9
Nov
2020
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A Guide On How To Use Our Eco-Friendly Koch & Co Silica Gel

Our Koch & Co Silica Gel Flower Drying Preserving Crystals (flower drying crystals) are an Eco-friendly, nontoxic, thirsty, granular compound that offers the best method of preserving the natural beauty of fresh flowers and bouquets.

Silica, or silicon dioxide (SiO2), is the same material found in quartz sand. The gel form contains millions of tiny pores that can absorb and hold moisture. Silica gel is essentially very porous sand but in the form of manufactured beads. Silica gel can absorb about 40% of its weight in moisture and can take the relative humidity in a closed container down to around 40%. It is a non-toxic, non-flammable, and a non-reactive product.

When you cover fresh cut flowers with the Silica Gel Crystals, the crystals absorb all the moisture from the flowers with little damage to the petals and without large amounts of mess. You can use Silica Gel in an airtight plastic container, with most flowers taking 36 to 48 hours to completely dry.

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Key features & benefits:

  • Is a non-toxic, non-flammable, and a non-reactive product.
  • Comes in a 1kg resealable bag that can be recycled in a REDcycle program at your local supermarket.
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  • Flowers are dried in just 36 – 48 hours.
  • The Silica Gel is infused with orange Silica Gel water indicating beads. These orange Silica Gel beads are nontoxic and are a different type of Silica Gel which turns orange when there is moister present. After the drying process is complete, the colour of these indicating beads will change from orange to dark green when there is no longer any moister and the silica gel is no longer active. See an example in the image below.
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  • The Silica Gel is reusable. You can easily re-activate the orange indicating beads by heating the silica gel in an open container in your oven or microwave, at a temperature of between 115 and 125°c. When the indicating beads return to their original orange colour, you will need to let the Silica Gel cool and then store it in a sealed container until you are ready to use it again.
  • You can reuse a batch of Silica Gel between 3 to 5 times. If used more than this, ultimate results cannot be guaranteed.
  • You can dispose of the Silica Gel in the general waste disposal bin and recycle the bag in a REDcycle program at your local supermarket.
  • Is easy to use in just a few simple steps.

So how do you use this Eco-friendly product? Our step-by-step guide below will show you the simple process of how to use our Koch & Co Silica Gel. Always remember, before you start using Silica Gel, to wear gloves and keep the product out of reach of children and pets.

What you need:

Prep Work

Before you start using the Silica Gel on your flowers, there are a few things you must do in preparation. Firstly, remove any dead or damaged petals or leaves from each of your flowers, as these will ruin the end aesthetic look of the flower when it is dried.

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Next, if you only wish to dry the flower head then, using a pair of florist scissor, cut beneath the head of the flower making sure to leave at least 1 cm of stem. Later on in the process, this will allow the flower to stand upright more easily.

You can also leave the stems of the flower on and dry out the entire flower. However, this will require a large container where the flowers can be laid down flat without being crushed and completely covered with Silica Gel.

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Step 1

Using a medium to large plastic container, pour 3 – 5 cm of the Silica Gel onto the bottom of the container. When selecting a container, choose one with a lid that makes it airtight when sealed. 

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Next, spread the Silica Gel around evenly on the bottom of the container to create a base for your flowers to stand up in. The thickness of the base may vary depending on how large your flower heads are. If desired, add more Silica Gel to the container to make a sturdier base.

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Step 2

Then, place your flower heads upright in the container, leaving at least a 1 cm gap between each flower. Do not overcrowd the container; as this may impact on the effectiveness of the Silica Gel and affect the end product.

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Step 3

Now pour the remaining Silica Gel over your flower heads until they are completely covered, and you cannot see them anymore. Depending on the size of your flower heads and container, more than one bag of Silica Gel may be required to complete this process. 

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Step 4

When your flower heads are covered, take the lid of your container and seal it. Make sure that the container is airtight and no other elements can enter during the drying process.

The drying process has now begun. The drying process should take up to 36 to 48 hours to complete, depending on the thickness and size of the flowers. During this process, leave your container in a dry area away from wet and humid spaces. Do not open the box at any time during the drying process. Also, try not to move the container to often as this may cause the Silica Gel inside to shift off the flower heads.

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Step 5

When 36 – 48 hours is up, you can open the sealed container and inspect your flowers. If the inner petals of the flowers still feel like they have moister in them, place it back in the box for another 24 hours.

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When you remove the flowers from the container, it is normal to have excess Silica Gel Crystals on the inside of the flower, and for there to be a light, dusty coating on the outside petals. To remove this, hold the flower upside down and lightly tap the flower head to release the Silica Gel Crystals caught inside.

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To remove the outer dust coating, get your soft brush and lightly brush the flower petals until the dust is removed. Do not try to wash the flowers or add water to them as this will ruin the now dried flower.

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Ready to use

Your flowers are now dried and ready to use. Please note, after the process is complete the flowers will be delicate and may become brittle. When working with your dried flowers, you should handle them with care, do not press, bend, or squash the petals. The natural oils in your hands can also damage the flowers and shorten their shelf-life.

If you’re not ready to use your dried flowers, do not store them in a plastic container or plastic bags. Instead, choose an airtight cardboard container that will allow for the flowers to be placed horizontally without being crushed.

After you have used your batch of Silica Gel 3 to 5 times, you can dispose of it in a general waste bin, and recycle the bag in a REDcycle program at your local supermarket.

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We hope this guide has been helpful. For more information about dried flowers read our other Koch Blog articles A Guide to Dried Flowers – Six Things You Need to Know, What Are The Main Differences Between Dried & Preserved Flowers?, and A Guide to Preserved Flowers – Six Things You Need to Know. Also, check out our Koch & Co Silica Gel FAQ, and Dried Flowers and Preserved Flowers FAQ pages.

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