Create homemade desiccant packets to absorb moisture from stored foods, vitamins, plant seeds, documents and other areas where high humidity is a concern. Make your own moisture absorbing packets using silica gel, a nontoxic product that is rated GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Make silica gel packets sized to fit small food containers or large 55-gallon drums, depending on the amount of product you are protecting. Silica gel works best at room temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Things You'll Need
- Kitchen scale
- Measuring container
- Silica gel
- Tea bag
- Coffee filter
- Rubber bands
- Nylon stocking
Weigh the measuring container that you plan to use to weigh the loose silica gel on a kitchen scale. The amount of moisture absorbing silica gel needed for each location is based on the volume of the surrounding air, type of material to be protected, moisture surrounding the material, time frame for storage and atmospheric conditions. For household uses, 1 ounce of silica gel will protect an average of 6.2 gallons, 0.83 cubic feet or 1,429 cubic inches. The International Plastics resource offers a chart for desiccant measurements.
Pour the desired amount of loose silica gel into the measuring container. Note the increase in weight measurement on the scale to determine when to stop pouring in the silica gel. Loose silica gel is available in the floral aisle of most craft stores.
Open a tea bag and remove the tea. Save the tea to use in a tea strainer. Fill the tea bag with the desired amount of silica gel. Staple the tea bag closed.
Spread a coffee filter open on a flat surface. Measure the desired amount of loose silica gel.
Transfer the loose silica gel from the measurement container to the center of the coffee filter.
Gather the sides of the filter up and around the loose silica gel. Secure the coffee filter closed with a rubber band.
Cut a section of a closed-toe nylon stocking leg to the desired size for the moisture absorbing packet. Include the foot section of the stocking in the measurement.
Measure and pour the desired amount of silica gel into the top of the stocking leg, down to the sealed toe section.
Wrap a rubber band around the stocking above the silica gel to seal.