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How to Remove Static Cling from Clothes

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How to Remove Static from Clothes from Mama's Laundry Talk


Static cling is a huge problem at our house. 2 of my girls wear fleece sleepers/pajamas to bed and they create quite a bit of static.  Work-out wear, socks and polyester are all big static producers at the Hill House also.

Recently when I folded clothes, the static seemed to get worse!  Which got me thinking: I’m not totally sure I understand what static cling is or where it comes from.  So I can’t eliminate it until I understand it.  And of course, the internet came through for me.

There’s even a whole website dedicated to static cling. What Is Static Cling reports:

From the above, it can be summarized that static cling occurs if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • When there is friction between two materials
  • The two materials are not the same but are electrically insulating
  • Dry conditions exist with humidity at very low levels (this is conducive to the transferring of electrons)

So according to their explanation, the dryer is the perfect place for the creation of static cling.  The materials are not the same and there is an enormous amount of friction.

 

So how do you get rid of The Cling?

There are a few methods to rid your clothes of static, some green and some more traditional. Regardless of your preference, here are some ways to reduce the annoying static in your laundry.

  • Traditional Fabric Softeners
    You know the ones: Downy, Bounce, Snuggle and others.   Fabric softeners come in the liquid form you pour into the final rinse of the washing cycle or they come as a sheet you put in the dryer.  They leave your clothes smelling nice and dreamy and are excellent at keeping static at bay.  The problem?  They get a bad rap for being potentially toxic.
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  • Any type of Dryer Balls
    Dryer Balls come in the form of wool or plastic.  I understand that people rave about the wool ones…but not so much about the plastic ones.  After reading many reviews online, it seems that their best claim to fame is that they keep the clothes separated in the dryer.  This one characteristic goes a long way in reducing static (re-read the how static forms at top of post).  Whether they interfere with the actual electrical charge is not well-proven.
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  • Aluminum Foil and Tennis Balls
    Again these items separate the clothes in the dryer, thus helping to prevent static cling.  I’ve tried them both and I would say that there is a significant reduction in static cling, but definitely not an elimination of The Cling.  But both items are relatively cheap, so they might be worth a try for you!
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  • Static Guard
    If you’d prefer to deal with static cling after the laundry is dried, you can try this spray-on product.  It claims to “instantly eliminate and prevent static cling.”  It works remarkably well in my limited experience with the product.  The only problem is that you must use it to address each article of clothing, rather than dealing with the entire load of clingy clothes at once.
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  • Line-drying
    Drying your clothes on the clothes line (or inside drying rack) practically eliminates the problem altogether.  It is rare that any item I line dry has the The Cling.  Just another reason to line dry your clothing items instead of tumbling them in the dryer!
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  • White Vinegar
    Lots of Mama’s Laundry Talk readers swear by white vinegar as a fabric softener.  For loads of laundry that are mostly cottons (bed sheets, towels, jeans) I use vinegar faithfully.  But for those loads where fleece or polyester is involved, I need something with a little more punch.  I do love that it is inexpensive and chemical-free.
  •  

  • Hairspray
    I know it seems like a weird choice, but cheap hairspray lightly sprayed on hair and clothes can be a quick fix.  Barely spray on your clothes and let it dry.
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  • Rub a Dryer Sheet on your hair and clothes
    When you’re fully dressed, take a dryer sheet (Bounce, Cling-Free, Snuggle, any will do) and lightly rub it on your clothes and hair.  This treatment yields the best results for us here at the Hill House.

 

So how do you get rid of static cling?  Any of the above recommendations?  Or do you have your own secret weapon against The Cling? Do tell.

 

 

 

image source

 

Comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    I use vinegar as fabric softener and the blue plastic dryer balls in the dryer. We don’t have static problems.

  2. Static cling drives me crazy!! I have found that fabric softeners (I use Purex complete crystals) does help reduce, but not eliminate the problem. I also use wool dryer balls- mainly to shorten drying time and lessen wrinkles. I can’t say I’ve noticed any reduction of static cling when using these. I have recently reviewed wool dryer balls on my blog: http://jewelry4change.blogspot.com/2011/04/mother-earth-dryer-ball-giveaway-ends.html

    I’m interested to read other ideas for reducing static cling. Thanks!

  3. I usually toss in a few dry rags (yellow microfiber cloths for colored loads and white washcloths for white loads). Unless the load is fleece or something more prone to static, this usually does the trick. I do have to clean the dried cloths every once in a while to renew their effectiveness. This doesn’t work too well for bath towels. It makes them too rough. Maybe I’ll try vinegar for those loads.

    • mamalaundry says:

      Krista, that is so interesting about your microfiber cloths doing the trick. I tried that with some microfiber cloths and was so sorry! It made the static incredibly worse!

      Maybe it was the type of microfiber (they were just cheapies from Walgreens)? I’m not sure that makes a difference though.

      Good to know it worked for you! Thanks for sharing your experience. ;)

      -Lauren

  4. I have no laundry solutions – other than that hanging laundry out to dry in the sun avoids the dryer :) But that’s not always an option.

    But to stop your skirt/dress from clinging to your nylons or tights when you’re out: spread a little hand lotion on to your hands and then smooth over your nylons. It doesn’t take much and works!

  5. I have found the WOOL dryer balls I make and use are by far the best static remover I have used.
    Dryer balls bouncing off the sides inside the dryer seperate the clothes, allowing the warm air to circulate between the fibers.

    Wool in a natural fiber – there are no harmful chemicals or animal by products in them.
    The more you use the lower your energy bill will be – Wool absorbs moisture!

  6. I read just the other day that you can fasten a safety pin on the inside of a hem of pants or a skirt to prevent static cling. I’m not sure it’s true, but worth a try I suppose

  7. I live in Asia (2 years Japan, going on 1 year Korea). Most of my Asian-purchased clothing can NOT be dried in a dryer, but MUST be line dried (or it will fit my cat, not me). Anyway, EVERYTHING has static cling!! I’m going crazy. I don’t understand why or how to stop it, other than tossing them into my dryer on air dry with a Bounce sheet. However, this doesn’t work on my wool items. *sigh* I’m so tired of having to have my hair pinned to my scalp to avoid staticky hair in my face.

    I’m American and I never had a static problem with drying my clothes with a Bounce sheet back home, oddly enough. Just the issue with walking on carpet.

    • mamalaundry says:

      Oh Jennie, That would drive me crazy! Have you tried the Static Cling spray? I haven’t used it, but I’ve heard *wonderful* things about it.

    • I have static cling bad. I’m always getting shocked. My hair has it to. If I comb or brush, it pops and fly all over the place. I have to plat it and put rubber band on it to keep it out of my face because my hair is so fine and very irritating. I have tried everything and nothing seem to work. Talk to my doctor. She told me to use moisturizer on my body and my hair. Not working.

  8. liza lee grace says:

    Interestingly, I don’t have problems with static. I used dryer sheets until even the dye & scent free ones made my kids’ skin break out. I switched to homemade dryer balls. They eventually fell apart. Now, I don’t use anything additional and I rarely get static. My hubby’s socks get stuck together at times, but I pull them apart and fold them with no more problems. Maybe it’s because I live in a high-humidity area?

  9. A great tip I picked up was hairspray! It’s terrible when you’re on your way out & your blouse or skirt is static & clinging. Take it off & spray hair spray all over – quick fix!

  10. i have one dress the inner is silk and outside is net material. when i wear it gets staticky, material gets sticky and uneven. if u can give me an idea how to prevent statics.

    thanks

  11. The way I have elimanated static cling when I have to use the dryer instead of the clothes line is by sorting the load as it goes from the washer to the dryer. Any item that is not mostly cotton goes on top of the dryer, all the cotton article go directly in the dryer. When the load in the dryer is almost dry I add in the non-cotton items and finish drying. If the cotton items in the dryer are completely dry before I add in the non-cotton items, I fold the load in the dryer and simply run the non-cotton items through the dryer. It normally only takes about 10 min for them to dry. The non-cotton items getting dry so much faster than the cotton clothes and agitating in the dryer for a long period after they are dry seemed to be the major cause of static in our house. And my girls have quickly learned to do this when it is their turn to do the laundry.

  12. I hang my washing on a clothes lines and I use white vinegar but I still get static cling in my clothes so if anyone has any other suggestions they would be greatly appreciated as its driving me crazy.

  13. I’ve been having a terrible time with static, especially this winter. I use wool dryer balls, Cling-Free on my clothes, and have a humidifier going in my small apartment. Still it’s a huge problem- even if I hang the clothes to dry. I’ll give the vinegar a try, it seems that’s the only thing I haven’t tried… After it all, I have put hairspray on my hair to try to prevent the fly-away-stick-to-my-face hairstyle, but after I take off my coat, everything’s stuck to me again!

  14. Rubbing wet cloth on your clothes gets rid of it instantly and stays static free when moisture is gone from your clothes.

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