17 Alternatives to Humidify a Room Without a Humidifier

By Samuel-N •  Updated: 08/04/22 •  12 min read

Many homes become uncomfortable because dry air in the winter causes itchy skin, irritated sinus passages, and other health problems.

Humidifiers are a quick way to add and monitor the moisture in the air. However, if you lack a humidifier, there are humidifier 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.

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, turn the stove on and let it boil. The steam released into the air adds moisture to the surrounding areas.

boiling-water-on-a-stove

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 essential oils can help fight germs and relieve coughs and colds.

To boil water, an electric kettle is better compared to a stove. It is more energy-efficient and heats water at a faster rate compared to a stove. You can also move it around the rooms to humidify other rooms too. For a good yet budget-friendly electric kettle, the Hamilton Beach Electric Tea Kettle, is a great option.

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 plant growth. The excess water is lost via aerial parts of the plant, such as the leaves, flowers, and stems. In your home, you can take advantage of this natural process to add moisture to your home.

house-plants-in-home

However, keep the plants watered because a dry home can also be tough on them. House plants good at increasing humidity include Dracaena, Philodendron, Peace lily, Areca palm, and Bamboo palm, 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.

Laundry-drying-inside

You can buy an indoor drying rack if you do not have clothes hangers installed in your home. 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, a drying rack will also make your home 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 water bowl next to it. You will be surprised by how the water is released. If you do not own a radiator, you can place the water bowl near a heat source. The same principle will apply even though the bowl is not directly on the heat source.

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.

cooking-on-a-stove

When water boils, some will evaporate into the air, thus increasing the moisture in the area and surroundings. Instead of using the microwave, you can make small changes like using a tea kettle to warm your cup.

6. Place Bowls Of Water 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. Ensure 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:

Apart from adding moisture, you can add the baking powder into a crock-pot with some water. This will help humidify and freshen up a room or musty basements.

8. Use A Stove Steamer

If you regularly use a wood-burning stove, you can take advantage and get a cast iron steamer for your home. A stove steamer provides one of the best 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.

dragon-wood-stove-steamer

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 your home’s decor. You can buy a decorative one like the Dragon Wood Stove Steamer.

9. Sponge Humidifier

Besides 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 using 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 to 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 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. Fill the bottle with either cold or warm water and spray it into the air now and then.

spray-water-bottle

The finer the mist from the spraying bottle, the better and more effective it will work. However, it would help if you were careful not to spray more water than what can evaporate quickly, or you might damage your furniture, bedding, 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 unavailable, 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. You can open the windows and let the air blow through the curtains to speed up things.

12. Vent Your Electric Clothes Dryer Inside

If you have an electric dryer, you can use it 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 into your clothes. Through this process, the hot air and moisture from your clothes go out through the vent pipe. All the heat and moisture are lost when you vent the dryer outside. 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 save a lot of energy and money on heating. To keep lint from entering 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 combustion products, such as carbon monoxide gas, to your home.

13. Leave The Bathroom Door Open While Taking a Shower

If you enjoy hot showers, 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. This might work if you live alone or with people who respect your privacy. However, in other cases leaving the bathroom open might not be an option.

14. Leave Water in The Bath Tub

After taking a shower, you can leave it for up to one hour instead of immediately draining the water. As the water cools down, it will slowly evaporate, humidifying 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, you can bypass the drying cycle and let the dishes air dry. This will enable the steam to escape and moisten your indoor air. It will 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.

indoor-fountain

Though slow, this process will humidify your home and 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 your home’s humidity, 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 in your chosen location, leave it for a few hours to get a better reading. Taking the reading right after placing the humidifier will likely result in a false reading.

Happy Humidifying

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.

Samuel-N

Samuel is the founder of Cozy Indoor and has been in the home renovations industry since 2013. Since then, his mission is to make home cooling, heating, and air quality easier for everyone to understand. Read my guides and reviews here on cozyindoor.