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Can any kind of desiccant pack (silica gel) be "recharged"?

Aaron James , Mar 22, 2004; 10:36 a.m.

I know there are some previous posts about desicccant packs (silica gel packs) and about recharging them. Several suggest putting them in the oven for a couple of hours at around 200 degrees. My question is for clarification. Does this work for any desiccant pack that contains silica gel, like the packs that come in shoe boxes or some food products? Or can only certain kinds of desiccant packs be so "recharged". Because if it's the case that any pack will work, I've already got lots of silica gel packs just waiting to protect my camera gear! Thanks.

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Donald Qualls , Mar 22, 2004; 10:55 a.m.

You can redry silica gel dessicant by heating in an oven at 250 degrees for a couple hours to drive off adsorbed water. This should work with any dessicant that's actually silica gel (which should be pretty much all of the ones that come in small, "bean bag" containers with consumer goods).

csab' józsa , Mar 22, 2004; 11:23 a.m.

The ones i have / i've seen are all in paper bags. I wouldn't heat them up to 200+ degrees like this. OTOH, you can unpack, do it and pack them in cloth or simple tissue "bags" you make.

Rob Bernhard , Mar 22, 2004; 12:36 p.m.

<< The ones i have / i've seen are all in paper bags. I wouldn't heat them up to 200+ degrees like this. >>

There's a rather famous book whose title will instantly tell you why you are wrong and that 200 degrees is not a problem for paper.

Duane Kucheran , Mar 22, 2004; 12:46 p.m.

I've done it a few times. 200-250 deg F is no problem for the paper as long as it's not too close to the element. What happened to me was that the glue melted and all the dessicant started leaking out. If you can find a better bag or perhaps staple over the glued seams it can work.

Cheers,

David Gonzalez , Mar 22, 2004; 01:36 p.m.

"Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury for those not familiar with American literature.

Stephen H , Mar 22, 2004; 01:39 p.m.

Keep in mind that Fahrenheit 451 is science fiction, written by the same man that told of the continual (water) rains on Venus and the ruins on Mars. Highly doubtful that every kind of paper known to man bursts into flames at exactly that temperature.

Rob Bernhard , Mar 22, 2004; 01:52 p.m.

<< Keep in mind that Fahrenheit 451 is science fiction, written by the same man that told of the continual (water) rains on Venus and the ruins on Mars. Highly doubtful that every kind of paper known to man bursts into flames at exactly that temperature. >>

Who said anything about exact? Any reason you felt the need to troll?

Ross Marks , Mar 22, 2004; 03:43 p.m.

>"to drive off adsorbed water"

I know this is being a bit pedantic, but isn't the water ABsorbed - i.e. right into the material, rather than ADsorbed - which means into the surface only? Ross

Christian Deichert , Mar 22, 2004; 04:38 p.m.

If you don't like the oven idea, there's always putting it in the sunlight, or perhaps leave it under a desk lamp. Or maybe leaving it in an "EZ-Bake Oven." :)


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