Silica Gel – you only need to follow half of the directions. (Just ignore the other half.)

You know when you buy a new pair of shoes or a handbag?  The little silica gel packets that come in there to absorb moisture?  You need only follow half of the instructions.

For sure you shouldn’t eat the stuff… but don’t throw it away either!

I very briefly mentioned this tip at the very end of a tutorial for faux robin’s eggs back in March, but it bears repeating especially as we start heading for fall and people start decorating with fruit, pumpkins and other natural materials.

At the moment, my apothecary jars are filled with shells and all kinds of “beachy” items, but even with those materials moisture can build up inside of the jars.  Put a lid on the jar and have it displayed in a sunny spot and you’ve created a little greenhouse… whether you wanted to or not.   Have you ever seen what happens to those cute baby pumpkins and little gourds that have been left in an apothecary jar turned greenhouse?  Can you say “mushy” and “moldy”? ew.

Take a handful of these silica beads and drop them in the bottom of the jar before adding your filler.  It’ll keep everything dry and looking good.

You. Are. Welcome.

UPDATED 8/25/2011
I just had a reader contact me and say that there is a possible link between silica dust and Scleroderma, and that it is not a good idea to remove the silica from its specially designed packet.  Henceforth, I will be playing it safe and leaving the beads in the packets.  
I will just make sure to carefully conceal the packet.  

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  1. says

    I never would of thought to do that!!! Thanks so much for sharing! Now I have to go buy a new pair of shoes to get the little silica pack lol!!!!

  2. says


    If you suspect your silica gel isn’t working anymore, you can also redry it in the oven. (At least I think you can… I did, and no one died of toxic fumes, though it didn’t smell “good.”)

    Also, if your base would cover it, you can pop them in there still in their packets.

  3. says

    I work in IT and computers are shipped with packages of silica gel. The packages are about 2″ x 4″. I throw those in my holiday boxes of decorations especially since I store them in the basement.

  4. jan says

    Love this idea, My 2yr old ate one of these packs. Poison control said the biggest threat is choking over the next 20 min. He was fine I’m going to try to remember this idea! – Jan

  5. Anonymous says

    Just stumbled across your blog today… very happy I did.
    I’m going to dig through my shoeboxes & hope to goodness I find some silica packets– they’re going into my stationary drawer to keep the envelopes from sticking to the cards!

    YAY! Thank you!

  6. says

    I save my little silica packets and put them in a zip lock bag. If you ever need to get moisture out of your cell phone or watch put the two together and it doesn’t take long to dry it out.

  7. says

    where is the link to Scleroderma at? I want to see it. you added it so bold and in red and the like.

    And I keep them in tool boxes and on some larger metal tools that I’d rather not coat in tool oil/grease. I like the gel based ones also.

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