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Old 01-06-2012, 12:44 AM
darlenea darlenea is offline
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Default Silica Gel in open #10 cans to prolong open can shelf life



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We have stored multiple Mountain House #10 cans. When I read reviews of these people say after the cans are opened they usually go "bad" because of absorbing moisture.

I was wondering if you can use the silica gel in these post-opening to keep them longer - especially when the house gets humid without air conditioning (no electricity).

I purchased a 5 pound box of Silica gel (Flowering Dying Art) from Michaels' with a 50% off coupon for less than 8.00.

In searching the forum I see that people have used this in coffee filters or tied up in nylons to keep ammunition dry I also saw that people buy the silica gel packets to put in food storage.

I can make up a bunch of packets with this 5 pound box. This gel has the blue crystals that turn pink when they have absorbed moisture. They can be recharged by drying out over a fire (or oven with electricity).

Also I found, when doing the search, that people are using the crystal kitty litter. Has anyone used the kitty litters in opened #10 cans. Thanks for any ideas
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:35 AM
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Default Crystal Cat Litter

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Originally Posted by darlenea View Post
We have stored multiple Mountain House #10 cans. When I read reviews of these people say after the cans are opened they usually go "bad" because of absorbing moisture.

I was wondering if you can use the silica gel in these post-opening to keep them longer - especially when the house gets humid without air conditioning (no electricity).

I purchased a 5 pound box of Silica gel (Flowering Dying Art) from Michaels' with a 50% off coupon for less than 8.00.

In searching the forum I see that people have used this in coffee filters or tied up in nylons to keep ammunition dry I also saw that people buy the silica gel packets to put in food storage.

I can make up a bunch of packets with this 5 pound box. This gel has the blue crystals that turn pink when they have absorbed moisture. They can be recharged by drying out over a fire (or oven with electricity).

Also I found, when doing the search, that people are using the crystal kitty litter. Has anyone used the kitty litters in opened #10 cans. Thanks for any ideas

the crystal cat litter is also 100% silica gel .... same as your flower drying compond ..... only alot cheaper ..... crystal cat litter sells for around $13 for a 10 lb sack ....

for DIYers .... silica gel can be re-cycled by a slow low heat dry in the oven .... crack open the oven door to allow the moisture out ..... the silica cannot be dryed in the DIY packs like coffee filters or nylon mesh .... it must be spread over a pan(s) .... check final product by sealing in zip lock bag and checking for moisture build up in the bag ...
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:40 AM
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I can tell you from experience that in a dry climate, the opened cans last for months. But from the number of replies I've seen from folks who can't get more than a week or two out of theirs, humidity has to be the culprit.

Freeze dried foods are especially bad at absorbing humidity. More so than most dehydrated foods. Just another of their many downsides.

A dessicant would keep it dry. But every time you open it, the dessicant would have to start over again. So it would be saturated regularly and need dried out regularly too.

I've heard about the crystal cat litter too. But I'm a little unconvinced at this point. My reason is that I've worked with silica gel dessicant since I was a kid. It absorbs humidity well, but not liquid water. The cat litter is designed for liquid water, and I just don't know how well it would do for humidity. If it absorbed humidity as well as regular silica gel, it would be saturated by the time you bought it. Or even if it was packed in an airtight bag, it would be saturated shortly after opening it. I think experimentation is called for, before trusting the crystal cat litter as a humidity absorbing dessicant.

If it turns into a sort of jelly like those "cool collars" and such, it's not the same thing as the silica gel used for humidity. That's a completely different compound and it won't absorb humidity. I have a bunch of those crystals here too.
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:43 PM
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Default Silica Gel is Silca Gel

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Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
I can tell you from experience that in a dry climate, the opened cans last for months. But from the number of replies I've seen from folks who can't get more than a week or two out of theirs, humidity has to be the culprit.

Freeze dried foods are especially bad at absorbing humidity. More so than most dehydrated foods. Just another of their many downsides.

A dessicant would keep it dry. But every time you open it, the dessicant would have to start over again. So it would be saturated regularly and need dried out regularly too.

I've heard about the crystal cat litter too. But I'm a little unconvinced at this point. My reason is that I've worked with silica gel dessicant since I was a kid. It absorbs humidity well, but not liquid water. The cat litter is designed for liquid water, and I just don't know how well it would do for humidity. If it absorbed humidity as well as regular silica gel, it would be saturated by the time you bought it. Or even if it was packed in an airtight bag, it would be saturated shortly after opening it. I think experimentation is called for, before trusting the crystal cat litter as a humidity absorbing dessicant.

If it turns into a sort of jelly like those "cool collars" and such, it's not the same thing as the silica gel used for humidity. That's a completely different compound and it won't absorb humidity. I have a bunch of those crystals here too.

Quit buying desiccant packs years ago when silica gel became retail available ..... desiccant can become a complicated subject depending on what you are protecting against moisture .... silica gel is good for almost all prepping type usage .... the electronic and radio geeks have their own thing going sometimes when it comes to desiccant ....

read to your hearts content ..... www.sorbentsystems.com
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:02 PM
darlenea darlenea is offline
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Thanks for all of your responses. We now store mainly items that are basic ingredients to cook with from scratch - but when we first got into prepping we bought the freeze dried food - bought in a state of "beginner's prepper panic". I think what I will do is keep multiple jars that seal well and when we open up the #10 cans put them into the size servings we need in the individual jars - that way I can put in a desiccant and not open it until we are going to use the whole amount at once. Otherwise we will have to open one can eat and it for several days - and I would rather have some variety. I have given both my son and his family and daughter and her family the same #10 cans so I better get them set up with the same jars and desiccant. Then I need to write up a handout for them on what to do. Hopefully we will never need them by being out of electricity - but I like prepping for all the possibilities. Any ideas for what jars to keep for this? I have lots of canning jars and different lids but I plan to, in the fall, have them all filled with garden treasures.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:08 PM
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Regular pickle jars and such would work just fine for that. They seal airtight. Good way to recycle.
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:43 PM
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About how much silica gel is required for a 5 gal bucket with sliced open soup mix, misc. packets opened to keep moisture down? I am talking about things that 02 absorbers are not needed for.
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