How to Add Moisture to the Air Without a Humidifier: 8 Simple Methods

By: Evan Scoboria, Last updated: June 28, 2023

During cold winters or in dry climates, indoor air can become uncomfortably dry, leading to dry skin, irritated eyes, and respiratory issues. While a humidifier is a popular solution for adding moisture to the air, you can try several other cost-effective and straightforward methods. This article will explore eight ways to add moisture to the air without a humidifier.

Air-Dry Your Laundry

Drying Laundry

Air-drying your laundry indoors is an effective method to increase humidity levels in your home. This method prevents the use of energy-consuming dryers. It optimizes the water retained in your damp clothes by allowing them to evaporate into your interior environment, contributing to increased humidity.

Implementing this process necessitates a suitable location within your home. A room offering ample ventilation, like a laundry room or an unused bathroom, is ideal, as adequate air circulation is vital to stimulate evaporation and prevent the occurrence of damp smells. Avoid placing clothes in frequently occupied living areas, as the limited airflow in these spaces can result in a damp environment and extended drying times.

How you arrange your laundry can also impact humidity levels. A stretched clothesline or drying rack enables air to flow around your clothes, which speeds up the drying process and ensures efficient moisture dispersion into the room. Avoid cluttering your clothes together; instead, try to maximize the exposure of their surface area to the air. This technique aids in quicker drying and enhances moisture released into the air.

Place a Bowl of Water Near Heat Sources

Employing a bowl or pan of water near heat sources is a straightforward, productive technique to enhance your home's humidity. The heat emanating from a radiator, vent, fireplace, or space heater warms the water in the vessel, promoting evaporation and, consequently, elevating the room's humidity levels. Notably, this method is passive, rendering it an energy-conserving approach to humidifying your living space.

A wide, shallow bowl or pan maximizes the water's surface area, expediting evaporation and thus increasing the humidity more effectively. Once chosen, situate the container near the heat source, ensuring it is close enough to absorb heat yet not so near as to pose a fire hazard or damage the container. When utilizing a radiator, the bowl can be directly placed on top, whereas the bowl should be placed in the surrounding vicinity for a vent or space heater.

The water in the bowl will progressively evaporate, necessitating regular refilling to sustain the desired humidity levels. The frequency of refilling hinges on multiple factors, including the intensity of the heat source, the container's size, and the level of air dryness. To avert the potential growth of mold or bacteria, the bowl should be maintained in a clean state, ideally washed at each refill.

Ensure the bowl is securely positioned and out of reach from accidental knocking, which could result in water damage or a potential fire hazard. While this technique can prove effective, it is important to note its suitability for small spaces or individual rooms, and it might necessitate amplification for larger areas or entire homes.

Use Houseplants

House Plants

Introducing houseplants into your indoor spaces is a visually appealing method for elevating humidity levels. The significant contribution of houseplants to indoor air humidity is mainly due to a process known as transpiration.

Transpiration is an intricate plant process that involves water transportation throughout the plant, followed by its evaporation from various plant parts like leaves, stems, and flowers. The root system absorbs water, which gets distributed to the leaves, which is subsequently released into the surrounding atmosphere, enhancing the local humidity levels.

Selecting appropriate plant varieties is vital to utilize houseplants to augment moisture in the air efficiently. Certain plants exhibit higher transpiration rates, making them more effective at humidity increase. Tropical plant species that naturally thrive in humid environments, such as spider plants, peace lilies, areca palms, or Boston ferns, are ideal choices for this purpose. These plants discharge moisture into the air during their natural growth cycle.

Proper watering of your plants is crucial to ensure adequate moisture supply for transpiration. However, caution must be exercised to avoid overwatering, which could harm the plant and potentially lead to mold proliferation.

The positioning of your plants also plays a role in achieving adequate humidification. Clustering plants together can engender a microclimate with a higher humidity since the released moisture becomes concentrated within a single area. This strategy can be particularly beneficial in overly dry rooms.

The size and quantity of plants contribute to the volume of moisture released into the atmosphere. For homes with exceedingly dry air, incorporating several humidity-loving plants into your indoor space could prove beneficial.

Ensuring the health and well-being of your plants are crucial to optimizing their transpiration capacity and consequent humidity augmentation. Regularly inspect your plants for potential disease or pest issues and guarantee their exposure to adequate light and essential nutrients.

Strategically chosen and well-maintained houseplants can enhance your home's humidity, add a touch of natural beauty, and promote improved air quality. It's essential to remember that each plant species has unique requirements, and understanding these is vital for their successful growth and effective contribution to a more humid indoor environment.

Boil Water on the Stove

Boiling water

Water boiling on a stovetop presents a practical and effective way to inject moisture into your indoor atmosphere. This approach proves especially valuable during the chilly months when indoor air can become excessively dry due to heating systems. This method functions based on a basic premise: the water, when heated, transforms into steam, spreading throughout the room and enhancing the humidity.

To leverage this technique effectively, you should opt for a pot of considerable size. The pot's capacity directly impacts the volume of water you can boil, translating into increased steam and, subsequently, greater moisture content in the air. Keeping the pot lid free allows the steam to disperse unobstructedly.

Instead of boiling the water briskly, maintaining it at a simmering point is more beneficial. This approach results in slower, prolonged evaporation, ensuring a sustained moisture release into your environment.

Consider enriching the water with a few drops of essential oils or other aromatic constituents like cinnamon sticks, cloves, or citrus peels to infuse a pleasant aroma into your space. As the simmering water releases steam, these pleasant fragrances permeate your home.

While employing this technique, safety considerations are paramount. Leaving a simmering pot unattended on a stovetop is ill-advised due to the potential fire risk if the water boils off completely. Additionally, caution should be exercised around the hot steam, which could result in burns if one gets too close.

Keep in mind that the stovetop boiling method does require considerable energy usage. If energy conservation is among your priorities, use this method judiciously.

Create a Makeshift Evaporative Cooler

Creating a makeshift evaporative cooler is another creative DIY and cost-effective way to increase humidity and cool your living space. This method relies on the principle of evaporation, where heat is absorbed from the surrounding air as the water evaporates. Here's how you can set up your evaporative cooler:

Materials Needed:


  1. Choose the Right Equipment: Start with a fan and a shallow pan or tray. A larger tray will provide a greater surface area for evaporation, increasing the efficiency of this method.

  2. Fill the Tray with Water: Fill the shallow pan or tray with cold water. You can add ice cubes to the water for an extra cooling effect.

  3. Position the Fan: Set up the fan to blow air across the water's surface. As the air moves over the water, it causes the water to evaporate, which adds moisture to the atmosphere and cools the room.

  4. Maintenance: Monitor the water level in the tray and refill it as needed. The rate at which you'll need to fill the pan will depend on several factors, including the tray's size, the fan's speed, and the room's relative humidity.

Additional Tips:

Remember, a DIY evaporative cooler won't replace an air conditioning system or a commercial evaporative cooler. Still, it can provide some relief on a dry or hot day, and it can be an effective way to increase the humidity in your home.

Cook on the Stovetop

Pans on a stovetop

Taking advantage of the cooking process on your stovetop can be a natural humidifier for your home. This is because methods such as boiling, simmering, and steaming food prompt the release of moisture into your surrounding environment in the guise of steam. Here's a practical approach to integrating cooking into your strategy to boost humidity:

The process begins when you heat water or foodstuff with a high water content on your stovetop. The heat facilitates water evaporation, leading to the production of steam. This steam subsequently augments the moisture content in the air, potentially enhancing the humidity levels not just in your kitchen but in the adjacent rooms.

To optimize the benefits, consider forgoing the use of pot lids during cooking whenever feasible. This would facilitate maximal steam dispersion. However, ensure always adherence to recipe specifications and safe cooking practices.

Choose cooking techniques particularly effective at generating steam, such as boiling, simmering, or steaming. Preparing meals like pasta, soups, stews, or steamed vegetables can be an excellent avenue for supplementing air moisture.

Slow-cooking meals such as stews or casseroles offer a steady and prolonged steam release, thereby maintaining a consistent source of humidity.

To propagate the heightened humidity to other sections of your dwelling, ensure your kitchen door remains open. This practice allows the humidified air to circulate freely through your residence instead of remaining confined within the kitchen.

Bear in mind though this cooking-based method can enhance humidity, it can also inadvertently lead to a warmer household, particularly during the summer months. Additionally, it's crucial to operate your range hood or an exhaust fan if moisture accumulation in your kitchen becomes excessive to forestall issues like mold or mildew growth. Consistently monitoring your home's humidity levels is essential for maintaining a healthy and comfortable atmosphere.

Take Advantage of Steam from Showers


Leveraging the steam from showers presents a budget-friendly strategy for boosting your home's humidity levels. Here's how you can fully exploit this approach:

The steam-enriched environment within your bathroom during a hot shower or bath results from the heat stimulating the water to evaporate. This process subsequently increases the air's moisture content, elevating humidity levels within your bathroom and potentially extending this effect to other areas of your house.

To facilitate this, keep the bathroom door ajar once you shower. This maneuver permits the steam to disperse from the confines of the bathroom into surrounding areas of your dwelling, consequently enhancing the overall humidity. However, it's crucial to consider the privacy of others if your home is shared.

While it's conventional advice to activate the exhaust fan during and post-shower to counter excessive humidity and avert potential mold development, if your residence is exceptionally dry, it may be beneficial to omit its use or curtail its operational duration. This modification allows more steam to linger within your living space.

Post-shower, you might use a towel or squeegee to eliminate extra water from the shower's walls and floor. The residual water will also vaporize into the ambient air, yielding additional humidity.

While utilizing shower steam can proficiently elevate indoor humidity, it's fundamental to maintain an equilibrium. Conditions with excessive moisture can foster the proliferation of mold and mildew, particularly within bathrooms that are frequently damp and inadequately ventilated.

Use a Sponge Humidifier

A sponge humidifier offers a homegrown remedy to escalate humidity levels in your home, negating the need for an electronic device. It’s a remarkably straightforward, economical solution adaptable to any room in your home.

A sponge humidifier is a resourceful invention that capitalizes on a sponge's inherent capacity to absorb and gradually discharge moisture into the surrounding air. This method of passive humidification requires no electrical power, rendering it a favorable choice for those conscious of ecological impact.

To establish a sponge humidifier, you'll first require a clean, generously sized sponge and a tray or dish capable of accommodating the sponge. The sponge's size is pivotal; a larger sponge can hold more water, prolonging the humidification period. Once you've obtained these, saturate the sponge with water until it's thoroughly soaked, enabling maximum water retention. Next, you can station the saturated sponge on the tray to catch any water trickling from the sponge, safeguarding your furniture or flooring from potential water damage. Finally, position the tray and sponge in a chosen location, ideally in a dry room or proximate to a heat source, which facilitates faster water evaporation from the sponge.

To optimize the sponge humidifier's performance, it's crucial to regularly re-saturate the sponge once it dries out. The re-soaking frequency will hinge on your environment's dryness level and the sponge's size. Should you reside in a notably dry climate or need to humidify a large room, utilizing several sponge humidifiers concurrently can help augment moisture levels more efficiently. You can distribute these across various spots within your home for the best results. Consider infusing it with a few droplets of your preferred essential oil post-soaking to confer a fragrant dimension to your sponge humidifier. As the water vaporizes, it disperses the oil's aroma throughout the room.


Try these eight detailed methods to add moisture to the air without a humidifier. Each method has its benefits, and you may find that combining these techniques works best for your situation. Please monitor your home's humidity levels to ensure a comfortable and healthy living environment. A hygrometer can help you track the humidity levels, allowing you to adjust your methods as needed.

Maintaining proper indoor humidity levels is essential for your health and well-being. By employing these natural, cost-effective methods, you can improve the air quality in your home without relying on a humidifier. These techniques can also help you save energy and reduce your environmental impact. So, you can experiment with these methods to find the perfect humidity balance for your home.