Silica gel is a precious ally for the protection of clothing, linens, shoes and accessories from damage caused by humidity such as the formation of mold stains, which are so difficult to eliminate.
At home, due to the usual change of season, as well as in shops and warehouses, storing clothes carefully is essential to avoid nasty surprises and find your garments in perfect condition, just as you left them.
Placing clothes and objects inside drawers and wardrobes is often not enough to guarantee that they are stored correctly: the wood and the materials with which the furniture is made cannot isolate the clothes and accessories from the humidity of the surrounding environments.
For this reason it is advisable to use silica gel to prevent the formation of mold and preserve the fabrics, leather and hides, which could be irreparably damaged.
What are the benefits of using silica gel?
- Silica gel has absorbent and dehydrating properties. It protects clothes and accessories, preventing them from getting stained and damaged by the presence of mold and humidity.
- The silica gel bags do not release any liquid even when they are completely saturated, therefore there is no risk of damaging the stored garments. It is a totally inert, non-toxic and harmless product for people and animals.
- Silica gel can be regenerated, and therefore reused, a certain number of times.
What to do in practice to counteract humidity?
To protect clothes and accessories in wardrobes and drawers we recommend the use of silica gel bags, in the format of at least 120 or 240 grams with standard sachet wrapping.
The number of bags depends on the amount of clothes and accessories that need to be protected.
However, there are some important precautions that can make the difference in the correct conservation of our clothes.
First of all to maintain the effectiveness of the desiccant over time as much as possible, we suggest placing the silica gel sachets together with the clothes or linen inside plastic bags, preferably rather thick and tightly closed. For example, the bags that are offered for “vacuum” are of the right thickness. If we then want to combine the two things, vacuum packing and silica gel do no harm, on the contrary!
Another alternative solution to the bags, and in any case useful for those accessories such as hats or belts or shoes that are difficult to store in soft bags, are the boxes and plastic containers with lids that must be kept tightly closed.
It is better to avoid fabric or cardboard containers because they allow the humidity of the surrounding environment to pass through, making the use of desiccant sachets universal. This small trick (use of plastic bags and boxes) increases the action of the silica gel since it reduces the amount of air to be dehumidified: the sachets will only have to dehydrate the atmosphere inside the containers which will act as a barrier against external infiltrations.
REMEMBER Silica gel sachets run out!
Sometimes after months, sometimes after a few days, the silica gel stops working. The variability of this condition depends on the amount of humidity that the sachets must remove from the environment in which they are stored, and on whether there is continuous exchange of air (and therefore humidity) from the outside or not. So every now and then the desiccant bags should be checked, to verify that they are still “working” adequately.
How do you know if a bag of silica gel is still effective?
The answer is by weighing it. Each bag has a defined weight and a specific absorption capacity, equal to approximately 20% of its weight. When a bag has reached 20% more than its initial weight, it means that it has exhausted its ability to remove humidity from the surrounding environment and must therefore be replaced.
Another way to understand at a glance if the silica gel is still operational is to choose the indicating desiccant sachets: they are sachets that contain a particular silica gel to which a chromatic indicator has been added which changes color once the sachet has exhausted its its absorption capacity. The Indicating sachets are totally Cobalt and DMF free.
What if there’s also a bad smell in the wardrobe, shoe rack and clothes?
Humidity is often accompanied by the formation of bad smells, clothes that smell of musty and stale, as well as shoes, belts or blankets stored between one season and another. The solution in this case is activated carbon.
Packaged in practical bags, it can be used together with silica gel to prevent bad odors, or used on its own to remove existing odors such as stale, stale, moldy, etc. in small spaces, objects and clothing. This totally natural product allows both to eliminate and prevent bad smells on objects and clothes thanks to its characteristic structure, in fact the charcoal traps odor molecules without using any harmful chemicals or fragrances it covers. If you want to learn more about how activated carbon works, you can find the product sheet here.
A valid alternative to silica gel?
For this particular use, the silica gel bags can be replaced by activated clay, in the 250 gram format. The result? The same effectiveness at a cheaper price and with the use of a totally natural desiccant.
Clay, by its nature, tends to generate a slight gray dust, which in no way compromises the objects or linen it comes into contact with and which can be simply shaken to eliminate. However, in situations of products intended for sale, we recommend using silica gel sachets to avoid this possible blemish.