I live in a very dry state, so I’m no stranger to dealing with static on my clothes, hair, furniture, etc. It’s not necessarily harmful or painful, but it certainly can be really annoying!
No one wants to deal with overly clingy clothes or frizzy hair that just won’t stay put, but the good news is that there you aren’t powerless to stop it. Not only are there ways to prevent static cling from becoming an issue in the first place, but there are also a few easy ways to take care of static cling if you’re currently struggling with it.
We’ll be exploring both static prevention and static solutions in today’s blog post, so you can minimize your static struggles no matter where you are in the cycle. But before we dive into those tips, I thought it would be useful to first learn a bit about how static cling forms in the first place. So let’s get started! :-)
What Causes Static Cling In Your Dryer?
Atoms are, in part, made up of positively charged protons and negatively charged electrons, and these opposites definitely attract! When a positively charged object encounters extra electrons on another object or in the atmosphere, the electrons will be attracted to the positive charge and may even jump over suddenly, discharging and producing a small electric shock.
This is the type of shock you often experience from touching a conductive surface like metal. However, if the extra electrons are attracted to the positive charge of a material that doesn’t conduct electricity very well, it may result in the weak attraction known as static cling.
Static cling in your dryer typically forms in the final minutes of the drying cycle, because the friction between the dry fabrics produces an electrostatic charge. Static cling forms easily in these dry conditions (which is also why static is more of an issue during the winter when cold temperatures keep humidity low.)
So how do you keep static cling from forming inside your dryer? Consider the following five simple solutions!
5 Ways To Prevent Static Cling
1. Keep Your Dryer Humid
The easiest and most obvious way to prevent static cling from forming is by stopping the cycle before the clothes inside are completely dry. This will keep the inside of your dryer more humid, preventing static and saving you on energy costs too! (Another bonus of shorter dryer cycles? Fewer wrinkles!)
2. Separate Fabrics Before Drying
Synthetic fabrics are more prone to static cling buildup than natural fabrics like cotton are. You can use this information to your advantage by separating out your natural and synthetic clothing items before loading your wet clothes into your dryer.
Dry the items made from natural fabrics as usual to cut down on static cling. As for your synthetic fabrics, dry those items on their own either in your dryer using low heat, or better yet…
3. Air Dry Your Clothes
Never underestimate the benefits of air drying your laundry on a rack or line, especially when it comes to those static-prone synthetic fabrics! The tumbling action inside your dryer is a major contributor to the formation of that troublesome electrostatic charge, but drying your clothes flat or hanging eliminates friction from the equation.
4. Use Dryer Balls
If you haven’t considered using dryer balls while drying your laundry, you really should! Because 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 to maintain a more humid environment as the drying 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 Before Use. Soak one or two of your dryer balls with water (they should be wet, but not dripping) before starting your drying cycle, which will keep your dryer more humid and help control static formation.
- Pin Safety Pins To Them. Attaching a safety pin or two to your dryer balls can help prevent static by attracting the extra electrons responsible for static cling, then discharging them when the pins make contact with the dryer drum.
5. Put A Humidifier In Your Laundry Room
It’s not just the humidity inside your dryer that can influence the amount of static in your laundry—the humidity of your laundry room can play a role too! You can keep static at bay by keeping your laundry room more humid, and the easiest way to do that is by running a humidifier whenever you’re running the dryer.
But what if static cling is already plaguing your clothes? If the prevention ship has already sailed, here are some ways to get rid of static cling.
3 Ways To Get Rid Of Static On Your Clothes
1. Use A Metal Hanger
Those pesky extra electrons that are responsible for the static charge on your clothes can be swept away with the help of a conductor like metal. Use this to your advantage by running the flat part of a metal hanger over your affected clothes. Much better!
2. Moisturize Your Skin
Static forms in dry environments, and if your skin itself is dry, that certainly isn’t helping matters! Adding moisture to your skin by slathering on some body lotion will help cut down on static.
3. Use A Dryer Sheet
While I don’t use dryer sheets in my actual dryer, I do like to have a few on hand in case of static emergencies. The fabric softener in dryer sheets contains anti-static agents, which is why a quick swipe with a dryer sheet takes care of static fast.
Do you have any tips or tricks for dealing with static?