are the dessicants they sell at wal-mart ok for storage?? i was looking for a silica dessicant and everyone looked at me like i was from mars...they have something at wal-mart called DAMP-RID.. will that work??
Where I get mine is at the local pharmacy. All the large med bottles have them inside.
I just ask the local drug store to save them for me. Best part is there free.
I put a few in my food dehydrator for a couple of hours to knock any moisture of them.
I try not to buy anything from walmart that i want to last. i suppose that if the company is reputable then you can't really go wrong. As pazoz123 stated, if you have a good desicant then all you have to do is lightly heat it and the moisture will evaporate from it. As far as i know if you are nice to them then desicants have an indefinate shelf life. i don't have a dehydrator so i use a cheap spoon and lightly heat(LIGHTLY!) the bottom of the spoon untill i am satisfied that the desicant is back to it's original charge, i'm sure there is an easyer way though. Don't even dare try and microwave one of those things it will imeadiately ruin it!
The pharmacy trick is a good one, I'll have to use that one.
Electronics stores like Radio Shack have them show up in almost everything, and they usually just toss them, same for music stores. Just asking can often get you a free handfull.
I forget which exactly, but some kitty litter is 100% silica gel desicant. I've heard that many people just buy a bag O' that, and toss a handfull into a paper coffee filter, staple it shut, and you've got cheap, jumbo desicant packs.
I just looked at the silica sand in the kitty litter. It's big crystal-like stuff, looks like rock salt. But the kitty litter stuff had blue "crystals" in it also. I didn't buy it. Not sure it would be safe for food storage...though the bag did say non-toxic. The ingredient list was Silica Sand and Water. It was only 4.99 for about 4-5 lbs.
What do you guys think?
I'm gonna check the craft store this week too. They sell silica for drying flowers that may be better. Has anyone tried that type of product?
I've used silica gel for a miriad of different reasons (pollen storage, flower and herb drying, etc) ... most recently food storage.
Saving from medicine bottles or other shipments is good, and like Alaskan, I'll pop 'em into the dehydrator if I want to 'recharge' them.
My BEST investment so far, (yes, a little bit of $$.. hehe) was to pick up a tub of it at a CRAFT STORE 70% off SALE !! (maybe $5 ??)
It came in a plastic tub, about 2lbs, and has the indicator nuggets in the mix, too.. for me, that's important.
THEN, since I was making up homemade teas for Christmas that year, I'd located some really cheap 'homemade tea bags' online.
(can't find my link.. Google it, I guess ??) Later, I'd seen some offered in a cooking store, but not exactly cheap.
You simply fill, and then seal those with an iron, or even the heat strip on a vaccuum sealer works !
Since you can put any amount of the gel into a tea bag and seal, you can virtually make them large or small.. your choice... limited only by the size of the bag.
Those indicator nuggets show through the bags, too, so I know when it's refreshed.
Funny part is, I'm still re-using my first homemade stash of gel/tea bags, so about 1/2 of the gel has gone untouched, after a couple of years, now. :upsidedown: