Silica bags: How to save a water-damaged phone and 9 other uses for silica bags

From saving a broken phone, to prolonging your makeup- the best ways to use silica bags

Siobhan Fenton
Wednesday 30 December 2015 18:20 GMT
The bags are frequently found in packaging
The bags are frequently found in packaging

The name ‘silica’ might not mean much to you, but the chances are it’s a regular feature in your life. Small silica bags are placed in most packages and boxes, tucked away under bubble wrap or tissue paper. Other than for barking ‘DO NOT EAT’ in large letters, the white sachets are generally unremarkable, unnoticed and promptly binned with the rest of the packaging.

However, it turns out silica is not as useless as it might look. Rather, the bags have a whole host of ingenious properties and uses.

They are filled with silicon dioxide; a substance which dries out moisture.

So the next time you’re unwrapping packaging, instead of throwing them in the bin, here are 10 of the best ways to use them:

  1. Save a wet phone

If you’ve had the misfortune of dropping a phone in water, you’ll know that recovery chances are not great. But if you place it in a bowl filled with silica bags, you’ll find that most of the water is sucked up- boosting your phone’s chance of survival.

It’s said to be 10 times more effective than placing the phone in a bowl of rice.

  1. Keep makeup fresh

Place a couple in your makeup bag to stop powder-based products from congealing; prolonging the life of a powder or eyeshadow.

  1. Dry an umbrella

Putting a wet umbrella back into your handbag or rucksack can risk soaking whatever else you have in there. Place a few silica bags on the umbrella fabric and the silica will hoover up the drops of moisture.

Soap up excess water from an umbrella on a rainy day
  1. Keep shoes fresh and odour-free

Silica bags can suck up sweat and other liquids, leaving your shoes moisture free and fresh.

  1. Keep the silverware clean

Avoid the tarnishing process of a fresh set of silverware by placing a few sachets in your cutlery drawer.

  1. Stop towels from smelling damp

Bath and hand towels can quickly develop an unpleasant damp smell after a few uses. When you store towels, place a silica sachet between each towel to preserve freshness.

Basketball ploayer rubs used towel in kid's face
  1. Keep gymwear fresh

After a session at the gym, you can stave off sweaty odours by placing some sachets in your gym bag.

Gym wear can be kept fresh and odour-free
  1. Dry swimwear

For swimming costumes that take forever to dry, placing some silica on the fabric can speed up the process.

  1. Protect photographs

Make sure precious photos last longer by placing some sachets in your photo albums, they will stave off moisture which can otherwise slowly damage and distort photos.

  1. Preserve jewellery

Stave off tarnishing and other stains from jewellery by placing some in your jewellery box.

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