Whether you live in a dry climate or are suffering from chapped lips and dry skin due to dry indoor air caused by your home’s air conditioner or heating system, it pays to learn how to humidify a house. Of course, you could purchase a humidifier. The good news is that there are other ways to put moisture back into the air!
How to Humidify a Room Without a Humidifier
There are quite a few tricks and tips for humidifying your home without plugging in a humidifier. In essence, anything that puts moisture back into the air is going to be a big help. And if you make a habit of repeating these little actions, you’ll find that your indoor air feels more comfortable.
Try These Easy Homemade Humidifier Ideas:
Shower with the Bathroom Door Open
Most of us automatically flip on the bathroom fan to keep all the humidity from our daily shower from causing excess condensation. Instead or flipping that switch, leave the bathroom door open while you shower. The steam from your shower will exit via the door, evaporating into the air and humidifying at least part of your home. If everyone in your family showers with the door open, you’re probably going to notice quite a difference immediately.
If you aren’t comfortable with leaving the door open while you shower, at least open it as soon as you get dressed and let the remaining steam work its way throughout your home.
Let Bathwater Cool Before Draining
If you’re more of a bath person, leave the door open after bathing and let the water sit in the tub until it’s completely cool. There’s less steam from a bath than there is from a shower, but you’d be amazed at how much moisture this can put back into the air.
Let Cooking Water Pull Double Duty
Don’t dump your cooking water until it’s completely cool! Once your food has cooked, transfer it out of the pot, but leave the water to cool. As it does so, steam will evaporate into your home’s atmosphere.
Have a Woodstove? Try This Natural Humidifier
One of the easiest ways to humidify a room or even an entire house is to place a kettle or pot of water on top of your woodstove and allow it to evaporate. Fill it up periodically so your home stays comfortable.
Make a Boiling Water Humidifier
Take a pot full of water and set it on the stove to simmer or boil. You can leave it on low, or your can turn it on and off. This works pretty quickly in a small space and it answers the question of how to humidify a room naturally! Whatever the size of your room or home, be sure to leave doors open so the steam from your impromptu humidifier can make its way into as many spaces as possible.
Air-Dry Some of Your Laundry
If you’re not in a huge hurry, you’ll find that air-drying some of your laundry helps increase humidity in your home and save a little energy at the same time. Get a drying rack or use a couple of chairs to hold a few items that need to be dried. The moisture will evaporate, gradually contributing to moister indoor air. Position clothing items near heating registers or radiators to speed things up, but keep them far enough away so they won’t present a fire hazard.
A Bowl of Water Can Come to the Rescue
The whole dry air no humidifier conundrum can be maddening but you probably have one simple item to help you deal with the situation. If you use central heating or a radiator, you can set a bowl of water near the heat source. Use glass or metal to reduce the risk of melting! The water will gradually evaporate and increase humidity naturally. Be sure to protect the water from curious kids and/or pets who might spill it.
Make Your Slow Cooker Work Overtime
Most of us have slow cookers, and they’re fantastic for fixing meals ahead of time. That’s not all this handy appliance is good for! You can use your slow cooker as a humidifier, too. Simply fill the reservoir (crock) with water, then open the vent on the lid so that steam will escape. If your slow cooker lid doesn’t have a vent, you can set the lid off to the side so that it’s partly open.
Use the lowest setting to prevent the reservoir from going dry overnight or while you’re at work during the day. If you like, you can make a natural air freshener by adding slice of citrus fruit and sweet-smelling spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice to the water. Your home will smell amazing and the air won’t parch your skin.
Give Your Candle Warmer a New Job
If you have a candle warmer, you can easily transform it into a safe, effective homemade humidifier that can double as a simple essential oil diffuser. Find a large jar that will fit on the candle warmer, fill it up with water, and add your favorite essential oil or blend (optional). The water will evaporate steadily, and you’ll soon feel much more comfortable in your home.
Let Pretty Houseplants do the Work for You
Most of us know that houseplants can help keep indoor air clean. They serve another purpose: houseplants are a type of natural humidifier that can help put moisture back into the air, even when you’re not paying attention! This happens automatically via transpiration. After you water your plants, they bring the moisture up through their roots, use what they need, and release the rest into the air.
Note that houseplants probably won’t work all by themselves, but they can be an important part of any natural humidification plan. Put lots of houseplants in all of your rooms for a more noticeable effect, and be sure to keep them well-watered. If you have kids or pets, be sure to choose plants that are safe for them to be around.
Learn How to Humidify a Room with a Sponge
If you’re worried about leaving open bowls of water around where kids and pets can get to them, a sponge might be the next best thing. The easiest way to do this is to soak a large sponge – like the kind you’d use to wash a car – in water so that it’s completely wet but not dripping too much. Put it in a big freezer bag and use scissors to poke some holes in the top of the bag. Set the sponge and bag in a safe place and allow the water to evaporate. If you like, you can fill a bowl or another container with a few very wet sponges and allow the water to evaporate. This adds more moisture to the air while still reducing the likelihood of spills.
Since sponges are subject to bacterial infestation, it’s a good idea to clean your sponges by microwaving them or washing them in the dishwasher at least once per week.
Make Hot Beverages
Any beverage that calls for boiling water will give you a good reason to put a pot of water on to boil. Instead of using a teapot for this task, use a saucepan – and think about boiling a little more water than you’ll need for your tea or cocoa. Let the extra water cool off in the pan and you’ll add more moisture to the air than you would otherwise.
Have Soup or Stew for Dinner
Soups and stews are the ultimate wintertime comfort food, especially when you add a slice of fresh bread! This wonderful, nutritious meal does more than soothe your senses and fill up your hungry tummy: While it’s simmering on the stove, your soup is releasing steam into your home’s atmosphere and doing a great job of humidifying air naturally, no humidifier required.
Not in the mood for soup? Any food that calls for boiling or steaming will add moisture to your environment. Pasta, hard-boiled eggs, rice, potatoes, and dry beans are some examples. It takes longer to cook on the stovetop than it does to use the microwave, but every bit of moisture that rises up from your pot will make a difference in the way your home feels!
Put Your Curtains to Work
If you have durable curtains that will hold water, you can use them for more than privacy. Simply spray them with clean, fresh water until they’re very damp. As the water evaporates, your home will feel a little less dry. This works very well in warm weather as well a during the winter when you have the heat turned up!
Be sure to test your curtains by spraying a hidden area and allowing the water to dry. This way, you can see how the fabric will react.
Try Pretty Water Features for Humidifying Your Home
Any water source will evaporate over time, particularly if it’s exposed to warmth, or if the water is moving. Here are a few fun, natural humidifiers to consider.
Fish tank – A fish tank adds interest to your space, and the water evaporates slowly over time. Be sure to care for your fish properly by adding more water and keeping the pH properly balanced. You can find tons of great resources online for fish tank care.
Fountain – If you’re not interested in caring for fish, consider a pretty tabletop fountain. You’ll be surprised at how fast the water evaporates, particularly if your fountain is in a warm, sunny spot.
Vases – Another DIY humidifier idea involves pretty vases or jars filled with water and perhaps a few glass beads or shiny river rocks. Curate a nice collection and set them in a warm window, topping them up occasionally.
Now that you know how to humidify a house without a humidifier, you’ll find that it’s easier than ever to stay comfortable and maybe even enjoy some delicious food and drink at the same time! Which one will you try first?