Fight Dry Winter Air with a DIY Humidifier

Winter is the season for dry air, and dry air in your home can be uncomfortable.

This discomfort is especially bad if you have asthma, allergies, a cold, or skin conditions like psoriasis.

Increasing the humidity, or water vapor in the air, is usually done with a humidifier.

However, humidifiers can sometimes be expensive and are usually only effective for a single room. Fortunately, there are ways that you can naturally increase the humidity in your home to combat dry air.

Create your own homemade humidifier

You can easily create your own DIY homemade humidifier using one of those fans you likely stashed away once summer ended.

To create a humidifier that mimics what you might find in a store, you’ll need:

  • a drinking glass, bowl, or container
  • a skewer long enough to rest across the container
  • a sponge or cloth
  • some water
  • a small fan


  • For a sponge wick: Insert the skewer through the very top of the sponge, and then lower the sponge into the glass or container. The skewer can hold the sponge in place.
  • For a cloth wick: Balance the skewer across the lip of the container, fold the cloth in half, and then drape the cloth over the skewer into the glass or container.
  • Fill the glass or container with water until the lower portion of the cloth or sponge is immersed. As time passes, the water will evaporate from the surface of the water in the bowl and from the surface of the wet cloth or towel.
  • Place a fan behind the entire setup and turn it to low. You want the air flow to be facing towards the center of the room, so that the water vapor circulates back into the home.

This homemade humidifier can help to add humidity to the surrounding area. You can create more than one of these and place them strategically around the home, such as on a dresser in your bedroom or on a coffee table in your living room.

Use caution when you have water near electricity. Don’t spill water onto the fan or allow the fan to tilt. Try to keep your homemade humidifier outside the reach of small children and animals.

If you’re looking for small changes you can make around your home that are also effective at increasing moisture in the air, try one of these ideas:


Clever uses of water

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Boiling water
  • Simple steps like cooking more food on the stove can help keep things relatively humid.
  • If you’re a tea drinker (and you should be—green tea is awesome for you!), heat your water in a pot or kettle on the stove (instead of the microwave).
  • Boiling via the stove releases plenty of steam into the air.
  • When water reaches its boiling point, it begins to release steam and evaporate back into the atmosphere.
Placing water bowls around the house…
  • Take a small decorative bowl and fill it almost to the top with water.
  • Place it out of the way on a table or shelf and it will slowly evaporate over time.
… and clever uses of vents and radiators
  • Placing small bowls of water on top of heating floor grates can help add some extra humidity back into the air during the winter months.
  • If you have an old school (nonelectric) radiator with a flat surface, you can also place a small bowl of water on top of the radiator unit.

Do not place containers of water or homemade humidifiers in an area where water could drip onto electrical outlets. And only use heat-safe bowls to avoid melted plastic, breaking glass, or spills.


Plants & fishies

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Go green
  • In order to survive, plants must take in water through the roots.
  • Not all of the water absorbed by the plant is used; most of it is evaporated back out through the leaves in a process called transpiration.
  • The more houseplants you set up around the house, the higher the overall air humidity will be.
  • Bonus: you’ll have the added benefit of enjoying cleaner air.
The joys of fishies
  • Water evaporation is a natural part of the life cycle of an aquarium or fish tank, which can help to passively increase the humidity in the surrounding air.
  • Bonus: fish tanks and aquariums can be easily decorated to enhance the overall aesthetic of your home, especially if you’re going for those feng shui vibes.


Bathtime Tips

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Shower openly (within reason)
  • You can take advantage of a steamy shower by cracking the bathroom door open as much as possible.
  • If your shower is hot enough, this steam will likely seep into the adjacent rooms, giving them a boost of humidity.
  • Just be sure not to leave your bathroom vent on or it will wick away all that moisture.
Save your bath water
  • Once you’re done in the bath, don’t dump the water right away.
  • Allowing it to cool completely will release the remainder of that water vapor back into the air.
  • Plus, if you’re someone who enjoys using aromatherapy during your baths, this will help to release the essential oil vapor into the atmosphere.



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Put your dishwasher to work
  • During the wash cycle of your dishwasher, steam will be released into the atmosphere as the dishes are cleaned.
  • For the drying cycle, cracking the dishwasher door and allowing your dishes to air dry will increase the humidity of the surrounding air as the steam escapes.
Skip the clothes drier
  • While it’s easy to throw the laundry in the dryer and call it a day, you can use those damp clothes to increase humidity.
  • Once the clothes have been washed, simply hang them on a drying rack to dry.
  • As they dry, they’ll release the water back into the atmosphere and help to increase the humidity.

This article was brought to you by the Proactive Health Management Plan in partnership with Healthline.

  • Daisy Heher
    Posted at 12:19h, 21 February

    Very informative

  • Caylee Laxson
    Posted at 08:52h, 21 February


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