Static electricity is something you encounter on a daily basis. It can build up in your clothes and in your bedding, and it can sometimes catch you off guard in public places too. A lot of your experiences with static electricity don’t give any cause for concern—sure, it gives you a little shock, but you’re used to it. However, some static electric charges are stronger than others, and a particularly intense shock that gives off a spark can be frightening.
However, there is almost no danger in a static shock, even when you see a spark. The only time something can happen is when the spark goes off next to something it can ignite. For example, a spark next to a petrol spill would likely cause a fire due to the petrol’s extreme flammability. However, such flammable materials do not tend to be lying about within the home, so this isn’t much of a concern.
But, that doesn’t mean static sheets aren’t annoying—they really are! This article will give you all the information you need to understand what exactly static is, why it’s all over your bed, and how to get rid of it.
- Why Do my Bed Sheets Have Static?
- Can Static Electricity in Bed Sheets be Dangerous?
- Can Static Electricity Start a Fire in Bed?
- Does Static Electricity in Bed Sheets Affect Sleep?
- How Do You Get Static out of Bed Sheets?
Why Do my Bed Sheets Have Static?
It’s time to get a little science-y!
Static electricity refers to an imbalance of electrical charges on the surface of an object. Unlike current electricity (the stuff that flows through the wires in your home), static electricity is an electrical charge that is still. Static occurs when two applicable objects rub together and swap their electrons, creating imbalances on both sides. Those imbalances then stay trapped on the surfaces of the objects as an electrical charge until given an opportunity to neutralize or discharge. This part is the static shock everyone is so used to feeling.
Static charges can form more easily in certain conditions; for example, nylon sheets are more static-friendly than cotton. Dryness is also more favorable than moistness, meaning the winter months with dry weather will generally see a rise in static electricity. With clothing and sheets, the tumble dryer can be the main culprit in causing large amounts of static.
If you happen to meet all of these conditions, which is that you own recently washed and tumble-dried nylon sheets during the dry winter months, you’re likely to be experiencing a serious amount of static!
Even meeting just one of two of these conditions can definitely cause more static than you can comfortably deal with. Static shocks are unpleasant, but even just static cling is unbearably annoying.
Can Static Electricity in Bed Sheets be Dangerous?
Are static shocks from blankets dangerous? Well, while there are examples of extreme static electricity in the natural world—lightning, for example, is actually caused by static electricity buildup in clouds—such dangers are simply not present in the house.
Bed sheets charged with static electricity can be extremely annoying and it can be a bit scary when bed sheets spark, but it is not going to do you any harm. Static shocks might be unpleasant, but it’s completely normal for static electricity to be passing through your body; this is actually something that is happening all the time.
There is not any chance of damage or long-term effects as a result of static electricity in your sheets. You can rest easy and safe in the knowledge that everything is fine. However, if you want to rid yourself of annoying static, keep reading our guide down below—we will go over all the important static removal steps for you!
Can Static Electricity Start a Fire in Bed?
A lot of people seem to be worried about this. ‘Is static in bed sheets dangerous?’, ‘are blankets dangerous when static happens?’, they ask. However, as mentioned in the introduction, a spark from a static shock poses no danger unless it has something to ignite. Due to the low heat of a static spark, the only things it can ignite are highly flammable materials such as petrol or alcohol.
A static spark could never ignite the fabric of your sheets under normal circumstances. The sheets would have to be soaked in petrol or spirits for there to be any kind of chance of fire. As such, you can sleep well and worry-free, as static electricity fire hazards are all but non-existent when it comes to your bedsheets. The most you may experience is a momentary shock when a spark jumps and tickles your skin lightly.
Does Static Electricity in Bed Sheets Affect Sleep?
While the annoying sensation of static cling or the sudden shock of a static discharge may make it more difficult for some people to get to sleep, the static electricity in your sheets will not do anything to affect your rest once you have fallen asleep.
However, if you tend to have trouble falling asleep, you should try to remove static if you at all can. We’re here to help with that.
How Do You Get Static out of Bed Sheets?
There are a handful of different things you can do to get static out of your sheets and prevent it from forming in the first place. A lot of these tips and tricks focus on adding moisture to your sheets, room, or yourself in order to combat the dry conditions that cause static electricity to happen.
Tip 1 – Use a Humidifier
Dry air in your bedroom is a big factor in creating static electricity in your sheets. Some people will already have air filters, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and other tools to help regulate the air in their houses if they are sensitive to the various different states. But if you’re someone that doesn’t really notice these things, the air in your bedroom may get really quite dry, especially during the winter.
If you buy a humidifier, it will spray out fine water vapor into the air and raise the humidity in your room. Most humidifiers are set with optimum humidity and will automatically stop when it is reached, so you don’t need to worry about overdoing it if you don’t know that much about humidity yourself.
Once enough moisture has been added into the air, your sheets will find it a lot more difficult to become statically charged. This method can work sufficiently by itself in order to remove static, but it will work even better when used alongside some of the other methods listed below.
Tip 2 – Fabric Softeners
Another way to help dissipate static charge in your sheets is to add softening agents to your washing cycle. So many fabric softeners have the added benefit of helping to reduce static shock frequency and static electricity build-up because they help keep clothing and sheets soft and moist.
While you can use store-bought liquid fabric softener for this job, there are also a few natural cleaners you can make use of. White vinegar or baking soda, for example, can be used to soften your bedsheets. These two household staples have countless uses, just one of them is as a softening agent. You’ll often find white vinegar and baking soda included in recipes for natural washing detergents as well.
How does it work?
White vinegar softens clothes by dissolving the alkaline deposits left on clothes by soaps and washing detergents. White vinegar can do this because it contains acetic acid which can naturally corrode various materials.
However, while there is enough acid present in white vinegar to dissolve soap residues, it is far too weak to cause any damage to clothes, your washing machine, or anything else. This makes it a perfect softener for the environmentally conscious and anyone who wishes to avoid unnecessary chemicals. Half a cup of white vinegar will be enough to soften your clothes. Make sure you don’t use the wrong setting and use the same cycle as you normally would.
Baking soda softens clothes by regulating the pH level of the rinse water in your washing machine. If you add baking soda to your rinse cycle, it will create a perfectly balanced environment that keeps soap particles suspended in the water and prevents them from attaching themselves to your sheets or clothes and leaving them stiff. Around half a cup of baking soda should do this job effectively.
Once your sheets have been treated with fabric softener, white vinegar, or baking soda, you should start to see the effects straight away, and notice far less static cling when you climb into bed.
Tip 3 – Dry Bed Sheets Outside
If you have a tumble dryer, it can seem a bit silly to not use it, but tumble dryers aren’t perfect machines. They are good for some things, but they have weak points too. When you tumble dry clothes, they don’t just get dry, they get really dry.
Even on a humid summer’s day, a load of freshly tumble-dried sheets can collect static electricity, and it will stay there until you go to bed. The simplest fix for this is to simply hang your sheets outside.
There are other advantages to doing this too: you’ll use a little less electricity, the outdoor air will leave your sheets smelling super fresh, and the sun’s UV rays will kill bacteria on the surface of your sheets. To top it all off, the natural drying process will leave a lot more helpful moisture locked into your sheets, and that will help prevent static cling and static buildup.
Tip 4 – Dryer Sheets
If you don’t want to dry your sheets outside or don’t have the means to do it, there are things you can do to make your tumble dryer less of a problem. The first thing on the list is using a dryer sheet, also known as fabric softener sheets.
Dryer sheets, aside from softening your clothes, dryer sheets are also great at reducing static electricity. There are a lot of dryer sheet brands that even market their products as ‘anti-static’. Nowadays, you can also buy anti-static dryer sheets that are reusable, hypo-allergenic, and safe for use with baby clothes too, so they should be suitable for just about anyone.
How to Use a Dryer Sheet to Remove Static
To use a dryer sheet, simply throw it into the tumble dryer with your sheets and run the tumble dryer as usual. The dryer sheets are coated with fabric softeners which are positively charged and neutralize the electrons bouncing around in the tumble dryer.
Effectively, this means the dryer sheets are absorbing all the static electricity being generated during the drying cycle. The fabric softener on the dryer sheet also transfers to your clothes and bedsheets while everything is being tumbled around together, leaving your fabrics nice and soft.
A simple dryer sheet will go far in helping you reduce static cling caused by the tumble dryer itself, but you will get better results if you try other methods out too, as there might still be other things in your house that create static electricity.
Tip 5 – Wet Washcloth
If you don’t have any dryer sheets or don’t want to use them, there is also a small trick you can try with a wet washcloth in your tumble dryer.
If you add a fairly damp hand towel to your tumble dryer in the last 20 minutes of your drying cycle, you should be able to add some last-minute moisture to your sheets and avoid static electric discharge.
Tip 6 – Aluminum Foil
Another thing you can add to your drying cycle is a balled-up piece of tin foil. As with the damp towel, you should add this to your dryer when the drying process is almost done, about 20 minutes before it finishes.
During the cycle, plenty of static electricity will have built up in the drum of the tumble dryer, caused by all the fabric rubbing against each other. The aluminum ball should serve as a catalyst to discharge and get rid of static while the sheets are still in the tumble dryer. This way you should be able to get rid of static in sheets before they get to your bed.
Tip 7 – Good Quality Sheets
The truth is, spending a bit of money can also help you solve this problem. Cheaper sheets made out of fabrics like nylon, polyester, and acetate are far more prone to static electricity, and can actually make the sheets slightly conductive. It just might be time to do a little shopping and get yourself those beautiful sheets you’ve been eyeing for a while.
Higher quality sheets made from cotton, silk, and other natural fabrics are far more unlikely to gather static electricity, and using them instead will help prevent static cling and prevent static charges in your bed.
While we have discussed plenty of ways to remove static cling that are fairly simple and easy, it is much better to just prevent static cling from happening in the first place. A nice wool blanket, for instance, would be a perfect choice!
Tip 8 – Use Moisturizer
If you’re sitting in a static-ridden bed right now, searching for quick fixes at 11 pm, many of the tips we’ve covered so far won’t be of much use to you. But there is something you could try, and that is adding moisture to yourself rather than the sheets.
Simply applying some moisturizer to your skin will reduce static cling and make sure you don’t get a static shock when you get back in bed.
In addition, before you get back in bed there is one more thing you could do to quickly get rid of static in your sheets. Read the next tip to find out what it is!
Tip 9 – Neutralize Static Electricity
If you run a metal wire hanger over your bed before getting into it, you’ll be able to dissipate the static charge and prevent yourself from getting a static shock. It will also stop static cling from happening when you’re in bed.
To get rid of static electricity in the sheets this way, make sure to hold the wire hanger nice and close to the blanket. This should remove static charges in the blanket.
Tip 10 – Anti-static Spray
One last thing you can try for a quick fix is an anti-static spray. These sprays are composed of a conducting polymer and solvent. Once sprayed onto a surface, the solvent will quickly evaporate and leave a super thin layer of conducting polymer which will stop static electricity from forming on that surface.
This can be useful to combat blanket static and prevent static shock. We don’t recommend this as a permanent solution to get rid of static in your sheets, but it can be used occasionally.
So, is static in bed sheets dangerous? No, it really isn’t. As we discussed, there are really no static electricity fire hazards within the average bedroom, and even any static charge where the spark jumps from the object’s surface and gives you an unpleasant shock is not anything to worry about.
There are multiple ways to get rid of static electricity, depending on when and how the static occurs. Anti-static spray reduces static cling, dryer sheets help eliminate static electricity during your drying cycle, and baking soda and white vinegar help stop static forming in your rinse cycle. You can even use a wire hanger to discharge static in bed sheets, too.
We hope all the advice listed above helps you prevent static charge in your home and live a happy static-free life!