9 ways to keep a small bathroom dry

Keep a small bathroom dry to banish dampness and mold, ASAP

Small bathroom with black and marble walls
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's important to keep a small bathroom dry even though some of us don’t even think twice about it because we are in a rush.  

Drying helps to prevent mold and mildew growth, which can be harmful to your health. It can help to keep your bathroom looking its best, as wet surfaces are more likely to develop stains and other damage. Lastly, drying can help make your bathroom more comfortable to use, as a dry bathroom is less likely to be humid and stuffy.

With these reasons in mind, a professional organizer and bathroom design expert gave us pointers and small bathroom ideas to avoid mold and mildew growth, stains, humidity, and more in your small bathrooms.

How to keep a small bathroom dry

Keep dampness and mold at bay with our easy ways to keep a small bathroom dry. It's important to do this on the daily as well as deep-cleaning a small bathroom weekly to make your space look and feel its best.

“Humidity is unavoidable in any size bathroom,” said Professional Organizer Marcia Sloman. “Find ways I like to keep a small bathroom as dry as possible.”

Professional Organizer
Marcia Sloman

Marcia Sloman, a Professional Organizer in Westchester County since 1992, has been a member of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals since 1993. Marcia specializes in the management of “stuff” (like paper, collections, time, and priorities) and in maximizing and managing limited spaces.

1. Exhaust Fans

Neutral bathroom with wooden vanity

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sloman believes exhaust fans are your first line of defense. These are ceiling or wall-mounted, and require an expert handyman or electrician to install. 

Sloman’s favorite is the Broan Nutone ceiling exhaust fan available on Amazon. This unit provides sound ventilation from humidity, odors, and pollutants.

If you're moving into your first apartment, check that your bathroom already has one installed before moving in. You can do this while on your first apartment tour and if there isn't one, make sure it's one of the questions you ask before renting.

If you already have an exhaust fan installed, make sure you're using it regularly and turning it on every time you shower.

2. Dehumidify

Dehumidifier in gray bathroom

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Knowing when to use a dehumidifier (like this HomeLabs dehumidifier from Amazon that has over 40,000 five-star reviews) is a great way to help combat dampness. “If you prefer a device that is portable, a small room dehumidifier is handy,” said Sloman. “Small room dehumidifiers can be used in any room where there is high humidity.”

The highly rated Eva-Dry available on Amazon is a compact size to fit on a shelf or easily stored away. It is complete with an automatic shut-off and alert light when full. Sloman mentioned the tank will only hold up to one pint of fluid so regular emptying is required.

3. Absorb the moisture

Small bathroom with white tub and black features

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sloman mentioned moisture absorbers are a small bathroom must-have since easy to use, as they don’t require electricity or installation, are compact, and can be placed anywhere. 

You could find them at hardware stores or online, such as the handy Kungugu moisture absorber available at Walmart.

“Remember, you will have to empty these absorbers when full, and purchase disposable desiccant refills that collect the humidity,” advised Sloman.

4. Fan it out

Portable fan near window

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A portable fan is helpful to manage humidity in your bathroom. Although fans will not remove humidity, they help to circulate the air, a necessity. It's a simple solution and you probably already have one in your home!

We love the Gazeled battery-operated fan available on Amazon has multiple speeds and a timer for auto shut-off, requiring four D batteries. 

“I recommend purchasing a charger and using rechargeable D’s,” said Sloman.

5. Squeegee

Squeegee bathroom mirror

(Image credit: Getty Images)

To keep things thrifty, try this simple small-budget bathroom idea. You can grab a shower squeegee online for under $10 and trust us, it's worth it.

“Condensation accumulates on your tub and shower tiles when you run a hot shower or bath,” said Sloman. “You can help avoid the mold and mildew build-up by simply using a squeegee after you shower.” 

Sloman personally loves the OXO squeegee, which you can find on Amazon. The OXO squeegee easily mounts on the tile with a suction cup and manually removes the beads of water on the wall for a squeaky clean drier surface.

6. Use your hair dryer

Hair tools on white surface

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do your mirrors fog up after a steamy shower? Sloman suggests turning on your hot hair dryer and waving it for a few seconds in front of the mirror. 

To make it a little easier to break out the hair dryer on a daily basis, make sure you organize your hair tools and keep yours within reach.

“Voila! you can see yourself clearly again,” she said. “Highly rated, the Rusk 2000-watt hair dryer from Amazon will dry your hair and your mirror in no time flat.” 

7. Minimizing your shower time

Small bathroom with white and marble surfaces

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bathroom Design Expert, Rachel Jones, mentioned that minimizing the time you spend in the shower and lowering the temperature of your water can help with reducing the humidity and steam build-up in your bathroom. 

Using a water-resistant timer such as this BALDR Digital Shower Clock from Amazon, can help keep your showers on track.

Rachel Jones
Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones has been a bathroom design expert for over 15 years. She works closely with clients to create the perfect bathroom design based on each client's specific requirements. Rachel also works closely with HomeHow to provide expert advice and has been featured in a range of leading publications. 

8. Vacuum your windows

Small marble bathroom with windows

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you have windows in your small bathroom, then your shower screens and mirrors will be full of condensation. Don't let this build up as the moisture will cause mold in your small space over time.

A vacuum is the easiest way to get rid of moisture on all kinds of surfaces in your small bathroom. It only takes about a minute to suck up all the water droplets from your shower.

Jones suggests using this streak-free window vacuum from Amazon, as it is a nifty gadget that helps you remove this moisture rather quickly.

9. Wipe down

Wiping down surface with pink cloth

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The simplest way to manage moisture in your small bathroom is to just wipe it off! “After your shower, it’s a good idea to wipe the area dry, so your bathroom doesn’t stay wet all day,” said Jones. 

“Leaving your cubicle and tiles wet can lead to patches of mildew forming and contributing to dampness.”

She suggests using absorbent, antibacterial cloths from Amazon for drying tiles, shower trays, and baths.


Are exhaust fans simple to install in a small bathroom?

Installing an exhaust fan requires one to cut a specific size hole in the wall tailored to the specific product. You will need to connect electrical to a switch. Sloman states recommends professional assistance.

How will I know if the dehumidifier is full in my small bathroom?

The best type of dehumidifier to purchase is one that has a translucent tank that is easily seen from the front or side.

Overall, keeping your small bathroom dry is important for a variety of reasons, including preventing mold and mildew growth, avoiding stains, and making your bathroom more comfortable to use. 

By following the tips provided by Sloman and Jones, you can keep your small bathroom dry and enjoy a more pleasant bathroom experience. Soon enough you can transform your space and make your small bathroom feel like a spa.

Aida M. Toro
Freelance Writer

About Me:

Hello! My name is Aida M. Toro and I am a freelance writer that loves cultivating stories about amazing people, fashion, interiors, art, and food. I currently write for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, The House Magazine, Hobnob Magazine, The C-Word, and Real Homes. I live in West New York, New Jersey, which is literally a 10-minute ferry ride or 20-minute bus ride away from New York City. Although I was born and raised in West New York, I consider NYC my home, as I believe it to be the place where all dreams come to fruition, and of course, spend most of my time in. When I’m not writing, I love perusing the city streets and taking snaps with my iPhone of street art along with random things, scoping out new restaurants as well as their spaces, shopping at some of my favorite stores, spending time with family and friends, walking my cockapoodle Benji, and working out at Lifetime or DOGPOUND, which are some of the top fitness spaces in Manhattan and overall the U.S.