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How to Dry Out Small Silica Gel Packets

small potted cactus plant image by Wimbledon from <a href=''></a>

Silica gel packets are found inside many packing boxes. Shoe retailers commonly place silica packets inside boxes to keep moisture out. Damp shoes can get moldy, rendering them unsellable. Garden stores, nurseries, clothing shops and mail-order companies also use silica packets.

Silica packets can also be dried and reused for many household purposes, from regulating moisture in plant soil to keeping clothes and shoes dry inside storage containers.

Drying the Packets

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Spread out the silica packets on a Pyrex baking dish that is at least 1/4-inch thick. Pyrex is a type of oven-safe glass that will not shatter at high temperatures.

Place the dish inside the oven. The process generally takes 90 minutes per quart of packets (1.9 pounds), but this time can vary.

Monitor the silica gel packets to see if they have changed color. When the packets appear medium-blue, they are suitably dry.

Remove the dish from the oven and let the packets cool before reusing them.

Recycle Silica Gel Packets

Silica gel packets are those little pillows of pellets you find packed in with all kinds of everyday items, from shoes to electronics, power tools, vitamins and foods. The packets are used as a desiccant -- a substance that absorbs moisture and combats mold growth. Take advantage of their tiny power all around your house. Toss a silica gel packet along with important papers, photos and mementos in a zip-close plastic bag to keep moisture from damaging these items. Your blades will last longer. Reduce the development of tarnish on silver jewelry by placing a silica gel packet in your jewelry box or drawer. Keep a few packets in your toolbox to keep rust from forming on your tools and the inside of the toolbox. Transfer dog, cat or other dry pet food from the original bag to a clean trash can or other large storage bin with an airtight lid.


Do not put silica gel packets in a microwave because they can melt.

If the silica packets appear dark blue or blue-black, they are overcooked and unsuitable for reuse.

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