LumberJocks

Cat litter as desiccant?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Whiskers posted 12-30-2013 02:13 AM 2936 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Whiskers's profile

Whiskers

389 posts in 1494 days


12-30-2013 02:13 AM

Was looking at getting some of those desiccant bags online and read that crystal cat litter is the same thing and many people make their own bags out of this and coffee filters. Was wondering if anyone else does this and if it is effective. Seems much more economical than buying the little bags.


15 replies so far

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile

GOOD LUCK TO ALL

418 posts in 1195 days


#1 posted 12-30-2013 02:25 AM

You can get 5lb or 55lb bags from CRL.
Probably cost more than kitty litter, but depends what your doing with it.

View Whiskers's profile

Whiskers

389 posts in 1494 days


#2 posted 12-30-2013 02:28 AM

That would be more useful if you did not use a acronym as I have no idea who CRL is.
As to purpose, it is to put in tool boxes, drawers, cases, anywhere I would want to keep a tool from rusting due to our high Alabama humidity.

View LoriF's profile

LoriF

119 posts in 1344 days


#3 posted 12-30-2013 06:06 AM

Whiskers – I googled CRL and here’s the link :

http://www.crlaurence.com/apps/sitesearch/search.aspx?query=Dessicant

Just this morning I read an article in “The Family Handyman” magazine about a homemade desiccant as follows: Dec/Jan 2013 Issue.

4 pieces of white chalk, wrapped up in a dryer sheet then stapled closed in middle and ends.

EDIT: Place in tool bags, boxes and cases.Chalk is calcium carbonate, which absorbs moisture. So chalk keeps tools from rusting while the dryer sheet keeps everything smelling fresh

-- There's a crack in everything that’s how the light gets in - Leonard Cohen

View Whiskers's profile

Whiskers

389 posts in 1494 days


#4 posted 12-30-2013 06:28 AM

Thanks for the link Lori, I will check it out and keep it in mind as a base reference against the cat litter option. Cause of shipping etc the cat litter will probably be the best way to go as walmarts and petcos are everywhere. For containers I found a company called papermart which sells 3×5 industrial cotton muslim parts bags for 100 for $12.50 which is very reasonable and while more expensive than coffee filters is much more durable. Ive sent them a email inquiring if the weave of the product is suitable for this purpose, it looks like it would be. They look like the same type of little bags you get at craft stores for sachets, teas, etc except they are not food grade. I will post a follow up when I get a response from them and/or if I buy them.

The chalk idea sounds intriguing, and would be good for one or two drawers but would get quite expensive considering how many drawers and tool boxes I have that could use some desiccant bags. Got to keep costs down.

Just loaded that link, I dont think that product is the same as the silica gel desiccant, looks like something else.

View Whiskers's profile

Whiskers

389 posts in 1494 days


#5 posted 12-30-2013 07:54 AM

A thought just occurred to me, In Loris post she mentions that chalk is calcium carbonate, and it can be used as a desiccant. Obviously the silica gel must be a much better desiccant or else chalk would be the material of choice, as there is nothing cheaper than calcium carbonate, which is also found as a soil amendment to break up clay soils, and is the main component of drywall which I have been working extensively with lately. Funny I did not notice that right away but I never realized that chalk was made of the same thing as drywall, until now, but it makes sense. A alternative though for poor mans desiccant would be coffee filter/dryer sheet, and ground up drywall scrap, or some of that soil amendment. Pity for the life of me I cant think of the stupid name they call the soil amendment off the top of my head, but it is a godsend here in Alabama where all of our soil is red clay. Rototilling here the soil just kind of mucks around but adding the calcium carbonate magically makes it just start to powder like good dirt. It also a necessity to add if you want to grow tomatoes or peppers as our soils have a calcium deficiency which causes blossom end rot.

View SuperCubber's profile

SuperCubber

875 posts in 1751 days


#6 posted 12-30-2013 01:48 PM

How about these?

http://bit.ly/1750eNg

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile

GOOD LUCK TO ALL

418 posts in 1195 days


#7 posted 12-30-2013 01:56 PM

Here you can buy whatever size packets you want.
But, I think your set on making your own.

BTW, The bulk desiccant from CRL is probably some of the best absorbent you can buy. It’s for making insulated windows, it has to absorb moisture or the windows will fog up inside.

View wtnhighlander's profile

wtnhighlander

10 posts in 1093 days


#8 posted 12-30-2013 02:52 PM

Bear in mind that dessicants do become saturated. Commercial or home made, expect to replace them on a regular basis in order to maintain your rust prevention.

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

805 posts in 2228 days


#9 posted 12-30-2013 04:21 PM

Yes, dessicants do become saturated, but if you put them in an oven at slightly over 212 degrees for a while it will drive the moisture out and you can use them over and over like this forever. I use an aluminum packaged (with holes in it) silica gel in a glass jar to keep my cyanoacrylate glue. It keeps for years like this. Moisture is the catalyst that sets it off.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Bill White's profile (online now)

Bill White

4458 posts in 3427 days


#10 posted 12-30-2013 04:30 PM

Ever thought about oil dry? Inexpensive, available at an auto parts store. Cat litter without the expense.
It’s just a dehydrated clay product. Stupid simple, and it works.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View jonah's profile

jonah

687 posts in 2766 days


#11 posted 12-30-2013 06:32 PM

Depending on your circumstance, you might be better off trying to dehumidify the environment around your tools, rather than trying to stick a desiccant into every toolbox. Just a thought.

View Whiskers's profile

Whiskers

389 posts in 1494 days


#12 posted 01-14-2014 12:07 AM

Thought I would give a update on this in case anyone cares. I found some muslin cloth bags that were 3.25×5”” with 100 shipped for $25.26 from a company called Celestialgifts. There the same kind of little bags you used to get little nuggets of gum as a kid. I also got some of the siilica gel kitty litter from petco. The $15 size bag is just right to fill the 100 mentioned bags. I believe the cloth bags will be much better than using coffee filters in the long run, but one could go that route an save most of the expense. I’ve already scattered 1/2 the bags I’ve made up in various drawers, boxes etc. Tidy Cat also makes a version of this type cat litter but I couldn’t find anyone who carried it. It’s quite expensive to pay that much for something for a cat to pee and poo on, so I doubt many people buy it, but petco will have it and I think they are just about everywhere.

View Whiskers's profile

Whiskers

389 posts in 1494 days


#13 posted 06-20-2014 06:50 AM

I thought I would post a update on this for anyone interested. I thought I had put a kitty litter bag everywhere, but yesterday I opened up my PC forstner bit case and was shocked to discover rust forming. Apparently I missed it when I was spreading kitty litter bags, but I quickly grabbed a kitty litter bag and added it in, I still have many left. Looking around the shop, all the drawers and boxes with various tools etc protected by kitty litter bags, no sign of rust anywhere there is a bag of kitty litter and we are passing thru the high humidity phase of weather here in north Alabama.

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

528 posts in 1845 days


#14 posted 06-20-2014 01:28 PM

Thanks for following up as I’ve been curious about this as well for humid Chicago summers. Please do follow up again in the winter and let us know how it worked out for the whole season.

I’m assuming you’ve yet to have to replace any of the bags?

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

805 posts in 2228 days


#15 posted 06-20-2014 04:39 PM

Hmmm . . crystal-type kitty litter. I never would have thought of it. I’ll give it a try. I live in Atlanta where, like north Alabama, its about to be hot and humid. Fortunately my shop in in the basement of my air conditioned home so the shop is air conditioned too. But the Southern humidity is still somewhat of a problem. THANKS!

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com