Static electricity can be frustrating to deal with, as it causes your clothes to stick to your body and makes it difficult to separate everything after doing laundry. In this guide, we will explore the causes of static cling in clothing and provide ways to prevent it. Read on to learn more and say goodbye to the dreaded static cling for good!
What Causes Static Cling in Clothing?
If you have ever felt a sudden jolt while putting on your favorite sweater on a cold day, you probably know a thing or two about how static electricity works. During chilly winter days, it may seem like your clothes are constantly shocking you or clinging onto each other because stray electrons accumulate in the atmosphere.
Electrons have a positive or negative charge. Opposite charges attract each other, while similar charges repel. A shock occurs when two electrons with the same charge come into contact. However, if the electrostatic charges are not strong enough, they may cause your clothes to cling instead.
When it comes to your clothing causing unwanted zaps, the tumbling motion of your dryer makes fabrics rub against each other, causing electrostatic charges to build up. It’s usually much worse in the winter because static electricity can quickly form when the air is dry and the humidity is low. During the summer or on a humid day, water molecules collect on the surface of your clothing and help prevent the buildup of static electricity.
How to Prevent Static Cling
Static cling can be annoying and uncomfortable, but there are several ways to minimize it. Doing things like increasing the humidity in your home, properly separating clothing, air drying, and using fabric softeners can help you keep your clothes cling-free.
Increase the Humidity in Your Home (and in Your Clothes)
Using a humidifier to increase the humidity in your space can help reduce static electricity and cling. If you do not have access to a humidifier, a simple way to increase the moisture in your clothes is to use your dryer less frequently on colder days and use an indoor drying rack or clothesline to air dry your laundry.
You can also increase the humidity in your clothes by not letting them dry completely in your dryer. Taking your clothes out while they are still damp and hanging them on an indoor drying rack or clothesline will lead to less static cling and fewer wrinkles.
Properly Separate Your Clothing
Synthetic fabrics are typically the biggest culprits for static cling in your laundry. Another way to remove static cling in your clothing is to separate and sort natural fibers and fabrics from synthetics.
Additionally, air-drying synthetics and using your dryer for natural fibers can help reduce static cling tremendously.
Air Dry Your Clothing
While dryers are convenient and easy to use, they also cause fabrics to rub against each other and build up that dreadful static electricity. Air-drying your clothes using a drying rack or laying them flat will eliminate this problem but may be more time-consuming. We recommend using this method if you don’t need to wear something right away.
Use Fabric Softeners
If waiting for clothes to air-dry is not an option, fabric softeners like dryer sheets or wool dryer balls can help you reduce static cling during the drying process. Liquid fabric softeners that you can add during the rinse cycle lubricate the fabrics in your laundry with chemicals, making them feel silkier and reducing friction in the process.
Dryer sheets have the same effect but work better because they are used in the dryer, meaning they help eliminate static electricity at the source. Wool dryer balls are also an effective method for those looking for a natural way to reduce static cling in the dryer.
How to Get Rid of Static
Use a Static-Reducing Spray
Static-reducing spray by brands like Static Guard and Sprayway can help eliminate static cling by neutralizing the electrostatic charges in your laundry. Anti-static sprays contain hygroscopic substances that increase the humidity in the fabric of your clothing. Static-reducing sprays are available in many different scents and travel-size options for your convenience.
Use a Damp Cloth on the Clinging Areas
A quick and easy way to stop your clothes from clinging on your way out the door is to rub the clinging areas with a clean damp cloth or paper towel. Using a damp cloth to rub the affected areas is another way to temporarily increase the humidity in the fabric and eliminate some of the electrostatic charges.
Use a Wire Hanger
Hanging your clothes on a wire hanger is the perfect place to start if you want to use household items to tackle your static electricity problem. Wire hangers steal back some electrostatic charges that cause your clothes to cling and zap.
Run a clothes hanger along the inside of your garments before and after putting them on and off. If you don’t have any wire clothes hangers handy, running aluminum foil through your clothes before putting them on will do the trick. For those who feel like they have to deal with static cling throughout the day, attach a safety pin to the inside of your hem or the inside seam of your pants to discharge the static electricity. Metal objects help discharge electricity and remove static from your clothing.
Moisturize Your Skin
For those not wanting to make any changes to their daily routine, fighting static can be as easy as moisturizing your skin. Lotion is another natural enemy of static electricity, as rubbing lotion onto your skin increases the humidity on the surface of your skin and will prevent clothing from clinging to you.
Trust ZIPS With Your Laundry
Static cling can be frustrating when it comes time to do laundry. Electrostatic charges can cause your clothes to stick to your body and make it harder to find your favorite garments after doing laundry. However, there are a few tricks that can help you prevent static cling from occurring, such as increasing the humidity in your home and clothing, separating natural fibers from synthetics, air-drying your clothes, using fabric softeners, and even using lotion on your skin. By following these tips and tricks, you can say goodbye to static electricity and enjoy your clothes without any frustrating clinging!
At ZIPS, we treat your garments with the utmost care to maximize their longevity and keep you looking your best every day of the week–without that annoying static. Find a location near you, and let us take care of it today!