Urgh, we all know (and dread) the zap that static electricity causes.
According to Oxford Languages, static electricity is a stationary electric charge, typically produced by friction. I remember as a kid, rubbing my feet on carpet and zapping my brother (and anyone within arms-reach to be honest!). That was fun, but what’s not fun is when you’ve got a shirt, or skirt, that relentlessly sticks to your body!
You might notice it to be particularly noticeable after removing clothes from the drier, and when the weather is dry. The type of fibre also plays a role in how staticky clothing can be; I notice synthetic materials, like nylon and polyester, to be more of an issue than cotton or hemp, for example. So when purchasing new clothing, try to avoid the synthetic stuff (although this can be difficult these days!)
How do we get rid of static electricity?
Well, David Harris, a physicist and curator of the Physics Museum at University of Queensland says that the best way to get rid of static is to discharge it.
One of the best ways I have personally found to discharge static in an outfit is to ‘ground’. Have you heard of it? Grounding (or earthing) is basically getting your bare feet on, well, the ground or earth. So simple, and it offers a crazy number of health benefits too. Alexx Stuart taught me all about it – you can read more here.
Think about how we tend to live these days… We’re typically in rubber/plastic-soled shoes when outdoors, or we’re inside houses and buildings; we’re in contact with earth less than ever before in history. So when static is an issue, it needs help to go away: when you’re getting ready to go out, and static rears its ugly head, get outside and place your bare feet (hands work too) onto the earth. It’s worked for me; hopefully, you find success in this little trick too!
Here are some other tips and tricks to try:
Tip 1 – Use vinegar as a fabric softener
The theory here is that vinegar helps to keep clothes soft, and soft clothing creates less friction, therefore less static. I only ever use this recipe or plain white vinegar as fabric softener, and I rarely have issues with static.
Tip 2 – Dry clothes on the line
It’s free, the sun kills bacteria and it gets you outdoors – winning! Of course, rainy days are an issue here, but rather than a dryer, opt for an indoor clothes horse. Either way, rain or shine, avoid those energy-sucking machines at all costs!
Tip 3 – If you must use a clothes dryer, use dryer balls
Not only do these reduce drying time, but they also reduce static – here are some natural, wool dryer balls to check out. You can also get them here – use the code “Krissy” for 5% off your order. I’ve heard a few safety pins on a sock also help when using a clothes dryer.
Tip 5 – Moisturise your skin
This is a great recipe if you fancy some DIY.
Some of these tips I’ve had personal success with, others are floating around as suggestions on my social platforms. I’d love for you to leave a comment if you have any other useful tips to add!
Author, Advocate & Founder
Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.
Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website The Inspired Little Pot.