The V Spot

Rants, observations and home decorating from a woman with no time for a blog.

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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about Vivienne Wagner



Kelli said...

August 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm
I never would have thought of this...GENIUS!

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

August 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm
Smart! I'm glad you picked the right half of the instructions to follow ;-)

Melissa I. said...

August 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm
I agree - complete genius!

SueAnn said...

August 18, 2011 at 2:08 pm
Well thank you! Great tip

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

August 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm
You rule breaker, you! ;) Seriously love this tip, V!

Sherry Smyth said...

August 18, 2011 at 2:33 pm
I'm still laughing at "don't eat"...but you are as everyone has said, a genius!!!! Never would have thought of any other use for that gel!

Maddie Kertay- The Domestic Anarchist said...

August 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm
I just put a couple of those in with my scrapbooking paper, helps with that too.. but mine were extra special.. mine said..


as if....


Crystal said...

August 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm
Brilliant idea!!! I would have never thought of this! Thanks for the tip!

Lesley said...

August 18, 2011 at 3:08 pm Period.
10. said...

August 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm
Ahhh pretty cool girl. I am pretty sure I tossed all the ones I've ever gotten, but will save them from now on. Great tip.

Hugs, Bella :)
**$5 for every LIKE giveaway** @ Bella Before and After
**$200 SHOP till you DROP giveaway** @ Bella Before and After.

Kristy said...

August 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm
(knocking myself in the head)... Huh! Who'da thunk it! GENIUS!!

Anonymous said...

August 18, 2011 at 3:43 pm
Thanks for the tip!

Prudently Painted Vintage said...

August 18, 2011 at 4:50 pm
Eww! Thanks for the image! You are genius though! I will definitely remember this tip :)

Shawn said...

August 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Richella said...

August 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm
You. Are. Brilliant.

Honestly, this is the greatest idea! Thank you for sharing your brilliance. :)

MiMi said...

August 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm
Yep yep, works great. Now. What would happen if you ate ONE? Just one? Just wonderin'.

Kelsie From Our Country Home said...

August 18, 2011 at 7:25 pm
Great tip

Aleigha said...

August 19, 2011 at 12:59 am
Genius! Pure genius!! Found you through the frugal girls link up :)

Angell said...

August 19, 2011 at 12:59 am
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!!!!

Beverly@southernhomesweethome said...

August 19, 2011 at 1:59 am
Smart girl!

Shirley said...

August 19, 2011 at 2:29 am
Love this tip! Thanks :)

Jenni said...

August 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm
How cool! Thanks for the tip!!!

Carolyn said...

August 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm
ooooh - great tip!

Johnnie said...

August 19, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Christine said...

August 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm
Smart cookie! Thanks...

Randi~Dukes and Duchesses said...

August 20, 2011 at 12:19 am
You're brilliant. This is my new favorite tip ... I'm pinning it right now!

Kelli @ RTSM said...

August 20, 2011 at 2:28 am
What a great tip! My pumpkins always get gross and mushy after a week or two:)

Patti said...

August 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm
Very clever - great tip!

Jordan McCollum said...

August 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm

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.

Tascha said...

August 24, 2011 at 12:35 am
Awesome tip!! And really beautiful site! I'm sure I'll spend much of the time that I don't have here. (:

Jennifer said...

August 24, 2011 at 5:42 pm
Very clever Miss Vivienne! You always have the coolest tips!

Heaven's Walk said...

August 25, 2011 at 3:18 am
Brilliant idea! I'm remembering this one! :)

xoxo laurie

-Kasey said...

August 25, 2011 at 9:48 am
This is genius. I would have never thought to do this. Thanks for sharing!!

umjudis said...

August 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm
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.

Shelley said...

August 25, 2011 at 6:39 pm
NO WAY!!! I never would have thought to do that! Thanks for the tip :D


Jenn Erickson said...

August 25, 2011 at 9:54 pm
Such a great idea Viv! I always feel so bad throwing those little packets away. more!


Tammy said...

August 26, 2011 at 1:17 am
Why didn't I think of this? hmmmm? Why??? Thanks for sharing your brilliance with us!!

Crystal said...

August 31, 2011 at 4:25 am
Thanks for linking up and sharing this awesome solution. It was one of the most clicked ideas last week.

I featured you today. Hop over and check it out here:

jan said...

September 6, 2011 at 3:21 am
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

Paula Ruter said...

September 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm
I wonder if the packets would help keep carved pumpkins looking fresh?

Anonymous said...

November 8, 2011 at 1:03 am
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!

Suzan said...

January 30, 2012 at 4:32 am
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.

Gennyfer said...

February 29, 2012 at 8:29 pm
I keep silica gel packs behind the kitchen sink and under my dish drainer. This way, if a splash gets missed it dries out.

Joe said...

September 26, 2012 at 11:14 pm
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.

RIPCRD said...

September 27, 2012 at 2:36 am
I put the packets in my gun safe to pull moisture & prevent rust. These little freebies save buying the larger $20 pkgs sold for gun safes.

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