty odor when you open it. Tuck in a few silica gel packets in your bug out bag or even your gym bag to avoid this.
Air and shoe freshener
Moisture in shoes contributes to bad odors. Place a few drops of essential oils on silica gel packets and place inside your boots or hiking shoes.
You can also make air freshener by opening the silica gels packs and placing the contents into a bowl. Place a few drops of your favorite fragrant essential oil and now your have a room freshener.
For a great discussion on desiccants in general, see A Beginners Guide to Desiccants over at Backdoor Survival.
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