I was wondering if I could reuse dessicants from storebought goods. I throw a lot of dessicant packets in the bin from seaweed (dried). I also found some in packets of tortillas, but threw them in the bin.

Looking on google I see that you can do heaps of stuff with dessicants. Can I reuse them from food?

I want to reuse them for both in-food uses (like making tortillas and storing them with dessicant) and non-food (keeping jewellry fresh-looking). Thanks.


Desiccants eventually saturate with moisture, making them ineffective. This can be reversed, usually by heating the packs - various "recipes" for reheating are quoted, depending on the kind of desiccant pack; for those filled with silica gel temperatures of around 130-140 degrees celsius in a well ventilated (eg slightly opened) oven (moist atmosphere does not help) seem to be common, with time dependent on the packet size.

Some types seem to have a color indicator built into the material to indicate when it is dry again, with others weighing the packets (they get heavier when having absorbed moisture) can help.

If food use is intended, be extra careful there are no plastic parts or coatings in the packet construction that you could melt or burn with oven heat.

Microwave based methods are sometimes mentioned, if you want to try them, make sure you are prepared to handle the situation safely in case one of the packet/s (the paper, not the silica gel inside) catches fire. Also, if the model of microwave is not allowed to run empty, add some food or other load (a mug of water might create too much steam inside).

  • Most of the self-indicating additives aren't suitable for use around food. And the weight change is very small. But baking works. Once you've baked a batch, keep them in a sealed container (not too large) until you need to use them.
    – Chris H
    Apr 11 '17 at 10:42
  • 40 min at 300°F (150°C) is enough to regenerate indicator silica desiccants, and presumably the non-indicator Silica desiccants as well. I'm using some of the regenerated indicator stuff to dry out a water soaked iPod right now. I'd take the non-indicator stuff out of whatever pouches it's in, and store it in a heat resistant desiccator jar. Probably best to heat each time before use, because most jar lids are leaky over a period of months. Amazon sells the indicator stuff, but it looks a bit pricey to me. Apr 12 '17 at 9:45

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