How to Keep Windowless Bathroom Fresh

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Ensure adequate ventilation with exhaust fans, air supply vents, open doors, open windows in adjacent rooms, etc. Keep the bathroom dry with dehumidifiers, moisture-absorbing powder, wiping surfaces, keeping towels in other rooms, etc. Ensure the bathroom smells nice with ductless fans, charcoal filters, etc.

Your bathroom is the room in the house where a lot of moisture and odors tend to float around. However, in windowless bathrooms, this can become a problem quite quickly if there is no way for the stale air to be removed from the room and for fresh air to enter it.

Luckily, having no windows is not the end-all of your bathroom. There are a few ways you can still keep your bathroom fresh and clean without a glass box to the outside world. I have outlined exactly what you can do to achieve this below.

Ensure Adequate Ventilation

The first step to keeping your windowless bathroom fresh is to ensure that it is adequately ventilated. This means you must come up with a way to remove the old and stale air from the bathroom and replace it with fresh air. Here are a few ways you can achieve this in your windowless bathroom.

  • Exhaust fans are a relatively affordable and simple solution to ensure your windowless bathroom remains fresh while also keeping the occurrence of mold and mildew to a minimum. They work by removing odors and moisture from a room and expelling them outside the house. Instead of an intermittent fan, a dual-speed or continuous fan can also be installed to ensure constant airflow in your bathroom.
  • Unlike an exhaust fan, where the stale air is removed through a vent, fresh air is introduced with a fresh air supply vent. By installing one of these, you actively channel fresh air into your bathroom. By doing so, you are increasing the air pressure in that space, and the old air will find any opening in doors or cracks to relieve the pressure, thus removing the hot, humid air.
  • By installing both an exhaust fan and a fresh air supply vent, you will really be increasing the freshness in your bathroom. The fresh air that enters will be able to circulate effectively, as the stale, hot, and moist air will be able to be expelled directly through an exhaust fan without needing to wait for an open door.
  • We know that dehumidifiers are a great method to complement the ventilation in any room. However, in a windowless bathroom, an HVAC dehumidifier has to be used in place of a portable one, as only the built-in unit will be able to provide ventilation. A portable dehumidifier will simply release the dirty air right back into the room, but one that is attached to the HVAC system of your home allows for an escape route for the stale air.
  • You can also keep a bathroom fresh by installing a ceiling fan in the room. However, this will only be efficient if the bathroom door is open whilst the fan is in operation and the room that is connected to the bathroom has adequate ventilation. This is important because if the door remains closed, then all the fan is doing is circulating the moist air, and not removing it.
  • If you have an air conditioner system in your home, hooking it up to your bathroom will definitely be a huge advantage in this situation. Obviously, the AC needs to be able to inject fresh air, not just cool the air from the room and release it again if it is to be truly efficient. If the AC only cools the existing air, then your humidity levels and temperature will reduce but you will still not have a completely ventilated bathroom.
  • A truly cheap and simply way to make sure your windowless bathroom receives ventilation, is for you to just keep the door open. Fresh air can enter, while moist air can escape the room and be dispersed and ventilated throughout the rest of the house. Having an inward-swinging bathroom door can make this a more feasible option.
  • Another cost-effective method that is easy to implement is having a regular fan in your bathroom. Face the fan towards the open door so that it can propel the moist air outwards, and placing it near the shower will also ensure that the moist air will not disperse that much around the bathroom.
  • Even if the bathroom doesn’t have windows, opening windows in the rooms and hallways adjoining the bathroom will have a significant effect on ensuring the bathroom is ventilated. The stale air will be able to exit the bathroom, albeit through a longer route. The more opportunities for airflow, the better.
  • If you have a windowless bathroom, please make sure that your bathroom door is not sealed. As most of us shower with the bathroom door closed, there needs to be sufficient room between the actual door and the door frame/floor (about 1/2″ is recommended) to allow for the air to circulate. An airtight door won’t allow this to happen, so you will be faced with stale air.
  • If, like a lot of people, you keep your washer and dryer in your bathroom, then you are actually assisting with the ventilation process without even realizing it. Your dryer expels warm moist air from your clothing, and from the bathroom atmosphere, directly to the outside of the house. So your dryer indirectly assists with ventilating the bathroom.

These tips and tricks will definitely provide you with enough tools when figuring out how to ventilate a bathroom with no windows. If your bathroom has no windows and there is no way to vent it through the ceiling, then you will benefit from reading How to Vent a Bathroom With No Outside Access.

Keep the Bathroom Dry

A moist and humid bathroom is definitely not a comfortable environment to be in. Ventilating your bathroom will help with making your bathroom a drier space, but there are other methods that should be mentioned.

  • Having a portable dehumidifier in your bathroom is a great way to keep your bathroom dry, even if it doesn’t provide the best ventilation. The machine will be able to remove moisture from the generally humid room that cannot otherwise be expelled via a window. There are a variety of options that will suit any bathroom and budget.
  • Another cost-effective way to keep your bathroom dry is to purchase moisture absorbing powders (amazon link). These come in a variety of scents, which can help make your bathroom smell good, and work best when placed high up in the bathroom, to catch steam that rises as soon as possible.
  • A good way to keep your bathroom dry is to reduce just how wet it can get. A way to do this is to have a shower curtain that surrounds your shower area, to limit the amount of water that can escape the vicinity and therefore collect in the room. Install the curtain higher than the shower head so that limited steam can escape, instead condensing within the shower itself and draining away.
  • With any bathroom comes wet towels, which bring about a lot of excess moisture to the room. Thus, by removing and keeping the wet towels outside of the bathroom, you are reducing the volume of moisture that can be extracted from the towels and, therefore, reducing the overall humidity in the room.
  • A more labor-intensive method to keep your bathroom dry is to physically wipe down all surfaces that are wet immediately. For instance, the floor and shower walls after taking a shower. By reducing the amount of water on surfaces, you are reducing the chance for evaporation and condensation to occur. It might seem tedious and annoying, but a dry bathroom is definitely worth it.
  • It might sound like common sense, but having shorter and colder showers assists in keeping your bathroom dry by reducing the amount of hot, humid air in the space. Shorter showers mean there is less time for steam to be produced and accumulate, whereas colder showers reduce the risk of steam occurring altogether.
  • If you have a house full of kids and people, then it is recommended to limit the number of consecutive showers. When people take one shower or bath right after one another, there is less time for the bathroom to dry out as more and more steam is produced and accumulates, and the door remains closed for longer, not giving the room enough time to dry.
  • In order to keep your bathroom as dry as possible, you need to make sure your bath and shower have proper drainage. If the bath and shower water is not able to drain away fast enough, that increases the amount of moisture in the room. Regularly clean out your drains to avoid any clogging that could reduce their efficiency.

You can read more details about these methods in Tips to Keep Bathroom Dry Without a Fan.

Make Sure the Bathroom Smells Nice

When your bathroom is void of any of those unpleasant odors and rather has a pleasing scent, then your bathroom instantly feels fresher. There are a few ways you can make sure that your bathroom smells great at all times.

  • One thing you can do is to install a ductless bathroom fan, as these fans are incredibly efficient at removing odors from a room. They do this by circulating the bathroom air through a porous filter made of carbon, which traps the contaminants on its surface, and only lets the fresh smelling air through.
  • Another effective method to reduce odors in your bathroom is to insert charcoal filters throughout the room. Activated charcoal is an incredible tool used to absorb even the strongest of odors as its chemical components allow particles to stick to the surface, and not go through it. That means your bathroom will be smelling fresh in no time. However, these filters do not last forever and will need to be replaced regularly.
  • Getting your hands on odor-absorbing powder is a really affordable way to combat those nasty smells that come along with having a toilet. These usually come in small container sizes, and are filled with odor absorbing components that allow them to attract any foul smells. Just pop one or two on a shelf or cupboard in your bathroom, and say bye-bye to odor.
  • Buying a couple of bottles of air freshener is a cheap and simple way to get rid of bad smells as soon as they happen. There are limitless options available out there so you are sure to find a scent that suits your taste. It is best to avoid any cloying air fresheners though, as the overly sweet smell will not work well at masking bad bathroom odors and you can actually feel a bit claustrophobic after use.


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