You might notice that silicone is used just about everywhere in the world.
The number one spot that you’re going to find silicone products is in your own kitchen (most likely). Even if you’re an all stainless steel kind of person, silicone does have its uses.
But it’s not just the kitchen that we find silicone uses – it’s everywhere in the house. Let’s take a look at how silicone is used to improve a lot of people’s lives, make things easier, and above all else, keep costs on household items down to a bare minimum.
If you’d like to see a graphical breakdown of the silicone uses, we got you covered:
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1. Home Repair Use
Silicone is used as a sealant for many things, but most notably in caulking. This can be used to seal your bathroom floor around the edges (great for mobile home use as well), preventing water from ruining the floors underneath your covering, whether that’s tile or laminate.
On top of that, it can be used to seal your dryer vent to the wall, to seal showers, and plenty of other in-home repair-based applications.
Silicone has been being used for a long time now, and you might not even realize it’s being used in your house right at this very minute.
Providing a water-tight seal is extremely important for installing new bathroom and kitchen sinks, garbage disposals, and even pipe repairs under the sink. It’s amazing what you can do with it.
2. Silicone Straws
Remember the whole plastic straw debacle that made a ton of establishments turn to paper straws?
While it’s good for the environment, I think we can all attest to the fact that paper straws suck. Silicone is far better, and way more convenient if you plan on keeping your straw and washing it out.
You can get washable silicone straws that fold up and go back into their case when you’re done. The only word of caution is to make sure you dry out the inside by blowing some air through it when you’re done.
3. Bowls and Cups
Hear me out: silicone beats all other forms of materials for bowls and cups (apart from stoneware/porcelain) for one very specific reason. It doesn’t leach chemicals into the food or drink.
It’s hard to believe, but when something is labeled BPA-free, it’s just a gimmick to get you to buy it. It might not contain any BPA, but that’s not the only harmful chemical that can slowly break away from the plastic and sap its way into your food or beverage.
Silicone thankfully doesn’t do that; it’s completely water repellent, and doesn’t break down into your food. Silicone takes about 500 years to break down, so even if you use the same silicone bowls for 30 years, it’s still safe.
4. Cupcake Liners
When I first saw these, I was a bit perplexed, but after using them I realized they’re pretty brilliant. Cupcake papers always pull a small percentage of the actual cake away with them when you peel the papers back. But food-grade silicone? The kind that’s good up to 450°F?
That leaves relatively no trace behind, so when you pull these liners back, you just have a glorious cupcake sitting in the middle of the liner like a king.
It makes for some of the most aesthetically pleasing cupcakes you’ll ever have, so if you’re cooking for your little one’s bake sale or just want to keep up with the Joneses, this adds a beautiful boost to your already beautiful cupcakes.
5. Makeup Applicator
Yes, silicone has even made its way into your medicine cabinet. These nifty little applicators are like makeup sponges, without absorbing things like a sponge.
You put your foundation on the silicone pad, and then apply it to your face – super simple. Because it’s a non-porous material, all of your makeup makes it onto your face, allowing you to conserve more and technically save money in the long run.
6. Scrubby Gloves
Going through sponge after sponge is exhausting, and costly. There are silicone gloves with soft plastic bristle brushes embedded in the palms, so you can put them on and basically just rub your hands over something to clean it.
These work for dishes, for cleaning crayon off the walls, and things of the sort. If you have an upholstered couch and need to clean something out of it, this is basically the fastest way to do it without wanting to pull your hair out.
7. Attachments for Glasses
Fellow glasses wearers, rise up! Too long have the tip of our frames irritated our ears, there is a better way: silicone attachments.
You can get these to run the length of your glasses frame that hangs over your ear, and make it a little softer to the touch, and a bit more comfortable to wear.
There are even some attachments that go on your nose guard so that it doesn’t leave behind those red dots when you’ve finished wearing them for the day (they do look a bit bulky, though).
8. Stress Balls and Mousepads
TIme to take your frustration out. While stress balls might not be as popular as they once were, they are definitely useful. Grab one, squeeze, and let all that stress just roll off your shoulders.
Alternatively, silicone is also being used in other items in your home that you need added comfort on, such as mouse pads. These silicone pads sit on the back end and let your wrist rest on them.
On top of that, you can also find them used on the edges of coasters, as koozies, and other smaller around-the-house items. There are even silicone bibs for babies.
I mention that here and not as its own separate thing because, well, the food runs right off them. Not the best use of silicone, I’ll admit, but something funny to add in.
9. Watch Straps
Silicone is basically a rubber, but different. Divers actually use rubber for their watch bands because it sticks to their skin and/or wetsuit depending on what they’re doing, and doesn’t degrade from being introduced to the water.
If you’re someone who works out a lot or fancies a swim on a regular basis, this could be a game-changer for you. Silicone has been replacing watch straps for children’s watches for years, but now, you’ re even seeing them utilized by top-name brands out there.
It’s easier to maintain than a leather watch, and doesn’t get filthy or run-down like a cloth/canvas watch strap does.
10. Oven Mitts
If you’ve never seen these things, they’re pretty fantastic. Silicone oven mitts can handle about 400-450°F worth of heat before they begin to degrade, so if you’re like me and put everything on the universal 350°F, then you’re good to go.
You can get oven mitts with a higher temperature tolerance as well, they just end up costing more money. Silicone oven mitts are more tactile with the pans you pull out of the oven, giving you a much better grip on the sides.
On top of that, there’s relatively no heat transference, so it doesn’t burn through and heat up your fingertips like an old-school cloth oven mitt does.
11. Flat Grips
I really enjoy having one of these in my car. Silicone is a rather sticky substance without really feeling sticky.
It can be refined and smoothed down, but peel-and-stick traction pads have that resistance to them that doesn’t let objects just slide off of them all too easily.
Basically, you can put your phone on this on the dashboard, or your wallet when you know a toll is coming up, and things like that. It comes in handy when you least expect it.
12. Traction Dots
On the bottom of floor mats, yoga mats, dishwashing rack mats (okay, so admittedly, a lot of mats). If you have something that you don’t want skidding on the floor while you’re trying to use it, silicone is your go-to material. These provide the perfect amount of traction to keep objects in place.
Apart from being used on the bottom of mats and similar applications, you can buy peel-and-stick silicone feet to put on the bottom of furniture so it doesn’t scuff the floor when you place it.
It stays in place, but if you want to glide your furniture across the floor to rearrange the room, you’re going to have to lift it from both sides since silicone will kind of stick to the floor and make it hard to move. Get a buddy to help!
A Household Material for a Reason
Silicone is a powerhouse material that we’re only going to see used in more items as time goes on. It’s becoming integral for a lot of reasons, and not just so you can clean that bowl of all the extra batter while using a silicone spatula.
Chief among all the reasons that silicone is great would have to be in silicone rings and how it revolutionizes jewelry as we know it.