Organize & Clean

3 Easy and Effective Ways to Get Rid of Static in Clothes, According to a Textile Expert

published Dec 18, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Closeup photo of a few different garments artfully piled on each other.
Credit: Photo: Sidney Bensimon; Prop Styling: Anna Surbatovich

One of the most frustrating laundry problems you’ll encounter — static — has a surprisingly simple and scientific explanation. “Static electricity can build up between layers of clothing that are rubbing against each other or between your dry skin and the nearest garment, creating an electrostatic charge,” says Frej Lewenhaupt, textile expert and CEO of Steamery, a textile care company. The tumbling action of the dryer, he adds, also causes fabrics to rub against each other and build up electrostatic charges in your clothes.

Follow Topics for more like this

Follow for more stories like this

While folding or putting on staticky clothes can be annoying, this all-too-common laundry problem is also surprisingly simple to deal with.

How to get static out of clothes 

Ahead, the three easiest (and most effective) methods for banishing static from your clothes, according to Lewenhaupt. 

Method 1: Add some moisture

Because static often occurs due to dryness, the simplest method is to dampen the garment. Lewenhaupt suggests spritzing the affected item with a water-based fabric spray, such as this travel-friendly Fabric Spray from Steamery or Downy Wrinkle Releaser. In most cases, hydration should solve the problem (along with adding a fresh scent to your clothes). If you don’t have a dedicated product on hand, you can also rub the affected areas with a damp cloth to relieve the cling. 

Method 2: Press metal on it

Another one of Lewenhaupt’s go-to methods is pressing a metal object, such as a wire coat hanger or piece of aluminum foil, in between the clinging areas. “The magnetic charge in the metal will disrupt the forces that are causing the cling to happen, thus relieving the garment of static cling,” he says. 

Method 3: Prevent static from happening altogether 

There are a few ways to prevent static cling from happening to your clothes in the first place, says Lewenhaupt. The easiest method is to increase the humidity in your home, especially during the winter season when the air is much dryer. One way to achieve this is by letting your clothes air dry on a drying rack indoors rather than in the dryer. Hanging your clothes to dry will both make them last longer and make the air more humid, he says, which will reduce static cling on the clothes. 

If you need to dry your clothes and home textiles in the dryer, make sure to use tumble dryer balls (such as Steamery’s reusable Wool Dryer Balls). This helps separate the clothes and makes the air circulate more evenly in the dryer, which reduces the drying time and prevents static cling.