When to use Desiccants? 

Desiccants are small substances that take moisture from the surrounding areas in order to keep the environment dry. They’re commonly used for products that may be damaged or corroded due to humidity in the environment, since tis creates a higher concentration of moisture within the air, and that in turn can degrade the items. Food, clothing, electronics, and even medicines are definitely transported with these, and there are different kinds. We’ll go over the different variants of desiccants that can help with controlling the humidity and the moisture that is in the packaging


Clay desiccants are small little packets of bentonite clay that are dried in order to release moisture, making it a very good absorbent. Typically, so long as the temperatures stay below 120 degrees, then you can use this since it will absorb about 30% of the weight of itself in water. They’re not toxic, corrosive, and are approved by the FDA, which is why they’re used to store food, drugs, and even electronics and metals. They can also be used again and again, and you just need to bake it to reactivate the clay. They’re also one of the more affordable options for controlling these moisture levels in your packaging, and typically, they can handle higher amounts of humidity than others. 

Silica Gel 

This s the most common and is those tiny little packages that they tell you not to consume in your products when you open it. They’re a drying agent and are great for removing moisture in the area around a package. This is a synthetic material that’s porous and is made from silicon dioxide and is commonly in a bead form or the packets form. They’re made via a chemical process for sure, but they’re non-toxic and are approved to be used in product packaging by the FDA when food is a matter that it’s used for. It’s also good for cars, clothing, pharmaceuticals, and electronics, along with a whole lot more. The temperature range is a whole lot higher than it is for clay, getting up to boiling temperature, and it can absorb almost all of its weight in water. 

About 15% of that happens in just the first couple of hours, and you can reactivate it by just baking it once more for a couple of hours. 

Container Dry Desiccants 
  • Finally, these are made for more larger-scale applications such as within shipping containers and even rail freight. 
  • These oftentimes absorb the same amount of moisture that these other packets do, but oftentimes a whole lot less since they prevent “container rain” that’s caused by a lot of moisture in the air, and that of course happens in these shipping freight cars. 
  • Luckily, there are so many desiccants of this type, and they’re usually made with calcium chloride, and have a lot more capacity for absorption, with it being able to handle 3X the weight of this in water, which is a lot more than silica gel packets. 
  • For industries that use shipping containers, this is the most common, and it can be a great one to help with this. 
  • Desiccants are amazing for shipping and storing different products and can prevent mold and mildew from growing on these. 

If you’re shipping anything that may possibly be ruined by moisture whether it be actual water or humidity, then you should definitely look into these. They offer a lot of different variants that are good for you to use, and they oftentimes are really good to utilize if you’re worried about the product that you’re shipping as well too. 

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