If you’ve ever wondered how to get rid of static in clothes, hair, furniture, or anything else, you’ll be happy to know you can use a dryer sheet, aluminum foil, water, fabric softener, wire hangers, and other everyday items to get rid of static cling! Because while static electricity isn’t necessarily harmful, it can be a very annoying laundry problem — after all, you probably don’t like wearing static clothing that sticks to your body!
In fact, no one wants to deal with clothing catastrophes like clingy clothes or frizzy hair, and the good news is that you don’t have to! In this post, you’ll not only how to prevent static cling that causes clothes to stick in the first place, but easy ways to remove static from clothes and other surfaces too.
You’ll know how to get rid of static cling for good by the end of this post!
What Causes Static Cling?
Static cling typically forms in your dryer during final minutes of the drying cycle, when friction between dry fabrics produces an electrostatic charge. Static electricity forms easily in dry air, which is why static cling tends to be more of an issue during the winter when cold temperatures mean low humidity.
So how do you reduce the static inside your dryer? Consider these 8 simple solutions for preventing static naturally!
8 Ways To Prevent Static Cling In Clothes
1. Don’t Dry Your Clothes Completely
One of the easiest and most effective solutions to prevent static cling from forming is taking your clothes out of the dryer before they are completely dry. With more humidity and less friction, less electrical charge will build on your clothes.
One surprising thing your dryer may be able to do is stop the dry cycle while your clothes are still a bit damp. If your dryer doesn’t have a “damp dry,” “iron dry,” or “less dry” setting, you can always stop it manually a few minutes before the cycle is done!
Either way, keeping your dryer more humid will help prevent static and reduce your energy costs too! (Another bonus of using the damp dry cycle? Fewer wrinkles in your clothes!)
2. Add Baking Soda To Your Washer
Baking soda can do all sorts of useful things, including prevent static in clothes. Adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to your washing machine along with your clothes not only help cut down on free electrons that can cause static electricity to build, but soften your clothes and eliminate odors too. (My favorite homemade laundry detergent features baking soda for all those reasons!)
3. Separate Fabrics Before Drying
Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon are more prone to static cling buildup than natural fabrics like cotton. That’s why drying synthetics separately from the rest of your clothes can help reduce static electricity.
4. Air Dry Your Clothes
Never underestimate the benefits of air drying your laundry on a rack or line! As I’ve mentioned previously, tumble dryers are a major contributor to static buildup, and hanging your clothes or laying them flat to dry eliminates the troublesome friction from drying clothes in a tumble dryer. (Drying your clothes on an indoor drying rack is also a great alternative to running a humidifier!)
5. Use Dryer Balls
There’s a reason why using dryer balls is one of my favorite frugal laundry hacks! In addition to reducing drying time and softening fabrics, wool dryer balls also absorb some of the moisture coming off your clothes as they dry, helping keep some humidity in your dryer as the cycle progresses.
If you continue to experience static cling while using dryer balls, here are a couple of solutions that can help:
- Get Them Wet. Dip one or two of your dryer balls in water before starting your dryer to increase humidity and reduce static formation.
- Add Safety Pins. Pinning one or two metal safety pins to your dryer balls can help prevent static by attracting those pesky extra electrons, then discharging them as the pins make contact with the drum.
6. Use A Humidifier
It’s not just the humidity in your dryer that can influence static cling — the humidity of your laundry room (and the rest of your house) can play a role too! You can help remove static by running a humidifier in your laundry room while your dryer is running.
Also, one of the many benefits of houseplants is that they can also increase the humidity in your home, which means you’ll have a lot less static. (Not that plant lovers need an excuse to bring home more plants!)
7. Use Liquid Fabric Softener
To prevent static cling, it can be advantageous to use fabric softener in a liquid form, rather than using dryer sheets or other types of fabric conditioners. Liquid fabric softeners will help add moisture to the fibers of your clothes. I use a homemade liquid fabric softener that’s both highly affordable and helps reduce static cling!
8. Prevent Static Buildup In Hair
Dry hair is just as prone to static buildup as dry clothing, especially when friction from blankets, hats, or scarves is in the mix too. Use moisturizing conditioners and hair masks to keep your hair hydrated. (A spritz of hairspray or a small dab of a homemade moisturizing salve can also help!)
9. Use An Ionizer
You can actually damage some delicate electronics by giving them a static shock, so if you experience painful static frequently, you may want to try an ionizer. Ionizers can help rebalance the electric charge in a given area by releasing negative ions that bond with the positive ions that cause static.
10. Use Static Guard
Static Guard, a commercial anti-spray, contains both positive and negative charges and prevents static from building up on items you spray it on. However, it is a pricey option at almost $10 for 5 ounces or so, but one you may want to consider if static is a huge problem for you.
Too late prevent static cling from happening? Try these effective tips to eliminate static cling!
How To Get Rid Of Static In Clothes: 4 Easy Tips
While anti-static clothing does exist, it’s designed to prevent build-up of static that may result in electrostatic discharges (ESD) in environments where such discharges can be hazardous, such around flammable chemicals or sensitive electronics. Luckily, you don’t need special ESD garments to avoid a nasty shock — here are some ways to get rid of static in clothes without even taking them off!
1. Use A Metal Hanger
Those pesky electrons that are responsible for the static charge on your clothes can be swept away with the help of a conductor, like a metal hanger. To stop clothes from clinging, run a clothes hanger along your outfit to discharge the static onto the metal.
2. Moisturize Your Skin
Static forms in dry environments, and if your skin itself is dry, that could be making matters worse! Adding moisture to your skin by applying body lotion is an easy way to get static out of clothes, and it will help cut down on friction too.
3. Swipe Your Clothes With A Dryer Sheet
While I use my homemade dryer sheets while doing laundry, I do keep a few store-bought dryer sheets on hand for other uses, including static cling emergencies! Dryer sheets contain anti-static agents, so you can quickly swipe one over yourself to get rid of static from your clothes, even if you’re already wearing them!
4. Wipe Your Clothes With Wet Hands Or A Damp Cloth
To get rid of static in clothes when you’re at work or out of the house, getting them a bit damp is a quick and easy fix. Lightly wet your hands and run them over your clothes, or use a damp cloth.
This can also help reduce friction and static as well in coats and other outerwear. Just the rub the inside with a dryer sheet, moisturizer, or a damp cloth before you put your coat on.
3 More Anti-Static Tips To Get Rid Of Static Cling
1. How To Get Rid Of Static Electricity From Your Body
Touch Something Grounded
When a static charge builds on your body, touching something grounded (like a light switch) is a quick, albeit potentially painful, way to quickly discharge the static buildup. But if you make a point of discharging static by touching something grounded regularly, you can make those shocks less intense when they do happen.
Keep A Hand On The Car
Static buildup often occurs when getting out of the car, generated by the friction of your clothes as you slide across the upholstery. You can prevent getting zapped by touching the outside of your car before you climb out of the seat. (This doesn’t always prevent clingy clothes, so it’s still smart to carry something like a fabric softener spray with you — more on that just below!)
2. Get Rid Of Static Electricity With A Fabric Conditioner Spray
You can make an anti-static fabric softener spray by adding 1 ounce of fabric softener to 1 quart of water, then pouring the solution into a spray bottle. Spritz your fabric softener spray over clothes, upholstered furniture, carpets, and even drapes — wherever static cling occurs around the house. (This works great on car upholstery too, as I mentioned above!)
Alternatively, you can make a similarly effective anti-static spray using dryer sheets. Just put 3 tumble dryer sheets in a spray bottle, fill it with warm water, wait for 15 minutes, then discard the dryer sheets.
3. Use Aluminum Foil To Remove Static From Hair
Who hasn’t put on their favorite pullover or taken off a knitted hat to discover their hair suddenly sticking out in every direction? Luckily, a small piece of aluminum foil can make short work of flyaway, staticky hair. Just swipe the foil over your hair to whisk away free electrons and stop static electricity from building. Keep a piece in your bedroom and one in your purse so you’re always ready.
Do you have any tips or tricks to get rid of static from clothing?