Silica gel is a substance that is used to draw moisture out of the objects with which it comes in contact. It can be used to dry flowers or to store seeds over the winter. Silica gel can be reused after it has absorbed water. A microwave can be used to draw the water out of silica gel and to render it fit for reuse.
Place the silica gel in a thick glass baking dish. According to the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, the glass should be about ¼-inch thick.
Set the microwave to a medium heat setting and place the baking dish in the microwave.
Heat the silica gel for between 3 and 5 minutes.
Remove the silica gel from the microwave and stir it with it a spoon.
Repeat Steps 3 and 4 if necessary. It takes between 8 and 12 minutes to dry 1 pound of gel, but drying times can vary depending on the strength of the microwave.
- Check the colour of the silica gel if it is colour-indicating silica. Colour-indicating gel will turn deep blue when it is dry and is pink when it contains moisture. Once the gel has a deep blue colour, it is dry.
- Heat the silica gel in small batches to dry it more thoroughly.
- Do not use plastic or thin glass containers to hold silica gel as it is heating. Silica gel will get very hot once it begins heating, and if it overheats, it will be useless.
- Do not store silica gel until it has cooled down thoroughly.