Can Gun Safes Lead to Rust on Firearms?

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People often praise the extreme protection that a gun safe brings to your firearms. But a noticeable matter arises among the gun owners community: Do gun safes cause rust? If you are unaware of this topic, check out this post to discover!

Do Gun Safes Cause Rust?

In short, YES! However, the pace of rusting in your gun safe depends on the type of materials of its interior and other things.

Gun safes can potentially cause or accelerate rust and corrosion on the firearms stored inside them. While gun safes are designed to protect firearms from theft and unauthorized access, they can create a microclimate that promotes moisture buildup, leading to rust and corrosion. The risk of rusting in a gun safe is higher when certain conditions are present, such as high humidity levels or improper storage practices.

Factors that contribute to gun safe rust:

  1. Humidity: High humidity levels inside a gun safe can create condensation on the metal surfaces of firearms, leading to rust over time.
  2. Lack of ventilation: Insufficient air circulation within the safe can trap moisture, increasing the chances of rust.
  3. Poor sealing: If the gun safe is not properly sealed, moisture from the surrounding environment can seep inside, causing rust.
  4. Temperature fluctuations: Frequent temperature changes can cause moisture to condense inside the safe, potentially leading to rust.

To prevent rust and corrosion in your gun safe, consider the following tips:

  • Use a dehumidifier: Installing a dehumidifier inside the safe can help maintain optimal humidity levels and prevent moisture buildup.
  • Store firearms properly: Ensure firearms are clean and properly lubricated before placing them in the safe.
  • Regular maintenance: Inspect firearms periodically for signs of rust or corrosion and address any issues promptly.
  • Quality safe: Invest in a high-quality gun safe with good sealing and ventilation features.

What Are The Causes Of Rust?

There are some factors leading to rust in your gun safe, including:

Environment: Different places will have significant temperature changes, which considerably affect humidity and moisture. It will be best if you keep the humidity level around 50% all the time. As such, your gun safe is likely to stand rust effectively.

Debris, dirt, and dust: If there is a lot of debris, dirt, and dust appearing in your gun safe, it also results in the higher potential of rust.

Human contact: For those who do not know, sweat, oils, and acids from your human skin are corrosive. Once you touch inside your gun safe, moisture will combine with oxygen to produce oxidation and cause rust on a metal surface.

For those wondering: “Will guns rust in a gun safe?” – we have to say that they will. Rust tends to eat away the metals inside your gun safe, cause discoloration, and then damage to your guns as a result.

Empty your gun safe before moving

Do Gun Safes Cause Rust?

How To Prevent Rusting?

Now you’ve understood the potential causes of gun rusting. We will propose several measurements in this section.

Tracking Temperature and Moisture

This is the simplest way to prevent rust without replacing the interior of their safe. Yet, you have to be diligent enough to track temperature and moisture every single day. Let’s utilize an indoor hygrometer to monitor the temperature and make sure that it stays consistent.

A Hygrometer Is Useful In Tracking The Humidity Level

A Hygrometer Is Useful In Tracking The Humidity Level

Once the environment inside the safe is either too hot or too humid, then you have to think of another method to fix this situation.

Covering Your Guns In A Fine Layer Of Wax

For this method, the first and foremost step is to disassemble and clean them all. Don’t forget to remove the grease and sweat inside the firearms. After that, you can coat the firearms in wax carefully to protect them from corrosive agents reaching the steel parts.

Proper Wall Placement

It is extremely essential to put your gun safe in an ideal location to prevent rust effectively. And you should avoid the walls being an exterior part of the building. Have you ever wondered why?

Well, these exterior walls suffer from significant heat changes, affecting your gun safe well. Instead, let’s position the safe back against those interior walls where it maintains a constant temperature well.

Inspect the floor before placing the gun safe

Be Wise While Choosing A Place To Put Your Gun Safe


Moisture buildup inside can easily lead to rust, so what to put in gun safe to prevent rust? Well, you need to consider equipping your gun safe with a high-quality dehumidifier.

See: Why You Need a Dehumidifier for a Gun Safe

It works well on maintaining the structural integrity inside your gun safe. To be specific, it ensures a consistent environment without moisture by reducing high humidity.

Why You Need a Dehumidifier for a Gun Safe

Purchase A Dehumidifier To Keep The Gun Safe From Rust

It is the most effective way that does not take much effort. However, it does need your regular check to determine when there is a risk of developing rust. Moreover, using a silica gel is also as effective as a dehumidifier.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning is always the optimal option to ensure that rust cannot appear in your gun safe. Let’s remove your guns and other valuables and give them and even the interior environment of your gun safe a deep cleaning.

For those guns having new rust around, you can soak the nylon cleaning brushes in a cleaning solution to scrub the rust away. Remember to flush out the excess water afterward.

As oils from the skin might pass through your weapon, you should wear gloves throughout the cleaning process. Do this regularly to keep the rust development under control and have a timely solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of gun safe do I need to prevent rust?

The type of gun safe you need to prevent rust depends on various factors, including your location’s humidity levels and the quality of your firearms. Look for a gun safe with a good seal and ventilation, as these features help regulate humidity and prevent moisture buildup. Investing in a safe with climate control, like a built-in dehumidifier, can be an effective solution.

What features should I look for in a gun safe to prevent rust?

To prevent rust in your gun safe, focus on features such as airtight seals, proper ventilation, and the ability to maintain low humidity levels. Consider safes with built-in dehumidifiers or purchase a separate dehumidifier to keep the environment dry. Regularly inspect and maintain your firearms by cleaning and lubricating them.

Is it worth buying an expensive gun safe for rust prevention?

The cost of a gun safe is often linked to its quality and rust-prevention features. While it may seem like a significant investment, an expensive gun safe with proper sealing and climate control can provide long-term protection for your firearms, ultimately saving you money on potential firearm repairs or replacements due to rust damage.

What should I look for in a long gun safe to prevent rust?

When selecting a long gun safe to prevent rust, prioritize features such as airtight seals, adjustable humidity controls, and sufficient ventilation. Consider the safe’s capacity to accommodate your long guns comfortably, and use dehumidifiers or desiccants to maintain a dry environment within the safe.

Will guns rust in a gun safe if they aren’t regularly cleaned and maintained?

Yes, guns can rust in a gun safe if they aren’t regularly cleaned and maintained. Proper cleaning, lubrication, and inspection of firearms are essential to prevent rust and corrosion, especially in a safe’s enclosed environment. Regular maintenance ensures your firearms remain in excellent condition within the safe.

Will guns rust in a safe in the garage?

Guns can rust in a safe located in a garage, but the risk largely depends on the specific conditions in the garage. Garages are often exposed to fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels, making them less ideal for gun storage. To minimize the risk of rust, consider placing a dehumidifier inside the safe and ensure it’s sealed tightly to prevent moisture infiltration. Regularly inspect your firearms and maintain a controlled environment within the safe to protect against rust.

How long do gun safes last?

The lifespan of a gun safe can vary significantly based on several factors, including the quality of the safe, the materials used, and how well it’s maintained. Generally, a well-made gun safe can last for several decades or even a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. Regular inspection, lubrication of locking mechanisms, and addressing any issues promptly can help extend the lifespan of your gun safe.

Will my gun rust if I don’t use it?

Yes, firearms can rust even if they aren’t used regularly. Rusting occurs due to exposure to moisture and air. If your firearms are stored in a humid environment or not adequately protected within a gun safe, they can still develop rust over time. To prevent rust, it’s essential to store your firearms in a dry, controlled environment, regularly inspect them, and use appropriate rust prevention measures, such as applying firearm-specific lubricants and using dehumidifiers in your gun safe.

Do Gun Safes Always Need A Dehumidifier?

Not really. Nevertheless, you also need to consider the humidity level in your gun safe before investing in a dehumidifier. To do this, let’s check out three factors: the local climate, the frequency of using the safe, and the location of a gun safe.

Specific conditions will decide on whether to purchase a dehumidifier or not. When you live in a dry climate, this equipment is unnecessary as the humidity is quite low.

On the contrary, a humid environment allows for a high air moisture level, and a dehumidifier is responsible for keeping it constant in the gun safe.

Besides, if you do not use the safe frequently, once a week, for example, there will be no constant airflow circulating in your gun safe. It means that the humidity level will rise when the air is still. And that’s why you need a dehumidifier in this case rather than while not using the safe often.

How Often Should I Clean Gun Safe?

As mentioned above, you had better clean your gun safe frequently, and a one-month period is quite perfect. Before cleaning, remember to check and take all the interior out of your gun safe.

While cleaning, you can take a vacuum to handle until there is no gun powder or debris left. After that, you should check whether the fire seal between the door that blocks moisture has been damaged yet or not.

Clean moisture residue in all the corners and hinges of your gun safe door before closing the door.

The Bottom Line

Has our article on “Do gun safes cause rust?” thoroughly replied to all your concerns yet? We do hope that the answer is yes.

Overall, it is not really tricky to prevent rust buildup in your gun safe is not tricky, but it needs proper cleaning methods and storage. There will never be too late to do this. Good luck!

Lisa J Thompson
Lisa J Thompson

Hello, my name is Lisa Thompson and I’m the Founder of Safety Hub, your go-to resource for all things home improvement. In this day and age, security should be your top priority, and that’s exactly why my dedicated team of writers and I offer reliable information pertaining to gun storage, home safes, and so much more. When I’m not running the blog, I enjoy gardening and homesteading. As an avid nature lover, I also love going on camping trips. Currently, I happily reside in the heart of Los Angeles.

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