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Choosing the Right Desiccator for Your Laboratory


Quick tips for choosing and properly using a desiccator in your lab

by Lab Manager
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DRIERITE Dessicants
W. A. Hammond DRIERITE Co. LTD

Desiccators are containers that contain compounds that will readily absorb water. When airtight, a desiccator can effectively keep moisture-sensitive materials dry and unperturbed by atmospheric moisture. Desiccators are generally clear to enable quick visual monitoring of the drying medium without needing to open the container. These instruments come in many different sizes and shapes to meet the needs of the lab. For a list of desiccator manufacturers, see our online directory:

5 Questions to Ask When Buying Desiccators:

  1. How many different samples need to be protected from moisture?
  2. Are the samples already dry, or do they need to be dried before inserting 
  3. into a desiccator?
  4. Are the samples UV-sensitive?
  5. Is static discharge a problem for samples in a dry environment?
  6. What type of desiccator is best for your application? Depending on your needs, either a reusable, vacuum, or transport desiccator may be the best fit.


The key to an effective desiccator is the chemical desiccant inside it. Drierite is a common and all-purpose desiccant used for many different applications. Join lab manager Linda and her team to explore how a desiccant works at

Usage Tips

Given the busy work processes in most labs, it is important to have clear training about keeping desiccators closed when staff aren’t putting in or removing samples from the unit. Clearly defining the need to expose samples to as little atmospheric moisture as possible will prolong the life of the desiccant. It is also important to monitor the desiccant on a regular basis to ensure it is still active, and change it promptly when needed.