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Bathroom Moisture Absorber | Does It Really Work?

It’s incredibly important to manage the moisture levels in your home if you want to prevent mold, rot, and other forms of water damage. Unfortunately, not every home comes properly equipped to manage bathroom humidity levels.

Moisture absorbers are reported to do exactly what their name suggests, but there are questions around their effectiveness in the bathroom. Those questions are exactly what we’re about to explore!

Bathroom moisture absorbers do absorb moisture. However, they cannot keep up with the quantities of steam produced in a bathroom. They are also not a substitute for code-mandated ventilation.

Moisture Absorbers Do Work

Long story short, moisture absorbers do work! They are comprised of something that is called a “desiccant,” which is a substance that keeps the area around itself dry.

Some desiccants work by literally physically absorbing moisture into themselves like clay or silica gel, while others like calcium oxide work by using a chemical reaction to reduce ambient moisture. 

Most moisture absorbers on the market use a material called calcium chloride. DampRid (amazon link), Vacplus (amazon link), and PEKGRIL (amazon link) are all great options for calcium chloride-based moisture absorbers.

PEKGRIL Moisture Absorber with Activated Charcoal, 8 Packs 500mL Humidity Absorber Boxes, Fragrance Free Dehumidifier, Moisture Absorber Bucket, Attracts Extra Moisture from Closet, Bathroom, Kitchen

Calcium chloride is so effective at collecting water that it can and will eventually collect enough moisture to submerge and dissolve itself! This is because it not only absorbs water into itself, but once it is full of moisture, it will also adsorb, or hold moisture on its surface.

Effectiveness Is Limited in Bathroom

While they do actually work, moisture absorbers are not the most effective method for managing moisture in a high-humidity area like a bathroom.

That’s because, as we discussed, calcium chloride will eventually dissolve itself. Once it turns into a liquid, it is no longer effective.

So, it can only absorb a certain amount of moisture before it stops working, but your bathroom is never going to stop producing moisture as long as you’re using it.

In other words, relying on moisture absorbers alone will require you to purchase massive amounts of calcium chloride and replace it very often.

Bathroom humidity is best managed by or in combination with other methods of moisture reduction. Installing or creating natural ventilation is a good option, and so is a dehumidifier. 

Both ventilation and a dehumidifier (they are not the same!) are options for helping to reduce the majority of moisture in the room, thereby reducing the load on your moisture absorber. 

Bathroom Fan Code Requirements.

Ways to Maximise Effectiveness

Whether you’re using a moisture absorber alone as a temporary measure or in combination with other moisture reduction methods, there are some things you can do to maximize its effectiveness.

First and foremost is to simply replace your moisture absorber very frequently since you will be using it in a high humidity location and the absorber will begin to lose effectiveness more quickly.

If you want to ensure that your moisture absorber lasts as long as it can, it will be beneficial to keep the bathroom door open whenever possible.

Modern bathroom with marble tiles on walls and an open white door

This will ensure your moisture absorber is not overwhelmed by all the steam created in the bathroom. If some steam escapes to the adjoining rooms, then the moisture absorber will last longer.

Keeping your moisture absorber as far away from any doors or windows as possible may also help with reducing the moisture it pulls in from areas outside of the bathroom.

Additionally, if you want to get the most out of your calcium chloride crystals before replacing them, you might consider keeping two or three smaller containers around your bathroom and staggering their refills.

That way, whenever one container is nearing the end of its capacity, you still have another new container in the same room to do the “heavy lifting”.

You should also place the containers high up to ensure that they capture the steam.

Keep the containers away from splash zones. You want the crystals to absorb moisture from the air, not become saturated with water droplets.

Other Areas Moisture Absorbers Can Be Used

Although they aren’t great at managing high levels of humidity on their own, moisture absorbers are fantastic tools for use in small, enclosed, damp areas.

They can prevent your clothes or the closet itself from developing mold or musty smells caused by excess moisture.

In the pantry, the removal of excess moisture can keep certain foods from spoiling as quickly.

The laundry room is another area of the home that produces moisture. Unlike the bathroom, however, their level of humidity tends to be lower because the dryers are directly vented outside.

Moisture absorber in a modern white laundry room with plants

No matter what space you choose to use a moisture absorber in, just remember to check and replace them on occasion. Since moisture absorbers should last quite a long time in environments like these, it may be easy to forget about replacing them!


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