You're in the grocery store, and you reach for a can of green beans. As you begin to pick up the can, you jerk your hand away. No, it wasn't the price that was shocking--it was the static shock from excess electrons jumping from your hand to the can. Static shock is normally just a nuisance although in some circumstances, such as when filling your gas tank, static shock can be dangerous. Learn some simple methods you can use to discharge accumulated electricity harmlessly so that you can avoid static shocks.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Potted plants
- Bowls of water
- Leather-soled shoes
- Metal thimble
- Natural-fibre clothing
- Hand lotion
- Anti-static hand lotion
- Fabric softener sheet
Raise the humidity in your home or office to avoid static build-up. Use a humidifier to raise the relative humidity to 50 per cent. Potted plants and bowls of water will help raise the humidity as well. The water molecules in the air will pull off some of the excess electrons in your body.
Avoid shuffling when walking. Shuffling causes extra contact between your shoes and the floor and allows your body to pick up excess electrons.
Wear shoes with leather soles. Rubber-soled shoes prevent excess electrons from moving to another surface while leather-soled shoes allow the excess electrons to move away freely.
Wear a thimble to discharge static build-up. Touch a metal item with the thimble before touching it with your hand. You can also touch metal items with a coin to prevent static shock. Do not use a key to discharge static electricity--many keys contain small transistor chips that can be ruined by the static charge.
Wear clothes made of natural fibres, such as cotton or silk. Synthetic materials are more prone to picking up static charges.
Use hand lotion if you have dry skin. Better yet, use an anti-static hand lotion. Anti-static hand lotions are available at electrical supply stores.
Touch the metal frame of your car when exiting your vehicle. You can either hold onto the metal door frame or grab the roof above the door opening. You must be touching the metal before you get out of the car and continue touching the metal until you are out of the car.
Rub your car seats with a fabric softener sheet. Repeat the process every two weeks or sooner if you feel a static shock.
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