How Does a Gun Safe Dehumidifier Work? | Ways to Prevent Rust or Corrosion

Key Takeaways:

  • A dehumidifier is a device used to keep your gun safe and free of excess humidity and reduce the risk of rust or corrosion.
  • A dehumidifier works by absorbing moisture content in a gun safe or evaporating and sucking out water molecules in a safe.
  • Types of safe dehumidifiers include desiccant and electric dehumidifiers, which work differently.
  • Factors to consider when selecting a dehumidifier include the type, size, location, and power source.

How does a gun safe dehumidifier work? It removes excess moisture content in the air inside a safe using different mechanisms. One way of keeping your firearm safe is to use a desiccant to absorb moisture or an electric heater that gently warms the safe and promotes evaporation. These humidifiers aim to keep the air at 50% relative humidity.

Some also work by using a silica gel or a similar type of desiccant material. These materials have a high affinity for water molecules and will absorb moisture in the safe. The desiccant material is enclosed in a small container where it starts drying the air around the safe. 

How Does a Gun Safe Dehumidifier Work? Types of Dehumidifiers

There are two main dehumidifiers – desiccant and electric dehumidifiers. They all have different working mechanisms for reducing the humidity content in gun safes.

Desiccant Dehumidifier

A desiccant dehumidifier works by absorbing moisture inside a gun safe. It contains a silica gel – a desiccant material that absorbs and holds moisture. Once the silica gel dehumidifier is saturated, it can be reactivated by heating. This allows it to release the absorbed moisture and start adsorbing more.

You can place the dehumidifier in your gun safe and leave it to run continuously to keep it dry. This prevents rust and corrosion on guns stored inside the safe. Some desiccant dehumidifiers come with built-in thermometers and hygrometers that monitor the temperature and humidity inside the safe. In addition, some models have a recharge indicator to let you know when the dehumidifier is saturated and needs to be reactivated.

various dehumidifiers

Electric Dehumidifier

The electric gun safe dehumidifier is another type of dehumidifier designed to decrease the level of humidity in a gun safe. It employs a heating element to create warm air, which is circulated throughout the safe by a fan. This dehumidifier usually features a dehumidifier rod, responsible for heating the safe.

When the humid air within the safe is heated, it condenses and is sucked out through a tiny vent. Some electric dehumidifiers also include little trays that collect condensed water and keep it from entering the safe again. The gadget runs on electricity and may be plugged into a regular outlet or battery-operated.

Various Electric Dehumidifiers

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Gun Dehumidifier

There are several factors that gun owners should consider when selecting a gun dehumidifier for their safe. Here are a few:

Type of Dehumidifier

When buying a dehumidifier, it is essential for gun owners to know the type, whether an electric dehumidifier or desiccant. As inconspicuous as gun-safe dehumidifiers are, your gun safe needs one, but before acquiring one, determine what type/style is appropriate for your safe. There are several alternatives, as with most outdoor items, and various dehumidifiers will function better in certain safes than others.


This is one of the essential factors to consider when organizing a gun safe. A heavier safe may require purchasing an equally larger dehumidifier to match the size.


When purchasing a gun safe dehumidifier, you must keep your gun safe location in mind. This is because different dehumidifiers offer optimal results in specific locations. If you are located in an area with high humidity, you will need a dehumidifier with extra moisture removal capacity.

Power Source

Some dehumidifiers need to be plugged into an electrical outlet, while others are powered by batteries. If you are on a budget or do not have reliable electricity, you may consider buying a rechargeable dehumidifier. You can also go for desiccant dehumidifiers that do not require power to reduce humidity.

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How Often Should I Replace the Desiccant in My Gun Dehumidifier?

The frequency with which the desiccant in a gun dehumidifier should be replaced depends on the product and the humidity in your location. Some manufacturers advise replacing the desiccant after 2 – 3  months, while others suggest doing it once or twice a year.

What Is the Best Humidity Level for Guns?

The best humidity level for a gun is 40 – 60%. When the humidity goes over this level, there is a high chance of corrosion on the metal surface of the gun. 

What Size Dehumidifier Do I Need for My Gun Safe?

To choose the appropriate size dehumidifier for your gun safe, consider the size of the safe as well as the humidity in your location. It is, however, advisable to have a dehumidifier with a capacity of 1 pint per square foot.

What Are the Signs of Too Much Humidity in Gun Safes?

Some common signs of too much humidity in a gun safe include rust and corrosion on the metal surface of the gun. A musty odor or condensation on the interior of the safe are also signs to look out for. If you also notice the growth of mold or mildew, then the humidity of the safe is too high and needs to be regulated.

How Does a Dehumidifier Rod Work?

A dehumidifier rod works similarly to a heater, warming the air inside and keeping a gun safe free of moisture. By heating its surface, the rod removes moisture, stopping condensation that could risk your gun's condition.

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