We've recently dedicated some time to developing natural laundry and cleaning product recipes using our all natural essential oils. As a result, many of us have changed the way we clean, and many of you have joined us. How thrilling to be together in this chemical-free lifestyle!
After all of the chemical household products were gone and better choices had taken their place, one question has lingered. Today we're here to answer it. The question is how to keep static cling from being an issue when switching from harsh commercial laundry products to more natural choices?
First, let's start with the science of static cling. Every physical object is made of very small particles, called atoms. Each atom is made of positively charged protons, negatively charged electrons, and neutral neutrons. Opposite charges attract each other and same charges repel each other. When an object has an imbalance of negative and positive charges, static electricity develops and discharges when you touch something, causing the familiar zap of a shock, or the dreaded static cling.
Why is static worse in the winter? Because the air is generally dryer in the winter. When the air is humid, water molecules collect on the surface of various materials, preventing buildup of electrical charges.
Now let's say so long to static. Here are a few ways to apply your scientific knowledge to this bothersome laundry reality:
1. Wool dryer balls to the rescue. Use pre-moistened dryer balls and essential oils for softness and scent, and remove laundry from the dryer before the load has over-dried. We already know that moisture is the enemy of static because we're certified laundry scientists. (Ok, that's not really a thing.)
2. Line dry synthetics. You've likely noticed that synthetic materials are most likely to cling. The tumbling action of the dryer causes fabrics to rub up against each other causing a build up of electrostatic charge (hello balloon-on-the-hair trick) especially in man-made fibers.
3. Moisturize your skin. Moisture equals humidity. A moisturized body says "not today, static," preventing fabrics from clinging to skin. It's starting to make sense, right? We have some excellent natural moisturizing suggestions here.
4. Hello baking soda! Add 1/4 cup of baking soda mixed with 2-3 drops of your favorite Thistle Farms Essential Oil to each load. Sodium Bicarbonate effectively creates a barrier around each garment, preventing the negative and positive charges from building up and causing the garments to cling, and EOs are great for adding natural scent to laundry.
5. Vinegar, the great multi-tasker. Mix 30 drops of Essential Oil (Lavender is a good one for laundry) into a 1-gallon jug of white vinegar and use 1/4 cup of this mixture instead of a commercial fabric softener. Vinegar's softening properties prevent the over-drying that contributes to static cling. It also tackles tough smells and adds an extra level of natural cleaning power and the vinegar scent completely washes away, leaving behind your favorite EO scent.
6. Discharge electricity. Slip static-y garments through a metal hanger a few times. The metal discharges electricity, removing static.