How to Keep Moisture Out of Storage Containers

Do you ever face the same problem when opening a storage container? You get stuck dealing with a damp, musty smell and soggy contents. It can seem like an inevitable fact of life, but it doesn’t have to be! Keeping moisture out of your storage containers is an important part of ensuring that whatever you store in them stays as fresh and pleasant as possible.

If you’re storing items that are particularly susceptible to dampness, such as clothing or books, there are several methods that you can use to keep moisture at bay.

In today’s blog post, we will discuss different methods for how to keep moisture out of storage containers so you never have to worry about opening the lid again only to be hit with moist air.

How to Keep Moisture Out of Storage Containers

What Will You Need?

The first step in this process is ensuring you have the right materials. Depending on the size and type of storage container, you may need different items. Here are some common supplies for keeping moisture out:

  • Airtight containers with lids
  • Silica gel packets
  • Charcoal briquettes- Desiccant

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, you’re ready to start.

10 Easy Steps on How to Keep Moisture Out of Storage Containers

Step 1: Prepare Your Containers

Before putting anything into your storage containers, clean off the inside and outside of the lid. This will prevent mold from growing on the container’s surface in case any moisture droplets are trapped inside.

You should also inspect for any cracks or damage that could allow moisture to get in. If the container is damaged, replacing it with a new one is best.

Step 2: Line Your Storage Containers with Plastic

Placing plastic sheeting at the bottom of your storage containers will help keep moisture from seeping in on the ground surface below. This is especially important for items that are sensitive to moisture, such as clothing or paper documents. Double-line the containers with two layers of plastic.

Placing Plastic 
Sheeting at the Bottom

Step 3: Use Desiccants

Desiccants are substances that help to create a moisture-free environment within the storage container. One of the most common desiccants is silica gel. These small packets can be found in product packaging like shoes, electronics, and handbags. Don’t throw them away – they’re perfect for this use!

Step 4: Utilize Charcoal Briquettes

Charcoal briquettes are an effective and inexpensive option for moisture control. They act similarly to desiccants, absorbing moisture in the air. Simply place a few briquettes in a fabric bag or old sock and put it in the storage container. Keep in mind to replace the charcoal every few months for optimal effect.

Step 5: Seal Your Storage Containers Properly

After you’ve placed your items and moisture absorption materials in the container, be sure to seal it tightly. This helps to prevent any new moisture from entering. If your container isn’t airtight, consider using strong tape along the edges to defend against moisture.

Remember, the goal is to keep the interior of the container as dry as possible. By following these steps, you should be able to significantly reduce the amount of moisture in your storage containers and protect your belongings.

Step 6: Regularly Check and Replace

Just placing desiccants and charcoal briquettes once isn’t enough. Over time, these materials lose their ability to absorb moisture and must be replaced. Make a schedule to check your containers at least once every few months. If the silica gel packets change color or the charcoal briquettes seem saturated, replace them with new ones to ensure continuous moisture absorption.

Absorb Moisture and Must Be Replaced

Step 7: Use Moisture Absorbers

For problematic dampness, consider using moisture absorbers like calcium chloride. These products are usually available in hardware stores and are designed to handle higher levels of humidity. They work by absorbing water vapors from the air into a salt solution, which is then collected in a reservoir. Always remember to place these absorbers in a place where the collected water won’t spill and cause more problems.

Step 8: Keep Your Containers Off the Ground

Raising your containers off the ground can further help in keeping moisture at bay. This can be done either by placing them on shelves or using pallets. This is particularly useful in areas prone to flooding or where the floor is often damp.

Step 9: Store in a Climate-Controlled Environment

If possible, store your items in a climate-controlled environment. This type of environment maintains a consistent temperature and humidity level, which can greatly reduce the risk of moisture buildup. If you do not have access to climate control, choose a dry, cool spot for storage.

Step 10: Do Not Overpack Your Containers

Lastly, avoid overpacking your containers. Overpacked containers can lead to inadequate air circulation, which can increase the likelihood of moisture buildup. It’s always better to use more containers, ensuring each one has enough space for air to circulate.

By following these steps, you can effectively maintain the quality and freshness of your stored items by keeping moisture out of your storage containers. Remember, diligence is key. Regular checks and maintenance are necessary to ensure your belongings stay moisture-free.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Use Silica Gel Packets: Silica gel packets are excellent at absorbing excess moisture. Place a few of these packets in your storage containers to help keep humidity at bay.
  2. Consider Charcoal Briquettes: Charcoal briquettes can serve as a budget-friendly alternative to silica gel packets. They effectively absorb moisture and odors, maintaining the freshness of items stored.
  3. Try Calcium Chloride: Sold as a desiccant, calcium chloride absorbs moisture from the air, making it an ideal solution for damp storage containers.
  4. Opt for Airtight Containers: Airtight containers prevent ambient humidity from seeping in, thus keeping the contents dry.
  5. Avoid Storing Wet or Damp Items: Ensure they are completely dry before storing them. Any residual moisture can proliferate within the container, potentially damaging other items.
Silica Gel Packets Are
Excellent at Absorbing

By following these practical tips, you can effectively keep moisture out of your storage containers. This ensures the longevity and quality of items stored, safeguarding them from potential damage caused by excess humidity.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoiding Non-Breathable Materials: Non-breathable materials like plastic can trap moisture inside, leading to potential mold growth. Opt for materials that allow for air circulation whenever possible.
  2. Steering Clear of Used Containers: Used containers might contain residual moisture or smells that can affect your stored items. Always clean and dry them thoroughly before use, or use new containers.
  3. Bypassing Regular Checks: Not regularly checking your storage containers can lead to unnoticed moisture build-up. Schedule routine checks to ensure your items remain dry and safe.
  4. Ignoring Signs of Moisture: Signs such as condensation, a musty smell, or dampness indicate the presence of moisture. Do not ignore these signs; address the issue promptly to prevent further damage.
  5. Storing in Damp Areas: Storing containers in damp areas like basements or garages can increase the risk of moisture seeping into your items. Choose dry and well-ventilated areas for storage whenever possible.

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can ensure the effectiveness of your moisture prevention strategies and keep your stored items in the best possible condition.

Do Plastic Bags Absorb Moisture?

Plastic bags are not effective at absorbing moisture, as they tend to trap humidity instead. They are most suitable for short-term use in areas with low and stable humidity. For longer-term storage, opt for materials that allow better air circulation.

Additionally, use caution when storing items in plastic bags, as they can accumulate static electricity. This may create a spark and cause damage to stored items. To avoid this, try using anti-static bags or wrapping the bagged item in an anti-static cloth.

Plastic Bags Are Not Effective 
At Absorbing Moisture

Overall, it is best to avoid using plastic bags for storing items that are sensitive to moisture. There are more effective solutions such as silica gel packets and calcium chloride.

By understanding the limitations of plastic bags, you can prevent moisture from damaging your stored items, ensure their quality, and extend their longevity.


Keeping moisture out of storage containers is a key factor in prolonging the shelf life of many items. By using airtight containers, silica packs, and other methods, we can make sure our possessions are well protected from moisture. Additionally, it’s important to keep an eye on our storage and check if there are any changes, such as rust or dampness. This will ensure that we are able to remediate any issue as soon as possible quickly.

Hopefully, this article has given you an overview of the most important ways to keep moisture out of your storage containers and protect your items from damage. By following these simple tips, you can successfully store your items without worrying about potential humidity-related issues.

Overall, taking proactive steps for moisture control will help us store our goods safely and with greater peace of mind. Furthermore, access to technology like airtight containers has created new possibilities for long-term storage solutions. Thanks to these methods, we no longer have to worry about how to keep moisture out of storage containers!

Photo of author

Jennifer Branett

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