Does silica gel go bad?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Does silica gel go bad?” and tell you what silica gel is. We will also discuss how to reactivate old silica gel and if it is toxic. We will also list down some uses of silica gel around the house.

Does silica gel go bad?

No, silica gel does not go bad. Although they might lose their ability to absorb moisture overtime when they are fully saturated with moisture, they can be reactivated and reused. 

What is silica gel?

Silica gel is what you find in small packets inside food packaging, shoe boxes, inside bags etc, which are usually labeled as ‘Do not eat, throw away”. Silica gel is basically made up of silicon dioxide which is made into small beads which have multiple cavities inside of them.

These beads are able to absorb moisture which is 40 percent of their weight. This property makes them a desiccant. They are placed inside multiple things, including food, to absorb moisture and prevent the moisture from spoiling anything. 

How to reactivate silica gel?

Silica gel that is saturated with moisture may not be useful. So, you can reactivate it by heating it in a preheated oven for a couple of hours until all the moisture has dried off. Once the silica gel has gotten rid of all the moisture, it will be able to absorb moisture again.

Is silica gel toxic?

No, silica gel is non-toxic because it is chemically inert which is why it is placed in food packaging as well. However the “Do not eat” label is there because there is a risk of choking on them since they are tiny beads. So, do not swallow it and keep it away from children.

Silica gel is not to be eaten. If someone has accidentally eaten them or is choking on them then call 911.

What are the uses of silica gel packets?

Silica gel can be very useful so it is best to not throw these packets out instead use them around the house. Here’s how you can use them.

Dry your phone

Dropping your phone in water can be terrifying and it may not turn on after. So what you can do is first dry your phone from the outside using a washcloth or a towel. Then take some silica gel packets and place them inside a ziploc bag. Next, place your phone inside the ziploc bag and tightly seal it. 

Let it sit there for a couple of hours while the silica gel absorbs all the moisture from inside your phone. Do not open the silica gel packets and let the beads move around freely inside the ziploc bag as the beads are very tiny and can get stuck in your phone.

Prevent rust

You can use silica gel packets to prevent your tools and razors from getting rusty. You can place them inside your tool box or rest your razors on it. Razors are especially susceptible to rust as they are wet very often and there is humidity inside the bathroom when you shower. 

Keep your gym bag clean

You can place silica gel packets inside your gym bag to absorb all the excess moisture from sweaty clothes and towels. In addition silica gel can also absorb unpleasant odors and keep your gym bag from smelling musty. Less moisture also makes it less favorable for bacteria to grow and multiply.


You can place silica gel packets inside your spice container to prevent them from going bad due to moisture.


You can place silica gel in your photo albums or your briefcase in which you have all your important documents and paperwork to prevent them from getting ruined by moisture.

Look up some more uses of silica gel here.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “Does silica gel go bad?” and told you what silica gel is. We also discussed how to reactivate old silica gel and if it is toxic. We also listed down some uses of silica gel around the house.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.