What Old Desiccant Looks Like

| September 14, 2016 | 0 Comments

Moisture and time are the enemies of firearms.

There are many anti-moisture products on the market. They range from the high-tech (like the Goldenrod) to the low-tech (a perforated can full of desiccant). They have two things in common: they attempt to limit corrosion by removing moisture from the air, and they all cost a fair bit of money compared to a do-it-yourself option. Especially if you need to dehumidify more than one container.

You can make your own desiccant packs out of 100% silica cat litter and 4-cup coffee filters. An 8-pound bag of desiccant goes a long way when each pack holds a teaspoon of silica.

I made a video about this on my old blog. Over the years, people have contacted me to ask how they can tell if the silica is used up and needs to be recharged or discarded.

I recently opened up a four year old pack. I kept it in a 7.62x25mm ammo can.

Here’s what it looks like:


There is a pile of old silica on the left, and a fresh pile on the right. You can see that the older silica has yellowed. It’s more evident in person. Basically it looks like pee when you’re dehydrated. Partially saturated silica looks dull, whereas newer silica looks a bit shiny.

You can reuse silica by baking it in the oven — but it’s not economically worth it when you have an 8 pound bag of it lying around.

I may make an updated video on how to make your own desiccant packs, but it’s pretty straightforward.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

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