How to Diffuse Static Electricity

Written by luc braybury
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How to Diffuse Static Electricity
Static electricity is a built-up electrical charge on a material's surface. (Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Static electricity is an electric charge stored on the surface of certain objects. Static electricity builds up when electrons from one surface move to another during contact, like when you rub a balloon against your head. This leaves a charge on the materials. The shock of static electricity comes when the built-up charge is neutralised when the charged material is brought into contact with a material of opposite charge and a brief electrical current flows through the charged material. Diffusing static electricity is a matter of removing a material's ability to hold an electric charge.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 1 small spray bottle (optional)
  • 1 cap filled with fabric softener liquid (optional)

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Instructions

    Static On Clothes and Carpeting

  1. 1

    Fill a small spray bottle about three-quarters full with water.

  2. 2

    Add a full cap of fabric softener liquid to the spray bottle. Shake until well mixed.

  3. 3

    Spray the mixture onto affected areas of clothing and onto carpets to diffuse present static electricity and prevent more from storing up. Repeat, as necessary.

    Static On Hair

  1. 1

    Use hair conditioner, in addition to your normal shampoo, to add moisture to your hair, reducing the amount of static.

  2. 2

    Use hats made from cotton or other non-wool headwear as wool generates static electricity through friction.

  3. 3

    Spray hairspray into your brush before combing to help neutralise any static charges in your hair.

    Static in Automobiles

  1. 1

    Touch a metal car door handle with your keys before opening the door.

  2. 2

    Touch a metal door handle inside your car before sliding across the seat to ground yourself and discharge any built-up static electricity.

  3. 3

    Wear non-synthetic fibres like cotton instead of polyester or nylon as synthetic material generates far more static charge than natural fabrics.

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