Spring Cleaning! 8 Tips on How to Clean and Reduce Moisture in Your Shipping Container
May 2023

Spring Cleaning! 8 Tips on How to Clean and Reduce Moisture in Your Shipping Container

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It’s that time of year again! As the snow melts and the weather gets warmer, it quickly becomes the time for some spring cleaning. As you start to clean out your home, remember that it would be good to clean out your shipping containers at least once a year too. It may be time-consuming and physically demanding to do a thorough clean out, but cleaning once at least once a year while maintaining moisture levels in your container will help to maintain your shipping container in the long run.

Moisture buildup can lead to growth of mold and bacteria in your container that can damage the container and the contents stored inside, so it is important to reduce moisture as much as possible! Here are some tips that can help keep your container in pristine condition.

1.Ventilation and Airflow

Proper ventilation and airflow is the key to reducing moisture in a shipping container. Ventilation can be increased by simply letting your container air out for a few hours or by installing louver vents. If you are interested in the latter, Sigma can provide a quote.


Even keeping your container propped up on cement blocks or pressed wood helps to add airflow to the bottom of the container. This reduces the moisture build up on the bottom of the container, preventing corrosion, and even helping to control the temperature inside the container. 

2. Clean and Cover the Floor

If you’re not pressure washing the floor of your container for a thorough cleaning, it’s good to still keep the floors clean with a thorough sweep or hose down to remove the dirt and dust build up. 

Covering the floor of the container after cleaning and drying can help as a moisture barrier from the ground as most containers have wooden flooring. Consider using a plastic sheet covering! It will not only be easier for your next clean up but it will also help to prevent the moisture from seeping up from the ground and into the container.

3. Sanitize

Sanitizing and cleaning the walls of your container can prevent growth of mold and bacteria. You can use any preferred sanitizer or make your own by mixing water and a bit of bleach in a spray bottle. Please remember to prioritize safety when handling chemicals such as wearing gloves and a mask and letting the container air out after to allow any lingering fumes to dissipate. 

4. Seal Cracks and Seams

Make sure to give a thorough inspection inside and outside of your container for any cracks and seams that may be allowing moisture to enter. Even the smallest crack can eventually lead to moisture build up. You can seal any cracks with waterproof sealant, such as tar tape, which you can purchase at your local hardware store.

5. Dehumidifiers

A dehumidifier can be the most effective method in reducing moisture in your container, especially in humid climates. The only downside is that dehumidifiers must be kept running until the moisture level in your container has been controlled.

6. Absorbing Gels/ Desiccants

Absorbing gels and desiccants can also absorb moisture from the air. Absorbing gels are often made out of silica gel that can also change colour to indicate the level of moisture it has absorbed. 

Desiccants, similar to absorbing gels, come in different forms such as a sheet or sachet. Instead of directly absorbing the moisture into gel beads, they attract the moisture to be absorbed on the surface of the desiccant.


Once the colour darkens on your gel or desiccant, you can replace it with another. This method is simple and straightforward, the only downside however, would be to remember to check on them often to see if it needs replacing.

7. Insulation

Insulating the interior of your container can help reduce moisture by slowing the transfer of heat and moisture. By keeping a regulated temperature, it prevents fluctuations that can cause condensation on the steel walls of your container. This is especially important for spring and fall when there are large temperature changes between day and night. 


Insulation can also help to increase the efficiency of your ventilation by slowing transfer of moisture from the outside to the inside of your container, which also decreases the risk of condensation.

8. Avoid Stacking Items

When placing your belongings back into your shipping container after the cleaning is all done, it would be wise to not stack the storage items too high or fully load your container. Always keep in mind that it is good to have airflow and that fully loading your container can block that, reducing ventilation. Even with louver vents, it would reduce ventilation if there were too many obstacles in the way.


By taking these tips, you can successfully reduce condensation and moisture levels in your shipping container, helping to prevent mold and bacteria growth that can damage your stored items. It is important to keep an eye on the moisture levels in your container constantly, not just while spring cleaning. This can also help to make sure your container lasts for a very long time.



Ready for some spring cleaning? A shipping container may be just what you need! Whether you are ready or still contemplating on whether a shipping container, owned or rented, is the right fit for you, we are here to help! Call Sigma Container Corporation at 1-877-225-7765 or contact us online to get started.