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We’ve all tried to create static electricity before. Rubbing your socked feet on the carpet rapidly and then trying to create a little jolt by touching our friends or other things almost makes us feel like superheroes.
But there are times where static electricity is not all that welcome, such as when we’re talking about clothing and blankets. When static electricity becomes involved, clothing can stick together, becoming difficult to break apart and even leading to an unpleasant shock.
While those shocks generally won’t hurt very much, they can be startling at the very least. So the next time that you go to untangle those charged blankets, you might want to try some of these methods for keeping that charge away.
Static Electricity in the Body
When we think of electricity, we no doubt think of the power that runs into the outlets in our walls and out into the products and appliances that we use on a daily basis. But there is a small amount of electricity that runs through our bodies on a regular basis.
Static electricity can be generated by rubbing two objects together with one supplying the other with electrons. Glass and wool are two materials that tend to generate quite a bit of static electricity but hair and skin can also generate and accumulate static electricity charges as well.
If you’ve ever rubbed your feet over carpeting and touched another conductor, you will notice a static electricity shock. This is the transfer of electrons from the carpeting to your feet, which are then distributed throughout your body.
Depending on what kind of bedding that you have, it can be a natural harbinger for static electricity. Combined with the electrical current that can flow through the body, you could find yourself in for a nasty shock when climbing into bed.
1 – Hang Your Laundry Outside
If you’re looking to reduce static shock, try hanging your bedding outside (you can do this with the rest if you want, but it will take longer). Hanging your bedding outside does a couple of things.
The first is that it should reduce the static cling in your laundry. The second is that it will provide that fresh smell that so many fabric softeners and detergents try to recreate.
Even better, the sun’s UV rays will kill any bacteria and germs left over. Keep in mind that drying naturally can take longer than using a dryer but the end result will be more than worth it if you have the patience.
2 – Introduce Moisture to the Room
Maybe you’ve already washed and dried the blanket but you want to avoid that nasty shock when you crawl into bed. You can combat this by turning on a water feature located closest to your bedroom right before you go to bed.
One of the easiest ways to introduce that moisture is to implement a humidifier into your room. It doesn’t have to be the biggest unit in the world; a simple wall-mounted or dresser-top water fountain can do the trick.
Ultimately, the added moisture in the air can help to reduce or completely eliminate the static electricity remaining in the blanket and in the air. A humidifier in particular is a great thing to have in especially dry climates where the lack of moisture in the air can lead to dry, cracked skin.
3 – A Rinse of White Vinegar
White vinegar should become a staple in your home even if it never gets used for taking the static out of your blankets. It is a great household cleaner that can be used in so many applications that it would make your head spin.
As for your blankets, you can use it in the rinse cycle. Sure, you can use traditional fabric softeners and fabric sheets to help reduce both static cling and electricity but a half-cup or so of white vinegar can play a big role.
Not only will it help to soften your bedding, making it more comfortable and welcoming, but it will also help to reduce static cling.
The biggest difference between white vinegar and things such as fabric softener sheets or liquid fabric softeners is that it won’t leave a waxy substance on your clothing and bedding. White vinegar will become a staple in many of your household chores.
4 – Change up Your Drying Cycle
Drying your bedding in the dryer cuts down on the wait time substantially. If you want to keep using the dryer but don’t want to deal with static electricity, try to add a damp hand towel to your dryer cycle.
You want to do this over the last 20 minutes or so in order to help cut down on the level of static electricity.
Another cool household remedy that you can introduce is a tightly crumpled ball of aluminum. Toss it in during the last 20 minutes of the drying cycle and it should help to dispel most of the static electricity within.
5 – Lotion Up
As you can see from some of the previous examples, moisture is a major component in keeping static electricity out of your clothing, bedding, and even the air. So if you aren’t going to introduce moisture into the drying process, you can introduce moisture to yourself.
Try applying lotion to your legs, arms, hands, and face before you get into bed. For those with longer hair that may retain a charge, you can lightly moisten your hands and then run them through your hair before you get into bed. You can also try running a comb or brush under the faucet and then run that through your hair.
In any event, providing more moisture to your body is a great way to keep static shock from showing up and causing issues when you try to get into bed.
6 – Discharge Your Bed
Even if you haven’t recently suffered a shock, it can be a good idea to discharge your bed before you get in. Try running a wire hanger or a dryer sheet over top of your blankets before you climb into bed for the night.
The fabric softener sheets typically work in the dryer to neutralize static electricity and cling so it only makes sense to wipe one down over your bedding to achieve the same effect. The wire hanger, meanwhile, can discharge that static buildup before you get into the bed.
If you want to get really creative, you can take a wet washcloth and wring it out, running it over your bedding lightly to implement enough moisture to dispel and prevent static charges.
7 – Choose the Proper Materials
Perhaps the best way to prevent static shock from occurring is to pick blankets that are made from the right materials. There are some materials that do a better job of naturally dispelling static electricity.
Blankets made of nylon, acetate, polyester, or rayon are all notorious for static cling and electricity so try to avoid those. Going with neutral materials is a great way to keep the static shock away when all you want to do is snuggle up.
More natural fabrics include linen, wool, silk, or cotton. By going with a natural fabric, you can skip all of the static removal steps and simply enjoy your bedding the way that it was meant to be enjoyed.
8 – Baking Soda
You’ll come to find that there are a few natural cleaners that will do a great job on several things throughout your home. White vinegar, as mentioned above, is one of those household cleaners. Another one is baking soda.
Baking soda can be added into the washing cycle, helping to soften your clothes and remove any residues or scents that may have been there. Best of all, that baking soda will make your bedding resistant to static shock when it goes into the dryer.
Just make sure that you don’t use white vinegar and baking soda together in the same cycle. It will cause a reaction that will make those grade-school volcano experiments look pale in comparison (and probably destroy your washer in the process).
9 – Dryer Sheets
Depending on the kind that you get, there are some dryer sheets that are more adept at getting rid of static cling than others. There are even some that are specifically designed to remove static cling from your bedding and clothing.
Make a habit of introducing dryer sheets into your laundry. Not only will it reduce static cling from your clothing and bedding but it can also add a fresh scent and even soften your laundry throughout the cycle.
You can climb into bed and enjoy that welcoming warmth without having to brace for the shock of static electricity.
Static cling shouldn’t play a major impact on your life but it can definitely make for an annoyance when you climb into bed and receive a shock. Use one of the methods outlined above and you should be able to keep from getting a nasty surprise when you climb into bed.