Static problems often occur in the winter. Static electricity can be “shocking” when putting on your pajamas, pulling clothes out of the dryer, getting in and out of the car, or brushing your hair. Keep reading to find out why!
Static occurs when humidity is lower, both inside and outside. So it’s not surprising that winter is usually the time when we have the most static problems. We experience static when two materials rub against each other, transferring electrons from one material to another. As the electrons amass, a static buildup occurs and the static charge is generated. Next time you walk across the carpet, dragging your feet, you will see (and feel!) what has been described! Static can also occur when you are drying garments. In the dryer, the temperature of the fabric rises, as the friction between the clothes increases.
There are actually many things you can do to eliminate or reduce static in your life. These are shocking, but true!
- Don’t over-dry your clothes or overload your dryer.
- Wear leather shoes instead of rubber or synthetic fibers.
- Try one-use dryer sheets, either homemade or store bought. Dryer balls can also be used too…but beware, do not use them when drying silks, as they can damage them.
- Use aluminum foil in the dryer. Just rumple up a small wad and put it into the dryer with wet clothes. This is a thrifty and easy way to combat static cling!
- Wear cotton or wool. Natural fibers produce less static than synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester. If you are already wearing the piece of clothing, rub it with a dryer sheet or a metal/wire hanger.
- Consider line-drying synthetics.
- Make your own “anti-static” spray: Fill a spray bottle with water and a capful of fabric softener.
- Add fabric softener or vinegar in the wash cycle.
- Take an old sock and pierce it with a few safety pins; then put it in the dryer with the clothes.
- Use moisturizer! Yes, it’s true! Keeping your skin moist will help eliminate shocks.
- Consider purchasing a humidifier. It will add moisture to the air of your house during the winter. You can also put our pots or bowls of water around the house … out of the reach of children and/or pets to avoid tipping over! Simmering water on the stove can also help (throw in some spices or citrus to also get a fresh smell!).
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