Have you ever wondered what those silica packs found in your processed foods and vitamins do? Well, they’re actually used for preserving your processed goods by keeping them dry. That’s why they’re also placed inside shoeboxes to prevent moisture from going in. However, do you know what else they can preserve? Metals!
Yes, that’s right! If you put a bag of silica inside your toolbox, you don’t have to worry about your tools rusting anymore. It’s not just tools you can use them on. You can also use them on kitchen cutlery and other metal things that you don’t want exposed to rust.
But is it safe?
One of the primary concerns that people have about this bag of components is safety. Can you really just leave it anywhere? Is it safe if ever it comes in contact with other things? Well, the good news here is that it is a non-toxic substance. In fact, the FDA recognizes it as a safe component that can be used for a variety of purposes.
However, you must take note that it can’t be eaten. That’s the one time when it’ll really be harmful to you – if it is consumed. That is why there is a “Do Not Eat” warning that can be found written on the packet. As long as you don’t eat it, then you’re totally fine.
With that out of the way, how does silica help prevent rusting? You see, the number one cause of rust in the first place is exposure to moisture. If you touch your tools with wet hands or if rainwater hits your tools, then rust will most likely appear. Temperature change and enclosure in humid areas can also cause rust through condensation. Once the temperature decreases and the moisture forms, it will just fall on the tools since it can’t go anywhere in the enclosed space.
With that in mind, silica gel is used for sucking up moisture. Once the silica gel detects any kind of moisture around its vicinity, it will absorb the moisture, leaving the surrounding air dry.
In an enclosed space, the moisture will always be in close proximity with the silica gel. So before the moisture even falls onto the tool again, the silica gel will eat it up. The science behind this phenomenon is simply the reduction of humidity. The silica gel decreases moisture in the surrounding air simply by decreasing the relative humidity and dew condensation temperature.
Now that you know how it works, all you need to do is collect all those free silica gel bags from shoe boxes, food packs, or vitamins. Once you’ve collected a few, you just need to probably tape 2 silica gel bags on the walls of your toolbox. We recommend that you tape one for each end.
You’ll find that even though the tools are left inside the box for a long time, they won’t rust. That’s simply because the silica gel bags prevent that. If you find that your tools still rust a bit even after taping two bags, then try to add a third one. This should do the trick.