Ever wake up on a winter morning with a sore throat, even though you’re perfectly healthy? Well, don’t fret – you’re likely not sick, just parched. The cold winter weather tends to dry out the air in a lot of homes, mine included. It also dries out my hands, but that’s another story. Anyway, if you don’t want to shell out some of your hard-earned bucks for a fancy humidifier machine, here’s a simple way to get the same humidifying effect using just a few things from your kitchen. I learned this from my mom, who used to do this all the time (and still does, I think). Bonus: it also makes the house smell great!
What You’ll Need
- An orange
- Cinnamon sticks
- Whole cloves
- A pot of water
- A stove
Fill up a saucepan or pot with a good amount of water (enough to fill it 1/2 to 2/3 up), and get that heating on the stove. Drop a few cinnamon sticks into it (amount is up to you – I usually use 2). Slice up an orange so you have at least 3 good-thickness slices (again, the amount is up to you, but I think using at least 3 is a safe minimum).
Take your supply of whole cloves, and stick a few in each orange slice using the stem of the clove as the piercer (see above pic). Again, you can use as many or as few cloves as you want; I usually do 3 cloves per orange slice. Add the cloved oranges into the water on the stove. Wait until it’s boiling, then turn the burner heat down to very low. And voila! The evaporating water adds some much-needed moisture to the air in your home, and the oranges and spices make it smell good, too. The whole thing takes maybe 5 minutes to setup. If the water starts to get low, just add more – you can keep this going on the stove as long as you want that way, just be sure not to let ALL the water boil off, or you’ll end up with a pungent burnt orange smell!
Of course, you could also add some humidity to your home by having plain water on the stove, or running the shower on hot for a little while… but they won’t make your house smell as nice (or waste as much water as the shower-running one).