How to get rid of static

Static cling is a huge problem at our house.

2 of my girls wear fleece sleepers/pajamas to bed and they create quite a bit of static.  Work-out wear, socks, and polyester are all big static producers at the Hill House also.

How to Remove Static Cling From Clothes

Recently when I folded clothes, the static seemed to get worse!  Which got me thinking: I’m not totally sure I understand what static cling is or where it comes from.  So I can’t eliminate it until I understand it.  And of course, the internet came through for me.

There’s even a whole website dedicated to static cling. What Is Static Cling reports:

From the above, it can be summarized that static cling occurs if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • When there is friction between two materials
  • The two materials are not the same but are electrically insulating
  • Dry conditions exist with humidity at very low levels (this is conducive to the transferring of electrons)

So according to their explanation, the dryer is the perfect place for the creation of static cling.  The materials are not the same and there is an enormous amount of friction.

So how do you get rid of Static Cling?

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There are a few methods to rid your clothes of static, some green and some more traditional. Regardless of your preference, here are some ways to reduce the annoying static in your laundry.

Traditional Fabric SoftenersYou know the ones: Downy, Bounce, Snuggle and others.   Fabric softeners come in the liquid form you pour into the final rinse of the washing cycle or they come as a sheet you put in the dryer.  They leave your clothes smelling nice and dreamy and are excellent at keeping static at bay.  The problem?  They get a bad rap for being potentially toxic.

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Any type of Dryer BallsDryer Balls come in the form of wool or plastic.  I understand that people rave about the wool ones…but not so much about the plastic ones.  After reading many reviews online, it seems that their best claim to fame is that they keep the clothes separated in the dryer.  This one characteristic goes a long way in reducing static (re-read the ‘how static forms’ at top of post).  Whether they interfere with the actual electrical charge is not well-proven.

Aluminum Foil and Tennis BallsAgain, these items separate the clothes in the dryer, thus helping to prevent static cling.  I’ve tried them both and I would say that there is a significant reduction in static cling, but definitely not an elimination of The Cling.  But both items are relatively cheap, so they might be worth a try for you!

Static GuardIf you’d prefer to deal with static cling after the laundry is dried, you can try this spray-on product.  It claims to “instantly eliminate and prevent static cling.”  It works remarkably well in my limited experience with the product.  The only problem is that you must use it to address each article of clothing, rather than dealing with the entire load of clingy clothes at once.

Line-dryingDrying your clothes on the clothes line (or inside drying rack) practically eliminates the problem altogether.  It is rare that any item I line dry has the static cling.  Just another reason to line dry your clothing items instead of tumbling them in the dryer!

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Hang laundry on a clothesline to decrease static cling

White VinegarLots of Mama’s Laundry Talk readers swear by white vinegar as a fabric softener.  For loads of laundry that are mostly cottons (bed sheets, towels, jeans) I use vinegar faithfully.  But for those loads where fleece or polyester is involved, I need something with a little more punch.  I do love that it is inexpensive and chemical-free.

▶ Make sure you don’t miss Why White Vinegar Should Be in Your Laundry Room

HairsprayI know it seems like a weird choice, but cheap hairspray lightly sprayed on hair and clothes can be a quick fix.  Barely spray on your clothes and let it dry.

Rub a Dryer Sheet on your hair and clothesWhen you’re fully dressed, take a dryer sheet (Bounce, Cling-Free, Snuggle, any will do) and lightly rub it on your clothes and hair.  This treatment yields the best results for us here at the Hill House.

So how do you get rid of static cling?  Any of the above recommendations?  Or do you have your own secret weapon against static cling? Do tell.

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