Dry air and blankets come together to create the perfect storm of static electricity. We've all been there, and let's admit it — those static shocks can hurt! So next time dry weather hits, try one of these solutions to combat static electricity in your bedding.
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Add Moisture to the Room
Turn on a water feature in your bedroom a few minutes before you go to bed. A humidifier is one of the easiest and budget-friendly ways to add moisture to the air. Or a try using a simple dresser-top or wall-mounted water fountain. Both can help reduce or eliminate static electricity in the air.
White Vinegar Rinse
While you can certainly use fabric softeners and sheets to reduce static cling and electricity, a 1/2 cup of white vinegar added to the washer's rinse cycle not only softens bedding, it reduces the static charge. Also, white vinegar doesn't add a waxy substance to laundered items either, as liquid fabric softeners and sheets do.
Hang Bedding to Dry Outside
Hang your bedding outside on a clothesline to dry. This small step accomplishes two things: It reduces static cling while refreshing bedding as it dries. Along with the benefits of no static charges and fresh air, the ultraviolet rays of the sun kill germs and bacteria. If you prefer using the dryer, add a damp hand towel to the last 20 minutes of the cycle to cut down on static electricity, or throw in a tightly crumpled ball of aluminum to help discharge static electricity.
Discharge the Bed
Run a dryer sheet or a wire hanger over the blankets before you get into bed. The dryer sheet reduces static cling and electricity, while the wire hanger discharges built up static before you get into bed. You can also wring out a wet washcloth and run it over the bed to add moisture and prevent static charges.
Hand and Body Lotion
Remove the static charge from your body by applying lotion to your arms, legs, hands, and face before bed. If your hair retains a charge, lightly moisten your hands and run them over your head. You can also dampen a brush or comb, and run either one of them through your hair to reduce your chance of being shocked.
Natural Material Blankets
And finally, get away from blankets that create static electricity altogether by switching to bedding made from natural cotton, wool, silk, or linen materials. Blankets made from acetate, rayon, polyester, and nylon are more likely to conduct static electricity in dry conditions. So next time you're shopping for bedding and blankets, try going with natural materials.
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.