How to Make a DIY Dehumidifier with Charcoal and Others

If you have run short of cash and the humidity fluctuates from time to time, using a temporary solution in the form of a DIY dehumidifier might help you.

The good thing is that making a dehumidifier does not require you to get anything from the store. This type of solution will not be as effective as a dehumidifier that you can buy on amazon.com such as Frigidaire 70-pint dehumidifier. However, you can use a DIY solution to hold brief until you can gather enough money.

In another article, we looked at the effects of high humidity on the body. There are many! From breathing complications to aggravating asthma, you need to be cautious.

If your indoor humidity rises above 55%, it is too high. At 60 and 70 percent humidity level, you can have a serious mold infestation in your home.

Good thing is … you can make your own dehumidifier. Also, you will find that here, we discuss some of the ways to lower humidity naturally without using a store-bought dehumidifier.

But first …

How do you dehumidify a room without a dehumidifier?

DIY methods to lower humidity in the indoor space do work. However, these are temporary solutions, so it is best to buy a dehumidifier with good space rating, humidistat, drain hose connection and other features as soon as possible.

If you want to lower humidity in a small space, you can use these do-it-yourself methods effectively or you can get a battery operated dehumidifier.

Simple Natural DIY Humidifier Ideas

You will be surprised that there are so many options that you can use to build a homemade dehumidifier. A few of the most effective ones are as follows:

DIY dehumidifier charcoal

Most people ask: Can charcoal be used as a dehumidifier? It absorbs moisture very well and if the humidity levels in your house are not crazy, it will definitely help.

The procedure

To make this simple contraption to get rid of extra moisture from the air, you need a container, a plastic one will do fine. You can then perforate the lid, add charcoal briquettes inside and then cover it.

Place the container inside the room with the most moisture content. This can be the basement, bathroom or the kitchen. Give it time; the charcoal will soak in the moisture, effectively reducing the humidity.

Also read: How to control humidity in a grow tent

Check in a week or two.

The charcoal will soak the water and when it becomes waterlogged, you can change with fresh briquettes.

Using two buckets and rock salt – DIY dehumidifier with fan

If you do not mind a little work, you can build a good-looking DIY dehumidifier. First, you need two buckets, a drill, industrial strength salt, a standalone fan, a wooden or plastic crate, a second bucket and chicken wire or mesh.

Image of rock salt dehumidifier

The procedure

Take the first bucket, remove the lid and set it aside. You won’t need it.

Drill a ¼-inch hole in the bottom of the bucket

Cut a piece of chicken wire or mesh, enough for the bottom of the bucket and place it inside, to cover the hole you just drilled

Add rock salt to the bucket and place it on your crate, or you can make it a wooden stand with big gaps between the planks at the top. Make sure the hole you drilled is on one gap

Place a second bucket under the stand/crate. Make sure the hole of the first bucket points to the second bucket

This is also a good DIY dehumidifier with a fan. With the makeshift bucket dehumidifier, you can use a standalone fan to blow the moist air of the room towards the buckets.

You are done! Now just wait for the rock salt to start absorbing moisture. Once it becomes saturated, the water will pass through the hole and drip into the second bucket.

Also read: Why does my dehumidifier blow cold air?

It might not work on the first day, but on the second day, the rock salt will have absorbed enough water and it will start dripping into the second one.

Using baking soda to lower humidity in the closet

If you have too high humidity in the closet, cabinets or some other small space, you can use baking soda as a dehumidifier. It is easy, affordable and it is easy to find in the market. Probably, you already have it at home.

The procedure

  • Take a wide, shallow pan.
  • Add a good amount of baking soda into it.
  • Place the pan in the middle of the closet, pantry, bathroom or small closet
  • Just wait for the baking soda to do its magic

What happens?

The baking soda absorbs moisture and then it hardens up. When that happens, you can change it with a fresh helping.

In large rooms

If you have a large kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or living room, you can use baking soda. Just get a few to several pans, add baking soda and leave them. This means you need copious amounts of baking soda, so it might not be worth it for large rooms.

Also read: How Do I Stop Humidifier White Dust?

Using silica gel

When we promised you simple, DIY methods to lower humidity in your space, we meant it! You have seen the little sachets of silica gel that come with new shoes, electronics and other items. They are put there to absorb moisture so that it does not get to the shoes.

Now, you can use the same silica gel to lower the moisture level in your indoor air. You can buy any amount of silica gel from online stores.

How does silica gel absorb water?

Silica gel has many small pores that absorb water. That is how it removes the moisture from the air.

Like the baking soda method for lowering humidity, even silica gel works best in small spaces such as bathroom and kitchen cabinets, closets and pantries.

The procedure

Pour the silica gel inside a sock, tie the open end and leave it where you want to lower moisture. Check it after some time.

If you have silica gel beads that change color when they are saturated, you will know when they cannot absorb any more.

Remove them, dry them in the oven at 82°C and reuse them. This is probably the most cost-effective method for lowering humidity in small spaces.

Table salt and rice – Absorbs only a small amount of moisture

If you only want to remove a little moisture from your indoor air, you can use table salt and mix it with rice.

You have probably heard that if a smartphone gets water, you should bury it in rice. This is because rice is a super absorbent material.

The only disadvantage here is that you will have to throw away the rice. I mean, you just cannot go ahead and cook it, can you?

Also check: Pure Enrichment Humidifier Not Working: Solved!

Place the table salt in a shallow dish, a large one if you may. You can mix it with rice so that it does not harden up too much. This will absorb moisture in small spaces such as the closet.

If you have enough raw rice to spare, you can also use it as your homemade rice dehumidifier. It really works, the same way as salt.

Using calcium chloride

Although calcium chloride is used for commercial purposes, you can buy it in small quantities from the drug stores. You can also order it online.

Since it comes in flake or pellet form, you should use it in a sock, because the sock is porous. Tie the sock to a wire or a stick and hang it on an open bucket such that the sock does not touch the side or the bottom of the bucket.

When it starts absorbing water, it will drip into the bucket. Empty it when the need arises. If the calcium chloride becomes too waterlogged, just replace it with a fresh amount.

Cat litter – temporary DIY dehumidifier

Some people use cat litter to remove condensation from their windows. To do this, just place a good amount of litter in a sock, tie it on the open end and place it on the window.

You can place the sock with the litter inside a container so the water it draws does not spill. This is an effective method but again, it is only good for lowering humidity in a small space.

Place it in the middle of the closet and leave it there for several days. If you measure the humidity with a hygrometer, you will realize it will have dipped.

DIY Dehumidifier FAQ

Making a homemade dehumidifier is simple as you have seen in the above simple guide. However, most people still wonder whether these DIY ways to lower moisture do work. These frequently asked questions and their answers will show you that indeed, this works!

What can be used as a dehumidifier?

A perforated bucket filled midway with charcoal briquettes is a good dehumidifier. Also, calcium chloride in a sock, so is using silica gel and using two buckets, one with a hole and filled with rock salt and the second one to collect water. Baking soda in a shallow wide pan also works for small spaces.

Does baking soda draw out moisture?

It absorbs moisture in effect lowering the humidity. However, change it when it hardens up to continue removing moisture from the air.

Does putting cat litter in socks stop condensation?

Place cat litter in a sock and then place it in a container. The litter will absorb moisture, effectively clearing the condensation. This is a simple, yet effective method.

What can be used as a dehumidifier?

Charcoal briquettes, table salt, silica gel, cat litter, baking soda and calcium chloride flakes do a good job of drawing moisture from the air. They can effectively lower humidity in small spaces.

Can rice be used to absorb moisture?

Rice is a super absorbent material and unlike other hygroscopic things that tend to become liquid when they absorb too much moisture, rice stays solid. If you place a bowl of rice in a room that is humid, it will help draw some of the moisture out of the air.

Does table salt absorb moisture?

Common salt will absorb a little amount of water. You can use it as a temporary means to lower the humidity as you wait to buy a dehumidifier. It is not too reliable especially at temperatures above 18°C. Warmer air holds more moisture.

What kind of charcoal absorbs moisture?

Charcoal briquettes are very good for absorbing moisture. In addition, they can also absorb odors, doing the same job as an air purifier.

How do you make a charcoal dehumidifier? Perforate the top or the sides of a bucket and add your charcoal briquettes. They will absorb moisture and smells.

How do I dehumidify my basement without a dehumidifier?

Simple! Get a 50-pound bag of rock salt from the hardware store and then put it in the basement. Place it on a stand that is made of wood or plastic to prevent corrosion. When the rock salt absorbs water, it starts to drip into the container that you will place under the stand. Check it often so that once it is saturated, you can change it.

Image of diy dehumidifier salt

Final Thoughts on DIY Dehumidifier

You can make a DIY dehumidifier for grow tent, to supplement the use of a store-bought one and save on your electricity usage. However, used alone, DIY methods for lowering humidity are only temporary solutions.

Eventually, do buy a dehumidifier from amazon or other online marketplace. It is the most effective way of lowering humidity in large spaces.

Remember, for your indoor spaces, the relative humidity level should be between 30 to 55%.

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