The wonderful world of desiccant materials

If you’ve ever dropped your phone into a puddle or – worse still – the toilet, you’ve probably heard the advice to put it in a bowl of rice. While this seems like a ridiculous concept, it does work, as the rice draws out the moisture so you can get back to scrolling on social media.

Dry rice is an example of a desiccant – a material that ‘loves’ water. Desiccants can pull moisture and liquids from the atmosphere and keep the environment around them dry. Desiccants have several uses both in domestic and industrial settings, so today, we’re going to dive into the world of moisture-loving materials and how you can use them at home or for your business.

Desiccants for home use

If you’ve ever bought a pair of shoes and noticed it came with a free bag of ‘DO NOT CONSUME’ beads, you’ve got yourself a desiccant. Silica gel can be used to remove moisture from the air, and people often keep the small packets to use around the house.

Other examples of desiccants are activated charcoal and sodium.

Desiccants are reusable, too, so they can come in handy time and time again without replacing them. To use them again, all you have to do is leave them to dry out completely.

Drying out electronics

As we mentioned above, desiccants can be used for drying out wet electronics or SIM cards.

Preventing clumps in food jars

If you’ve noticed your salt, sugar, or even laundry powder becoming clumpy, fill up a cloth bag with charcoal or rice to remove moisture and prevent clumping.

Avoiding mildew

Storing away clothing in the Winter, stashing things in the basement, or storing away seeds with desiccant bags can help prevent mildew or molding.

Desiccants for industrial use

Desiccants are also used in businesses across the world for several uses:

Prevent rusting

If you’re using a toolbox during business hours, desiccants can be bagged and stored in the box to prevent rust from building up.

Eliminating moisture for compressed air

These industries use desiccant air dryers – like those supplied available at – to pull out the moisture and remove it from compressed air before it is used in the manufacturing process.

Thousands of manufacturing industries use compressed air – ranging from small-time paint companies or giant oil and gas businesses. For some products, when using compressed air, the air needs to be as dry as possible. Moisture can cause serious damage – for example, in a factory creating hard drives or other electrical devices.

Protecting pharmaceuticals from humidity

Medications and prescriptions can be easily damaged with humidity. When packing pharmaceuticals, manufacturers often use desiccants to keep products from spoiling during transportation and storing.

So, that’s a short introduction to the cool and helpful world of desiccant materials. Desiccants can be used for all sorts of things, from keeping medications drying to storing with winter clothes – the possibilities are endless. Always be sure to check which desiccants are the suitable or the most effective for each particular use.

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Sunil Chandel

Sunil has been blogging about autos, consumer gadgets and home improvement ideas from a couple of years. When he is not writing, you can find him riding his royal enfield motorcycle, listening to music and showing off his football skills