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Do freshly laundered clothes cling to your body? How to get rid of and prevent static cling

Release yourself from this exasperating problem by picking up these tips and tricks.

Do freshly laundered clothes cling to your body? How to get rid of and prevent static cling

How to avoid static cling in your clothes. (Photo: iStock)

If there’s one thing more annoying than clothes that wrinkle too quickly, it’s static cling, which ruins the look of your outfit and sometimes can be wildly embarrassing. Thankfully, it tends to happen more in drier and less humid climates, which means that we may not experience it as much here, unless you’re used to running your laundry through the dryer or are in an air-conditioned room most of the time.

If you didn’t know yet, here’s what causes static cling – when fabrics rub against each other, or against your skin, static electricity is produced. This is what’s responsible for the clinging and that slightly stinging sensation you might feel when you try to release the fabric. Moisture in the air helps to reduce this accumulation of static electricity – this explains why electrostatic charge builds up more easily in dry, low-humidity conditions.

You might have noticed how certain fabrics tend to be more prone to static cling than others. Wool is one such example. Hear a crackling sound when you pull a wool sweater over your head? That’s the static electricity generated from the movement and friction – it might even mess up your hair and leave a few strands of it standing on end.

Silk is prone to static cling. (Photo: iStock)

Silk is another fabric that is very prone to static cling – and frustratingly so, clinging tightly to your skin and form since it is so lightweight and thin. Other than these, many synthetic or semi-synthetic fabrics – such as polyester, nylon, rayon and acetate – also tend to trigger a static charge much more easily, compared to thicker fabrics made of natural fibres, like cotton.

We know that it’s hard to avoid wearing these fabrics. But the good thing is that this clingy issue can be easily solved, and you don’t need to spend a lot (or at all) to do so. Here are a few ways to make wearing your favourite silk dress so much more of a joy.


Air dry your clothes to avoid static cling. (Photo; iStock)

If you use a dryer for your laundry and have noticed static cling when they are taken out after a cycle, the simplest solution is to air-dry your laundry instead. The reason? Electrostatic develops when garments are tumbled in the appliance and rub against each other.

Take advantage of our hot and sunny climate by hanging up your laundry to dry instead, or if you need to speed things up, dry your garments partially in the dryer (so that they’re damp instead of wet) before hanging it up. 


Can’t do without a full dryer cycle on rainy days when it takes ages to air-dry the laundry? Then make use of dryer sheets, which are created specifically for eliminating static cling. They are coated with fabric-softening ingredients, often scented, which are deposited onto clothes as they tumble among the garments in the dryer.

These ingredients have a lubricative and anti-static effect, and thus help reduce electrostatic charge in the garments. There’s also a bonus – they’ll leave your laundry smelling fresh after the drying cycle. Of course, fabric softener will have the same effect on laundry. Adding it into the wash will also help with reducing static cling.


Static-reducing sprays neutralise electrical charges on clothing. (Photo: iStock)

Did you know such a product exists? Static-reducing sprays neutralise electrical charges on not just clothing, but also other textile surfaces, including carpets or furnishing. Besides store-bought options, you can DIY one by mixing a few drops of fabric softener into a small amount of water in a spray bottle – we’d suggest spot-testing before actually using it all over the garment, in case it leaves a mark on the fabric.

Hairspray, purportedly, has the same effect, although it’s wise to spray it on lightly if you should like to give it a go – spritzing on too much may create a sticky layer or even damage the fabric. These should be used on the inner surface of clothing, which is in contact with your skin.


We don’t mean using them to hang up your garments, although doing so also helps reduce static as metal objects can discharge electricity from fabrics. Running a wire clothes hanger across clothing has the same (and a stronger) effect – you can try it on the garment before and after putting it on.


Layer to prevent static cling. (Photo: iStock)

The best solution for stopping a silk blouse, skirt or dress from clinging to your body is to simply wear a camisole or slip underneath it. Note that you should avoid choosing underpinnings that are made of silk or a polyester blend, as these fabrics are likely to worsen static cling – instead, we’d suggest you go for a jersey cotton and spandex blend.


Apply body lotion to avoid static cling. (Photo: iStock)
Putting on body lotion increases moisture levels and also reduces friction between your skin and the fabric, and therefore helps cut down the build-up of electrostatic charge. What’s more, doing so will give you better skin.
Source: CNA/yy