- 1. What is Silica Gel?
Silica Gel is a dry solid, not a slick or wet substance as the name might suggest. Inside the white packets are beads of this dry solid material that remain dry to the touch even when fully saturated. The Silica Gel beads absorb moisture through the porous packet material.
The Silica Gel, made from sodium silicate, is a highly porous substance that can absorb up to 40% of its own weight, which makes this the highest absorption capacity of any commercially used Desiccant. Most Silica Gel products can be reused by reactivating the Silica Gel contents (contact your Silica Gel manufacturer or retail partner for specific reactivation instructions for their products).
- 2. What is a Tyvek® Packet?
Tyvek® (spunbonded polyolefin) made by DuPont® and is the type of material that the packet is made of. It's 100% high-density polyethylene, which is spun into tough, continuous fibers to protect package integrity from both product breakthrough inside and rough handling outside. Tyvek® combines the best properties of paper, film, and fabric thanks to its exceptional strength, excellent durability, and high porosity. Tyvek® is so tough, it resists punctures and is ideal for use in abrasive environments. Tyvek®'s tight pore structure keeps even the smallest of particulates from dusting through the package.
- 3. Why Use Them?
Desiccant Products (Silica Gel and Clay) are drying agents used to combat humidity or moisture degradation. Products vulnerable to moisture damage need special protection during transportation, storage, etc. to ensure that it remains effective. Silica Gel Packets and Clay Desiccant's provide a simple, dependable, and economical solution for preventing moisture damage in sealed packaging.
- 4. Are These Packets Brand New?
Yes, all of our Desiccant Products are brand new and are stored in air-tight containers. Upon shipment the shelf life is up to 2 years.
- 5. What should I do if Silica Gel has been ingested?
We recommend contacting your local Poison Control Center or seek medical advice/attention. You can contact the National Poison Control help line at 1-800-222-1222 and they should be able to give you advice based on who or what ingested the Silica Gel and how much of it. Based on this information they should be able to give you advice based on your situation. Silica Gel is a non-toxic material. .
- 6. Is Silica Gel safe?
Silica Gel is non-toxic and recognized as a "GRAS" (Generally Recognized As Safe) product by the FDA. The industry standard for Dry Food packaging is Silica Gel packaged in Tyvek, Tyvek is a more sturdy and tear resistant material then Cotton.
Some types of Silica Gel, which they consider Indicating Silica Gel, have been impregnated with cobalt chloride, which is blue when it is dry and turns to pink when it is saturated. There have been some significant health and environmental risks attributed to the use of cobalt chloride within the Silica Gel including possibly causing cancer, along with skin and respiratory irritation. We, along with several other retailers, offer a safer alternative which is Indicating Silica Gel that goes from orange to green and does not contain cobalt chloride.
- 7. What is Indicating Silica Gel?
Indicating Silica Gel is beads of clear Silica Gel that have been impregnated with a chemical that changes color when it comes into contact with moisture. When the color has changed, it means that the Silica Gel is saturated and needs to be replaced or reactivated. This can be useful when long term humidity control is needed, like in a display case.
Some types of Indicating Silica Gel (not ours) have been impregnated with Cobalt Chloride (II) (normally a Blue or Pink color of Silica Gel) which is classified as a IARC Group 2B carcinogen. Our Cobalt Chloride FREE indicating Silica Gel beads will turn from Orange to Dark Green when the Silica Gel is about 60% absorbed with moisture.
- 8. How is Silica Gel packaged?
Silica Gel doesn't come in just small white packets we carry a range in size from ½ a gram up to to 4.5 LBS hanging bags.
Smaller amounts of Silica Gel are usually packaged in packets made from Cotton, Tyvek, or Clear Porous Plastic. These porous materials allow moisture to pass through to and be absorbed by the SIlica Gel. Tyvek is a very durable material and can maintain packet integrity from rough handling or product breakthrough.
Indicating Silica Gel typically comes in a plastic packet or a container with a window so the color changing beads can be seen. Some uses of Silica Gel, like drying flowers, call for loose beads, it is possible to buy a re-sealable bag of loose beads. Bags of looses beads are usually plastic to maintain the dry state of the Silica Gel beads so they are ready to be used. Loose Silica Gel beads can also be reactivated for repeat usage(please read and use the reactivation instructions on your product packaging).
When purchasing Silica Gel Packets they come in one master bag that is heat sealed. If you have a need to reseal extra packets I'd recommend looking at the "Custom Packaging Options" available for each product in the shopping cart. We give you full control over how you want your packets packaged, from recloseable moisture barrier bags to individually packaged!
- 9. What are some uses for Silica Gel?
Silica Gel has many uses, many of which fall under the category of preventing moisture damage. Many manufacturers include Silica Gel packets in their electronics packaging which helps protect the electronics from moisture damage. Silica Gel has also been known to assist in drying electronic devices that have gotten wet by placing device in an airtight container with some Silica Gel, thus removing most if not all of the moisture from the device more effectively than air drying and more safely than applying heat. Leather goods are often transported with Silica Gels to help protect them from moisture damage. Storing leather goods with Silica Gel packets can also help protect them from moisture and make them last much longer.
If you have ever seen dried flowers and wondered how they managed to dry them and maintain the colors and shapes, they probably used Silica Gel. Covering the flowers with loose Silica Beads while they are still vibrant and firm dries them quickly, which helps maintain the color and shape of the flowers. Silica Gel can also be placed in a gun safe to help prevent moisture damage to both guns and ammunition.
For people who use dry bags or dry boxes while participating in water sports adding Silica Gel packets to dry bags or dry boxes absorbs any moisture that may have gotten in. Adding a Silica Gel packet to an underwater camera case can help absorb any moisture that may have gotten in when the camera was being put in the case. For scuba divers, the changes in pressure and temperature as they descend can cause any moisture present in the waterproof case to condense - the Silica Gel packets prevents this condensation from collecting on the camera. Vitamins and pills are often packaged with Silica Gel packets to prevent the damage or decomposition due to moisture in the bottle. Silica Gel packets are also used to help keep dried food, like beef jerky and pepperoni, fresh.
- 10. How should I dispose of these Silica Gel products?
The Silica Gel packets that are found with products you purchase, like electronics and leather goods, can simply be thrown away in the trash. If the Silica Gel has come into contact with a toxic or hazardous material, it could potentially become toxic from the absorbed material. In this event, the Silica Gel should be disposed of in the same manner as the hazardous material that contaminated it.
- 11. Do you offer expedited shipping options?
We offer free shipping via ground service on all orders within the USA. During checkout we offer additional expedited shipping options, for extra fee, including a Priority or Express service. Priority is usually a 2-3 business day service and Express is usually a 1 business day service to most locations.
- 12. How much Silica Gel should I use for my application?
The coverage areas as stated are estimates when used in an enclosed air tight container. The amount of Silica Gel or Desiccant required will depend upon several factors including: the chemical characteristics of the product, volume contents of container, physical properties of the container, and conditions in which container will be stored/used. Use the chart below to get an idea of how much to start out using.
Container Size - Packet Size
70 cubic inches - ½ gram
100 cubic inches - ¾ gram
130 cubic inches - 1 gram
260 cubic inches - 2 grams
389 cubic inches - 3 grams
648 cubic inches - 5 grams
1296 cubic inches - 10 grams
2 cubic feet - 28 grams
4 cubic feet - 56 grams
8 cubic feet - 112 grams
16 cubic feet - 224 grams
32 cubic feet - 448 grams
15 cubic feet - 200 grams
33 cubic feet - 450 grams
57 cubic feet - 750 grams
66 cubic feet - 900 grams
- 13. Where will my order be shipped from?
All of our orders within the United States are shipped from our Charlotte, North Carolina facility. We also have facilities located in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia!
- 14. What's the difference between Silica Gel and Clay desiccants?
While both Clay (also known as Bentonite Clay) and Silica Gel are both desiccants, there are some key differences between the two. Bentonite Clay produces dust where as Silica Gel emits minimal dust particles and when packaged in Tykek®, it is practically dust free. This makes Silica Gel the best choice to be packaged with items that could be negatively impacted by dust particles like electronics or food. As a result of the dust it produces, Bentonite Clay typically needs to be packaged in Tyvek® in order to contain the dust. Silica Gel is found packaged in Tyvek® as well as cotton and perforated plastic.
Silica Gel is absorbent up to 220°F (104°C), which is the point at which it releases absorbed moisture. Bentonite Clay is absorbent up to 120°F(49°C) at which point it begins to release any absorbed moisture back into the air. Both Silica Gel and Bentonite Clay can be reactivated for reuse. Bentonite Clay and Silica Gel are used in industrial settings, but Silica Gel is also commonly used in commercial and residential settings as well. Silica Gel's absorbent capacity is 40% of its weight; Bentonite Clay's absorbent capacity is only 25%. Silica Gel's high absorption capacity, which is the highest available to consumers, combined with its low dust emissions, and ability to absorb at higher temperatures, it is easy to see why it is the most popular desiccant on the market.
- 15. Which products meet the FDA requirements to be used with dry food packaging?
Silica Gel is non-toxic and recognized as a "GRAS" (Generally Recognized As Safe) product by the FDA. Although Cotton, Tyvek, and our 1 Gram Plastic Canister both meet the FDA requirements for use in Dry Food Packaging, the industry standard is Silica Gel packaged in Tyvek or our 1 Gram Plastic Canister.
- 16. What size Silica Gel Packet should I use in my 5 gallon bucket?
A 5 gallon bucket is about 1158 CU IN in volume which means a 10 gram Silica Gel Packet would be ideal under normal air tight conditions. If dealing with extreme moist conditions (shipping overseas, storing in uncontrolled environment, or if valuables are especially sensitive to moisture) you can look at using a 28 Gram Silica Gel Packet.
- 17. What size Silica Gel Packet should I use in my 55 gallon drum?
A 55 gallon bucket is about 7.36 CU FT in volume which means a 112 gram Silica Gel Packet would be ideal under normal air tight conditions. If dealing with extreme moist conditions (shipping overseas, storing in uncontrolled environment, or if valuables are especially sensitive to moiustre) you can look at using a 224 Gram Silica Gel Packet.
- 18. Will Silica Gel work in my freezer?
Silica Gel will continue to absorb moisture below freezing, but performs best at room temperatures (70-90º F).
- 19. Will Silica Gel absorb boiling water?
Silica Gel will work past the boiling point of water, but performs best at room temperatures (70-90º F).
- 20. My company is Tax Exempt, how to checkout?
If you are a Tax Exempt company we give you the ability to checkout online using your Tax Exempt status. Simply add items to your cart and then proceed to checkout, in step 5 of checkout there is an option to select "Tax Exempt" status. You will be required to provide your Tax Exempt ID number and the issuing state.
- 21. Does your Silica Gel contain Cobalt Chloride?
Our Indicating (Orange) Silica Gel and Non-Indicating (White) Silica Gel does NOT contain DMF or Cobalt Chloride (II) (normally a Blue or Pink color of Silica Gel) which is classified as a IARC Group 2B carcinogen. Our Cobalt Chloride FREE indicating Silica Gel beads will turn from Orange to Dark Green when the Silica Gel is about 60% absorbed with moisture.
- 22. How much Silica Gel is in a "Unit"?
Often times you'll hear Silica Gel referred to in "Units". A "Unit" of Silica Gel is about 28 Grams. So if you need 16 units of Silica Gel, you'd need a 448 Gram Silica Gel Packet (28 grams x 16 Units = 448 Grams).