Silica Packets Put in Garbage Cart Empty and Throw Away Silica is made from an inert, non-toxic substance that can absorb water. The packets are a choking hazard for children and pets, and dangerous in high quantities. Tear packets open, empty its silica into the garbage, then toss out the empty packet as well. Ways to Reuse Use as Drying Agent Put silica packets in places where moisture is unwelcome, from vehicle dashboards to mold-prone corners of your home. Store them with household items at risk for mold or water damage, or use them to dry out water-damaged electronics. Did You Know? What Is Silica, Anyway? The silica that comes in little packets designed to dry everything out is silica gel, a form of silicon dioxide, the material found in quartz. Silica is essentially a porous sand that functions as a desiccant, or a drying agent. It can absorb about 40 percent of its weight in moisture. These packets are designed to keep water away from products that shouldn’t get damp, like electronics or dry food. Learn more from Discover Magazine.