I searched the internet for an effective DIY humidifier solution, but couldn’t find the “universal” solution that I was looking for. This method doesn’t require any electricity, external heat, wasted water, doesn’t create additional noise and it’s highly effective!

I call it the Drip Towel Humidifier.

Drip Towel Humidifier

What You Need

  • Two large bowls (preferably deep bowls)
  • Disposable or reusable kitchen towels (disposable works better and is easier to maintain, but reusable results in less garbage)
  • Water


DIY Drip Towel Humidifier

Drip Towel Humidifier

  1. Fill one bowl with water (preferably hot, but any temperature is okay).
  2. Place the bowl filled with water on the edge of an elevated surface, like a table, ledge or chair.
  3. Place the empty bowl under the water filled bowl so that the centre of the lower bowl aligns with the outer edge of the upper bowl.
  4. Safety Tip: Make sure that the lower bowl is a sufficient distance from any electrical wiring or electronics
  5. Put an appropriate length of the kitchen towel into the upper bowl and have it hang over the outer edge so that it hangs directly above the lower bowl.
  6. Wrap the bottom edge of the kitchen towel together so that the accumulated water will drip from one point into the centre of the lower bowl.
  7. Add more water to the upper bowl when it runs low by either putting the accumulated water in the lower bowl into the upper bowl or by filling it directly from the sink (or fill a cup/bowl with water to fill the upper bowl, since moving it can get messy)
  8. If you need to cover a large area (like the entire house), just add more bowls!
  9. Safety Tip: Replace the kitchen towels and clean the bowls every 2 to 3 days, to prevent any mold build up.
  10. Bonus Tip: Add some aromatic oils or citrus (orange, lemon or lime) into the bowl for a nice fragrance!

Why This Works

  1. Evaporation is basically determined by 3 things:
    1. Temperature (of the air or water)
    2. Surface area (the area in which the water comes into contact with the air)
    3. Air or water flow (i.e. wind or the movement of the water).
  2. The increased wet surface area from the addition of the kitchen towel results in greater evaporation. Hot water also evaporates more quickly than cold water, so always use hot water where possible.
  3. The dripping and splashing of the water in the lower bowl simulates air flow (the falling and splashing forces the water to move through air) and water flow (the splashing forces the existing water in the lower bowl to move around)

Other Solutions

There are multiple alternatives, but I’ve found that they either don’t work, they require too much maintenance or they require a pre-requisite that you may not have. However, for your reference, I have listed them below:

  1. Bowl of Water over the Radiator or Stovetop – This solution is probably the most effective if you have a radiator or stovetop. However, they are limited by location. If you only have a radiator in the living room, then it won’t help as much in your bedroom. The stovetop solution also has some safety concerns, as the pot will become a fire hazard once the fully water evaporates.
  2. Flora – Plants naturally dissipate water into the air, some more than others. This is the highest maintenance and lowest price/benefit ratio (not including the air cleansing and mood changing benefits of flora in living quarters) solution.
  3. Towel in Bowl – This is the precursor to my method. It works, but more more slowly. Why not add a second bowl and increase the effectiveness? =)
  4. Towel in Bowl w/ Fan – This is very similar to the Drip Towel Humidifier, but it requires a (noisy) fan, which you may or may not have. The fan can either be placed above the bowl or facing the hanging towel.
  5. Hang Wet Clothes – You can opt to hang your wet clothes instead of using the dryer. I think this is a great idea, as it conserves energy, but it’s not practical 24/7, as you’d have to be washing your clothes every day for this to work.
  6. Hang Wet Towels – This solution also works, but you’d have to wet the towels far more often and they wouldn’t be as effective as the
  7. Bowls of Water – This is precursor to the precursor of the Drip Towel Humidifier. This method just requires bowls full of water to be placed around the house. Unfortunately, you will require many bowls to replicate the same effect of 1 Drip Towel Humidifier.
  8. Orange Peels – I haven’t personally tested this one myself, but I’ve seen it come up a few times. It just seems a bit impractical and expensive to me, though the resulting fragrance might be nice. Haha.