11 Tricks for Getting Rid of Static From Clothes

And they're all super easy.

<p>Carolin Voelker/Getty Images</p>

Carolin Voelker/Getty Images

We're not sure which is worse: finding a pair of nylon undies slipping out of the sleeve of your sweater or wearing a synthetic fabric skirt clinging to your legs in all the wrong places. Both are embarrassing—and static cling is likely the culprit.

You've probably noticed that certain fabrics and weather conditions make clothes static worse but it can happen anytime. While you can't permanently eliminate static from your wardrobe, here are 11 ways to get static cling out of clothes in the laundry room and even while you wear them.

Related: Our 9 Best Laundry Tips of All Time

What Causes Clothes Static?

When fabrics rub against each other or rub against our dry skin, they share electrons, and with repeated contact, each electron develops a positive or negative charge. The electrons continue to attract each other and stick together creating static until something causes the charge to be broken.

Add Moisture

While it's a good idea for your clothes and health to keep the humidity level in your home around 30 to 50%, a spritz of water from a spray bottle on fabric can interrupt static cling. Or, use a damp cloth or paper towel to dampen the fabric. Make sure you have plenty of time for the fabric to dry before your next interaction!

Related: The 15 Best Humidifiers of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Grab a Metal Clothes Hanger

Run a wire clothes hanger or a piece of aluminum foil between the two clinging fabrics to break the charge holding them together.

Use Hand Lotion

Add moisture to your skin with hand lotion to break the bond and stop the cling. To prevent staining, let the lotion dry before smoothing down the fabric.

Related: The Dry Winter Air Made My Knuckles Crack and Bleed—Until I Discovered This Soothing Cream

Switch to Leather-Soled Shoes

If your clothes are causing you to be shocked every time you touch metal, wear leather-soled shoes. Leather soles allow electricity to flow freely through your body after contact with a build-up of electrons. Rubber soles act like a conductor, making static electricity worse.

Add Some Hairspray

The ingredients in hairspray will coat fabric fibers and help eliminate static on your clothes. Try to spray the inside of a garment or, if spraying the outside, hold the bottle at least one or two feet away to prevent excessive residue on the fabric.

Related: 6 Easy Ways to Static-Proof Your Hair

Use a Commercial Static-Reducing Spray

Static-reducing sprays and wrinkle releasers neutralize electrical charges by increasing hygroscopic (humidity-attracting) molecules. These work best if you spray the garment and allow it to air-dry before wearing.

Air Dry Clothes

There's actually a lot going on in your laundry room that could be contributing to the big cling. Case in point: An automatic tumble dryer creates static in clothes because of the friction created by mechanical action and the bad habit of over-drying fabrics.

So, skip the dryer and hang clothes to air dry on a drying rack or clothesline. A bonus is that you'll be adding moisture to the air in your heated or air-conditioned home. More humidity means less static from carpet and upholstery.

Sort Clothes by Fabric Type

Even if you sort your laundry before you load the washer, sort it again before it goes into a dryer. Synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester hold on to their positive or negative charge longer generating more static than natural fabrics like cotton or linen.

To reduce static, dry synthetic materials separately and remove them from the dryer while slightly damp to prevent excess static. Hang them to finish drying or drape them over a drying rack.

Add White Vinegar to the Rinse Cycle

Adding one-half cup of distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle will help reduce static in the dryer. The vinegar helps rinse away detergent residue and relaxes clothing fibers so they are less light to stick together during the tumbling action of the dryer. Less clinging means fewer electrons are exchanged to create static.

Related: Here’s Exactly How to Use White Vinegar in Your Laundry

Use Fabric Softeners or Dryer Sheets

Cationic fabric softeners and dryer sheets coat fabric fibers with positively charged ions that equalize the negative electrons in the dryer to prevent static.

Add Wool Dryer Balls to the Dryer Drum

Reusable wool dryer balls are a natural alternative to the chemicals in fabric softeners and dryer sheets and last for years. Add two or three balls to the drum to separate fabrics and reduce electron exchanges.

Related: Do Dryer Balls Actually Remove Lint?

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