How to Keep Basement Dry Without a Dehumidifier

If you wonder how to keep the basement dry without a dehumidifier, this article brings you the most effective methods. There are various alternatives to basement dehumidifiers, such as desiccants and venting methods. The trick is to reduce warm, humid air inside the basement by allowing cool air to flow from the outside. You will understand the various dehumidifying methods as you move ahead.

how to keep basement dry without dehumidifier

How to Detect Humidity?

Moisture is easy to detect as you can feel the humidity in the air from its heavy and musty smell. If there is mold forming in the basement with a distinct odor, it proves that there is a high level of humidity indoors. You can even use a humidistat to check the percentage of humidity in your basement and take the necessary steps to bring down the levels. Having high humidity in a basement has various negative impacts since it provides a breeding ground for harmful microorganisms.

Different Ways to Reduce Humidity

Finding a cost-effective dehumidifying option could be a challenging task. These are the best alternative approaches to reduce humidity inside your basement. Go through the options and select one or a few to suit your requirement.

Abundant Airflow

You can easily reduce the humidity inside the basement by allowing air to flow inside if the outside humidity level is lower than the inside. Simply open the windows and run a fan near a window. This will push the air inside and decrease the relative humidity inside the basement.

Use a Desiccant

Desiccants are substances that absorb moisture from the surrounding. So, you can use a suitable desiccant to reduce the humidity of the indoor air. Here are some of the commonly used substances with varying efficiencies.

  • Silica Gel: This is a commonly found desiccant that comes in small packets. You may have seen them very often as they come with food, plastic containers, and shoe boxes. Place the packets around the basement and replace them eventually from time to time.
  • Charcoal: Place some charcoal in a small ball with holes at the bottom. Then place this bowl in a bucket so that the bowl will collect the water absorbed by the charcoal. This is similar to a DIY dehumidifier and you just need to replace the charcoal once it appears to be soaked.
  • Crystal Salt: Also known as rock salt, this is another efficient desiccant that can remove water from a surface. Put some crystal salt in a bowl and place it in a suitable place. You can use up to several bowls with crystal salt, depending on the requirement. Replace the salts with new ones once every 2 or 3 weeks.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda can be used similarly by placing some in a bowl. It absorbs moisture from the air and reduces humidity.
  • Desiccant Bags: Place these desiccant bags around the basement to keep the basement dry by reducing the humidity. You can easily find them on online stores such as Amazon.

Use Fans

This is a cheaper way to get rid of humidity without using a dehumidifier. Install a wall mount or a ceiling fan to move the moist air away from the basement floor. Since cool air is dryer than warm air, it will both remove humidity and cool down the space simultaneously. 

Air Conditioner

Choose a comfortable temperature and let the air conditioner run continuously. This will reduce the humidity in your basement with its decent cycle time.

Moisture Absorbent Plants

Although most plants may increase moisture, some plants absorb moisture. Plants that don’t need much water such as cacti varieties, can be used for this. It will increase the quality of indoor air while adding an aesthetic appeal to your basement. 

Place Mats

Get some carpeting mats and place them under your furniture. Place them even in tiled or hardwood areas to prevent the wood from warping. If the mats get wet due to moisture, you can dry and replace them. 

Extra Drainage and Waterproofing

Install a proper drainage method such as using a sump pump or alternative water discharging method to remove water from the basement. Waterproof the foundation walls to prevent water from seeping inside. 

Install a Vent Fan

Vent fans allow extra airflow across the room, helping in drying out the air. This is another effective way to remove dampness inside the basement. If you have already installed a vent fan, get it inspected by a professional to make sure that it works properly. Connect the vent fan to an outside vent so that it removes the warm humid air from the outside.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Dehumidify a Room Without a Dehumidifier?

Open the windows and allow cool air to enter the room so that it will eliminate the warm air saturated with moisture. Place suitable plants that reduce the humidity inside the room. Hot showers may increase the humidity inside bathrooms. So, make sure to reduce the temperature and try showers that are comfortably cool but not too cold. Keep the vent hood on while cooking to reduce humidity build-up in your kitchen. Control air infiltration to the house from the outside by filling any cracks and seals.

Are Dehumidifiers Worth It?

Purchasing a dehumidifier is worth the investment depending on how much you need it. If your living space is affected by high levels of moisture, it is always a good idea to purchase one. It will also be advantageous to have one when dealing with water damage, especially in the basement.

Should I Buy a Dehumidifier With My Sump Pump?

You will not have to use a dehumidifier if your sump pump removes water effectively. You can rather spend that amount on a better high-end sump pump. So, try to find a reliable sump pump with a suitable alarm system to notify you in case something goes wrong. You can even have a battery-powered or water-powered backup sump pump to eliminate any possibilities of water damage caused by basement floods.


Damp floors and walls can be extremely harmful in the long run as they can challenge the strength of the construction. It can also affect the health of the residents due to the growth of mold and mildew. So, it is important to use a dehumidifier to remove extreme humidity from your basement. If you don’t want to buy one, you have now figured out how to keep the basement dry without a dehumidifier. Use a suitable method to keep your basement dry and safe.

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