A chemically inert substance, silica gel is one of the most widely used desiccants around the world. Silica gel is an amorphous form of silicon dioxide, with a crystal-like structure and many pores on its surface. These usually come colorless, odorless, and have a high affinity towards water molecules. The porous structure and high affinity towards water molecules make silica gel an ideal choice as drying agents. Since it is non-toxic in its original form, it is widely used in non-chemical conditions as well. Few common applications of silica gel are to control moisture in shoe packets, electronic packages, leather, and other luggage storages, medicine bottles, toolboxes, and so on.
Silica gel for drying flowers
As discussed, silica gel is a porous spherical substance that traps water molecules that come in contact and thus remove the moisture of the surrounding air. So it is used as a drying agent. The same silica gel is also used to dry flowers. The main advantage of using silica gel for flower drying is that these dried flowers retain their original 3-dimensional form, size, shape, and color. Since the silica gel is a non-toxic desiccant, the flowers dried using silica gel remains safe.
Silica gel is the most popular desiccant for drying flowers, despite being a bit expensive. Silica gel once purchased can be reused numerous times and so it is a one-time expense. Silica gel beds can be easily regenerated and thus reused, by drying them between uses. To dry these desiccant beads, leave them on a pan and heat for a specific time.
How can we make use of silica gel for drying flowers?
The drying procedure is very simple, easy, and safe. To dry flowers using silica gel, all you need is:
- Required amount of right silica gel crystals
- Airtight containers
Procedure in detail:
- Take a clean airtight container, large enough to accommodate silica gel and flowers.
- Add silica gel balls to the container, to form a thick layer, using a mug or small bottle.
- Place the properly trimmed flowers. Make sure to place flowers facing up, and the container is not over packed.
- Shake the container when needed and keep filling the silica gel over the flowers.
- Make sure the beads are evenly distributed over and inside the flower petals.
- Fill the container to its maximum and cover it with the lid.
- Leave the container untouched and undisturbed for some days.
Points to remember:
- Some flowers have high water content within and also many petals. Such flowers may take one week to two weeks to dry completely. Some others are with less moisture and less number of petals can be dried faster. So categorize flowers properly.
- Any disturbance caused to the container can lead to slip the crystals from some parts of the flowers and can cause incomplete drying. So place the containers on your shelf, where you can leave it for a longer time and then start the procedure.
- Once the flowers are dried completely, the desiccant may change its color because of the moisture indicators used in it. Now remove the flowers from containers carefully, without disturbing the original shape of flowers. These flowers can be used in your vases or any other floral arrangements.
Highlights of using silica gel to preserve flowers
- Silica gel drying method leaves the flowers safe because of its non-toxic property
- Original color, shape and form of the flower is maintained
- Easy and simple method
- Fast and complete drying
- This method involves no chemical reactions and the surface adsorption method for drying leaves no harmful effects on its surroundings
- Though silica gel used is expensive, the whole procedure is cost-effective because silica gel can be reused
- Dry the silica gel after every use and the same set can be used to dry flowers further
The process of using silica gel to preserve flowers is trending for a long time. Sorbead provides high-quality silica gel at customized quantities for better results.