How to get rid of static from clothes? (Covers after drying)

To get rid of static from clothes, there are several effective methods, including adding fabric softener or vinegar to the rinse cycle or spraying clothes with a solution of water and vinegar. You can even try running a metal hanger over the surface of your clothing or simply using an anti-static spray.

Key Takeaways

  • Clothes release static clings if they rub against each other in a clothes dryer during the drying cycle.
  • As a best practice, take the clothes out of the dryer when they are still damp, and shake them out before hanging them to naturally air-dry.
  • Using simple home remedies such as running a metal hanger over dry clothes or using plain water spray can help eliminate static.
  • Wool, rayon, polyester, and silk are more prone to static.

What causes static in clothes?

Static in clothes is caused by a buildup of electrical charges on the surface of the fabric. When the fabrics rub against each other, an electrostatic charge is created.

This issue is common in tumble dryers, i.e., if you use a tumble dryer to dry your clothes, you are likely to come across static issues on your clothes.

The dry air can amplify the static buildup in clothes, as it allows the charges to build up more easily.

In simple terms, static cling is simply an electrical charge released from fabrics.

Synthetic materials, such as polyester or nylon, and natural materials, like wool, are more prone to static buildup.

Proven ways to eliminate static from clothes

Use a metal hanger

If you have already dried your clothing in the machine and if they have become staticky, then simply use a metal hanger.

Simply grab a metal hanger and run it over your clothes, It will help discharge the static electricity.

If you don’t have a metal hanger handy, you can use a similar item made of metal to run over the surface of your garment.

Additionally, you can hang your garments over a clothesline and use a metal clothespin, which will reduce static cling from clothes.

Mist clothing (Water, vinegar, essential oil)

Fill a spray bottle with clean water and start spraying it on your clothes.

Make sure to give them a light misting and then let them air dry, doing this will dissipate the static charge.

You can also add a few drops of vinegar and essential oil (for fragrance) to the spray bottle filled with water.

Use anti-static spray

One of the best ways to deal with static cling from clothing is to use an anti-static spray, especially for fabrics that are prone to static.

These sprays are specially formulated to deal with a static charge on clothing and are quite effective on almost all types of fabric.

Shake the anti-spray bottle before using it, and then start by spraying it over the garment.

As you spray, hold the can upright and make sure to evenly cover the entire garment.

Be careful not to oversaturate the garment with the solution; just a light mist will do the trick. Then, let it dry for a few minutes before putting it on.

Note: If you’re using an anti-static spray on delicate fabrics, test a small area first to make sure there is no adverse reaction.

Damp dry clothes

Clothing that is damp or wet is less likely to release static cling, if it does at all.

Hence, it is always good to remove the clothes from the dryer while they are slightly damp.

Items that tend to attract static after being dried in a dryer can benefit the most from this.

So, it’s best to take the clothes out while they’re slightly damp and air-dry them naturally.

Clothes that are put to air dry naturally are less prone to static clings.

Use Dryer balls

Dryer balls are usually small woolen balls that are often used in clothes dryers to prevent static cling in clothes and other items.

As you now know, static cling happens when clothes rub against each other in the dryer, causing them to build up an electrical charge.

Dryer balls can help prevent this by separating the clothes and allowing them to move freely around the drum of the dryer.

In fact, you can also use tennis balls as an alternative to dryer balls while drying clothes in the machine.

So, depending on the size of your load, add dryer balls to the dryer; for example, for small to medium loads, three to four dryer balls should suffice.

You can buy these dryer balls through online platforms or from local stores.

Use a dryer sheet

Another way to remove static from clothes is to add a dryer sheet to your dryer along with your damp garments.

Some dryer sheets even contain chemicals that help break down the electrostatic charge that causes static cling.

When you add a dryer sheet to your laundry, the positively charged fibers in the sheet attract the negatively charged fibers in your clothes.

This helps to reduce static cling by evening out the electrical charges in your laundry.

Moreover, a dryer sheet also absorbs moisture from the air and adds a layer to the clothing during the drying process.

Simply toss a sheet in with your damp or wet laundry and run the cycle as usual.

That being said, if you have already got the clothes dried and if they are full of static, simply rub the fabric softener sheet over your clothing, and the static should disappear.

How to get rid of static on clothes with hairspray?

Hair sprays have the unique ability to counteract the stubborn and persistent problem of static cling on clothes.

The secret to getting rid of static is in the chemical composition.

Despite variations in the formulation of hair sprays among different brands, many contain polymers or resins with positive charges.

Such positively charged particles have the potential to neutralize the negatively charged particles that are responsible for static electricity.

The process of applying hair spray to clothes to eliminate static cling is simple and straightforward.

A small amount of the spray can be sprayed onto the garment and then left to dry, the chemical properties of the hair spray will do the rest.

It should be noted, however, that using hair spray on clothing can leave an unwanted residue behind that may be difficult to remove through washing.

Therefore, it is strongly recommended to only use hair spray as a last resort.

Additionally, testing the spray on small and hidden areas of the garment is strongly encouraged prior to widespread application.

How to remove static from clothes without dryer sheets?

If you don’t have access to dryer sheets or don’t like to use them, there are still several ways to remove static from clothes.

Try dryer balls

When tumble-drying, just add a few dryer balls to the dryer with your clothes.

Wool dryer balls can not only help to keep the clothes soft but also reduce static cling.

Use aluminum foil

Ball up a piece of aluminum foil and toss it in the dryer with your clothes.

The foil will help to discharge any static buildup on the clothes.

Hang dry

Allow your clothes to air dry instead of using the dryer.

This can help reduce static buildup, especially if you hang them outside or in a humid area.

Furthermore, you can run a wire hanger over the clothes once you wear them to get rid of static.

Moisturize your skin

Before putting on your clothes, apply a moisturizer to your skin.

Applying moisturizer also keeps the static away.

Use vinegar

While washing your clothes, you can use vinegar.

Simply add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine, and it should help to remove static.

Use baking soda

To use baking soda, simply add half a cup of baking soda to your washing machine during the rinse cycle.

This will help to reduce static cling and leave your clothes feeling soft and fresh post-wash.

That being said, one thing to keep in mind is that while baking soda is generally safe to use on most fabrics, it may not be suitable for certain types of fabrics, such as delicate or dry-clean-only fabrics.

So, it’s always a good idea to check the care label on your clothing before using any new cleaning products.

Note: You can also sprinkle some baking soda directly onto the drum of your washing machine before putting your clothes in it.

Static prevention tips

Now that you know how to get rid of static from clothes, let’s take a quick look at some helpful tips to prevent static in the first place.

Take out when mildly damp

Over-drying your clothes in the dryer can cause them to become overly dry and increase static buildup. 

Try drying your clothes for a shorter period of time or using a lower heat setting and taking them out while they are mildly damp.

Separate synthetic fabrics

Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester and nylon, are more prone to static cling.

Try separating synthetic fabrics from natural fibers when washing and drying to reduce the amount of static buildup.

Make use of humidifiers

The likelihood of static electricity occurring in dry air is higher.

Using a humidifier in your home can reduce the static buildup on your clothing.

Line dry (Naturally dry your clothes)

Air drying your clothes on a clothesline or drying rack is a great way to prevent static electricity from occurring.

The gentle movement of the air will help to prevent static buildup.

Use fabric softener or vinegar

Fabric softener can help to reduce static cling by coating the fibers of your clothing with a thin layer of chemicals that reduce friction and static buildup.

You can add fabric softener to the rinse cycle of your washing machine or use a fabric softener sheet in the dryer.

Alternatively, you may use distilled white vinegar if you don’t like softeners.

Final Thoughts

Static charges can be controlled or prevented from the time you wash the clothes.

You can start by using a small amount of white vinegar during the wash to reduce static from the clothes in a natural way.

If you have finished washing and drying and you want to get rid of static post-wash, use anti-static sprays or spray your clothes with simple water and vinegar solution.

Lastly, air drying the garments naturally ensures that they don’t rub against each other as it happens in a clothes-drying machine.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to stop static cling while wearing clothes?

While wearing your clothes, you can stop or reduce static cling by spraying vinegar and water solution on the fabric, applying talcum powder to the skin, applying moisturizer, or using a wire coat hanger to pick up loose electricity.

Can you shake static out of clothes?

Yes, you can shake static out of clothes by giving them a gentle shake or a quick snap. This can help to release the electrical charges that cause the static cling.

Is aluminum foil effective at removing static from clothes?

Yes, aluminum foil can help get rid of static in clothes by creating a barrier between the clothes and the dryer. Simply crumple up a ball of aluminum foil and toss it into the dryer with the clothes, and this should do the trick.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)