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Dealing with Static Cling without Dryer Sheets

by Cyndi Norwitz
January 1997

I always find it interesting when people justify the use of dryer sheets by saying they need it to get rid of static cling. I don't get static cling. But clearly some have a problem with it.

But this isn't the whole truth...every once in a while I do get static cling. So I've looked closely at why...what are the factors that are different? Here's what I found:

I often get static cling if I dry clothes with artificial fabrics, especially nylon. The static can spread to other clothes in the same load. I almost never get static in natural fiber clothes. If I do it's almost always because I dried them with artificial fabrics or because they are partially made from artificial fabrics.

I very occainsionally get static in a dryer load if I run the dryer for too long and overdry the clothes. But getting more than a twinge of it in an all-natural load just never happens.

I don't dry nylon in the dryer anyway cause it shortens the life of the elastic. Fortunately, nylon dries really fast in the air, as does 100% polyester. I line dry all my bras, stockings, bathing suits, nylon or lycra undergarments, etc. Line dry usually means I loop them over the doorknob of my closet or on a plastic hanger somewhere.

I take out a good number of my clothes damp from the dryer and line dry them (indoors on a wooden rack or on hangers with air circulation). This extends the life of my knits and sweaters and means I don't have to iron my clothes. I use the dryer to get them to the warm stage to remove lint and wrinkles and (for thick clothes) to get them to the point where air drying won't create mold.

The things I dry all the way are towels (all cotton), sheets (sometimes the 50% poly ones get static when they come out but it doesn't last), t-shirts, cotton undies, jeans, and older clothes I don't care about as much.

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Cyndi Norwitz / webmaster@immuneweb.org / Last Modified: 1/23/98