Why Put a Dehumidifier in a Gun Safe?

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If you happen to talk with other gun safe owners, they might have discussed with you about using a dehumidifier in a gun safe. If you don’t know what a dehumidifier is, then you are missing out on one of the most useful items to pair with a gun safe. In this article, I’ll give you the reasons why put a dehumidifier in a gun safe.

Why Put a Dehumidifier in a Gun Safe?

The main reason you would want to put a dehumidifier in a gun safe is to protect your valuables from rusting due to high humidity. Humidity produces condensed water droplets that can damage your guns.

When you lock your gun safe, you prevent the air inside to properly flow out. The moisture trapped inside will condense and turn into water vapor then into water droplets. The water droplets cause a chemical reaction if it comes in contact with your guns or ammo.

This chemical reaction results in the formation of rust not only to your guns and ammo but also to the inside of your gun safe. You can also put valuable belongings such as jewelry and important documents inside a vacuum-sealed bags for additional protection.

Semi automatic pistol

Where Do You Put a Dehumidifier in a Gun Safe?

Most people don’t know where they should place dehumidifiers for it to be effective. There are 3 common dehumidifiers that people use and they are:

  • Dehumidifier rod
  • Desiccant dehumidifiers
  • Silica gel bag

Each has unique placements for them to effectively remove the moisture inside your gun safe.

Dehumidifier Rod

For dehumidifier rods, placing them on the bottom of the safe offers the best effectiveness. You have the option of putting them at the front side, near the front of the door, or even to the backmost as long as its in the bottom.

You can also it in the middle of the back wall. However, you would need to have drilled holes at the back for the screw and wire to pass.

While you can also place it inside the middle of the door, you would also need to drill some holes if it doesn’t have any. You need the holes so the wire and screw can pass through. That’s why placing dehumidifier rods at the bottom is the most convenient.

Desiccant Dehumidifiers

You can place inside the middle of the gun safe. The middle is the best spot for it to equally absorb moisture in the area. You might also need a hole for the charger to pass through.

Desiccant dehumidifiers contain crystals that indicates if it has absorbed moisture fully and needs recharging. You can forego making a hole and just let the desiccant dehumidifier out and let it charge and place it back in when ready.

A blue color usually indicates are dried out and ready for use. A pink color tells you that it has absorbed a lot of moisture and needs to recharge.

Silica Gel Bag

The most common among the three. You can place silica gel bags anywhere inside the gun safe. All you need to watch out for is that it should not make contact with your guns and other valuables.

It’s an added precaution even though the silica beads are inside the bag. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Once it fully absorbs moisture with its capacity, you can bake it in an oven to make use of it again.

Man learning why it is essential to put a dehumidifier in a gun safe

Is It Bad to Be in a Room With a Dehumidifier?

If inside a gun safe, You won’t get any bad effects that affect your valuables inside. However, if I am talking about dehumidifiers used in large rooms then it’s another story.

If you run the dehumidifier for too long in a single room, it can cause a really low moisture level. In turn, your body reacts to this like having dry itchy eyes, dry cracked skin, and even respiratory problems.

Bacterias also thrive in really low humidity so it’s important to keep it balance from time to time.

What Is Ideal Humidity for Gun Safe?

The NRA Firearms Museum recommends having the middle ground humidity of 50%. This level of humidity caters to both wood and metal components.

If you got too much humidity, the metal parts will corrode. Too little and the stocks will show some cracks. However, if your gun safe and valuables don’t contain any wooden parts, you can get away with 40% humidity.

What Humidity Level Causes Rust?

Rust only forms given the right condition and the right combination of water and air. Most materials made out of iron will rust at 50% humidity. 

This explains why most guns consist of steel. Steel rusts if the relative humidity is at 80%. However, it doesn’t mean you won’t need a dehumidifier.

There are nights and dawn that are suitable for humidity to reach levels of up to 80%. This will create moisture that condenses on the cool metal surface. It’s better for you to have control over the humidity inside your gun safe.


Dehumidifiers go hand in hand with gun safes to keep your guns and valuables away from rust. There’s no point in safely storing your guns if it will only corrode from the very safe it was protected. That’s why dehumidifiers are essential for gun safes.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created KeepGunsSafe.com with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.