It can be annoying when a shirt or dress clings to your body because of static, and it can be equally as embarrassing when you’re in public.
It is one of the worst laundry-related problems you may ever have to face. Static clothes have made many nightmares come true, from causing chaos in your closet to shocking your skin.
If you are curious about some easy laundry fixes that will help you learn how to remove static from clothes, then you have come to the right place. We have compiled a list of techniques to help you resolve this problem.
Say goodbye to static with these life-saving tips!
What causes static in clothing?
Inside your tumbler dryer, the clothes rub together, which tends to build up an electrostatic charge. The electrostatic charge causes the clothes to stick to each other or your body like glue.
In scientific terms, clothes develop charge when the delocalized electrons move from one fabric to another, causing an unequal charge distribution. Since opposite charges attract one another, the clothes become as inseparable as pizza and cheese.
This problem is visible especially in winter, as the outside humidity is relatively low. Thus, the reduced moisture in the air acts as an insulator that cannot earth the potential static charges.
How can you avoid static?
The ideal way to combat static accumulation is to prevent the electrostatic charge from building up at all. You can go static-free by making a few permanent changes in your laundry routine. Here’s how:
- Buy natural fibre clothing and avoid synthetic clothing, which is more likely to be a culprit of static build-up. Natural fibres retain moisture better and will not cling to your skin while you’re out and about.
- Use a fabric conditioner when doing laundry. A fabric conditioner will adequately lubricate your clothes in the washing machine, reducing the friction and thus static in clothing. Moreover, it will give your fabric a soft and fluffy feel. White vinegar is a natural fabric softener if you do not wish to use chemicals. Do not worry about the vinegar smell, as it will go away when the clothes are dried.
- Use dryer sheets if you are tumble drying your clothes. The key ingredients in dryer sheets neutralize the effects of static build-up in fabric materials. Additionally, dryer sheets also leave a pleasant scent.
- Air-dry clothes after washing them. Immediately after washing your clothes, lay them on a flat surface and leave them to dry, or use a metal wire hanger so it can take away some of the charge. Air drying is preferred over tumble drying since the accumulation of unequal electric charge is caused by dryness and heat.
- After removing clothes from the dryer, shake them. This willprevent the static from accumulating in your clothing as the charge will settle on another surface. A few quick shakes will do the trick.
- Get leather-soled shoes. Avoid rubber-soled shoes if you are susceptible to static build-up as rubber locks the charge in. In contrast, leather soles on your boots will allow the charge to freely flow through your body to the ground.
How to remove static from clothes: 10 Methods
Anti-static sprays are the safest and most effective way to remove static from clothes. To use this solution, you spray it over the areas of your clothes that are prone to static build-up. The solution evaporates, leaving behind a thin conducting layer. Thus, materials are more likely to dissipate electric charge rather than store it.
Use a wire hanger
You can easily remove static using essential household items such as a wire hanger. Rubbing a wire hanger on your clothes will transfer the electrostatic charge to the wire hanger. Simply rub the wire hanger on the inside of your dress before putting it on. This trick works well with silk clothing in particular.
Moisturise your skin
Before putting on your outfit, moisturise your skin so the humidity in your skin will increase. Always keep a bottle of lotion in your bag. Ultimately, by doing this, you prevent the clothes from clinging to your skin and leaving you embarrassed.
Toss in some dryer balls in the next round of laundry to prevent the load from sticking together. The balls work by minimizing your items’ contact with one another, in turn blocking static build-up. Furthermore, the dryer balls soak up moisture from clothing in the tumble dryer. Hence, the balls will maintain a humid environment to remove static from clothes. The drying time is also reduced.
Add water in the dryer
An effortless technique is just to add a damp rag when your clothes have about fifteen minutes left in the tumble dryer. Dry air gives rise to static; therefore, a wet rag will retain moisture in the air and prevent static from building.
Use safety pins
You can quickly get rid of static from your clothes with a simple safety pin. The small piece of metal will hold some charge and stop the static build-up throughout the day. If you do not want the pin to be seen, place it on the inside of your piece of clothing and say goodbye to static.
Following the trail of static, spritz some hairspray onto your clothes. This removes the static because it slightly wets the area sticking to you. However, for this method to be effective, ensure that you do not spray too much. Also, ensure that you don’t apply it over too large an area. Luckily, hairsprays do not damage clothes; however, they may leave behind a residue. To be on the safe side, always turn your clothes inside-out and then spray them from a distance.
Separate natural fibres from synthetic clothes
Since synthetic clothes are prone to static, mixing and matching natural and synthetic fibres will build up a lot of static in all of your clothes. Instead, keep both types of fabrics separate in the dryer. Then, hang the synthetic fabrics indoors or outdoors to dry them.
Soap nuts, also called soap berries, are a green alternative to chemical laundry detergents. They can be placed in a plastic bag and tossed in with your laundry. Soap nuts naturally have anti-static properties, meaning if you wash your laundry with it, you will not need any other remedy to remove static from clothes.
Boost humidity in your home
Dry air is the ideal condition for static build-up. Therefore, you can use a humidifier to eliminate this problem. The moisture in the air will neutralize the electrostatic charge that causes the annoying cling. Another good way to boost the humidity inside your home is by having house plants.
That’s it, folks! We’ve explained what causes static, the environment that it thrives in, and provided a variety of practical, simple techniques on how to remove static from clothes.
We understand how frustrating it can be to deal with static cling constantly, getting shocks from static build-up, or having your clothes stick to you or other clothes.
Fortunately, these life-saving tips will help you solve the issue of static build-up once and for all.
Whichever method you choose, you will soon see and feel the difference when wearing your favourite blouse or smart shirt. Now you can permanently go static-free.
Meet our reviewer
Jimmy Pearce is our resident expert on domestic cleaning appliances. Having managed a large electrical retail store for over 10 years and with a family that includes 3 kids, there is little Jimmy doesn’t know or hasn’t seen when it comes to domestic cleaning. When he’s not spending time with the family or reviewing domestic appliances, Jimmy is often found in his man cave jamming on his bass guitar.