Silica Gel....Where to purchase?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Mike Kennedy, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Can anyone suggest a "local" establishment where one could purchase silica gel? I realize there are lots of online sources but I am trying to minimize my cost.
    When I phoned around yesterday to a number of shops they said "yes" we get silica in our products and "NO" we will not save them for you. And its always the same asinine reasoning..."If we do it for you then we will have to do it for everyone".

    Thank You,
    Mike
     
  2. Trivette

    Trivette Member

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    Among other things, silica gel is used for drying flowers to use in decorative dried flower arrangements. I buy it at Michael's, a chain of arts and crafts stores in the US. Just go to an arts and crafts store and ask if they have any of that stuff that's used for drying flowers. What I got came in a cylindrical container. In large red letters it says Flower Drying Art. In much smaller letters it says Flower Art Silica Gel.
     
  3. rjs003

    rjs003 Subscriber

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    Fisher scienctific has it by the two gallon jar. The good thing about it is that it can be reused; by drying it in your kitchen oven. Not sure of the spelling
     
  4. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    I have some relatively large (1/2 lb) bags of silica gel that came packed with motorcycles built overseas. I've had it quite a while, so that may not be common practice anymore. But you might try calling a local Honda/Yamaha/etc dealer.
     
  5. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    BINGO !!!!

    Just got off the phone with an arts & crafts shop and they can supply me with a jar of reusable silica.
    Incidently,I had called them yesterday about "storing my old cameras" and they didn"t have a solution. When I phoned today I said that photography was now a thing of the past and I wanted to take up drying & pressing wild flowers. Guess it was all in the wording.

    Thanks All,
    Mike
     
  6. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Well I'm glad you found it, otherwise I could have offered to buy you some in small bags from...my local photo shop!
     
  7. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Mike,
    Interesting isn't it? The question just has to be framed so the person hearing it has a point of reference. A simple rephrasing changes everything.
     
  8. Trivette

    Trivette Member

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    Very true. Of course, that can work both ways. I got my silica gel for camera equipment storage, but now I keep thinking about maybe actually trying to dry a flower with it. :D
     
  9. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    Some of the new cat litter products are actually silica gel. Try your supermarket's pet supply area or go to the local pet shop and ask there.

    Cheers,
    Graeme
     
  10. jamesdak

    jamesdak Member

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    Well, I'm cheap. I just grab the little sacks of silicia gel that come with new shoes. Throw them in the camera bag and away I go!
     
  11. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I saw this stuff in the store. How do you use it? Can't just pour it into the camera -) Cheese cloth? Make little packets?
     
  12. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Pour it into a nylon stocking, maybe doubled, and tie it off. Should work fine.
     
  13. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Silica update/ Thanks Graeme!

    Just picked up 4lbs. of cat litter made with 100% silica (the blue stuff that changes color). Total cost $6.40 Cdn. Works out to be about 10 cents an ounce. The craft store wanted approx. 84 cents per ounce.
    It pays to ask around.
    Mike
     
  14. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    A pleasure. Just don't let your cat hang around your camera too long! :smile:
     
  15. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Cats.....Moi?

    I sir am a dog man.Sadly my Black Lab and Golden Retriever have departed to a far,far better place then this. Where the streams run clear with HC-110 and the fields yield forth a bounty of Tri-X.
    If I may quote from W.C Fields and change the word "cats" from the original term "children".

    "I see you like cats.
    Yes I do,if they are properly cooked".

    All in jest. To each his own said the old lady as she kissed the cow.

    Be Kind To Your Critters,
    Mike
     
  16. PeterB

    PeterB Subscriber

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    Silica gel is transparent by itself. An indicator known as cobalt chloride is often added (0.5% to 1%), it is this chemical that turns from blue to pink when saturated. Make sure you don't breath the dust from this silca gel as it could be cancer causing !

    In July 2000, European Directive No67/548/EEC 'reclassified' cobalt chloride to a Category 2B (proven animal carcinogen and therefore possibly carcinogenic to humans).
    http://www.envirogel.co.uk/faq.htm
    http://www.cr.nps.gov/museum/publications/conserveogram/02-15.pdf
    http://www.geejaychemicals.co.uk/cobaltchloride.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silica_gel

    regards
    Peter
     
  17. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    .... making blue silica gel cat litter a great place for your cat to visit regularly!

    Thanks for that information Peter - I'll keep it in mind when I'm handling silica gel.
     
  18. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    Okay, I'm sure a few people reading this post are wondering the same thing, but didn't ask in fear of appearing stupid. So I'll do it...

    What exactly is the benefit of using this silical gel?

    Ara
     
  19. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    It removes the ambient moisture in whatever enclosed space you put it in, say a camera bag. Lowers the risk of mildew and rust tremendously. You do have to periodically dry it in an oven to recharge it.
     
  20. billwright

    billwright Member

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    Found this old thread while Googling, but wanted to update those about this. Blue Silica Gel is indeed something that has been shown to cause cancer and is bad for the environment. In the UK they have listed this as a Hazardous Material and should be disposed of as Hazardous material.

    Now what I wanted to update is, I found a supplier (actually 2 maybe 3 now) that have replaced the "Blue" Silica Gel with a reformulated Orange Indicating Silica Gel which does NOT contain the Cobalt Chloride as is found in the Blue Silica Gel. You can read a bit more about it under question 7 at this FAQ page: http://www.silicagelpackets.com/faqs/ from a site that has the Orange Indicating Silica Gel.

    So, there is at least a safe alternative out there if anyone needs.
     
  21. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    Dri-rite at Lowes/Home Depot in the paint section. Get the refill. About $5-6 and will last you a very, very long time. It's a dessicant used to dry musty closets before painting.

    It's similar to silica, can be recharged by baking it in an oven.. Just toss some in a 35mm film can with holes poked in the lid and sides.
     
  22. Larry.Manuel

    Larry.Manuel Member

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    mail order silica gel.

    See LeeValley.com.

    http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=53828&cat=1,43326

    Lee Valley shipping cost is usually CDN$9 - $12.

    Poor man's method: Using a Pelican case, or some airtight box [washed out olive jars from the delicatessen], put in a dry, hot towel. It will absorb humidity. Remove towel after an hour or so, put in another warm dry one [right out of clothes dryer] until the storage vessel is again exposed to humid air.
     
  23. cmo

    cmo Member

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    Photographers in Germany will find good, cheap stuff here: http://www.hobby-photo.de. I purchased 2 kilos before I visited south asia during monsoon. Put lenses and camera together with a handful of silikagel in a sock into a plastic bag and close it. Don't forget to dry the silicagel in an oven after a while. The better silicagel products show that they need to be dried by changing their colour.
     
  24. proly18

    proly18 Member

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    Silica gel products factory

    I am a new member