28 Different Uses for Desiccants

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A pile of silica gel desiccant bags on a blue cloth

Desiccants are materials used to maintain dryness, whether preserving food products or preventing moisture damage to electronics or medications. Desiccants absorb the humidity and moisture in the air to maintain a moisture-free environment, which is essential to prevent damage, corrosion, bacteria and mold growth.

Many desiccants exist, including silica gel, activated charcoal and charcoal sulfate. There are multiple desiccant bag uses and items they can protect, which will determine the type of desiccant you use. Some desiccants also serve multiple purposes, such as eliminating odors or preventing contamination. Additionally, you can reuse your desiccants multiple times, which adds to their incredible versatility.

Below, you’ll learn more about the creative ways to use desiccant bags to protect your products, regardless of applications.

1. Protect Items During Shipping and Long-Term Storage

Desiccants are often used during shipping and long-term storage because it’s challenging to determine what environment items will be exposed to. Shipping products can expose them to unwanted moisture that can quickly degrade their integrity. Storage units can also be exposed to moisture, especially in humid environments, which can cause items to crack, rust or degrade. Desiccants help protect these items from water damage, giving you peace of mind.

2. Prevent Corrosion

Water and humidity can erode certain items, especially those made of metal. Corrosion of metal materials can weaken them, and some products may no longer work after they’re corroded. You can use desiccant bags to absorb moisture and humidity to prevent unwanted damage to your metal products, maintaining their integrity and quality.

3. Prevent Mold and Odors From Forming

Desiccant bags go beyond moisture absorption. Water is the main factor influencing mold growth, which can result in a strong odor. Mold can be challenging to remove and can sometimes permanently damage products. The smell that results from mold growth can also be difficult to eliminate.

Desiccant bags can help prevent mold growth by absorbing the moisture in the air and reducing overall humidity, protecting your products from irreversible mold damage.

4. Prevent Electronic Devices From Malfunctioning

Electronic devices don’t need to be submerged entirely in water to become damaged. Excess humidity in the air can allow condensation to form on the internal components, which can cause them to short-circuit and become damaged or broken. Desiccant bags can help pull moisture from the air, preventing it from condensing on the internal components of your electronic devices and causing damage.

5. Save the Texture of Food

Different foods with specific textures can quickly crumble when exposed to excess moisture. For example, tea, coffee and sugar can clump together when exposed to moisture, ruining the food product’s texture, quality and freshness. Additionally, dry food, such as dried fruit and jerky, can be compromised by moisture and expire earlier than listed on the expiration date.

Desiccant bags can pull the moisture from the air before it enters your food products, ensuring they maintain a high-quality texture that’s fit for distribution.

Jewelry box with a silica gel desiccant bag in it

6. Keep Jewelry and Silverware From Tarnishing

Jewelry and silverware are valuable possessions that often hold their value over time. However, jewelry made of specific materials can become tarnished when exposed to excess humidity or moisture.

Desiccant packs can help prevent your jewelry and silverware from tarnishing when you place them in the same box. These packs absorb the excess moisture in the air, preventing it from affecting your jewelry or silverware.

7. Maintain Razor Blades

Razor blades are used across numerous industries and have several personal applications. Razor blades, like many other metals, can rust when exposed to moisture in storage, making them unusable. 

Desiccant bags can help protect your razor blades while they’re in storage. Keeping your razor blades in a tight container with desiccant packs can significantly reduce the moisture they’re exposed to, preventing rust and corrosion that makes them unsafe to use.

8. Keep Cameras Fog Free

If you’re a photographer for a living or like taking pictures with your camera in your free time, you’ve likely experienced your camera lens fogging up right when you’re about the take the perfect shot. Placing silica bags in your camera bag can help eliminate excess moisture in the air so your camera is always ready when you want to take the best shot. These bags can also keep your camera protected from moisture when in storage.

9. Safeguard Electronics While Traveling

When you’re traveling, your electronics can be exposed to excess moisture, especially if you’re traveling in humid areas. You can resolve this problem by packing desiccant packs with your electronics, keeping them safe from exposure to moisture. Ensuring your electronics are protected is a worthy investment, especially when you’re dealing with costly pieces of equipment.

10. Rescue Water-Damaged Cellphones

Water damage can quickly make cell phones unusable, leaving you unable to communicate with your friends and family. One conventional use for desiccant bags is to help bring your cell phone back to working order after water damage.

If you accidentally got water inside the components of your cell phone, you should remove the battery if possible and wipe away excess water. Place your phone in an airtight container with a few desiccant packs to help absorb any remaining moisture. By the next day, your phone should be working again.

11. Protect Photos

Photographs contain valuable memories and are an excellent way to recall past moments. If you have a mountain of photographs, you likely want to do whatever you can to protect them, ensuring they’ll last for generations. Desiccant packs can help you keep your photos safe from moisture damage, ensuring your photos last.

A pile of black binders with papers inside

12. Protect Important Documents

Like with photos, desiccant packs can also be used to protect important documents. Many people have valuable documents that must be kept safe over time, including birth certificates, social security cards and business information.

You can place desiccant bags in filling cabinets, desks or folders where you’re keeping important documents, which can prevent water damage, mildew and mold that would destroy your documents over time. 

13. Extend the Shelf Life of Medications and Pharmaceuticals

Medications and pharmaceuticals are carefully crafted to the right dosage and must be protected. Water and humidity can damage medications, causing them to become less potent or to expire before their established date. Pill capsules are particularly prone to water damage.

It’s essential to keep moisture away from medications and pharmaceuticals to extend their shelf lives. Desiccant packs can help absorb any lingering moisture in the air or in medication containers, ensuring these products maintain their effectiveness.

14. Control Moisture in Automotive Storage

Excess moisture can wreak havoc on vehicles in storage, especially valuable classic models. Humidity and moisture can damage the interior, corroding and molding the seats and other components. Humidity can also damage the exterior of your vehicle. You can place desiccant packs inside your vehicle’s interior and around the exterior surfaces to control the moisture in the air and prevent unwanted damage.

15. Keep Seeds and Gardening Equipment Dry

If you have leftover seeds or haven’t decided to plant them yet, moisture can affect the germination capacity of your seeds. Plant seeds sustain their germination capacity in cool, dry conditions, so storing them in a place with little moisture is essential.

Desiccant packs can remove excess moisture from the air, ensuring your seeds stay dry until you’re ready to use them. You can also use desiccant packs to keep your other gardening equipment dry, preventing mold and bacteria buildup that can damage your items.

16. Preserve Collectable Items (Stamps, Coins, Etc.)

Many people value their collectible items, whether they’re collecting stamps, coins, comic books, baseball cards or other items. Moisture can affect collectibles’ integrity and quality. You can place silica packets in the same location you store your collectibles, preventing moisture from building up on your items and reducing the risk of water damage and mold growth.

17. Maintain a Dry Environment in Gun Safes

Because guns are made from metal, excess moisture can cause them to rust and corrode, making them unusable if the problem becomes serious enough. Maintaining a dry environment in gun safes is essential to protect your investment. Desiccant packs can be placed inside your gun safe, ensuring excess moisture is absorbed before it can damage your guns.

Brown shoes in a brown shoe both with silica gel desiccant bags

18. Absorb Moisture in Shoe Boxes

You may notice a silica packet inside the box when you buy a new pair of shoes. Rather than throw them out, you should keep these packets inside your shoe boxes and store your shoes inside when you’re not wearing them. These desiccant packets can help prevent moisture from damaging your shoes and dry them out after a long day of wearing them. Your shoes will last longer when you let them dry out with the help of silica packets, which can also prevent unwanted odors.

19. Maintain the Quality of Herbs and Spices

Some unexpected uses for desiccant packets include keeping your herbs and spices collection in the best condition possible. Some herbs and spices can be degraded by moisture exposure, making them impossible to use in recipes.

You can use food-grade silica packets to maintain the quality of your herbs and spices, ensuring they sustain their flavor and quality throughout shipment and use in the kitchen. 

20. Keep Pet Food and Treats Dry

You can use silica packets to keep your pet food and treats from becoming stale or soggy when exposed to excess moisture. Soggy or stale food can be unappealing to pets, forcing pet owners to splurge on a new bag of food or treats. Sealed desiccant packets absorb excess moisture, helping your pet food and treats maintain quality.

21. Prevent Moisture Damage in Camping Gear

Some fun uses for desiccant bags include keeping your camping gear safe from moisture buildup during and after your trip, ensuring you’re prepared for your next adventure. Moisture can damage your camping gear, which can shorten its life span and force you to invest in new equipment earlier than expected. Once you finish your adventure, you should take great care to remove any excess moisture, which can turn into rust and mold when stored.

22. Control Moisture in Musical Instrument Cases

Musical instruments are a considerable investment, and moisture can quickly damage them, especially guitars and woodwind instruments. You can protect your musical equipment by keeping silica packets inside their cases, which will help absorb any moisture that can cause your instruments to crack, bloat or become damaged.

23. Absorb Moisture for Stored Holiday Decorations

Even when stored away in containers, holiday decorations can become exposed to excess moisture, especially in humid environments. Water can damage your decorations and encourage mold growth, which wouldn’t be a welcome sight around the holidays. Desiccant packets can help you keep your holiday decorations dry while stored away, ensuring they’re ready to use when the holiday season rolls around.

24. Preserve the Quality of Cigars and Tobacco

Cigars exposed to too much moisture or humidity can start to deteriorate, which can cause them to taste like sawdust when it’s time to use them. You can preserve your cigars and protect them from moisture buildup by using desiccant packets, ensuring they’ll be ready for any occasion.

25. Absorb Moisture to Protect Paint

Unique desiccant bag applications include protecting paints from drying up before you’ve used them all. Improperly storing paints can cause them to dry out, making them unusable. You can protect your paints by storing them in airtight containers with a few silica packets, which ensures they won’t dry out before you’ve used them. You should also keep them in a cool place to prevent them from getting too hot, which can create additional moisture.

26. Avoid Damage to Underwater Camera Housings

Underwater camera housings, or waterproof cases for your cameras, are a great way to capture stunning images under the water’s surface. However, the camera housing can fog up when surrounded by water and excessive humidity, making for blurry pictures. You can prevent your underwater camera housing from fogging by using desiccant packages inside the case, allowing them to soak up excess moisture that can blur your shot.

27. Keep Camping Fuel and Propane Tank Storage Dry

If you’re storing fuel for camping or propane for appliances, such as grills or camping stoves, you’ll want to keep them dry to maintain their integrity and ensure they work when needed. When storing your tanks, you should use desiccant packaging around them to prevent moisture from seeping into your fuel supply.

28. Protect Board Games

Board games are an excellent way to have fun with family and friends, but it can be disappointing to open up a board game on game night only to find that it’s been destroyed by water damage. You can place silica packets inside the box your board game comes in to prevent them from taking water damage, especially if you live in an area with a lot of humidity or rainfall.

A pile of brown desiccant packs of different sizes

Contact Edco Supply Corporation to Learn About Our Desiccant Packets

Whether you want to protect personal items, commercial products or military gear, Edco Supply Corporation has what you need. Our military-specification desiccant bags are designed to withstand the toughest, moisture-rich environments. Our products can protect your items from water damage, mold growth, corrosion, rust and more, ensuring they maintain their integrity and quality.

You can browse our selection of desiccant products or contact us today to request a quote

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