How Does Damprid Work And What Is It?

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Damprid is marketed as a simple solution for ridding musty environments of moisture and excess humidity.

The truth is, Damprid is not as labor-less as the packaging wants you to believe. And, more importantly, it is not the right solution for every musty space. 


What is Damprid?

Damprid is a product made up of calcium chloride crystals. These crystals are housed in a specialized container that separates the hardened calcium chloride from the liquid brine that it becomes as it absorbs moisture.

Some products are available with added fragrances, and all come in a variety of sizes, from super-small car cartridges to extra-large buckets.

Is Damprid Safe?

Damprid is advertised as being natural and nontoxic. While it is true that its liquid–calcium chloride natural state is nontoxic, the crystals, however, can cause severe burns under the right circumstances.

Important Information on Calcium Chloride

calcium chloride crystals

Calcium chloride exists in nature as a liquid brine. In this form, it is relatively benign and can even be ingested in small quantities without issue. In fact, many foods, including cheese, tofu, and sports drinks, have calcium chloride added to protect against caking.

However, the crystalline form of calcium chloride is much more dangerous than the Damprid nontoxic label lets on.

These crystals are highly reactive with water, which means if they come into contact with a moist surface, a chemical reaction occurs. Even the water present in the skin can be enough to cause issues. These skin burns often occur without pain or immediate visual evidence but can lead to severe long-term damage.

Warning: Ingesting calcium chloride crystals is even more dangerous since the mouth, throat, and stomach contain high moisture. In these situations, an exothermic reaction can lead to severe burns of the mouth and esophagus.

When used according to the directions on the package, Damprid is safe. However, if a child or pet gets ahold of a Damprid package, it wouldn’t take much to get the crystals out. This could quickly lead to a serious problem.

How Does Damprid Work?

Calcium chloride has hygroscopic properties. This means it actively attracts water molecules and both absorbs and adsorbs moisture.

These crystals will first absorb liquid into themselves. Once they are saturated with moisture, they will begin to adsorb–or hold–liquid on their surfaces. Calcium chloride is so reactive with moisture that, in fact, it can pull enough water from the environment to dissolve itself completely.

Once the crystals have all dissolved in the liquid they’ve captured, the moisture removal process ceases. At this point, the Damprid package needs to be replaced for moisture control to continue.

Does Damprid Actually Work?

The scientific reasoning behind how Damprid works is sound, but how does this product actually perform in terms of removing moisture from your home?

The answer to this question really depends on how you plan to use the product.

All Damprid products, no matter the size, can only attract a finite amount of water. Once all of the crystals have turned to brine, you must replace them to keep seeing the benefits. If you’re using Damprid to control high natural humidity levels in your home, you’re going to go through a lot of this product.

In this case, a dehumidifier is a much better option.

However, Damprid products can be very handy for short-term situations, such as after a leak or flood.

Damprid vs Dehumidifier

In our opinion, both Damprid and dehumidifiers have their place in the home. Each has benefits and drawbacks that the other doesn’t. And, most importantly, each works best in different situations.

BenefitsRequires no electricity, requires no upkeep while in use, quickly removes a high degree of moisture from the airCan be used continuously for humidity control, should last for years, humidity level can be set to desired range, works well even in stagnant rooms
DrawbacksOnly removes moisture from the air that is touching the product (requires fans for optimal performance), must be replaced constantly, can easily be overwhelmed during wet weather or continuous leaks, safety concerns with children and petsRequires electricity, water reservoir must be connected to drain or emptied frequently, requires occasional upkeep
Achievable Humidity LevelWill remove moisture from the air until product runs out or a humidity level of around 10 to 20% is achievedTarget humidity level can be set to desired range or will default to 40 to 60%, which is considered optimal for comfort
Optimal Situation for UseTo remove excess humidity after leaks or floods, or maintenance for small musty areas like closets and crawl spacesFor continuous humidity control in the home or basement, or targeted humidity control in the bathroom

It’s worth noting that a quality dehumidifier can also be used in many of the same situations that Damprid is optimized for. If you already have a dehumidifier, you can save money by using it in place of Damprid.

If you don’t have a dehumidifier and are considering getting one, you can learn more about how they work here.

What Can Damprid be Used For?

We’ve looked at the optimal uses for Damprid in terms of moisture control, but other situations may benefit from the use of this product, as well.

Moisture Absorber

A bucket of Damprid can quickly become your best friend after a spill or overflow situation. This product will quickly remove excess moisture from the air. By taking care of the issue quickly, you can avoid mold growth. Just be sure to use fans in the space to help push moist air toward the product.


If a dehumidifier is off the table due to budget or other constraints, you can use Damprid. Just be aware that you will have to replace the product often as it stops working once all the crystals have turned to brine. Also, note that Damprid will continue absorbing moisture even after levels fall below a comfortable 40%.

If money is an issue, you may consider purchasing a small dehumidifier for use in the rooms you spend the most time in. Most likely, you’d spend just as much on Damprid over the wet season as you will on one of these products.

Odor Control

Some Damprid products come with fragrance beads or charcoal to help cover up or eliminate foul odors. These work incredibly well after leaks or in rooms prone to odor.

Does Damprid Prevent Mold?

In theory, Damprid can help prevent mold.

Mold requires humidity levels of over 70% to grow. Damprid can achieve levels well below that, assuming two things.

First, the product needs to be switched out as soon as it becomes saturated and stops working. And second, you’ll need to use fans to circulate the air in the room to assure pockets of moisture don’t occur and give mold a place to thrive.

If you have a damp basement, you can try many other options to reduce humidity levels and prevent mold growth. Check out our article, How to Get Rid of Humidity Without a Dehumidifier for some great ideas.

What Sort Of Damprid Should You Buy?

There are four Damprid products we recommend. Each is optimized for use in different situations.

Damprid Bucket

Damprid bucket

Damprid buckets are high-capacity moisture absorbers. They come in 4-pound tubs and are perfect for use after leaks and floods. If you’re wondering how to use a Damprid Bucket, here’s how: 

  1. Set the product near the problem area
  2. Remove the lid. Be sure no pets or children have access to the tub. 
  3. Once all the crystals are gone, toss it and replace it if needed.

Damprid Refillable Moisture Absorber

The Damprid Refillable Moisture Absorbers are basically a smaller version of the bucket and are ideal for small rooms.

They are a convenient 10.5 ounce cup that can last up to 60 days and can be refilled once they have reached capacity.

How to use a Damprid refillable moisture absorber

To use a Damprid refillable moisture absorber:

  1. Remove the lid and open the top of the bag containing the crystals
  2. pour the crystals into the cannister (in the holder basket)
  3. The crystals will harden and dissolve as the absorb moisture in the air
  4. Discard crystals and replace with a refill when required

Hanging Damprid

Hanging damprid

Hanging Damprid products come in 14-ounce packets and feature a hanger-style hook on the top so you can hang them from the ceiling or a hanging bar. These are perfect for closets and laundry rooms.

These are the best choice if you have pets or children since they can easily be placed out of reach.

Damprid With Activated Charcoal

damprid with activated charcoal

Damprid odor absorbers have an added layer of activated charcoal that helps remove odors from the air as moisture is absorbed into the product. These make a great addition to rooms after leaks to help with lingering smells or for use in closets, above the litter box, or any other space that could use some freshening up.

Damprid, the Right Solution in the Right Situation

Damprid effectively removes humidity from the air but is best used in only certain situations. 

To remove excess moisture after a leak or flood, Damprid is an excellent choice that works very quickly. It can also be a good option for freshening up musty closets and dealing with moisture in a pinch. Just be sure to keep this product out of reach if you have pets and children.

In most other situations, especially for continuous moisture removal, a quality dehumidifier will be a better investment.

Still have questions about when and how to use Damprid or a dehumidifier? Let us know by commenting below.

Do you have any questions relating to this article? Email us at [email protected] or call us on +1 (310) 961-4908

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Aaron is the founder of and Essential Home and Garden. With over 15 years of hands-on experience in home ownership, lawn care, and gardening, Aaron is a seasoned expert in areas like lawn care, DIY, HVAC, and pest control.

11 thoughts on “How Does Damprid Work And What Is It?”

  1. Avatar photo

    for the small buckets of damp rid do you only remove the packaging or do you also remove the material actually covering the crystals too. We do not notice any liquid in the bottom after a week of use.

    • Aaron Green

      You need to remove the seal covering the crystals too.

  2. Avatar photo

    Hi Aaron. Thank you for the helpful info. I don’t know if you are still monitoring this post, but I was wondering if the Damp Rid actually draws water into the bucket it comes in, or if the crystals that dissolve could somehow overflow onto the floor of the room they are in? This may be a silly question, but I put a Damp Rid Bucket in a space that I can’t check on for another month, so I don’t want anything to overflow and ruin the floor it is sitting on. Thanks!

    • Aaron Green

      Hi Jill, the water does sit in the bottom of the bucket. But it will never collect so much that it overflows.

  3. Avatar photo

    when the bottom bag is almost full of liquid and the top still has a great deal of crystals-is it still working or do i need to replace it?

  4. Avatar photo

    I have damp rid hanging packages in my closets and have been working great till one bag broke and was all over the closet. Once broken, does the fluids ruin rugs, floors and clothes? Cant seem to fully get product removed.

    • Aaron Green

      You could try using some vinegar, or lots and lots of water.

  5. Avatar photo

    I had a major leak in my house. I placed several small containers which absorbed the moisture. How do I get the hardened crystals out of the bottom. They are as hard as a rock.

    • Aaron Green

      Turn the tub over and give them a good whack! Should pop out as a whole.

  6. Avatar photo

    Thanks for your research! Very helpful.

    • Avatar photo

      Very useful information. Although how should it be used in a pantry or around food.

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