How to Get Rid of Static in Your Home – 5 Tips for Solving a Common Winter Problem

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by Nindo Mom on January 12, 2011

Did you ever notice that static electricity seems more prevalent during the winter?

One reason is because the cold weather makes the air less able to hold moisture, and moisture in the air prevents static.

Think about it–have you ever noticed how much less frequently your clothing suffers from static during the sweltering months of summer? Does it ever happen, at all?

Once you know a few simple tricks of how to get rid of static, you’ll certainly be a lot more comfortable–because you won’t have to clench your teeth every time you go to touch something!

To get rid of static in your home, try one or more of the following tips:

1. Use a humidifier.

This is the best way I know to get rid of static around the house. Whole house humidifiers are available for $100-$200. Or, you can use smaller room-size humidifiers that can go for as little as $12-$18 at the many department stores or online. Personally, I prefer to use these smaller models because they’re easy to store when not in use. And, sleeping with one in the bedroom completely eliminates any static in my clothing when I get up to get dressed in the morning.

In addition to getting rid of static, using a humidifier will help to reduce dry skin problems for members of your household. It works fantastically for me, and my hands can get so dry during the cold winter months that they can actually bleed.

Another great side-benefit of using a humidifier is that your house will feel warmer even if you don’t turn up the thermostat on the furnace. This is similar to how muggy days during the summer feel hotter than days when the humidity is lower.

2. Use dryer sheets.

Also called static-cling sheets, these sheets are often marketed as being a way to bring a “fresh, clean scent” to your laundry. I get the unscented variety, because I don’t like a lot of chemicals added to things I’m going to be wearing against my skin. It’s well-known that people absorb chemicals through their skin–a tendency which has been known to cause numerous health problems…so no extra chemicals for me!

Dryer sheets are also often used by employees who work at nuclear power plants to keep stray radioactive particles from adhering to them. My mother worked at a nuclear power plant as a security guard in the 1990s, and this is what guards were instructed to do.

3. Cook at home.

Take advantage of the water that’s thrown up into the air when you boil water by cooking a nice big pot of homemade soup–you know, the kind that simmers on the stove top for hours? Obviously, for moms that work out of the home, this is more of a weekend activity. As an alternative, try cooking a couple of meals per week in a crock pot, as this also puts moisture into the air.

4. Take baths instead of showers.

Since more water is run when family members take baths instead of showers–and the steamy water sits for longer before going down the drain–taking baths provides more opportunity for moisture from the steam to get into the air.

If anyone in your family just can’t stand baths (or a bath tub isn’t available), try to make showers a little longer than normal–and make sure they’re taken every day. Although this will use more water if you don’t normally follow this regimen, it WILL help to eliminate the troublesome static in your house.

5. Wear cotten clothes and leather-soled shoes.

These materials generally cause the wearer less problems with static, so try wearing them more often.

Since we don’t wear outdoor shoes in my house for sanitary reasons, I keep a pair of leather-soled shoes for each member of my family just for wearing around the house during the winter. Since my son still outgrows his shoes every year (or a couple of times a year!), it would be expensive if I had to get a pair of shoes that he could never wear outside–so I compromise. In addition to his outdoor shoes, I get him a pair of leather-soled ones at the beginning of the winter, when static is much more of a problem. He only wears these shoes inside the house–until the end of the winter, at which time they become an extra pair of outdoor shoes. This way, we get more use out of them–and he has an extra pair of shoes to wear during the summer in case his others get wet or need to air out.

6. Avoid using small electric space heaters.

I’ve noticed these small heaters increase the static in my home dramatically, so try not to use them if static is already a problem in your home.

7. Steam clean your carpets.

Whether you want your house super-spiffy for holiday company, or whether you want to clean up AFTER all the company has cleared out ( :) ), taking the opportunity to steam clean your carpets NOW gives moisture one more opportunity to get into your home. Plus, you get some necessary cleaning done–and at a time that the moisture in the air won’t have a negative effect on your air conditioning. (Remember–more moisture in the air means it feels warmer, which is something to avoid during the summer.)

Static can be a complex problem, certainly–but using the above suggestions should provide some relief. Try them out, and see what works best for you and your household. If you have other suggestions that have worked for your family, drop us a line here at NindoMom and let us know!

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