It's not controversial to say that everyone loves blankets. They're soft to the touch. We'd drag them anywhere if we could. However, they have a problem with producing static. Let's explore some ideas if you need help removing static from blankets.
Static occurs because of an imbalance of charges. It builds up when materials rub against one another and exchange these charges. If we want to remove static from a blanket, we need to eliminate this phenomenon from occurring. Here are your options to do that:
- Use dryer sheets.
- Avoid the dryer.
- Introduce moisture.
- Avoid certain materials.
Some materials are more prone to build static than others. In this situation, you need more control over the materials that touch each other. Thus, you might want to consider the bedding you use. Of course, that's if you want to continue using a blanket. To learn more on this topic, keep reading.
Removing Static From Blankets
If we want to remove static from a blanket, we need to know how it occurs in the first place. Once we get an understanding of the phenomenon, we'll gain some awareness of how to combat it.
What Is Static?
So, how does static buildup occur? It's a phenomenon we all learn in school. When two surfaces come into contact, they exchange electric charges.
In other words, one material will gain or lose electrons (negative charge). This creates an imbalance of positive and negative charges. Blankets build static through friction.
They touch many materials. Some of these materials are more likely to promote static buildup. Accordingly, if we want to remove static from blankets, we should prevent this exchange from occurring. However, how do we do that?
1. Dryer Sheets
The first way to prevent static from building up is by using dryer sheets. They reduce static by balancing the electric charge of different fabrics. It stops the phenomenon from occurring by coating it with a substance.
If you take a dryer sheet and rub your fingers on it, you'll notice the powder it holds. It's a mixture of fabric softener, scents, and anti-static agents. This mixture coats the fibers, preventing them from rubbing against another material.
The Downside Of Using Dryer Sheets
The problem with dryer sheets is the same coating that prevents static. It will noticeably change the texture of your blanket. Therefore, there's a risk you might not like how it feels afterward.
Does that mean dryer sheets are out of the equation? Not exactly. There is another material you can put in the dryer that prevents static.
However, it's not a foolproof plan. The blanket will still build up static outside of the dryer. In any case, you can use wool dryer balls for this situation.
The blanket will come out of the dryer without being negatively/positively charged. It's one step towards a static-free blanket.
Aluminum Foil Ball
Though, if you're not keen on purchasing a wool dryer ball, you can use a material you might already have at home. More specifically, aluminum foil balls can help with combating static. How does it work?
It works by attracting electrons. The problem with this method is the amount of foil you need. It takes about three sheets of aluminum foil to make a sizeable ball that will work for this situation.
The other problem with this method is heat. It will heat up inside the dryer. So, if the blanket is delicate, it can cause burns to the material. Should you decide to use this method, be careful.
2. Avoid The Dryer
This option might seem contradictory to the one above. Why would you avoid using a dryer if you could use dryer sheets or wool balls to prevent static?
As mentioned, wool balls are not a foolproof plan. It can eliminate static by bouncing around the dryer. During this process, it separates the clothing. As a result, it increases hot air flow and reduces friction.
The reduction in friction is what prevents static from building up. However, if you overdry the blanket, it will come out with static. Therefore, wool dryer balls are limited in their functionality.
This leads us to this solution. In other words, you should avoid using the dryer if you want to reduce friction. Let it air dry instead. This way, there's no way for the blanket to become negatively or positively charged.
3. Introducing Moisture
This method works outside of a drying or washing machine. Dry conditions promote static buildup. It's essential to emphasize the word promote—it does not cause static.
It promotes it because dry conditions allow charges to stay put. Consequently, the blanket will continue to collect electrons until the electrons leap onto another material. This is why you will sometimes see a spark.
On the other hand, humidity reduces static buildup. Objects don't hold onto charges well in humid conditions. If you want a blanket with less static, consider getting a humidifier.
Friction against other fabrics is not the only concern. The blanket will rub against your skin. As mentioned, dry conditions allow static to build up more quickly. Therefore, if your skin is dry, it will be impossible to avoid static in your blankets.
For this reason, you should apply lotion. Adding moisture to your skin neutralizes any static charge it's holding. This way, the blanket won't shock you, as there will be no electrical imbalance.
4. Avoid Certain Materials
Not all materials are created equal. All materials can suffer from static buildup. However, some of them can hold onto charges better than others. Wool, fur, and polyester are some of the materials that are more likely to suffer from static buildup.
For this reason, you might want to avoid bringing your blanket around these materials. Though, you can bring it around cotton items. Cotton is neutral.
It doesn't readily attract or give up electrons when it rubs on other materials. Though, it's essential to note that it does not mean it won't build static. Cotton can build a charge when it rubs against a blanket in certain conditions.
Why Is My Laundry So Static?
Now we know how fabrics become charged. So, we can use it to explain why our laundry comes out with static. Sometimes it seems like your laundry is similar to an electric rod.
It builds enough static to make some clothes stick to each other. As mentioned, blankets build static through friction. We're dealing with the same phenomenon.
However, there's a combination of fabrics inside a typical laundry pile. There are furs, synthetic fibers, etc. All these materials rub against each other. As a result, some clothes gain more electrons than others. This is what causes certain clothes to stick to each other.
Can Static From A Blanket Start A Fire?
Besides the electrical shock a blanket can give you, should you be concerned about fires? After all, sparks are often associated with starting fires. Will the friction between you and your blanket build up enough charge to potentially ignite a fire?
It isn't that simple to start one. The blanket will need to meet certain conditions to start a fire. So, you don't have to be picky about blankets.
Most of them will build static, but, the static buildup is only enough to deliver a slight shock. That's it! It may be annoying, but it's no cause for concern. It will only ignite in flames if a flammable substance is coating it.
Is Static Worse In The Winter?
Seasons can affect static buildup. In the summer, you won't notice static quite as much. So, you'd cover yourself in a blanket under your AC without ever shocking yourself unexpectedly.
And, if you follow the guidelines above to remove static, you might feel like you have this phenomenon entirely in your control. No more static!
But as soon as it gets colder, you notice it's picking back up again. The methods aren't working as effectively as before, which raises some concerns. The change might have you questioning the validity of the methods above.
It's not preventing static as much as it was before. However, there's a good explanation for that. The static buildup is worse during the winter.
The Science Behind Staticky Winters
Summers are less prone to static buildup because electrons are freer to travel. Water vapor in the hot summer air allows electrons to travel anywhere.
There isn't much water present in the cold winter air. Therefore, electrons aren't allowed to travel freely. They stay put and continue to gather. Ultimately, it reaches a point where it can give you a shock.
For this reason, the methods above will seem less effective in the winter. The summer's humidity helps you combat static. Dry winters make the fight against static much more difficult.
Blankets are like heaven on Earth. However, they're too prone to static. It makes anyone question whether they should continue using one. Hopefully, the suggestions above reduce the amount of static your blanket builds. We hope you found this informative.
Before you go, be sure to take a look at these other blanket guides: