8 Natural Ways to Reduce Static Cling in The Laundry

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How To Get Rid of Static Cling

Learn how to get rid of static cling naturally, without the use of harsh, expensive chemicals. These 8 simple and effective solutions will surprise you.

Are you trying to “green” your laundry routine, but still wondering how to get rid of static cling without using dryer sheets?

This is a common issue among our readers, and I can empathize. Dryer sheets used to be one of my favorite things and were hard to give up when I couldn’t find anything else that worked. But after learning about the dangerous bouquet of chemicals used to make dryer sheets, I determined to find alternatives that worked just as well.

These chemicals end up on our clean laundry and then on our skin. Studies show the numerous toxic ingredients used in scented laundry products like dryer sheets. These studies state some ingredients contain known carcinogens. (source)

Static can be an absolute non-issue in your natural laundry routine if you follow some of our following tips!

How to Get Rid of Static Cling Naturally

1. Hang Dry Your Clothes

When people ask me how to get rid of static cling, I always tell them that the BEST natural way to completely eliminate static in your laundry is to hang dry everything.  Obviously, it’s easier to dry clothes outdoors or in front of an open window, but even hanging them out in the cold seasons is beneficial. When hung to dry, clothes are no longer rubbing together to create static electricity.

Whether hanging it outdoors or indoors, you have several options. You can build your own outdoor clothesline, use a compact outdoor model that folds up (and can be taken out of the ground) when not in use, or dry indoors using a large rack or a smaller model.

When hang drying isn’t an option, and a dryer must be used, there are still several natural methods for how to get rid of static cling.

2. Dry Synthetic Fabrics Separately

Synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester are one of the main culprits of static cling. Dry them separately to avoid static on all your other clothing. Consider pulling synthetic fabrics out of the wash and hanging them on an indoor or outdoor rack instead of throwing them in the dryer with everything else.

3. Reduce Drying Time

Another common cause of static in the laundry is over-drying. When items are completely dry and no moisture remains, this invites static electricity into the mix. Allow clothes to dry and nothing more. Excessive tumbling around in the dry heat increases static and increases your energy costs.

4. Vinegar Fabric Softener

Our homemade fabric softener is made with vinegar. It actually serves double duty as fabric softener AND static reducer in the laundry. When used in the rinse cycle of the wash, most people will see a reduction in static cling after clothes go through the dryer. Even if you plan to hang dry items, you won’t need to worry about them smelling like vinegar. When items are completely dry the vinegar smell will completely vanish. If you’re wondering how to get rid of static cling, this is a great place to start.

5. Wool Dryer Balls

If you haven’t yet looked into wool dryer balls as an alternative to fabric softeners and dryer sheets, you really should. These little wool balls absorb moisture from clothing in the dryer, maintaining a more humid environment, thus helping you get rid of static cling.

In addition to reducing static, they also reduce drying time and fluff clothes. We recommend using 6 or more in the dryer for best results. You can learn how to make wool dryer balls or purchase them here. (We recommend buying 2 four packs.)

6. Vinegar in the Dryer

Using white vinegar in the dryer is another great trick for eliminating static. You can simply spray a clean washcloth, sock, pre-cut piece of cloth, or any other garment with vinegar. This item is then tossed into the dryer with everything else. The vinegar in the dryer will keep static down – and remember, the vinegar smell will be gone once things are dry.

7. Soap Nuts

Soap nuts can be used as a green alternative to commercial laundry detergents. They’re actually a type of berry and can be put in a muslin bag and tossed directly into the wash. (They can also be boiled down to make liquid laundry soap.) They already possess anti-static properties, so laundry that’s washed with soap nuts doesn’t require any other anti-static remedy.

Don’t know what soap nuts are? Read all about them here.

8. Aluminum Foil Ball

When first learning how to get rid of static cling I had great success with aluminum foil balls. Since then I have discovered all these other natural methods for reducing static.

Tin foil doesn’t contain chemical fragrances like dryer sheets. I recommend trying this to get rid of static cling after trying the other methods. To use, simply tear off a sheet of aluminum foil, roll it into a ball, and add it to the dryer. The same ball will last several loads and will become a nice, smooth ball after 1-2 loads. Replace when you notice it’s no longer working.

Do you know how to get rid of static cling in your laundry? What natural methods have you found work well?

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Betsy Jabs

About Betsy Jabs

Betsy holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Counseling, and for nearly a decade worked as an elementary counselor. In 2011 she left her counseling career to pursue healthy living. She loves using DIY Natural as a way to educate people to depend on themselves to nourish their bodies and live happier healthier lives. Connect with Betsy on Facebook, Twitter, and her +Betsy Jabs Google profile.

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Comments

  1. Cheryl says

    Thanks for ALL the helpful hints. Bought my first wool balls today after recommendation from a co-worker. As I’ve aged I’ve become increasingly sensitive to scent and to [I presume] chemicals in store-bought laundry products… to the degree that I break out in a nasty, red, itchy rash where the fabric rubs my skin that no over-the-counter product (that I’ve yet found) will take care of! So I often have really itchy armpits and throat/upper chest. “Feels great and is SO attractive!” Glad I found this site.

  2. Suzy says

    After I dry my clothes sometimes they have some wrinkles and static. Best solution to this problem…
    Hang itemona hanger…
    Spray bottle…
    Equal parts distilled water and white vinegar…
    Swish in bottle…
    Spray on clothes, just a misting…
    The wrinkles often disappear on their own…
    Sometimes I need to gently pull the fabric out or rub my hands over the fabric…
    POOF…BYE BYE WRINKLES.

  3. Corina says

    I use the wool dryer balls and have attached extra large safety pins to them. The metal helps to cut the static and you can add essential oils to the wool balls for a nice scent. The tin foil balls are also great for those bigger loads.

  4. Mary says

    I’ve been considering using fabric softener in the washing machine as a last resort. Though after reading a couple of blogs this evening, I might reconsider. I have some [rather large] things that get wildly static-y in the dryer. I just dumped a half dozen wool balls into the trash a couple of days ago. I’d had them for a number of months, but whenever I used them, each one would tuck itself into the corner of an item and stay there, leaving everything else to go round and round and gather electricity. I’ve had pretty much the same experience with dryer sheets, which I’ve used sparingly. I’m not in a position to line dry things. I’d be reluctant to use anything high-acid such as vinegar in my old trusty washing. machine. One idea I haven’t tried — not overdrying things. I’ll give it a try before I try the fabric softener. Thanks.

  5. Paul says

    I have a question I hopeit is ok. I own an all in one washer/dryer. So it hard to get rid of static. I have to stop the machine before it goes to drying and throw in the dryer sheets. I have used many different types fabric softer without much luck I rather use the wool balls. Can I throw the wool balls in wash at the begin then to the dryer ?

    • Tori says

      I don’t know for sure but I have store bought ones that I have gotten wet to add moisture to the dryer and get out wrinkles from cloths left in there too long. I don’t think washing them would hurt them. They might just wear down and need replaced faster. Maybe try one to start with and see how that goes.

      • Diane Gore-Uecker says

        One way to make dryer balls last longer is to crochet a single crochet stitch all around the balls. Or find someone who likes to crochet. Use white cotton yarn. Use a #5 hook . Lots of youtube instructions on line. Easy to do.

        My first set of wool dryer balls began to shrink and there was more lint in the lint trap.
        So as an experiment, I crocheted around the balls. It added back the girth of the balls that was lost thru use and stopped them from wearing out.

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