When was the last time you walked out the front door with a sock hanging off your tights? Or how about this one—a pair of panties stuck to the inside of your dress? You know, because everyone needs a spare, just in case.
Static is nobody’s friend. In fact, it’s proof that being clingy is never a good thing, no matter what the situation. Static makes our hair stick out (or straight up), our dresses mold in a not-so-lovely way to our legs and our shirts ride up in all kinds of odd and unflattering ways. We won’t get into the embarrassment of shocking a new client during the all-important handshake.
But what to do about static cling? Are we fighting a losing battle?
Nope. We’re here to help you kick static to the curb, fast, with these easy strategies. It’s time to get de-electrified, and fast.
But first, a science lesson about what causes pesky static cling.
What Causes Pesky Static Cling?
In short, static cling is caused by static electricity.
Solid materials are made up of atoms, which are made up of electrons. To be stable, atoms need to contain a certain number of electrons. When they don’t they will try to take or share some from another atom, usually without asking for permission (which is rude).
When friction is caused by two different materials coming into contact with each other—such as being in the dryer or being worn together or in dry conditions with low humidity— the electrons in one material will tend to attract the electrons in the other. The material that loses becomes negatively charged and the one that gains becomes positively charged. As we all know, opposites attract, and thus become stuck to each other. If the material is the same there will be no charge because like atoms don’t want to trade electrons. This is why you’re pantyhose doesn’t stick to your pantyhose.
So now we know why, here’s what to do about it.
6 Foolproof Ways to Get Rid of Static Cling
1. Get in a Static Cling Free Routine
Every day you should:
- Remove clothes from the dryer before they’re fully dry
- Keep a humidifier in your laundry room to keep the air moist.
- Add a couple of tinfoil balls into the washing machine, or sprinkle in some baking soda or vinegar.
- Take clothes out of dryer immediately and shake them to prevent static from building up. Air dry clothes that are prone to static.
Those handy sheets you use in your tumble cycle send everyone back to their own corners. The sheets neutralize the charges when their positively charged ingredients bond loosely to the negatively charged fabric surfaces.
3. Spritz some hairspray
We need multi-tasking products and we need them now. Great in a pinch, hairspray is formulated to remove static. Who cares if it’s in your hair or your clothes? Just know that the effect is short-lived and can damage delicate fabrics. So if you’re not sure, do a test. Or try something else.
4. Go metallic
Metal discharges electricity, which removes static immediately. Slide clothes along a metal hanger (see there’s a use for them) or carry a metal thimble in your pocket—note: people may think you’re weird when you shake hands palming a thimble— to defuse static electricity. You can also use another metal object or attach a safety pin to the inside seam of static prone garments. Also try running a hanger between your clothes and your body after getting dressed (that’s super kinky. We’re going to try that).
5. Add some moisture
Since static cling is caused by dryness, why not eliminate it? Run clothes through a low-heat cycle with a damp towel or cloth, or spritz clothes with a fine mist of distilled water after removing from the dryer.
6. Change your shoes
Rubber contributes to electrical charges whereas leather does not. So go ahead and splurge on expensive footwear. As if you needed an incentive.
Do you have any tried and true tips for beating static cling? We’d love to hear them.