Woman Explains Why You Shouldn’t Throw Out Packets Of Little Beads When You Make A New Purchase

TikToker Rachel Allyson has revealed the little-known uses for the silica gel bead packets that come with clothing.
Credit: @plumcots/TikTok & Alamy

A woman has explained the important reason you should never throw out the packets of little silica gel beads when you buy something new…

One of life’s little mysteries is why, exactly, new shoes and bags come packaged with a little packet of clear beads.

We see them all the time, but many of us have never questioned exactly what these bead packs are for.

But now a TikToker has explained all – and revealed why she never throws them away…

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You probably remember finding these little bead bags in your new shoes as a child and may have been encouraged to leave them alone and toss them out.

But what actually are these packets of clear silica gel beads?

Well, as per WebMD: “Silica gel is made from silicon dioxide – a compound naturally found in sand – and has small particles that can absorb large amounts of water. Therefore, desiccant silica gel packets are put in store-bought products to prevent damage due to humidity.”

Even though the pockets are marked ‘do not eat’, it’s not because the product is toxic.

Instead, it’s because the small beads represent a choking hazard – particularly to young children.

But it transpires that these little pouches are surprisingly useful, as one woman on TikTok has revealed this week…

The TikToker has explained why it’s good to hang onto the silica gel packets. Credit: @plumcots/TikTok

People have been left shocked at the news.

One says: “I thought they were orbeez!”

Another writes: “I thought it was just to keep bugs out?”

A third jokes: “They aren’t a little bonus pack of candy with purchases??”

They’re like little mini dehumidifiers,” a fourth adds..

And a fifth pens: “Good, because I used to collect these for years.”

Rachel Allyson, better known on TikTok as @plumcots, explained it all in her viral video.

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She says: “Stop throwing these little packet things away! The little beads that come in anything and everything that you buy… I had no idea what they were until a week ago.

“I thought by touching them, you would end up in the hospital. I remember reading the ‘Do Not Eat’ label and thinking, ‘Why would they put poison in the box? What’s the point of them?'”

Rachel then lists the many uses for her old silica gel packets, saying: “If you drop your phone in water, put it in rice? Put it in this – it’s so much better. These are literally designed to get moisture out of s**t.

“Another thing – which I just recently tested – makeup brushes. I always lay my makeup brushes on a towel and let them dry overnight. These in a towel. Give it like an hour, it was dry.”

She even explains that some people use the packets to clear a steamed-up car windscreen!

Rachel concludes: “I’m going to start collecting them and put them in a jar, I think you can buy them individually too.”

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Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.