How to Use Desiccants Effectively

After you have identified a moisture issue, you need to determine the right desiccant to solve your moisture problem.  There are various types of moisture control products to solve for specific moisture challenges. The quantity of the desiccant needed will vary based on the volume and form of container that will be used. With many factors to consider, a Desiccant Requirement Chart can be used as a guide to determine which desiccants are ideal to solve specific moisture issues. Desiccants are only effective when used in sealed containers or closed moisture barrier packaging. 

The controlled environment allows for optimal adsorption of any vapors or moisture trapped in the sealed package. If more moisture is introduced into the package, the efficiency of the desiccant is compromised.  The level of moisture content as well as the required adsorption rate are critical factors that will also influence the choice of desiccant. For optimal humidity control, desiccants should be used in combination with a Humidity Control Card. These cards are placed inside the containers and have visual indicators of the level of moisture present. Temperature and humidity will impact the decision on the appropriate desiccant to use for certain shipping and storage conditions. 

Selecting the right desiccant can ensure your product is protected from moisture.  The type of material in the desiccant will control the cost as well as the adsorption rate. Each desiccant has unique benefits as highlighted in the examples on the comparison chart.

Desiccant Material Comparison Chart

Comparison of Desiccant Materials


Molecular Sieve

Silica Gel 


Adsorptive Capacity at low H20 Concentrations Excellent Poor Fair
Rate of Adsorption Excellent Good Good
Capacity for Water @77° F, 40% RH High Medium Medium
Adsorptive Capacity at Elevated Temperatures  Yes No  No 
Separation by Molecular Sizes  Excellent  Poor   Poor

Which Desiccants are right for your moisture problem?

Silica Gel Desiccant
Silica Gel

  • Protect documents and photos
  • Adsorbs moisture and humidity

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Activated Carbon water and gas filtration
Activated Carbon- Water Filtration

  • Filters impurities from water
  • Uses: Wastewater, Drinking Water 

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Activated Carbon water and gas filtration
Activated Carbon- Air Filtration

  • Purifies air from chemicals
  • Removes odors

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Activated Alumina Desiccant
Activated Alumina

  • Binds with toxic substances
  • Industrial water purification

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Molecular Sieve adsorbents
Molecular Sieve

  • Used for drying gas streams
  • Helpful in cryogenic operations

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Gas Phase Air Filtration
Gas Phase

  • Installed inside filters to purify air
  • Used to remove odors in storage

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Sorbead Desiccant

  • Protects against moisture 
  • Widely used in packaging market

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Desiccant Air Breathers
Desiccant Air Breathers

  • Control fluid system contamination
  • Traps dirt as tiny as 2 microns

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Oxygen Absorbers
Oxygen Absorbers

  • Increase the shelf life of food
  • Prevents growth of mold

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Organoclay water filtration

  • Remove heavy metals from water
  • Adsorbs about 70% of its weight

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