Do Gun Safes Need Dehumidifiers?

by | Oct 4, 2018

A gun safe might be impenetrable, it might save your guns and your other valuable possessions from falling into the wrong hand. But there is another enemy that a normal gun safe might not be as useful as you think it would be. That enemy is humidity. But do gun safes really need dehumidifiers? We’ll answer that in detail here.

Humidity can be defined as the amount of water vapor that is present in the air. Water Vapour is the gaseous state of water invisible to the human eye. Hence, it is something that the gun owner has no control over. Humidity can cause much damage to your gun. In colder environments, moisture build-up inside the safe as air reacts with the cold steel. This, in turn, results in the accumulation of rust inside the cold steel and this will destroy the gun’s looks and worst case scenario, it’s internal working.

Do Gun Safes Need Dehumidifiers?

First of all, let’s see what dehumidifiers actually are.


What is a dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier is basically an electrical appliance which decreases and maintains the humidity level in the air mainly for health or comfort reasons. However, there are natural dehumidifiers too. The humidifiers used in a gun safe are a bit different in design and usage. These humidifiers are used to make sure that your gun doesn’t rust.


Why do gun safes need dehumidifiers?

When there is a limited flow of air into the safe, the humidity level in the air rises. When the humidity level rises, the steel inside the safe reacts with this air. This is known as oxidization. The gun also oxidizes with the humid air and this results in the formation of rust. When steel gets rusty, it loses its characteristic properties making the gun weaker and unattractive from the outside. If the rust develops inside the gun, then the internal workings of the gun may halt. Bullets can jam and the trigger mechanism may fail. Hence, humidity is a serious problem.

If your safe is used frequently, it may not require a dehumidifier because it’s getting all the fresh air constantly every time you open it. But, if your gun safe is opened rarely then, you should get a good dehumidifier.


Factors Behind The Humidity

We now know why is it so important to make sure your gun safe is dry. Let us now see all the factors that determine the humidity level inside a gun safe.



Humidity levels are largely climate specific. Tropical regions (like the coastline) will definitely be humid. These regions are really the place where humidity dwells. So, if you are someone who’s living in such type of area then, it’s safe to say that you need a very good dehumidifier to safeguard your guns.

Gun Safe


The Frequency of Safe Access

How often do you open your safe? A question that you must ask yourself. As we’ve established earlier, opening the safe frequently lets the flow of fresh air inside the safe which decreases the humidity level. In contrast, if you don’t open the safe frequently, you might as well invest some money and get a really good dehumidifier.


Safe’s Location

Your safe’s location also plays a vital role in determining how much humidity it gets. Lower sections of the house are generally more humid. If you are a person who keeps their gun safe in the basement of your house, then, a good dehumidifier is a definite requirement.

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Types & Sizes of Humidifiers Used In A Gun Safe

Dehumidifiers have a wide range of shapes and sizes. They also have a great variety in their complexity and they can be used with each other too. Mainly there are two types of dehumidifiers: Electric and Non-Electric.


Non-electric Dehumidifiers

These are the dehumidifiers that don’t require any electricity. They are either rechargeable appliances or natural materials. Some main types of Non-Electric Dehumidifiers are explained below.


Desiccant bags

Desiccant bags are the cheapest dehumidifiers. They’re easy to use and they do not require electrical access to work. In addition, they are reusable and don’t require a replacement. This makes it long lasting and ideal for your gun safe. You just need to bake the bags at low temperatures for one night, every few months. This helps the bag to remain intact. These bags remove moisture from the air and are very good dehumidifiers.



Silica is a hard, colorless compound which is unreactive in nature, occurs as the mineral quartz and as a main constituent of sandstone. Silica’s distinct property of dehumidification makes it very good dehumidifier. Silica is used as a form of silica bags. It absorbs moisture and keeps things dry. There is one catch though, silica shouldn’t be kept in contact with the metal of your gun. It can damage the gun. Silica Bags can be bought relatively easily. They’re also very cheap.


Rechargeable Dehumidifiers

Although kind of electric, we’ve decided to keep rechargeable dehumidifiers in this category because it doesn’t directly need electricity. They are a great option for keeping your gun safe dry. Rechargeable dehumidifiers are available in all shapes and sizes. They have their distinct moisture absorption capacities and some are portable too. Once bought, a good rechargeable dehumidifier will last you for ages. They have indicators to indicate if they’ve reached their maximum potential and most of them come with a fairly long recharge period. These dehumidifiers are perfect for anyone who wants a long lasting dehumidifier for their gun safes.


Electric Dehumidifiers

As the name suggests, electric dehumidifiers need electricity. They also have a whole different mechanism altogether. It contradicts the working of a non-electric dehumidifier. An electric dehumidifier, instead of absorbing moisture, heats up the internal environment to prevent condensation of the air within the safe.


Buying Guide For Dehumidifiers

There are some things to consider before buying a dehumidifier for your gun safe. Some of them are explained below.


Absorption Capacity

The absorption capacity of desiccant dehumidifiers depends on the amount of silica gel beads. If you have a big safe, get a big desiccant bag. For electric dehumidifiers, you need to get the one with greater heating power. Bigger is generally better if you’ve got a bigger safe, but don’t use a huge dehumidifier if you’ve got a smaller safe.


Area Coverage

Make sure to get a dehumidifier that covers the total area of your safe. You don’t want the humidity to be unevenly distributed. Also, get the one with a proper size.


Installation Process

A Non-Electrical dehumidifier generally has an easier installation process. It is basically a plug and play situation. In case of the electrical variant, you need to do the cable management, get a power source and supply proper wattage which can be a little complicated.



Non-Electrical dehumidifiers are easy to use. They don’t have much to it. You just need to heat the desiccant bag every now and then and recharge the batteries of the rechargeable variant. Electrical ones come with a long user guide and different heating modes so, the usability can be a bit complicated.



The final thing to consider is your budget and make a purchase accordingly. You can go with the electrical version if you’ve got money to spare.



Dehumidifiers are important as they help your guns to not rust by keeping the safe dry. You should definitely get one if you don’t use your gun safe that often and you want to ensure it’s dryness.

  Last update on 2021-02-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

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