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As with everything else in life, the winter months are also a mixed bag. On one side, you have the beautiful snow, the holidays, cozy fireplaces, and family bonding. On the other hand, you have snowstorms, shorter days, limited sunlight, and worst of all, static shocks!
What is static?
If you’ve ever touched a surface and felt an immediate shock, you’ve experienced a static shock. Static electricity is an electrical charge that builds upon a surface and transfers from one surface to another. It is directly related to the humidity in the air.
When our bodies build up these static charges, we get a mild shock, called a static shock when we touch other surfaces. The less the humidity in the air is, the more static shocks you are likely to experience.
During the winter months, humidity is generally lower than normal and the air is colder. This dry air increases the presence of static electricity on surfaces. The use of heaters makes the situation only worse.
While static shocks may not be fatal, they can get very irritating and in some cases, even painful to deal with. Thankfully, there are easy solutions to help you deal with the problem.
Install a humidifier
A humidifier is an effective way to prevent static electricity in the air. Here’s how it works.
During the summer months, there is enough humidity in the air for electrons to flow off your body, so your body does not build up a charge. During the winters, the colder and drier air makes it easier for your body to become electrically charged.
A humidifier adds that missing moisture back into the air, thereby helping reduce static shocks. You could either install a room humidifier or add a humidification unit to your central heater.
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A simple home remedy that does the same thing is to keep a pot with water in it on the stove and let it evaporate. Add some essential oils to the water, and convert your home into a temporary aromatherapy spa. Keep in mind though to not let the pot dry out completely.
The best anti-static results are achieved when the relative humidity levels are above 30% to 50%.
Static cling is when fabrics cling to our bodies or other fabrics as a result of static electricity. There are a couple of easy remedies that help remove static cling.
Dryer sheets can be rubber on the surface of upholstery to reduce static build-up. The use of fabric softeners also helps reduce the build-up of static electricity on surfaces such as carpets by a great deal. All you need to do is dilute the softener with water and gently spray it on the upholstery or carpeting. You can even buy anti-static sprays to use on carpets.
Another simple fabric hack is to add a quarter cup of baking soda to your regular laundry cycle. The baking soda acts as a barrier between positive and negative charges on your clothing, preventing fabric buildup. It is also an efficient water softener and fabric softener.
Clothing and personal effects
The kind of clothing we wear also makes an impact on the presence of static electricity. You are less likely to experience a static shock while wearing natural fabrics like cotton, and more when you are wearing synthetic materials.
Similarly, rubber-soled shoes and woolen garments are also shocking choices. Instead, wear leather-soled shoes and natural fabrics to get rid of static electricity.
Keeping your skin properly moisturized is another simple way to prevent static shock. Simply make sure you apply sufficient moisturizer before you dress for the day and you should be able to have a shock-free day.
Another simple way to avoid getting static shocks from food knobs and other surfaces is to touch a metal object, such as a thimble, a key, or a safety pin, before coming into contact with the surface. That way, you ground yourself and prevent getting shocked.
Finally, we’re going to leave you with two hope tips that will help you combat static electricity.
- Dust has a large part to play in spreading static electricity. So regularly sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping your home will definitely help reduce shocks.
- Indoor plants are a great way to increase humidity indoors, since they release a lot of moisture into the air, helping eliminate static electricity.