How To Re-Use Desiccant Packs

Julia Henriques
How To Re-Use Desiccant Packs

Ever wonder what those little square packets are doing inside so many product packages? They’re called desiccant packs.

Desiccant packs help control moisture. Less moisture means less risk of mold and spoilage of supplements or food products. 

You’ll also see desiccant packs in non-food products that could be harmed by moisture … electronics or shoes,, or inside a new wallet or purse, for example.

Most people find desiccant packs a nuisance ... so you just throw them away. But did you know you there are lots of reasons to save them and put them to good use?

How To Re-use Desiccant Packs

Yes, you can re-use desiccant packs. If they seem moist, heat them first in a 300F oven until they dry out. Then try some of these ideas. 

Protect Leather Shoes

Moisture is very bad for leather (which is why you’ll find desiccant packs in a new box of shoes), If your shoes get damp, pop them into a box or a large ziplock bag with a desiccant pack or two, to stop them being ruined. This also works for gym shoes that get damp or sweaty. 

Dry Out A Wet Cellphone

If you spill water on your cellphone, first dry off any visible liquid with a soft cloth. Then put the phone into a ziplock bag with a desiccant pack overnight. It works best if you remove the battery from the phone and put that in the bag separately, in case it got wet. 

Stop Silver Tarnish

Silver easily gets tarnished and cleaning it is a chore. Instead keep silver jewelry or silverware in a baggie or box. along with desiccant packs.

Keep Coffee Dry

Coffee is notorious for getting moldy, and mold is toxic to health. Organic coffee is safest … and then keep it in an airtight jar with a desiccant pack.  You can use this technique for other grocery products too … like brown sugar that gets hard, or flour that gets lumpy when damp. 

Freshen Up Gym Bags

If your gym bag gets a bit stinky because it has sweaty clothes and towels in it, keep a couple of desiccant packs in the bag to remove moisture and prevent smells.

Keep Razor Blades Sharp

Razor blades tarnish if they get damp. Keep them clean by storing blades in a jar with a desiccant pack. They’ll last and stay sharp a lot longer! 

Preserve Important Documents

Paper doesn't like damp, so you can use desiccant packs in file drawers or folders to keep important papers dry ... like your birth certificate or social security card, for example. 

Stop Your Windshield Fogging

In wet or cold weather, your car windshield can fog because of damp inside the car. Keep a couple of desiccant packs on the dashboard near the windshield, and you won’t have to run your defogger as often. 

Once you start re-using desiccant packs, you’ll find lots of ways to keep your things fresh and dry!  

But there’s one thing to keep in mind if you use desiccant packs to keep moisture out of food. 

What Desiccant Packs Are Made Of

Most desiccant packs are made from silica. Silica is highly absorbent and low cost. It's synthetic and non-toxic. But some silica packs also contain heavy metal salts like cobalt chloride ... and those are toxic.

Cobalt chloride helps monitor moisture, as it changes color when damp. But it can also contaminate food, medicine, or supplements. Repeated exposure to cobalt chloride can cause skin problems, asthma, and adverse effects on the heart, thyroid, and bone marrow. Cobalt chloride is also a potential carcinogen.

Other desiccant packs are made from bentonite clay Bentonite clay is chemically inert, non-hazardous, and has naturally attracts moisture. Testing has shown that bentonite clay offers higher absorption capacity than silica for most package conditions.

Bentonite clay is abundant, naturally occurring, and requires no chemical processing, additives, or solvents. It's also sustainable, with minimal energy required for processing.

If you’re re-using desiccant packs for food or supplements, bentonite clay is a better choice. And you won't have to worry about one breaking in a food or supplement container ... or your dog eating one if you drop it on the floor.  

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