If I had to pick the one weird thing my husband complains about all the time, it’d probably be static cling. If he so much as puts on a shirt, I can hear the crackle of static friction zapping him from several rooms away. To save both his sanity and mine, I decided to look into some home remedies to get rid of static cling that don’t require commercial dryer sheets or fabric softeners. It’s not just about the chemicals, I’m also trying to keep unnecessary expenses to a minimum (protect the budget at all costs) – and that means embracing DIY alternatives.
After much testing, I can honestly say that these DIY static remedies actually work. And many of them are free (or cheap!) and nontoxic to boot.
8 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Static Cling
1. Cut Down on the Dry Time
The easiest way to keep static to a minimum is to simply cut down on the dry time. Dry air is notorious for creating static electricity, so it stands to reason that pulling clothes out of the dryer when they’re still slightly damp will help cut down on static.
If you find that your clothes are already somewhat static-y, spritz clothes with filtered water or toss in a wet washcloth and continue drying for 10 more minutes to replenish moisture.
2. Try soap nuts
Because of their oil and natural moisturizing properties, soap nuts have amazing static-busting properties Put a handful of soap nuts in a small muslin bag and toss in the washing machine in place of detergent. Wash and dry your clothes like normal.
3. Toss in Foil Dryer Balls
For a cheaper alternative to wool dryer balls, try making your own dryer balls with aluminum foil. Simply tear off a few sheets of tin foil and crumple them into tight little balls. So as not to damage or pull clothing, try to smooth out any rough spots as best you can.
Toss two or three one-inch thick balls of tin foil into the dryer during your next load of laundry. As they bounce around the dryer, the aluminum foil helps discharge any static electricity before it crops up.
4. Use homemade dryer sheets
Dryer sheets work by replenishing moisture and softening fabrics so they’re less likely to create static in the first place.
-1/2 cup white vinegar
-1/2 cup water
-3 drops lemon essential oil
-4-5 old wash cloths or fabric scraps
-A glass container with a tight-fitting lid
Fold the wash cloths and place them inside the glass container. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, combine the white vinegar and water. Pour the mixture over the wash cloths, trying to get them evenly wet.
Toss a dryer sheet in with your clothes and dry like you normally would. To make more, wash your homemade dryer sheets in hot water and then repeat the instructions above.
5. Use vinegar as fabric softener
While it might seem strange, vinegar in the laundry is highly effective at getting rid of static cling. Spray static-y clothes with white vinegar before tossing them in the dryer with the rest of your laundry. As they dry, the vinegar smell will dissipate, and your clothes will come out fresh and static-free.
6. Dry synthetic fabrics separately
Synthetic fabrics, like nylon and polyester, become electrically charged very easily. And when they come in contact with natural fibers, like cotton, hemp or wool, you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Always dry synthetic and natural fabrics separately, so they don’t roll around in the dryer, causing static buildup.
7. Use a safety pin
A simple safety pin can cut down on static the same way aluminum foil dryer balls do. Clip a safety pin to your clothing and toss in the dryer. As it tumbles, the pin will discharge static electricity and keep your clothes static-free.
8. Make a DIY static spray
Sometimes you want to cut down on static without having to re-launder your clothes. If that’s the case, then reach of a DIY static spray to help cut the static charge in seconds.
-1 tbsp grain alcohol (or rubbing alcohol)
-1/2 tsp hair conditioner
-8 ounces filtered water
-3 drops essential oils, optional
Combine the grain alcohol and essential oils in a spray bottle, and swirl until the oils have completely dissolved into the alcohol. Add the water and conditioner and swirl again. Lightly spritz clothing to cut down on static cling. Do NOT use on dry clean only clothing. Shake before each use.