Pop! Zing! Zap! The cooler weather has brought with it my old nemesis–Mr. Static. Mr. Static always shows up in homes uninvited, and makes itself quite a nuisance in the laundry room. But before you reach for your fabric softener and dryer sheets, let’s go over some naturally frugal ways you can send Mr. Static packing!
This was one area where I was VERY skeptical. I was very fond of my dryer sheets, and wasn’t convinced I’d ever give them up. 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. This one is my favorite! The recipe I’d read said to use two safety pins in an old sock to attract the static electricity. It works sort of like a lightning rod for static in the dryer–it attracts and defuses all the static electricity in the dryer, leaving your laundry static free. I could only find one safety pin, so I stuck a binder 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!