Wednesday, May 23, 2018

10 Ways To Use Silica Gel Packets In Your SCA Stuff

Silica Gel Packets
You know those silica gel packets that you find in everything from new shoes to vitamins? They're there to suck up moisture and combat mold, corrosion, and product deterioration. Well, you can use them for SCA stuff too.

Ideally, we would keep our SCA stuff dry in a moisture-free tub, bag, closet or basement. But camping events get rained on, basements are damp, or
 we're in a rush when caring for things.

There are many uses for those little packets besides common razor blade saving. They're good for keeping SCA things rust or moisture free.



Although not unique, here's my ten ways you can use silica gel packets in the SCA. 

     

1. If you use cast iron pans or have period tools put silica packets in their storage container to prevent oxidation and rusting, especially when they're weather vulnerable. It’s disappointing to grab your favorite skillet or handmade tool and find it rusted. 

2. Put packets in your armor bag to retard rust and keep softer gear and leather dry. 

Packing with
silica gel packets.

3. When SCA camping include them in your bag with emergency mundane clothes and papers you store in your car. At camp put them in ziplock bags with your emergency socks and underwear. 

4. If you're a gardener place the packets with stored or heritage seeds to avert mold. 

5. Put them with your spices and dried fruits for the same reason. But don't use the blue silica gel with food. Use food grade silica gel packets and you should be fine. If it's blue it's tainted with a moisture indicating solution that's unsafe for food and not FDA approved. 

6. While oxygen absorbers are often used with food, silica gel packets may be used for dried meats you make like jerky or dog chews. It keeps them from turning rancid. 

7. Silica packets help dry out electronic devices. If you've gotten your phone  drenched first remove the battery and memory card. Then put the device in a container with several silica packs and leave overnight or longer. If you have uncooked rice this may work too. 

8. They are good to pack with garb in enclosed containers, like tubs or plastic bags. For anything prone to mildew like satchels or chairs you can put them in those oversize plastic bags with silica gel you've purchased. It isn't expensive. 

9. If you camp with your dog and want the kibble to stay dry, put it in a plastic tub and tape silica packets to the lid's underside. 

10. Your favorite period videotapes or your dated SCA wedding will last longer if you put a silica packet in its box. 

Beware there are dangers too. Kids may mistake packets for candy and choke on them. Dogs may eat them. You'll want to know the differences. 

Granular silicic acid looks like sand and is a chemical used, among other things, to remove wartsSilica gel beads are non-toxic or poisonous if eaten. But they're not meant for that.

The blue silica gel has added chemicals that make them toxic. Don't use them around food; they aren't FDA approved.

Although silica gel is a stable non-toxic, non-flammable compound it reacts with strong acids, strong bases and oxidizers. That's only important you're if you are a period researcher. It's safe as we commonly use it.

Silica compounds irritate the respiratory tract if inhaled or in your digestive tract when swallowed. Bead-dust may cause skin or eye irritation. These are why it generally comes in packets not buckets. So don't open the packets.


While SCAdians are thrifty with non-period things and make do when they can, reusing old silica packets may not work. They may be unfunctional because of previously doing their moisture-removing best. They're saturated. 

You can reactivate them by heating 2 hours at a low temperature in an oven. But I'm lazy. It's easier to buy new.

While these ever present packets are bothersome and may seem useless, used safely they will extend the life of your SCA stuff. 



External Related Blog:
Silica Gel Dessicant Blog