My hotel room is on its second air conditioning unit. The first would only cool about 3-4 feet away from the unit. A different unit was installed. With hotels, you will often get a used unit from a room that cannot be occupied at the moment.
About two weeks later, the room was filled with a foul odor. It went away when the A/C was turned off; it came back when I turned it on. After telling the front desk, I got no response. I mentioned the problem to the maintenance man. He said he’d check into it as soon as he could. I knew he would; he always keeps his word.
In walking around my room, everything seems damp. My salt container has a wet lid, and it is no where near the sink. The smell is the old carpet; the problem is dampness. The A/C is not dehumidifying the air properly. I know the hotel doesn’t have the money for a new unit right now.
To solve the problem while the hotel figures out their end, I looked up information about buying a dehumidifier. The cost is way out of my range. Those with commercial desiccants, or substances that remove moisture from the air, weren’t initially expensive. The problem is that the product must be replaced often; this drives up the cost.
I found three homemade dehumidifiers that I could build using everyday objects and they do work. I’d like to share them with you. I cannot guarantee how much humidity the devices will remove. How much depends on the room size and the amount of humidity to be removed. You can certainly use more than one in the same room or house. You will need containers, one to hold the desiccant and one to hold the removed moisture. A desiccant is a substance that absorbs moisture from the air.
I would definitely keep these away from pets and children. You can use a home made dehumidifier in a hotel room, house, bedroom, RV, cabin, workshop, garage or anywhere you need to remove humidity.
People swear by charcoal briquettes for removing humidity. There is no particular brand you should use over another. Charcoal not only dehumidifies the air, it also removes odors. Perfect for my room. I bought a cheap bag of charcoal at the dollar store and filled an inexpensive basket. That was placed on the top shelf in the closet area. I’ll see how well it works.
The charcoal will last for 2-3 months. After that, they can be used in a barbeque without infusing the food with any weird taste. One product, multiple uses.
Rock salt is well known for being a desiccant. Gather two plastic tubs the same size. In the bottom tub, place something inside to hold the first tub off the bottom. In the top tub, poke holes in the bottom. Fill with rock salt and place inside the first one. You will need to check the bottom tub daily and empty the water. It can take several days for the tub to fill.
I’ve used rock salt since I was a teenager. I have no idea who invented it. My Grandfather told me about it. He was born in 1910 and heard about it from his father.
Using Commercial Products
You can build the above dehumidifier and choose to fill it with a different desiccant. A small paint bucket with a cheap plastic strainer for the top works just as well.
Two commercial products are Dri-Z-Air crystals and Damp Rid crystals. I have used Damp Rid before. Many years ago, a pipe behind my refrigerator developed a leak. It wasn’t until the house stank like mold that the problem was found by a handyman I had hired to find out what was wrong. It removed moisture by the bucket load and is relatively inexpensive. I am not paid by the company for my opinion. It also removes some of the smell.
There are other commercial products available. Research each closely before making a purchase. Some are available only to businesses. The two above listed products are found at grocery, big box and online stores.
Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse forms of DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and more.
Source: Staff Article, “Make Your Own Cheap Dehumidifier,” Cheap Dehumidifier website, no date given