View Full Version : Safe moisture

June 4, 2009, 06:46 PM
I was wondering about safe humidity. I recently purchased it and two canisters of Red Head silica with the color changing beads. Well, I opened one can and in two weeks it had turned pink throughout. I recharged it and opened the other one to see if it would help. Two weeks later, the same thing. BOTH of them were pink all the way through.

I recharged them both a week or two ago, and guess what? They're both pink again. I'm keeping some older items in here, which is why I'm worried. I have a WWII Mauser my grandfather brought back from Africa, a Winchester Model 25 that was my other grandfather's favorite gun, and my great-great grandfather's revolver he carried in the Civil War. This is in addition to my guns, most of them recently purchased.

Should I be concerned? Get a bigger silica canister? Is this normal on a new safe? (Does the fire retardant in the lining need to dry out?, etc.) I'm not really interested in getting an electric unit, so tell me what my options are.

June 4, 2009, 07:22 PM
You should be very concerned, unless you want red guns. ;)

BTDT - no T-shirt.

Please do youself a favor, and spend $30 for the gold standard in gunsafe dehumidifiers - aka the Golden Rod:


You simply thread it's 110v wire through the hole that's already in the lower back wall of most gunsafes, then attach it's male plug, place it in the lowest part of the safe (floor) - plug-in/forget.

I live in a high-humidity area, and installed one when I bought my safe, about six years ago - and haven't had any more rusty guns since.

Your other options are, eventually, one or more rusty guns - no matter how diligent you think you can be. "Stuff" happens.


June 4, 2009, 07:38 PM
Get the biggest Golden Rod that will fit in your safe

June 4, 2009, 07:56 PM
Do the Golden Rods actually work that well? I've considered the Browning EverDry (looks about the same). I also live in a high humidity area, which is why I'm even more concerned.

And I know I'm sounding paranoid here, but how safe are these? Fire retardant material, wooden stocks, and ammo are all flammable. Do these produce enough heat to start a fire in the safe?

June 4, 2009, 08:00 PM
Yes they work well. They get very warm but not hot enough to start a fire. You can hold your hand on it without getting burned but its very warm.
I have a Golden Rod and got the biggest that would fit even though it is rated for a much larger area. If you open your safe alot go with the biggest

June 5, 2009, 07:56 AM
I've lived about a half-mile from the Atlantic Ocean for the last 40 years since I bought this house.

My guns USED TO get rusty here.

Then, I bought a gunsafe, and installed a Golden Rod the same day - six years ago.
The GR's been plugged into an 110v outlet constantly for all those years w/o any issues whatsoever.

I have no longer have any rust, or other, issues with any of my guns, black powder guns included.


June 5, 2009, 08:23 AM
I'm wondering what you expected from scilica? When you put the scilica in there any moisture in the room was allowed into the safe. The scilica was just doing it's job, as long as the safe remains closed, the air inside would be dry. The problem with scilica is that it is a one use product, if you live in a humid area, you'll have to replace it almost every time you open the safe. A de-humidifer is a better idea, but keeping firearms wiped down and lubricated does just as well.

June 10, 2009, 03:30 PM
Silica is not always one use. Most of the larger gun cabinet sizes are dried for reuse on low heat in the oven. You can use them this way over and over.

The real question is.....how much humidity is in your house? Do you have A/C? I'd go for the goldenrod but also get a $15 digital thermoter/humidistat from Target. You keep it in the safe or the same room as the safe and monitor the humidity in the room. 50% and under is ideal and will keep rust from being an issue. Most museums try for 50% humidity and 70deg.F to preserve metal objects. If you've got too much humidity in the house I'd run a dehumidifier in the summer months. Your woodwork and everything metal in your house will thank you.

June 10, 2009, 03:41 PM
Silica works best in a sealed safe, so, as noted above, you aren't trying to dry the ambient air. The Goldenrod is supposed to be installed at the bottom of a safe that has holes in the top, so that the rising warm air forces the cool/moist air out the top; is anyone using a Goldenrod in a sealed safe? I had one in my older, sheet-metal safe (with holes) and it worked great, but my new safe has only a small hole at the bottom for a power cord, but no holes at the top to vent. I have a box of silica that's intended to dry about double the cubic footage of my safe, and I have to cook it every three weeks to dry it out.

June 10, 2009, 09:07 PM
Besides a golden rod, you can also use a light bulb in a pinch - the key is the heat - I have a golden rod and 3 dessicant packs in a 12 gun safe and I have to recharge the dessicant about every 6 weeks.......what living in warm, sunny, HUMID Florida makes you do.....