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So, I purchased a bag of silica gel cat litter to use in my safe. Any recommendations what container to use to put it in when putting it in my safe? I want something that I don't have to worry about it spilling if it turns over. Ideas?
 

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First off, what's the interior relative humidity of the safe? Kitty litter is diotomatious earth and the silica gel is only there to absorb more moisture than the natural absorbancy of the dynamite material. The kitty litter is doing you no good unless you pee on it. :)

I live in DRY climate after being in wet Florida for 30 years prior. Guns that come to me from back east shrink unless I poured water on the walk-in safe floor. I don't do that. I let them shrink. My interior RH is always 12%. I have to add water to a chamber to do rust bluing.

Guns usually don't have a problem rusting unless the RH is 50% or higher. Gulf coast AC will bring down the RH to that with enough time, but opening doors usually keeps it 60 to 65%. That is when you need silica gel in packets in the gun safe to bring it down. When I had that problem, I gathered little packets from the camera store every time I went in and dumped them in a shot bag on the floor of the small safe. Once a year dump them on a cookie sheet and warm in the oven on lowest heat for an hour and put them back in the bag in the safe. There are many fancier (and more expensive) ways of doing it but that's the basics.

FWIW-- Silica gel is fused silica mineral that has a great affinity for water. Bentonite is the natural clay it comes from.
 

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My thoughts on silica gel dessicants in gun safe -- unless the safe is hermetically sealed, it's drawing in moisture from the outside and you will end up with higher humidity inside than out. Installing a low-wattage lightbulb is a better idea, IMO.
 

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It is a good thing, no matter the climate. It works well in an old sock or two.
 

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pisgah---Where does the moisture go when its light inside? ;)

True the RH will go down, but not the total amount of moisture present. I use a light bulb to ADD moisture to my rust blue chamber by putting a wet rag close by. The added heat of the chamber will take more water from the rag.
 

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pisgah---Where does the moisture go when its light inside? ;)

True the RH will go down, but not the total amount of moisture present. I use a light bulb to ADD moisture to my rust blue chamber by putting a wet rag close by. The added heat of the chamber will take more water from the rag.
The small additional heat introduced drives out moisture -- unless you get confused and leave wet rags in your safe!;)
 

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So, I purchased a bag of silica gel cat litter to use in my safe. Any recommendations what container to use to put it in when putting it in my safe? I want something that I don't have to worry about it spilling if it turns over. Ideas?
If you decide to use the cat litter I would use a DampRid container since its the same concept. Just poke holes in the lid. Amazon.com: DampRid FG01K Refillable Moisture Absorber, Fragrance Free, 10.5-Ounce: Home & Kitchen


I personally use two Stack-On safe dehumidifiers. Just plug them up to dry out and reuse. Ive had great success with them. Stack-On SPAD-100 Wireless Rechargeable Dehumidifier for Stack-On Long-Gun Safes - Safe Accessories - Amazon.com


{Walt, again, you have to have permission from the copyright holder to post copyrighted images. You probably think its OK because it helps them advertise, but the law says they have to make that call. Permission!}
 

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I use a goldenrod in all my safes. So far, even in Puerto Rico's very high humidity (80-90%), I've had no rust issues. My guns, however, are still oiled and treated as if the safes had no protection whatsoever. The Dmap rid used to fill up in a week or so, and the ones that change color also lasted about a week before they had to go in the oven.

Luisyamaha
 

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My thoughts on silica gel dessicants in gun safe -- unless the safe is hermetically sealed, it's drawing in moisture from the outside and you will end up with higher humidity inside than out. Installing a low-wattage lightbulb is a better idea, IMO.
As far as I know all that a higher atmospheric tempererature does is to allow a higher moisture (water vapor) content. The moment that micro-atmosphere cools off (should the light bulb go out or the door stands open for a while) that water vapor condensates.... etc.
 

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Increasing air temperature increases how much water it can dissolve. Decreasing temperature decreases how much it can dissolve. The latter is why, when you bring a cold object into humid air, water condenses out onto it. Heating has the opposite effect, so that when the slightly warm gun is removed from the safe and exposed to cooler outside air, it remains dry and does not get condensation on it.

If the safe is sealed, the relative humidity will go down inside as it heats up. If it's not sealed, it will dissolve moisture in through the joints and other cracks and crevasses. This can cause a problem if the safe temperature goes down at night because of the heater having a hard time keeping up with rate of heat loss to the outside. For that reason, a somewhat oversize heater with a thermostat to keep temperature constant, will, as long as that temperature is one that's always above the outside room temperature, work best.

If the safe is sealed, you can, indeed, use a desiccant. The main problem is you don't want it too dry. Much below 40-50% RH can start to dry out and crack wood. 40% is plenty low for normal rust prevention. Even guns with potassium chloride residue from corrosive primers need at least 68% RH to start rusting. I think you have to get down around 30% to stop absolutely all causes of rust, but you don't normally need to go that far. 50% is what the wood will like best.

If you are going to use a desiccant, you can get one of those cigar store humidity monitors to hang in the safe to see what the RH is. Their precision is generally only about 10%, but they're better than nothing.

The desiccant I recommend, because it is used in a lot of mil-spec desiccant pouches, is montmorillonite clay. It is sold in 8 lb bags for $3 at AutoZone as Moltan Multi-Purpose Safety Absorbent. Don't confuse it with any of the other Moltan absorbent products; they make at least three different kinds. Spread it out on a cookie sheet and bake it at 450-500°F for an hour. When it is just cool enough to touch, funnel it into the bottom of a paper wine bottle bag until it is about as deep as the bag is wide. Roll the bag up and tape the mouth down to prevent dust getting loose. Set it into a sealed container like a big clamp-lid pickling jar with ring seal for temporary storage. Repeat until you have as many bags as you think you want. Set them into to the safe. Moisture will gradually permeate through the brown paper just fine.

Just don't over-dry your wood.
 

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Re the above by Uncle Nick:

I agree, and it is is a wider and better comment on the issue, uncle Nick. Out in west Colorado in summer I in fact leave shaped and semi-inletted stocks in the bathroom. The merest film of oil on metal will prevent rust and of course a rifle is never put away after shooting without a proper clean. Too much oil is as bad as no oil, and in reality rifles should be stored horisontally if at all possible - but no gun safe allows for that.
 

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Just a note on stocks drying out and cracking--- When that happens it means there was unsealed areas that allowed moisture to escape too fast. In the late '60s, an entire batch of brand new Marlins cracked every stock when shipped to Denver area gun stores. Dealers in arid areas have many horror stories involving shrinkage of stocks made by east from doubtfully dried wood to begin with.

Much of the popularity of 'tupperware' stocks today can be traced to the terrible woods and finishes used by the factories starting just after WW-II.

Linseed oil was used as a finish because it slows the transfer of moisture that's why English game guns don't swell in India or shrink in the Kalahari.
 

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So, I purchased a bag of silica gel cat litter to use in my safe. Ideas?
And you're going to trust your cat not to get pee on your guns?? I say buy a plug-in dehumidifier and do it right..
 
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