Like lost socks and stubborn stains, static can be an unwanted outcome of drying clothes. Are there any solutions for how to reduce static in dryer cycles? While dryer sheets can do the trick, anti-static balls and vinegar rinses can also be highly effective. Learn how to get rid of dryer static with easy interventions that cut the cling.
How to Get Rid of Dryer Static…For Good
There are several tricks and tips for how to get rid of dryer static, depending on your personal preferences and laundry routines. But before we detail these easy methods, knowing what causes static in clothes can help keep it at bay.
What Causes Static Electricity in Dryers?
While it may seem like an unwelcome magic trick, basic science is at the root of static cling. As clothes tumble together in the dryer, they share electrons. This repeated contact gives each electron a positive or negative charge.
When the drying cycle ends and clothes stop tumbling, these negative and positive electrons attract each other and stick together, creating what we call static. The dry, heated environment of the dryer drum, as well as cold, dry weather, are both factors that can exacerbate static cling.
Dryer Sheets Help with Static
While electrons may cause static cling, they’re also what make dryer sheets such effective static-reducers. Most commercial dryer sheets have fabric softeners with positive electrons that counteract any negatively-charged electrons on clothing. Static is eliminated when only positive electrons remain in the dryer.
However, while dryer sheets do reduce static, they have their drawbacks.
Here are some of the downsides of dryer sheets:
- Not environmentally-friendly: each disposable sheet is only effective for one use
- Additional expense: cost adds up with frequent laundry loads
- Chemical exposure: clothes can absorb fabric softener chemicals
- Dryer problems: dryer sheets are often responsible when your dryer takes too long, as they can clog vents and lint traps
Fortunately, there’s a way to get all the static-reducing benefits of dryer sheets with none of the downsides. Make your own dryer sheets by lightly soaking an old piece of fabric in white vinegar and adding it to your dryer load. The vinegar reduces static by softening clothing fibers and the fabric is reusable for multiple loads.
Try Using Anti-Static Dryer Balls
Wondering how to reduce static cling without dryer sheets? Adding 2-3 anti-static dryer balls to your drying load can be another helpful method for how to get rid of dryer static. Made of wool or aluminum, these balls absorb electrons so they don’t affect clothing. Wool dryer balls are fairly inexpensive and can last for years. You can also make your own aluminum dryer balls with several sheets of tin foil, making them one of the most cost-effective static-reducers.
Add Vinegar to Washer Rinse Cycle
Vinegar has a second use for how to get rid of dryer static. Simply add ½ cup of white vinegar to the fabric softener compartment of your washer to reduce static in the dryer.
This natural fabric softener relaxes clothing fibers so they’re less likely to cling together during tumbling. Less cling means less exchange of electrons and less static.
Dry Synthetic Items Separately
Synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester hold on to their positive or negative charge longer than natural materials like wool or cotton. Consequently, they generate more static when drying. To reduce static, dry synthetic materials separately to prevent them from charging other items.