Many homes become uncomfortable because dry air in the winter causes itchy skin, irritated sinus passages, and other sets of health problems. Humidifiers are a quick way to add and monitor the moisture in the air. However, if you lack a humidifier, there are other alternatives and natural ways to humidify a room. These are cheap methods you can try today in your home to raise the humidity even without a humidifier.
17 Ways to Humidify a Room Without a Humidifier
1. Boil Water
Boiling water is perhaps one of the fastest ways of humidifying a room. Anyone can do this in their home because it does not require much effort to execute. Just take a pan or a pot, add water and let it boil. The steam released into the air adds moisture to the surrounding areas. Apart from boiling the water only, you can also take this chance and add essential oils to make the air more soothing and relaxing. A few drops of relaxing essential oils like lavender, lemongrass, or rose will do. Adding other varieties of essential oils can also help fight germs and or relieve cough and colds.
2. Get Houseplants
Plants lose water to the environment by a process called transpiration. While water is essential to a plant, only a small amount taken up by the roots is used for the growth of the plant. The excess water is lost via aerial parts of the plant such as the leaves, flowers, and stems. In your home, you can advantage of this natural process to add moisture to your home.
However, remember to keep the plants watered because a dry home can also be tough on them. House plants that are good at increasing humidity include Dracaena, Philodendron, Peace lily, Areca palm, and Bamboo palm, just to mention a few.
3. Hang Your Clothes To Dry Indoors
Using a dryer is a common way of drying clothes. However, leaving your wet clothes hung inside your home is an excellent way of increasing the humidity naturally. As the clothes dry, water slowly evaporates, thus improving the humidity.
If you do not have clothe hangers installed in your home, you can buy an indoor drying rack. Instead of a wall-mounted drying rack, you can get a collapsible one in which you can move to different rooms to provide moisture and improve the humidity. The AmazonBasics Foldable Clothes Drying Laundry Rack is a good cheap option you can try out. As a bonus, using a drying rack will also get your home to smell fresher.
4. Put Pots or Bowls of Water Near a Heat Source
When water is exposed to heat, it evaporates in the form of vapor. If you have a radiator in your home, place a ceramic or metallic bowl of water next to it. You will be surprised by how the water is released. If you do not own a radiator, you can place the bowl of water near a heat source. Even though the bowl is not directly on the heat source, the same principle will apply.
5. Cook On Your Stovetop
When do you cook, and how do you do it? Cooking on your stovetop can help increase the humidity by taking advantage of the incidental moisture release. When you cook, you can try making dishes that use boiling water, such as rice, pasta, or potatoes.
When water boils, some of it will evaporate into the air, thus increasing the moisture to the area and surroundings. Instead of using the microwave, you can also make small changes like using a tea kettle to warm your cup.
6. Place Bowls Of Water On Near a Window or Around the Room
Similar to using a bowl filled with water near a heat source, this technique uses heat to help water evaporate. However, instead of using heat from the stove or radiator, this uses the sun’s heat. On sunny days take a bowl of water and place it on the window sill. Make sure the curtains are open to allow sunlight to penetrate and heat the water.
The downside of this method is it can only be used on sunny days. In winter, the sun rarely comes out, which would limit this method to only those sunny, warm days. Apart from placing them on your window sill, you can also set the bowls around the room you want to humidify. This will also work but at a slower speed.
7. Use a Crock-Pot
Crock-pots are good at making a pot of stew, however, do you know you can use a pot also to humidify a room? A Crock-pot filled with water can serve effectively as a humidifier. To start, fill the pot to about three-quarters. Cover the pot with a lid and turn it to its highest setting. Take it to a room you would like to increase the humidity and remove the lid to let the warm steam escape into the air.
Apart from adding moisture, you can also add the baking powder into a crock-pot with some water. This will help humidify and also freshen up a room or even musty basements.
8. Use A Stove Steamer
If you regularly use a wood-burning stove, then you can take advantage and get a cast iron stove steamer for your home. A stove steamer provides one of the best ways and fastest ways to add moisture to the air. All you have to do is fill the steamer with water and place it on your stove.
As the water gets heated, it will produce steam, which will increase the humidity. Unlike boiling water on a pot or pan, a stove steamer can also add to the decor of your home. You can buy a decorative one like the Dragon Wood Stove Steamer.
9. Sponge Humidifier
Apart from cleaning your car or dishes, a sponge can also help to humidify a room. There are two ways you can go about using the sponge.
First, take the sponge and soak it in water. Squeeze the sponge to remove any excess water. Take a plastic bag and cover the sponge. Puncture the plastic bag with a series of small holes and place it in the room you desire to increase the humidity. Depending on the size of the room, you will require more than one sponge to reach the desired humidity.
A second approach to use a sponge as a DIY humidifier involves a fan and a pan. First, cut the sponge into several pieces that fit into the pan. Add hot water in the pan till it’s half full. Immerse the pieces of sponge into the pan and let them soak for a few minutes. Take the pan with the pieces of sponge and place it in front of your fan. Tilt the pan by 15-45 degrees so that the fan blows over the pan. This should help humidify the room.
10. Use a Spray Bottle
A spray bottle like the ones for plants, pets, or cleaning products can also work to improve the humidity. Simply fill the bottle with either cold or warm water and spray into the air now and then.
The finer the mist from the spraying bottle, the better and effective it will work. However, you should be careful not to spray more water than what can evaporate quickly, or you might damage your furniture, beddings or carpet.
11. Dampen Your Curtains
Spraying your curtains is another great way to add moisture to your home. Take a spraying bottle and dampen the curtains. If a spraying bottle is not available, you can use your hand and sprinkle water evenly on the curtain. For this to work, the curtains have to be exposed to sunlight. This will help evaporate the water into the room. To speed up things, you can open the windows and let the air blow through the curtains.
12. Vent Your Electric Clothes Dryer Inside
If you have an electric dryer, you can use it to your benefit in your home during some times of the year like winter when the air is dry, and the weather is cold. Dryers use a lot of energy. They suck the air in your home, warm it up and blow the hot air to your clothes. Through this process, the hot air, along with the moisture from your clothes, goes out through the vent pipe. When you vent the dryer outside, all the heat and moisture is lost. However, you can do something about this – vent the dryer into your home.
The moisture will prevent excessive dryness in the house, and you can also save a lot of energy and money on heating. To keep lint from going into your home, add a metallic filter over the end of the pipe to catch the lint. If you use a gas dryer, do not consider this option. This is because the exhaust vent also works as the combustion vent. This will add products of combustion, such as carbon monoxide gas in your home.
13. Leave The Bathroom Door Open While Taking a Shower
If you enjoy taking hot showers, then you can take advantage of this situation and add moisture to your home by leaving the bathroom door open. Leaving the door open when taking a shower helps steam escape. This helps in improving the humidity in the surrounding areas. However, this option might have limitations. If you live alone or with people who respect your privacy, this might work. However, in other cases leaving the bathroom open might not be an option.
14. Leave Water in The Bath Tub
After taking a shower, instead of immediately draining the water, you can leave it for up to one hour. As the water cools down, it will also slowly evaporate, which will humidify the bathroom and adjacent rooms. However, also remember to keep the bathroom door open.
15. Use a Damp Towel
A damp towel placed on a heat vent can also improve the humidity. Soak the towel in water and put it on a heat vent. When the towel dries, immerse it in water and place it on the vent again. You can use multiple towels to increase the humidity faster. Aside from putting a damp towel over a heat vent, you can also hang the towels from the blades of your ceiling fan when it’s not running.
16. Leave The Dishwasher Door Open
Some dishwashers will automatically open the door at the end of the wash period to allow the dishes to dry. After a wash period, you can bypass the drying cycle and let the dishes air dry. This will enable the steam escape and moisten your indoor air. It will also save you a lot of energy by not running the heated drying cycle.
17. Try an Indoor Fountain
An indoor fountain or waterfalls are a great idea to improve the humidity. For homeowners, an indoor fountain will also be a decorative and permanent solution to help keep dry air at bay. An indoor fountain, waterfall, or other water features around your home act as natural humidifiers. When the air is dry, the water will evaporate.
This process, though slow, will humidify your home and also prevent over humidification. The good thing is that water features require less maintenance, and because they are versatile, you can get one personalized to fit your home and budget.
How to Measure Humidity
Keeping track of your home’s humidity level can help you fix the dry air problems before it gets too severe. To measure the humidity of your home, you can purchase a hygrometer at a local hardware store or home store. Once you have bought a hygrometer, pick a location in your home where you spend most of your time and place there.
Avoid placing the hygrometer near doors, humidifiers, heaters, or air conditioners. Once the hygrometer is set up on your chosen location, leave it for a few hours to get the best a better reading. Taking the reading right after placing the humidifier will most likely result in a false reading.
Yes. Dry air can cause a stuffy nose, cracked skin, and other health problems. It will also make your home uncomfortable and provide a thriving environment for viruses. According to an article published by Nytimes, dry air makes the flu virus among other viruses stable and able to survive longer.
Why would you need a humidifier when you can just open your windows? Dry air is normally experienced during the winter season. Opening the windows is not only counter-productive, but it will also reduce the humidity levels in your home. Always keep your windows closed and use the methods above or, better yet, a humidifier to keep the humidity levels optimal.
Yes. An essential oil diffuser will add moisture to the air. However, a diffuser’s sole purpose is to diffuse essentials oils in the air. So when you use a diffuser to humidify, it will only improve the humidity by a small percentage. If you want to diffuse and humidify at the same time, you can try a humidifier diffuser combo. Read our in-depth article on humidifiers vs. diffusers.
Dry air is experienced mainly in the winter season. During the winter season, humidity is very low, and it is also freezing. Thus in most households, people crank up the heat to add warmth. This, in effect, only works to lower the already small amount of moisture in the air.
Yes. A dehumidifier can remove excess moisture in the air, which will cause dry air. This will end up creating a set of other problems associated with dry air. To avoid this, you can get a dehumidifier with a built-in humidistat. It will automatically power off at the ideal humidity levels. You can also consult with professionals who will know the match the needs of your home and correctly set up the dehumidifier.
Keeping your home humidity at optimal levels should not be hard if you do not own a humidifier. Our 17 methods are proven and should be easy to implement in your home without much hassle. Leave a comment below on your experience or other known ways to eliminate dry air in your home.