High humidity levels can have a negative impact on your health and make you feel rather grumpy. Unfortunately, the humidity can be caused by almost anything in your house, from cooking and showering to even breathing.
However, because professional dehumidifiers can cost a pretty penny, I wanted to see if I could lower the humidity found in my house with something cheaper. Hence, I embarked on a journey of a lifetime — I wanted to figure out how to remove humidity from a room without a dehumidifier.
I am one of those people who only get the drive to do something around the house at night, once the stores are closed. So I wanted to see if I could use the things I already had in my home. But, before I get into all of that, let’s see what actually causes humidity in the first place.
WHAT CAUSES HIGH HUMIDITY IN A ROOM?
Humidity is the percentage of water moisture in the air. Simply put, high levels of humidity occur when moisture gets trapped in your house. Those can also increase when it rains or gets foggy outside.
It’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms of high humidity so that you can take action before moisture causes significant damage. However, there are many varying opinions on what the ideal percentage of air humidity is. Some say it’s between 30-60%, while others claim it’s anywhere from 40-50%. In any case, this number mostly depends on your local climate.
Anything drastically higher or lower than those levels is usually not healthy. Moreover, high humidity can be caused by a number of ordinary things in your home. The most common culprits are:
- Cooking or boiling water
- Drying laundry inside
- Leaks in the house
- Poor ventilation and faulty ACs
As you can see, high humidity levels can be caused by most normal, everyday home activities. However, I have scoured the Internet for tips and tricks on how to remove humidity from a room so that you don’t have to wake up with a dry throat every morning.
HOW TO REMOVE HUMIDITY FROM A ROOM WITHOUT A DEHUMIDIFIER
I’m not going to argue with you if you think that using a particular device is always the best way to solve your life problems. However, there are much cheaper, better-looking, and safer alternatives to using a dehumidifier. Moreover, you don’t even have to leave your house or buy anything for some of these solutions. Here are a couple of things you can do right now to remove the humidity from a room:
- Ventilate to increase airflow
- Check for leaky pipes, and bind them with duct tape if necessary
- Set your AC to “dry”
- Turn on a fan to help with evaporation
- Turn on your furnace to dry out the air
All that being said, if you want to rid yourself of high humidity but don’t want to pay a lot of money, or hear a constant noise in the background — some of these alternatives just might be the right solution for you.
I personally prefer saving money by using things I already have in my house, rather than buying an expensive device. These DIY dehumidifiers are extremely simple to make and won’t take up more than 10 minutes of your time. Let’s take a look at how you can make your own dehumidifier, starting with the easiest technique.
• Silica Gel
When you buy new shoes, you’ll probably find silica gel packets in the box as well. These little pellets can be quite helpful in your fight against humidity. They will absorb and remove humidity wherever you place them. Even museums use silica to control humidity levels.
Furthermore, silica gel is cheap, and you don’t even have to use large amounts of it. If you tend to buy a lot of shoes and keep the boxes — you can have it for free! Also, if you buy more than you need, you can even use silica gel to dry off your phone if you accidentally get it wet. On top of that, silica gel is reusable — you can heat it up for a couple of hours, and it will become effective again.
• Charcoal Briquettes
Charcoal briquettes are one of those things you always have around but never seem to use. However, here’s where they can come in handy and truly shine. Charcoal is able to absorb moisture from the air, which makes it a great natural dehumidifier.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your charcoal dehumidifier:
- Charcoal briquettes
- A large can with a lid
- A screwdriver
The process of making this natural dehumidifier is incredibly simple. First, poke some holes on the side of your can with a screwdriver or whatever else you have handy. Then, just put charcoal in the can and close the lid. Place the can in the room where the air feels rather humid.
Charcoal is perfectly safe to use, and you can put these cans in any room that has high levels of humidity. This solution is great for bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and closets. However, make sure to replace the charcoal every couple of months, before it loses its air-drying abilities.
• Baking Soda
Baking soda is great for cleaning your house, brushing your teeth, and even removing humidity from a room. It is just as effective as charcoal and can even get rid of the smell and spots of mold on your wall. Moreover, baking soda will absorb almost everything — from stains to odors.
If you want to use it as a dehumidifier, simply place it in an open container and let it do its magic.
Baking soda is an everyday household item that is perfectly safe to use. If you have any left over, you can put it in your fridge to prevent the food smells from blending together. Additionally, it can help you if you like to take long, hot showers. Simply place a bowl of baking soda in the bathroom while showering, and you will stop humidity from spreading all over your home.
• Rock Salt
If you don’t have any rock salt in your house, who are you? Rock salt is easy to come by, cheap and quite useful. Moreover, it’s great for dehydrating and preserving meat and fish. Hence, it’s a great dehumidifier because it can absorb the water in its environment and keep bad odors under control.
This is what you’ll need to make a rock salt dehumidifier:
- Two buckets
- Some rock salt
- A drill
First, use the drill to poke holes in the sides and at the bottom of one of your buckets. Next, place that bucket over the other one, and pour the rock salt in it.
Keep in mind that the rock salt will collect in the bottom bucket while it’s removing moisture from the air. You do have to throw out that liquid from time to time and replace it with fresh rock salt to keep dehumidifying the room.
Another thing you can use to remove humidity from a room without a dehumidifier is a plant. Plants are nature’s own dehumidifiers; they are great to look at and will help decrease humidity levels in any room.
HOUSE PLANTS AS DEHUMIDIFIERS
Did you know that there are plants that can, instead of receiving water through their roots, simply absorb it from the air? Even if they don’t completely dry out a room, plants will significantly reduce the overall humidity levels. Also, there isn’t a prettier way to remove moisture from the air. Some of these will not only let you breathe easier but will also add a touch of class to any room.
• Boston Fern
The Boston fern is most commonly found in areas where the humidity levels are quite high. This plant is very low-maintenance — you only have to water it twice a week. Moreover, because it thrives on moisture, it will balance out the humidity levels in any room. You can place more of these plants on shelves and tables around your house.
Tillandsia is easy to maintain and doesn’t need a lot of light to thrive and grow. To remove humidity from a room, you can simply put it in a terrarium and water it every other day.
• Peace lily
The peace lily will dehumidify and filter the air in a room. This plant doesn’t require too much care, and you can water it every other week. However, do keep in mind that it’s slightly toxic. You should keep it out of reach of children and pets.
• English Ivy
The English ivy can, in addition to absorbing humidity, remove mold particles. This hanging plant will make you feel like you’re sitting in a garden, rather than a room, and will thrive when it’s not facing direct sunlight. Still, you need to make sure that the soil is evenly moist so that this plant can grow properly.
• Reed Palm
The Reed palm grows in tropical climates and thrives in high temperatures and humidity levels. It can absorb the moisture and filter the air, just like the peace lily. Because it is a palm, it’s best to put in on the floor so that it can grow without any obstacles. However, do know it requires a bit more maintenance, as it always needs to have evenly moist soil.
STORE-BOUGHT PRODUCTS FOR REMOVING HUMIDITY
Store-bought products for removing humidity work similarly to the ones we have already talked about. They typically come in buckets or hanging packets and are perfect for removing humidity from a room without actually using a dehumidifier.
DampRid can control high levels of humidity in a room or even a greenhouse, and it works similarly to silica gel. Its crystals will harden and turn into a solid mass after absorbing the moisture out of the air. These crystals are white and are made from calcium and chlorine.
DampRid comes in three different forms:
- Hanging packet
- Spreadable powder
It is cheap, self-contained, effective, and since it’s packaging is clear, you can actually watch it while it does its magic. In fact, you can even see how DampRid works before buying it.
Dri-Z-Air is another great, cost-effective product that you can find in almost any hardware store. The crystals in Dri-Z-Air can absorb moisture and lower the high humidity levels in a room. Moreover, this product is not toxic. After using it, you can flush it down the toilet or throw it out.
A single bag of Dri-Z-Air can cover a whole room. You can just pour the crystals into a container and put them wherever you want. Once the crystals remove the moisture from the air, the excess will be stored at the bottom of the container. When all of the crystals have been liquified, you can just throw them out and replenish the container.
CONSEQUENCES OF HIGH HUMIDITY
Other than being unsightly, high humidity levels can be a health risk. Moisture in the air makes you feel like you can’t breathe properly. Moreover, it can cause your allergies to flare up, sleeping problems, and dehydration.
High humidity will dry out your mucous membrane and put you at risk of throat and nose irritation. Also, in addition to making you feel awful on the inside, high levels of humidity can affect your appearance. They can dry out your skin, damage your hair, and cause your lips to crack. Additionally, moisture will cause your pets to smell bad, and while that isn’t life-threatening, it’s certainly not pleasant.
Humidity can also damage your home, as it can make wallpaper peel off and hardwood floors to distort. High humidity can cause stains and structural damage to your house as well.
Also, let’s not forget about the moldy patches on walls that are a direct consequence of high humidity. Fungi almost exclusively grow in places you want to keep clean, like your bathroom and kitchen. The mold caused by humidity will never go away until you deal with the underlying problem. Sure, you can keep drenching your walls with bleach, but this will likely do more harm than good.
The moisture in the air can kill your electronics too. Additionally, bugs love places with high humidity — so you can expect a visit from them. All in all, it’s best to keep all of these away from your home and remove high humidity from all rooms straight away.
WHY NOT JUST USE A DEHUMIDIFIER?
If you’re already on a tight budget, high humidity levels can definitely make you break the bank. Whether you need to fix an old dehumidifier or buy a new one, it’s a big investment. Additionally, using either an AC or a dehumidifier will drive up your electricity bill.
Professional dehumidifiers come with a high price tag. However, if you go with a cheaper one, it won’t last as long — and you’ll end up constantly having to replace it. Also, let’s be honest — dehumidifiers are just not nice to look at. There’s no way you can decorate around them, and they take up a lot of space.
Furthermore, if you don’t clean and maintain a dehumidifier properly at all times — it can make you sick. Instead of preventing mold growth, it can offer a pleasant environment for it and other types of bacteria to grow. Moreover, dehumidifiers can be very noisy, and God forbid the fan starts to malfunction — you will literally never hear the end of it.
As I mentioned, the ideal level of humidity in a house depends on your location and climate. However, you will likely experience some problems with high humidity in your life wherever you live.
In addition to making it hard for you to breathe, humidity can cause mold and bacteria growth. Moreover, other than being unsightly, mold and bacteria that thrive on humidity can cause serious health issues.
Still, there’s no need for you to panic. Almost everyone has to deal with mold, and now you’re equipped to handle it. The solutions I have provided will, in addition to removing humidity from a room, have some added benefits. For example, everything you need for a DIY dehumidifier is natural, cheap, and easy to find. These everyday household items can help you remove both humidity and bad odors from your home.
Furthermore, perhaps one of the best, and to be honest, the prettiest ways to dehumidify your home is to put plants in rooms that have high humidity levels. Additionally, you can use plants to get rid of the mold found in your home. The plants that are used for removing humidity will also filter the air, as well as look and smell great.
However, if you’re not a plant aficionado or in the mood for a DIY project, you can buy products that have dehumidifying properties. DampRid and Dri-Z-Air are cost-effective and easy to use in your fight against mold and high humidity.
You don’t have to live with mold and bacteria festering in your home and compromising your health. As you can see, there is a great range of products you can buy or make to remove humidity from a room without a dehumidifier — and breathe a sigh of relief.