Static is an electric charge that can zap you when least expect it. You can feel that tingling feeling anywhere in the house, whether you are opening the door or climbing the stairs.
A static charge is not painful. It’s the electrical current caused by a static charge that creates the pain. This natural phenomenon at home can be dangerous, especially if you’re holding on to something that can hurt you–like a cup full of hot coffee or perhaps another person.
How can a comfy house turn into an electric generator? Static electricity takes place when particles of the same charge build up during friction.
When you take your hat off, friction takes place between your hair and your hat. This causes negatively charged electrons from your hair to transfer to your hat. Your hair won’t have electrons anymore, only positively charged protons. If all your hair strands are positively charged, your hairs will stand far away from each other. Now that’s what you call static.
The zapping sensation you feel from touching the door knob is static electricity becoming current (flowing electricity).
You unknowingly collect many electrons from the carpet while you walk inside your house. Touching that doorknob (which contains protons) turns you into a conductor of electricity because the negative electrons in your body fuse with positive protons. You then feel a sudden surge of electricity that many refer to as “static cling”.
The trick to making your house static-proof is simply preventing the build-up of static charges in the first place. Follow the tips below to prevent looming static shocks.
Keep Your Place Warm During Winter
Turning on your radiator or central heating during the winter season will prevent the build-up of static charges. Cold weather is synonymous with with dry air. This combination tends to allow fabric and other household materials to be more prone to accumulating static charges. Dry air even increases the frequency of charged particles and shock severity.
During summer, static charges rarely happen to you because the water content in the air naturally sweeps off the charged particles that build up during movement.
Many recommend the use of humidifiers in both homes and offices when the weather is quite cold.
It’s advisable to use steam vaporizer-type humidifiers because aside from static, they also prevent bacteria and molds from building up inside the room due to heat.
Change Your Clothing
It’s best that you temporarily stay away from wearing clothes that are made from synthetic fibers, such as polyester or nylon. These kinds of fabric are known to easily promote a static charge build-up. Instead, wear cotton or any natural fiber because these materials don’t create static. It’s important to check your clothing tags to see if any of your winter outfit is polyester. NEVER combine polyester and wool for your winter outfit. The friction of wool and polyester is like a static storm waiting to happen.
Have Dryer Sheets Handy
Electric shocks in laundry rooms are very common because a lot of friction takes place while the clothes tumble inside the dryer. Clothes subjected to spin-dry can generate as much as 12,000 volts of electricity.
Some items in the dryer gain too many electrons while some items become positively charged by losing electrons. When two intense positive (+) and negative (-) charges are present, they combine to form a current. It only takes a conductor (your hand) to transfer all the generated electricity from the clothes to another location.
Dryer sheets prevent this because these gauze-like tissues are coated with protons, making all the clothes positively charged during the spin-drying. No variation in clothes’ charges means no static cling.
Be sure to read the dryer sheet label before you buy them. Dryer sheets come in many scents as some people use them as an “anti-static” wipe for TV screens, shower doors, and blinds. There are also toxin-free versions for people who are allergic to the chemicals of ordinary dryer sheets.
Leather is Better
Do you know that rubber and synthetic materials in regular shoes react with the fibers of synthetic carpet? Your leather shoes can prevent you from having that zapping feeling because they can’t generate static. Some recommend shoes made by Dr. Martens because they create static dissipating shoes.
Spray your house with helpful substances to prevent your space from being a static-charge generator. You just place one tablespoon of fabric softener in the spray bottle before filling it with water. Mix the solution thoroughly and use this to lightly mist your carpeting and furniture around your house. This is advisable for couches with synthetic upholsteries.
Reducing the amount of carpet you have in your household greatly reduces your chances of experiencing static cling. You can try minimizing your carpeting by focusing more on complimenting center tables and using it for a slip-free staircase, rather than covering all the floor found in your house. This is a blessing in disguise because it reduces the amount of dirt in your house. Nothing collects more dust in the household than floor carpets.
Static-Free Pet Brushes
Many people receive shocks from dogs and cats because pets can also generate static, especially those with hair that needs some brushing. It’s a good thing there are ionic-ultrasonic waterless pet brushes.
These ionic brushes work like dryer sheets by making sure that the friction from brushing pets’ hair won’t result in static build-up. It also adds sheen and clean scent to your pet’s hair.
Frizzy hair can also cause static build-up. You can use special hair blowers called “ionic hairdryers”. You are less likely to be electrocuted from frizzy hair, but the presence of static on hair, especially fine hair, looks unmanageable and out of control.
Your last resort can be anti-static objects and materials although you should expect to shell out more money.
You can try incorporating a static-free lifestyle by buying furniture and electronic devices that are made from natural fibers. Throw away your cheap synthetic carpeting and put on some anti-static carpeting like wool, which is more thick and comfy. You can also buy anti-static mats for your electronic devices such as TV and computers. You can buy anti-static toiletries by checking the labels of soap, lotions, and washes.
Static is a natural phenomenon and completely getting rid of it is impossible. There are measures, though, that can help you get rid of static. Practice the steps above and invest in furniture that is static-proof.
Click here for more information on how to get rid of static.