A portable dehumidifier requires the consumer to plug it into an outlet to regenerate its crystal. When the crystal is thus "regenerated", the indicator will change from pink color to its original blue color. However, I noticed that there is usually a colorless gas (or smell - it smells differently from the surrounding air) accompanying this change.

So, is the gas (or smell) from the portable dehumidifier (when plugged into a outlet for re-generation of its crystal) harmful?


Can you explain what the crystal is? Based on the common colors you describe and the "Regeneration" I would think that the "crystal" you are describing is just a basic Desiccant (like a silica gel, it's hygroscopic, it absorbs water). Most desiccants are pretty harmless (never heard of any issues with common ones used in consumer goods).

You really need to add more information to your description. What is the make (in case someone wants to look it up)?

The biggest danger I can think of with a portable dehumidifier is bacterial/fungal growth. Both of these can give off a smell, it could be that when "regenerating the crystal" (which if it's a desiccant like I think would mean heating it, is actually "cooking" the growth creating a smell. (But this is me trying to image what could potentially cause that smell, not what is happening)...

Again, not enough information to reach any conclusion. (But I do think you are describing a desiccant).

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  • $\begingroup$ The dehumidifier that I am referring to is the - Wireless Reusable Portable Mini Air Dehumidifier. (You can google it and it will list out. Basically, it have a indicator that contain blue silica gel to show if it is wet or dry. It contain some crystals which vendors always market out as odorless, non-toxic and safe. It have a 2-pin plug behind that you can connect to the outlet for recharge. The recharge will "heat up" the crystal and the indicator will turn from pink to blue.) $\endgroup$ – Jack May 22 '12 at 2:21
  • $\begingroup$ From the MSDS at: http://www.hrmech.ca/pdf/MSDSSilicaGel(Blue).pdf >Inhalation: Product may be mildly irritating to the nose, throat and respiratory tract and may cause coughing and sneezing. Excessive contact may cause drying of mucous membranes of nose and throat due to absorption of moisture and oils. Later it also mentions it may cause shortness of breath, lung damage, pneumoconiosis. This is all related to the dust. It is up to you to interpret their significance, and whether your product is safe. $\endgroup$ – jds May 22 '12 at 3:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Justin This Meta question wasn't a criticism by any means, it was just a good example that I brought up for general discussion. $\endgroup$ – jonsca May 22 '12 at 5:55
  • $\begingroup$ @jonsca Thank you, I am new to the site and that was helpful. Should I edit the answer? $\endgroup$ – jds May 22 '12 at 14:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Justin, I am going to mark your answer as correct as I think that it could be the smell of the mould/mold in the portable dehumidifier. However, I would hope that you can get yourself one and then you will be able to know what I am trying to emphasis. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – Jack May 25 '12 at 7:21

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