How to Eliminate Static Cling!

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dryer balls

If you’ve ever rubbed a balloon on your head and stuck it to a wall, you know that just a little bit of friction can cause a lot of static cling. And this is why a load of laundry can emerge from the dryer sticking together like a solid mass—you had better believe that the 45 minutes or so of tossing around in there has generated a ton of static electricity. But there are some really simple ways to eliminate static cling, and all without using a single dryer sheet!

Dryer Balls

You’ve heard me go on and on about dryer balls, but that’s because they’re just so great. You buy them once, there’s nothing to throw out, there are no chemicals, and there are no waxes or coatings deposited on your clothing. Just the action of these balls bouncing around in there is enough to dispel some of the charge and fluff everything up. I generally use the plastic variety but have been using wool ones recently because you can add your own essential oils directly to them. Win!

hang your laundry

Hang to Dry

That’s right: If you hang your laundry to dry, you’ll never generate that electricity in the first place, because there’s no friction. However, for lots of people, this trade-off is not worth it; it’s hard to part with an electric clothes dryer if you’re used to it. Here’s a compromise: just hang your synthetics to dry. These generate way more electricity, and removing these pieces will reduce the charge for the whole load. Bonus: Synthetics tend to air-dry pretty quickly, so you won’t have a jungle of clothes hanging around for days on end.

DIY Fabric Softener

To give your dryer balls some extra oomph in softening your load and reducing static cling, skip the commercial fabric softener, and instead try a DIY fabric softener. Just pour some white vinegar into the fabric softener chamber of your dryer. It produces the same result as a fabric softener, but without any scent or waxy residue—not to mention I prefer not to add more chemicals to my laundry routine, and I eliminate another thing I have to throw away!

static cling safety pin

Dryer Ball Hack

Let’s say you don’t have any dryer balls but you want to do a load without static cling. Well, as a quick hack, you can always use a crumpled up piece of tinfoil as a makeshift dryer ball. If there’s no tinfoil handy try fastening a safety pin to one of the (non-delicate) items in your load, like a sock or towel, and toss it all in the dryer. The pin will act as a lightning rod and absorb all of that electro-static energy. Pretty cool!

Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Same question re: dryer ‘fab softener chamber’??? Haven’t seen one of those.
    Also, I have not had good luck with wool dryer balls. I purchased a set of 6 on Amazon, they had 5 stars over hundreds of reviews, and came highly recommended by a frugal columnist I read regularly. I have had nothing but problems: they act as the nucleus of a tangle of laundry, especially towels and sheets, and when I finally unwind them I find one or two dryer balls at the center and the fabric is still wet after an entire dryer cycle (!!); my laundry ALWAYS comes out with lots of static cling, the balls seem to make no difference (!!). Both very frustrating, as these are the two features touted by all who use them, and NEITHER has worked out for me.
    I have since tried plain old tennis balls, and for whatever reason, they work great!! Wish I had tried them first, they are much cheaper. Forget the expensive wool dryer balls, not worth a penny.

  2. Umm, for that penultimate tip, “DIY Fabric Softener”, when did manufacturers start including a “fabric softener chamber” in their dryers? I see one in my washing machine, however.

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