I have had it with the static electricity in my home. There’s always some static each year, but this year seems particularly bad. It feels like we’re all armed with cattle prods as we walk through our home.
It’s time to break out the big guns and get rid of static once and for all in my home! Well, at least until next winter.
Static Electricity Basics
I don’t want to get into a detailed science discussion, but in order to get rid of static electricity you do need to understand the basics of it.
Static electricity occurs when the surface of an object builds up an electrical charge. Usually, this happens when two objects that are “insulators” rub against each other and electrons are rubbed off; insulators can include fabrics, like carpet, and rubber, like the soles of your shoes. (This is why the simple act of walking across a rug can cause static electricity shocks.) When a statically charged object touches a conductor, like a metal door knob, the charge tries to neutralize itself and electrons “jump” off the object, which results in a tiny shock.
Static electricity is worse in the winter because the air inside your home is much drier. In the warmer months, the added moisture in the air helps dissipate the electrical charges. Or something of that nature.
Now on the more pressing matters!
How to Get Rid of Static Electricity
There are several ways that you can control and even get rid of static electricity.
- Add Moisture to the Air Raising the humidity in the air is one of the best ways to get rid of static electricity in your home. You could invest in a humidifier, but these can be pricey. If you don’t have the money for a humidifier, you can simmer a pot of water in the stove or even just place vases or bowls of water around your home. You can also place pans of water on top of fireplaces or radiators. This is what I do, and I add orange peels and vanilla to the water, which makes my whole home smell all orangey and yummy.
- Add Moisture to Your Skin If you’re trying to get rid of static electricity, don’t forget to pamper yourself a little. Slather on a rich moisturizer frequently, since dry skin seems to exacerbate static electricity.
- Eliminate the Worst Offenders Although you most likely can’t get rid of the carpet in your home, which is one of the worst offenders of static electricity, you may be able to eliminate some others. Trade your rubber soled shoes for leather soled shoes, which accumulate less static charge, for instance. Try to wear natural fibers, like cotton, instead of synthetic fibers, which can make it hard to get rid of static electricity.
- Homemade Static Guard I’m going to whip up a batch of homemade scotch to help get rid of static electricity in my home, I think. All you need to do to make homemade static guard is mix about a tablespoon of fabric softener to about a cup of water in a clean spray bottle. Mist surfaces like your clothes and carpet with the mixture.
- Wear a Thimble This was one of the weirder ways to get rid of static electricity. Supposedly, wearing a thimble and touching metal objects with it can help dissipate the charge and get rid of static electricity. A ring or key can perform the same function. I do believe my family would think me odd if I walked around wearing a thimble for no particular reason, though, but hey – if it works, it works!