All you need to know about handling oxygen absorbers

Oxygen absorbers contain iron powder that will drain any nearby oxygen by oxidizing (rusting). If they are put into a sealed container, they will over the course of a few days absorb any oxygen that is inside that container. Once all the iron inside them has been fully oxidized they cannot absorb any more and won’t regenerate. This means that every oxygen absorber has its given maximum amount of oxygen it can absorb.

It is thus important to limit their exposure to air (oxygen) before they are being used to not waste their capacity beforehand.

That is why our oxygen absorbers come in a vacuum sealed bag and with an indicator dot that indicates the absence of any oxygen inside the bag (pink colour) to show that the packaging is intact.


Handling your oxygen absorber, the right way


  1. When receiving your oxygen absorber make sure they are still properly sealed and that the vacuum sealed bag they come in has not been punctured. They should be tightly packed in the bag (vacuum) and the oxygen indicator (round dot inside the vacuum bag) should be pink. If that is not in case get in contact with us.
  2. Please make sure that you store the vacuum bag with the oxygen absorbers away from any sharp objects. They might puncture the vacuum bag and expose the oxygen absorbers to air.
  3. It is advisable to only open the bag with the oxygen absorbers when you are going to use them. Any leftover oxygen absorbers that have not been used need to be stored in an airtight sealed container, and can then be used at a later time. You could for example:
    1. place them into a vacuum sealer bag and vacuum seal them (ideal, as all the air is removed and will not drain any of the oxygen absorbers capacity)
    2. or put them into a mylar bag, press out as much of the excess air and heat seal properly. (for example with a hair straightener)
    3. put them into an airtight jar and close the lid properly. Ideally the jar should be as small as possible to not contain too much excess air.
    4. Most plastic boxes and zip-loc bags are NOT suitable as they often are not 100% tight and may be subject to a minor leakage which will drain the oxygen absorbers over time.

Please keep in mind that as oxygen absorbers get exposed to air, their absorption capacity reduces gradually. The maximum exposure to air should never be more than 30 minutes, and they should always be stored in a sealed airtight container or bag.


Checking the state of your oxygen absorbers


Sometimes it happens that the vacuum bag got punctured by accident or the oxygen absorbers have been in storage for a long time in a leaky container. In that case they might have lost some or most of their oxygen absorption capacity.

They might not necessarily be completely gone though and before disposing them you can check them if you want to. Take at least one of the oxygen absorbers that you want to check. Ideally the one closest one to the point of leakage of the storage container.

Cut the absorber open and pour its contents onto a piece of white paper. In case the contents are still black/grey and without any lumps the oxygen absorber should still be good. If in doubt you can double the amount used in your food packaging or order new ones.

Whenever the contents have a rusty/brownish colour and stick together in lumps the oxygen absorbers are definitely gone and should be disposed.


Perfectly fine Oxygen absorber

Usable oxygen absorber


Used up Oxygen Absorber

Unusable Oxygen absorber


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