Silica gel is a desiccate; it adsorbs and holds moisture, not absorb it adsorbs. It collects moisture on its surface. Silica gel, when observed under a microscope, has very tiny pores that allocate moisture. Silica gel is an amorphous and porous form of silica dioxide. One tiny silica ball has a capacity of 40% water absorption.
The history of silica gel goes back to the 1640s. This substance was found in the sand during a mining process, but its uses were defined only after scientific research. Silica gel was widely used during the First World War for the adsorption of gases and vapours in gasmasks. During the Second World War, it was an important factor for protecting the arms and amenities from moisture.
How does Silica Gel Function?
We usually find small white packets in our newly purchased handbags, shoes, packed food, and even pharmaceutical products. These are silica gel packets which have a strict warning on them ‘THROW AWAY’ or ‘DO NOT EAT.’ However, silica gel is a nontoxic material. It does not harm your body or act like poison, but it is dangerous as it dehydrates the body with its adsorption power.
Usually, we throw away these tiny silica bags as we find no use in them. Although these silica gel bags are of great use for many purposes.
Practical Uses of Silica Gels
- Prevents Rust
Silica gel has a good capacity to hold moisture due to its microelements and pores. Popping in few silica gel packets will keep your tool kits, coppers, steels, etc., rust and erosion-free. It will absorb excess moisture, which could cause ultimately damage. It is a saviour for your razor blades.
- Maintains Freshness
Mostly in all packaged food, you can see the tiny packets of silica gel. This keeps the food fresh and moisture-free. Silica gel packets help in storing pet food. It keeps the food fresh and eliminates the foul smell. It can also be used to de-stink laundry clothes. Silica gel helps the gardener save the seeds from damage because once the seeds dry out or engage with moisture; they will be of no use.
- Protects documents
Silica gel can save your documents from damage just keep two to three packets of silica gel with your files save it from moist and fungus. Many people keep silica gel pouches or small jar inside their bookshelves as well. Precious memories in your photographs get spoiled due to humidity by keeping some silica gel bag that can stay there for a lifetime.
Silica Gel for Pharmaceuticals
Medicines that are bottled always have a silica gel packet inside them. As we all know, the air around us consists of oxygen with some moisture. These water molecules can quickly react with the medicines and damage them therefore silica gel is vital for pharmaceutical products.
Keeps Your Silver Shiny
Silver coins, jewelry, or any silver item time loses its shine due to moisture. This happens when silver reacts with the atmospheric oxygen and the process of oxidization takes place. To protect the silver shine and prevent it from turning green or black, silica gel can be used. A small packet of silica gel will maintain the silver shine, protecting it from tarnish.