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Pop! Zing! Zap! It’s that time of year again, the time when shocks are waiting around every corner and you are almost afraid to touch the clothes coming out of the dryer. You never know when you’ll get zapped!

It doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve played guinea pig and tried out several natural static remedies. Some have worked, some notsomuch. (Ow.)  Check out these simple ideas that worked in my tests:

  • use vinegar in the wash. Using a 1/4 cup of white vinegar in the place of liquid fabric softener has not only left my clothes softer, but it greatly reduced the static in the dryer as well. Even more, I’ve found that I don’t have nearly as many static issues throughout the day when my clothes were washed with vinegar. I was worried there’d be eau de vinegar lingering on my clothes, but surprisingly there isn’t. They just smell clean.
  • use a ball of aluminum foil in the dryer. I took a large section of aluminum foil and wadded it up, threw it in with a bunch of fleece blankets I was washing. It worked–but not fully. There was a whole lot less static than when I started, but as soon as I pulled them out and they were rubbing against each other in the basket, the static returned. Nothing bad, but it was there. Benefit: reports say that using 2-3 balls make the clothes dry faster, and they work better than the single ball. I did notice my rough aluminum ball came out nice and smooth after the dryer. It was kinda pretty.
  • use safety pins in the dryer. The recipe I’d read said to use two safety pins in an old sock to attract the static electricity. (Sort of like a lightning rod in the dryer) I could only find one safety pin, so I stuck a paper clip into the sock as well, and threw it into a second load of fleece blankets. I’d actually forgotten to do this at the beginning of the dryer cycle, so when I threw the sock in the fleece was already so staticky that it was popping as I opened the dryer door. I didn’t hold out much hope for this experiment, but OH MY. It worked! It actually was the best of all of the solutions. There wasn’t even a hint of static as I folded the blankets. We’ve used it since on the kids’ clothes, a load of flannel sheets, and some towels. Combined with the vinegar in the wash, this one actually worked best of them all!
  • make a homemade spray for static in your hair. I’ve used this on my daughter’s hair, and it works really well. Believe it or not, citrus is a great static fighter! Put 1/2 cup water, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp lime juice into a spray bottle. Add a few drops of any essential oils you like for scent. (ours has 4 drops rosemary oil and 2 drops lavender oil. Smells heavenly!) Add in 1 tsp of Argan oil or JoJoBa oil. Shake well and mist lightly over staticky hair. This is also a great detangler for long, tangled tresses.
  • use a metal wire hanger on staticky clothes. If you’re having trouble with clothing you’re wearing gathering static, take a metal hanger and run it over the static areas. It should begin to absorb some of the static onto the metal. I’ve had mixed results with this–it often requires a few passes. But it does work.
  • add a good lotion or moisturizer to your daily regiment. If you have problems with skirts or pants clinging to your legs, try moisturizing your legs well with lotion or a natural oil. (I prefer jojoba oil.) This will help reduce the static produced from the friction with your clothes.
  • use a humidifier. Most static in carpets and houses is from over dry air. Using a humidifier puts moisture into the air, reducing most static. Don’t have a humidifier? You can put a large pot of water on to boil. It will add moisture to the air too. Just don’t forget it is there!
I have to say that since I have stopped washing my hair with shampoo my fine hair has not had a single issue with static. Seems to be something to the idea of not washing out the hair’s natural protection. This is the first time in my life that I haven’t battled static with my fine hair.
It amazes me that after years of battling static with all kinds of consumer products–fabric softeners, dryer sheets, Static Guard, etc–that I had the tools to beat static in my home all along. Simply and naturally.
Do you have any tricks to beating the static monster?
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