Keeping things dry

in STEMGeeks2 months ago

         I had the opportunity to get my carpets cleaned for the first time since the pandemic started. It feels gross thinking about it. When you clean the carpets, things will get damp, so airing the place out is a must. For rooms without windows, I have desiccants to absorb moisture along with fans blowing.

         It's been at least six years since I put them into place. I figured it made sense to see if they are still functional. So, I cut open a few packets to check them out.

         I noticed they were in two different colors. Then, I ran some of them under the water to see what saturated gels would appear.

         The green meant the gel had taken up a significant amount of water. Compare that photo with the first, I would say about half the desiccants in that room have been saturated. Not bad for sitting around for at least six years. The gels now out in the open can now serve as indicators in that glass jar.

         Fortunately, these silica gels are pretty easy to get. The original batch came from all the discarded packaging at work. Every antibiotic panel we use has them, and we go through several hundred of them a day. If I ever need a refill, I could spend a few days at work making sure they aren't going straight to the trash. Nobody is going to miss them. It's one of the only times nobody would care if you take something from work.

         Of course, I came across a page telling me how I could reuse them. One method is to bake them at 200°F to force the moisture out of the gels. I'll keep that in mind when I no longer have a stable source of silica gels.

Posted with STEMGeeks


Interesting! I know that labs discard lot's of equipment and reagents that passed the expiration date. It is dangerous to put a risk in your experiment, of course, but still maybe some percentage of these discarded things could still be used! Nice that you could use something!

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 2 months ago 

I mean, it’s just packaging from the manufacturer.

even better! something that we always discard!

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