# Is there any bad side effects for using calcium chloride to replace a running dehumidifier?

My dehumidifier costs to much to run, so I’m thinking about using calcium chloride to keep my basement dry(er) ALSO, this may keep my mouse problem to a minimum... my questions are -Will this be harmful to me breathing this when I’m in the basement? -Will any gases be omitted to me in my main floor? -Will this remove to much moisture that my block foundation will start to degrade? -Are there any other side effects I’m not aware of? The only person that goes in basement is me so I’m not concerned about anyone consuming it.

• It is only harmful when eaten (and even then, not much), won't release any gases, and I don't believe you can remove too much moisture this way or any other way. That said, why do you think it is cheaper? Jun 26 '19 at 15:33
• @IvanNeretin - perhaps they are ignoring the fact they will need to dry the material over and over again in an oven? Of course, filling the basement with calcium chloride is a good way to stop worrying about the humidity levels there... Jun 26 '19 at 17:47
• ...for a while. Jun 27 '19 at 6:52
• Actually, some commercial products intended for room drying are made of calcium chloride (scented, in some cases), so no worries. I guess it works when humidity is relatively contained, anyway: it is cheap, but you can't expect the performance of an electric dehumidifier without buying a lot of it Jun 28 '19 at 4:09

As for safety, calcium chloride, $$\ce{CaCl2}$$, is in sea water and added to foods, such as beans and pickles. It's about as dangerous as table salt, sodium chloride, $$\ce{NaCl}$$ (actually, $$\ce{CaCl2}$$ is safer for concrete).
However, it absorbs only so much water until it dissolves and stops being effective. What would you do with the puddle of $$\ce{CaCl2}$$ solution? It can be dried with heat and reused, but then your just moving energy usage from a continually running electric dehumidifier to a batch process using $$\ce{CaCl2}$$... though if you can get heat for free, it would be cost effective! If you don't have a solar concentrator or access to geothermal energy, there would probably be no energy savings, though.