11 Cheap & Easy DIY Humidifier Ideas To Combat Dry Air At Home

mindbodygreen Editorial Assistant By Sarah Regan
mindbodygreen Editorial Assistant

Sarah Regan is a writer, registered yoga instructor, and Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Humidity is an important and often overlooked building block of a healthy home. It turns out that proper levels of humidity (not too much, and not too little) can be beneficial for your skin and respiratory health, and they may even help limit the spread of germs in a space.

The ideal humidity percentage is somewhere between 40 and 50%: If your humidity is below 40, it could be causing respiratory discomfort and irritating allergies. Above 50, there's also a risk of allergies, along with mold and dust mites.

Luckily, you can easily test your humidity with a humidity meter or try out the "ice cube test." Simple put a few ice cubes in a glass of water and leave it out for a few minutes. If your air is too dry, moisture won't have formed on the glass. In the case of dry air, molecular toxicologist Rhea Mehta, Ph.D., tells mbg there are tons of simple ways to boost humidity at home quickly if you don't own a humidifier.

For example, she suggests "essential oil diffusers, getting plants, using a rack or furniture to dry wet clothes," and so much more. "Even just having glasses of water out on the counter can help," she says. With that as a jumping-off point, here are some more ideas for DIY humidifiers you can make at little to no cost.

11 DIY humidifiers

1. Houseplants

Not only are plants aesthetically pleasing, but they help moisten the air, and even freshen it slightly, too. Through a process called transpiration, water in a plant evaporates back into the air through its leaves.

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2. A drying rack

Save energy and help humidify your space by using a drying rack for your clothing if you have the room. Rather than throwing them in the dryer, let your damp clothes help moisten the air.

3. Boiling water

Yep, it really is that easy; boil a pot of water (with the lid off, of course), and the steam will evaporate throughout your kitchen and, depending on the size of your space, into surrounding rooms.

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4. A glass of water

Another super-easy hack is to place a glass of water in a space that feels dry. Slowly but surely, the water will evaporate.

5. Showering with the door open

This one might be difficult if you don't live alone, but showering with the door open is a great way to let all that steam flow throughout your house. (Remember to always run a fan after showering, though, since bathrooms are especially prone to mold.)

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6. Bathwater

Similar to your shower, your bathtub can give off a lot of steam. When you're done with your bath, wait to drain it and allow the water to sit and cool with the bathroom door open instead, so some of it can evaporate. Drain once it's cooled completely.

7. Water near windows

You can try this trick with glasses or bowls of water: Find a sunny window sill that will easily warm a cup or bowl, and place water on the sill. The sun will evaporate the water, adding some moisture to the room.

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8. Water near your radiator

If you have radiators or baseboards in your home, you can also place a glass or bowl of water on or near those as well. (Just stick with glass or ceramic for this trick, so you don't accidentally ruin any plasticware.)

9. Stovetop cooking

The oven can actually dry out your kitchen air, but stovetop cooking, on the other hand, will steam up your space. So if you needed yet another reason to cook more at home, do it in the name of optimal humidity.

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10. Your dishwasher

Most dishwashers include a dry cycle at the end of the washing process, but it's not entirely necessary, and all that dishwasher steam could be used to humidify the air! Simply open up your machine once you notice it's begun the drying portion of the cycle.

11. An essential oil diffuser

And lastly, an essential oil diffuser is basically a mini humidifier on its own—and has the added benefit of spreading a pleasing scent in its mist. If you have one, run it regularly, and just make sure to wash it out thoroughly between uses so mold doesn't form.

Again, don't forget that while you want to avoid dry air, you don't want to go overboard on humidity either. Keep that humidity meter handy, or try the "ice cube test" on a regular basis, so you can keep your levels in a healthy place throughout the year.

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