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How do you make a home made dehumidifier?

topic posted Tue, September 26, 2006 - 3:54 PM by  Fonzy
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Hi, is there a way to make a homemade dehumidifier, or some kind of apparatus that takes the moisture from the air.
Is there alternative besides buying one? Thank ya'lls
posted by:
Fonzy
Brazil
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  • Re: How do you make a home made dehumidifier?

    Tue, September 26, 2006 - 3:59 PM
    Go to a hardware store like Lowes, or if you're in a rural area go to the farm store, and buy Calcium Chloride. Wrap a pile of it in cheesecloth, tie it off, and hang it from a string over a bucket. Works wonders. (Farms use it for lowering humidity in a barn to prevent mold of hay) I believe the commercial stuff is called DampRid that you can buy at the hardware store.
    • Re: How do you make a home made dehumidifier?

      Tue, September 26, 2006 - 4:07 PM
      Is calcium chloride dangerous to have around, people that is?
      • Re: How do you make a home made dehumidifier?

        Tue, September 26, 2006 - 4:09 PM
        I guess is just road salt?
        • Re: How do you make a home made dehumidifier?

          Tue, September 26, 2006 - 4:14 PM
          Here's info from the MSDS:

          Inhalation:
          Granular material does not pose a significant inhalation hazard, but inhalation of dust may cause irritation to the respiratory tract, with symptoms of coughing and shortness of breath.
          Ingestion:
          Low toxicity material but ingestion may cause serious irritation of the mucous membrane due to heat of hydrolysis. Large amounts can cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, abdominal pain.
          Skin Contact:
          Solid may cause mild irritation on dry skin; strong solutions or solid in contact with moist skin may cause severe irritation, even burns.
          Eye Contact:
          Hazard may be either mechanical abrasion or, more serious, burns from heat of hydrolysis and chloride irritation.
          Chronic Exposure:
          No information found.
          Aggravation of Pre-existing Conditions:
          No information found.

          So it looks like unless you eat a bunch or pour it on your eyes, you're ok. I wouldn't want to do that with regular salt either :)
  • Re: How do you make a home made dehumidifier?

    Fri, September 29, 2006 - 5:58 PM
    I just did this in my basement: bought rock salt and put it in cheap plastic colanders that fit over plastic buckets.
    The air might not circulate around the salt as well as if it were hung in a bag, so I'll have to look into that and see how it's working.
    Also, a large bag (25lbs) of rocksalt was only $4, but I've heard that Calcium chloride works even better, so I'm going to look into trying that if the salt seems ineffective.
  • Re: How do you make a home made dehumidifier?

    Mon, January 5, 2009 - 12:40 PM
    Hi! I'm an inventor, tinkerer, and moved recently to Boston. I need to keep the air in my home moist also for some guitars I own. The problem with small, room sized and inexpensive humidifiers is that they need constant cleaning to reduce risk of spreading mold, or bacteria. You also need to use filtered (or distilled water)- if your water is 'hard'- meaning containing lots of minerals- otherwise you find a fine dust covering everything! The inexpensive filters that attach to a kitchen faucet work fine.
    I have forced air heat. In order to humidify a small house, or large apartment with more than one vent- go to the source. The larger vents, usually on the wall where the central furnace is, or at least the large ducts that return the room are to the furnace.
    Get clear window 'boxes'- the length of these return vents. Some planter boxes come this way. Plastic ones. Hang them just under the vent or vents. Now you have to be extremely careful as to how you hang them- remember- water is heavy. I should mention that it is best to purchase large sponges and when you fill the 'planter boxes' using a plant watering can- fill until the sponges are soaked, but not more (i.e. no free floating water is present). you should do this before hanging any of them! then measure the weight by standing on a simple bathroom scale- then doing this with the filled planter in your hands- and subtract the two weights. Then you are ready to deal with the hanging- if you choose to drill a hole into the drywall- use a very small drill bit- and stop immediately if you hit metal- as this is probably one of the heating ducts! Consult a good hardware store re the hanging of these planters. I use the screws which hold the vents in place- and have replaced these screws with larger more secure ones, but only after removing the vents to assure that the vents are well secured to the wall- again- you may need to reinforce all of the usually four screws in order for the vent to support the planters.

    Sounds like a lot of trouble- but when you are done- they are easy to clean, the sponges are easy to clean, and with filtered water, things stay visible. And it is easy to see if mold is building up (greenish)- smell the sponges and wash them in the top holders of a dish washer, or wash thoroughly with soap and water weekly.

    It's really no different than having some household plants- except these give off water. Good luck. Hope this helps.
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    Re: How do you make a home made dehumidifier?

    Mon, August 16, 2010 - 7:24 AM
    It's cheaper to just buy one.

    If you live where the ground water is very cold and springs are plentiful you could just pound a tap into the earth and hook it up to an old automotive radiator and let the run off just flow away from the building back into the ground. then drive air through the radiator and collect the trapped water and figure a way to get that to flow away from the building too.

    Of course cleaning the radiator would be a mandatory thing every couple of months.

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