How to Humidify a Room with a Bowl of Water

Are you in a humid room with no humidifier? Well, don’t worry. This article is going to teach you how to keep your room humid using a simple bowl filled with water at home.

To humidify a room naturally fast, fill a number of bowls with fresh distilled water and place them near an open window or at the warmest area. This is because wind and high temperatures increase evaporation. The evaporated water is what keeps the room humid and cool.

How to make a water bowl humidifier

Let the water bowl sit for as long as possible for the best results. Avoid using very large basins or bowls around the house if you have pets and children. This is because they can either drown in them or even spill the water on sensitive areas.

  1. Get a standard bowl that is about 25-30centimiters wide
  2. Fill with distilled or purified water (do not use salty water)
  3. Place this near the window
  4. Let is sit for as long as possible so that the water can naturally evaporate
Water bowl humidifier

How many bowls do I need to humidify a room with water?

This depends on the size of the room and bowls that you have at home. If you have the standard water bowls that are about 20-25 centimeters, then you can place 2 of these near every window to get the best results.

The number of windows you have also maters here. You may need to place up to 4 water bowls near a window if there is only one window that serves a big room. You can still place water away from the windows but this will decrease the rate at which the room will be humidifies.

In a small room, just use 2 water bowls by the window. If you have a fan, this will be an added advantage. Turn on the fan at the lowest speed possible so that it bowls air softly into the water. This will help in distributing the water particles in the room.

If you using large bowls that are over 40 centimeters wide, then you will need just one of those at every corner of a wide room. If the room is tiny, you just need one.

When using a bowl of water to humidify a room, always know that the factors involved are never constant.

The same case applies to other natural air humidifiers, you cannot give a specific time or a specific number of bowls. Observe the factors listed below and keep them in mind if you want this to work.

How fast does a bowl of water take to humidify a room?

This can take 1-2hours for the room to be humid If you place water bowls near a window and there is direct sunlight heating it directly. This is because the heat and the water will increase the evaporation levels.

However, there are many factors that can affect the rate at which the water bowls will humidify a room. This include the room temperature and the number of water bowls placed. The size of the water bowls also mater.

If the temperatures are high, the water will evaporate very fast. If the water bowl is placed near an open window on a windy day, humidity levels may rise even in less than 1 hour. This is why keeping several bowls of water in a room will also make the room humid very fast.

Note that the size of the water bowl used will also affect the evaporation rate. It is better to use a wide bowl that completely exposes the water surface to the environment. For example, the rate at which a water bowl will release water to the air is not the same when compared to a cup.

In fact, if you leave alone without pets and children that can be affected by the water, you can fill basins with water and place each at every corner of a room. If the air is hot and you have a fan, you can be assured that the room will be cooler in less than 1 hour.

A bowl of water will humidify a room faster during a hot day as compared to a cold one. This happens because temperatures affect the rate at which water evaporates. So do not expect the room to be humid so fast when the temperatures are relatively low.

Can any type of water increase humidity?

The answer is no. Avoid using salty water in a bowl if you want to humidify your room fast and efficiently. This is because salty water takes a lot of time and heat to evaporate into the air.

Even if the water evaporates, it will leave the salt at the bottom of the bowl and this will drain moisture from the air. This will reduce humidity levels which is contrary to your aim of keeping the room humid.

Another disadvantage of using salty water to dehumidify a room is because of its natural ability to increase the chances of rust on metal surfaces.

When you evaporate salty water from a bowl, it will corrode on any metallic surface around it. This means that you may end up dealing with rust on metallic windows, doors, sink and any metallic appliance that is not resistant to rust.

This is why it is more risky to use a bowl of salty water to humidify your garage or basement. In just under one month, almost everything will begin to rust. This will do more damage to you than good because even your vehicle will not be spared.

Always use distilled water or pure non-salty water in a bowl to humidify your room. This is because the particles will be evaporated faster with no side effects of rust. The whole process will be much faster and safer.  

Purified or distilled water is also safe to inhale in the air as compared to salty water. Some people may tend to react to vaporized salty water. The reaction may be accompanied by sudden itchy skin and unusual sneezing.

This explains why even if you have the best air purifiers, the room will still not be comfortable for sensitive people since the salty water will still circulate in the vents and irritate them.


  1. Chemistry: Relative humidity above various mixtures of table and saltwater
  2. National Geographic: Evaporation under Resource Library