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If You Have One Of *These* You’ll Never Worry About Static Cling Again — Here’s Why

How a metal hanger can completely de-static a dress plus 4 others easy hacks that stop the cling

We’ve all tussled with a skirt that wouldn’t stop wrapping around our backside and legs (revealing every bump and bulge!) or a shirt that delivers the shock of one’s life or even that hat that makes our hair stand up on end. The problem? Static electricity has built up on the fabric, causing unwanted zaps and giving your outfit a messy look, explains fashion stylist Eric Himel, who’s worked with celebrities like Ali Larter and Rachel Brosnahan. Fortunately, nixing and preventing the static charge is simple with a few on-hand staples! Read on to learn how to get rid of static in clothes once and for all.

What is static electricity and what causes it?

Static electricity is created when there’s an imbalance of negative and positive charges that build up on an object. Most often, clothes develop an electrostatic charge from the fabric-to-fabric friction that happens in your dryer. And static is more likely to form on clothing during the fall and winter months, since the drier air makes it harder for negative and positive charges to disperse through the air and instead, they build up on objects.

The 5 best ways to get rid of static in clothes

1. Pin a safety pin on the garment

One of the quickest ways to nix static at home? “A safety pin,” says Himel. Simply attach the pin to the inside of your article of clothing that’s harboring static. The discreet metal pin diverts the electricity that builds up on clothes, leaving them cling-free.

2. Rub with a metal hanger

Similar to a safety pin, a metal hanger can be used to counteract the charge. Just rub the hanger over your clothes —inside and out — to break up and diffuse the static charge that has accumulated on the clothing.

To see the hanger technique in action, check out the below video from @BertaJay.

3. Use a homemade antistatic spray

While store-bought antistatic spray, like Static Guard Fresh Linen (Buy from Amazon, $9.99), has become a beloved staple for instantly eliminating the cling on clothing thanks to its formula that neutralizes electrical charges, you can make your own for pennies using a little fabric softener and water, assures blogger Jennifer Lifford of Simply mix 1 part fabric softener to 30 parts water and pour into a spray bottle, then spritz lightly on the inside of clothing to moisturize the fibers and prevent static from building up.

4. Reach for an aerosol hairspray

woman's hand holding red spray can to get rid of static on clothes
Getty Images

Aerosol hairspray is a perfect on-hand alternative to antistatic spray. Simply lift up your blouse or dress and spritz the air in between your skin and the garment with hairspray (this prevents clothes from getting stained by the hairspray). The hair-styling staple adds moisture to the area and creates an anti-static barrier between skin and clothing.

5. Moisturize skin with lotion

If your clothing is stuck to your body from static, apply a little hand or body lotion onto the area of skin where the clothes are clinging. The moisture forms an anti-static barrier over skin and if absorbed by the garment, the lotion neutralizes any built-up static electricity.

How to stop static from forming on clothes in the first place

1. Add a little vinegar to your wash cycle

Lifford’s easy trick to reducing static from the jump on laundry day: Adding 1 cup of white vinegar to the fabric softener compartment of your washing machine when washing your clothes. Vinegar is a natural fabric softener that softens the fibers of clothing so they’re less susceptible to creating an electrostatic charge when rubbing together in the dryer.

2. Place wool dryer balls in your dryer

"How to get rid of static in clothes" (wool dryer balls in dryer)

When drying clothes, Lifford advises tossing a few dryer balls, like Handy Laundry Wool Dryer Balls (Buy from Amazon, $9.99) into the machine. They absorb and release humidity to prevent static from forming during the dry cycle.

3. No dryer balls on hand? Crumple up aluminum foil

Simply tear a sheet of foil wrap in half and crumple into two small balls, then throw the balls into the dryer with your wet clothes. Foil blocks the electrons that cause static, and the foil balls will last for months.

4. Avoid drying clothes too much

“Be careful not to overdry clothing in the dryer,” advises Lifford. Allowing fully-dried clothes to continue tumbling in the dryer can cause a buildup of static from the dry fibers rubbing up against each other. What helps: Taking clothes out of the dryer when they are just slightly damp and allowing them to air dry the rest of the way, which reduces the potential for charges to form.

5. Boost the humidity to your home

Adding a little steam to the air during drier months thwarts static electricity from forming by allowing positive and negative charges to pass through the air with ease. To increase the humidity in your home without a humidifier machine, try leaving the bathroom door open when showering, keeping the top off of pots when cooking and opening the dishwasher after the wash cycle.

Looking for more laundry advice? Click through these stories:

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How to Get Lipstick Stains Out of Clothes — Laundry Pros’ Genius Tips for Every Fabric

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