MOST of us find those little packets of silica gel that come in purses, handbags and shoes you buy pointless – but they are actually more useful than you think. In fact, you should hold on to them as some of their uses might surprise you.
Silica gel is full of tiny pores made from silicon dioxide and is a desiccant, which means it absorbs moisture from the air. An ordinary 10g bag can absorb up to four grams of water – 20 to 40 per cent of its own weight.
Although the warning signs such as “do not eat” and “keep way from babies” is enough to put us off and chuck them out, we really should be paying attention to these helpful little bags.
Here’s how you can put them to good use:
Rescue your drowned phone
Whether it’s a swimming pool, a puddle, even the loo, dropping your phone in water usually spells certain death for the device.
But you can save your phone from drowning by leaving it in a bowl of silica bags – and apparently it’s 10 times more effective than leaving it in a bowl of rice.
Preserving your photos and books
Cherish your memories by putting those silica bags in your box of old photos so that you can always look back at those happy times.
Some people love the smell of a dusty old book – but not everyone. Put those offending book in a bag with a few packets of silica gel and the smell will disappear.
Keep your make up bag fresh
Protect your make up by putting silica pouches in your make-up bag to stop your power-based products from becoming sticky, keeping it dry-free.
No more smelly gym bags
After a workout, most of us leave our damp kit and trainers in the bag for the rest of the day.
Silica gel deprives the bacteria of the moisture they need to thrive, so they will become dormant rather than destroyed.
A few silica gel packets in your gym bag will eliminate dampness, and help keep your gym-bag germ and whiff-free.
Keep your silver shiny
Tarnish is a layer of corrosion that appears on silver because it reacts with chemicals in the air and humidy can make your silver turn to black even quicker.
Enjoy the sight of your finest silver by wrapping them up with a silica gel packet to absorb any moisture from the air.
Packing wet clothes
Sometimes when you’re packing up after your holiday in a hurry you have to put in wet swimwear.
By the time you get home, the dampness has consumed your entire suitcase with dampness.
Throw a few packets of silica gel into the suitcase to absorb the moisture.
So you might want to think again before you bin these useful little freebies.