Top Ten Tips For Reducing Carpet Static

Monday June 02, 2008
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Contemplating a move away from carpet? Unlike other types of flooring, carpet can be quite the conductor of static electricity. If your daily series of shocks has you looking wistfully through hardwood flooring buyer's guides, keep yourself from sparking in the meantime with these handy tips:

  1. Don't let static electricity build up. Fidgety types beware - constant repetitive movement creates friction, allowing those spare ions to build up on you until you're practically guaranteed to spark off the carpet.
  2. Pick up your feet when walking on carpet. It's true what Mom said, dragging your feet does no one any favors. Avoid the excess friction on carpet flooring and forward march!
  3. Put away your fleeces. As cozy as an old sweatshirt might be, it's also a static trap if it's made of fleece. Stick to cotton layers instead.
  4. Open a window. Simply letting some air in will increase the room's humidity, reducing static buildup on carpet.
  5. Install a humidifier to help manage indoor humidity. If you have no windows or the outside air isn't cutting it, give your environment a touch of the tropics with a humidifier. You'll breathe easier and the moisture in the air will counteract carpet static.
  6. Carry an anti-static dryer sheet with you. An anti-static sheet in your pocket will go a long way towards keeping you shock free if you touch it periodically. Just avoid losing it, as an anti-static sheet clinging to the ankle of your pants will give people the wrong impression.
  7. Add fabric softener to a bottle of water and spray it onto the carpet. You don't need to hit every corner, but spritzing high-traffic carpet areas with this mixture is a cheap, easy way to lessen static.
  8. Shave or clip your hairy legs. It may be winter. You may be a male. But if you can bear it, you'll find that shaving your legs goes a long way toward reducing static buildup. Guys, we suggest you pretend to have taken up swimming.
  9. Wear different pairs of shoes on your carpet. Test each pair and note which ones result in the fewest shocks.
  10. If all else fails, keep a metal teaspoon or a key close by to act as conductor for you. Before you touch a metal doorknob or similar shocker, manhandle the teaspoon or key a bit and then touch it to the metal. This creates a conduit which significantly lessens or eliminates the shock you feel. Especially staticky types might still feel a small jolt, and you may set off a blue spark or two. If you've done all you can and you're still a walking, talking potential fireworks display, it may be time to tear the carpet up and discover the (much gentler) beauty of hardwood flooring.
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Comments (4)

Talkback – Leave a commentThere are 4 comments

Mr.
It's like the Spanish Inquisition, here. The house has new carpet and is heated with a coal stove. To forget the dish of water on the stove means sparks can exceed 0.250" and are bright blue. Nevertheless, using the water on the stove buys a little, but no elimination. Downey next. (Imagine if my hobby was wearing tinfoil helmets? There would be Hell to pay.) I worry because of all the sensitive electronics in the house. All the frames are grounded, at least. I remember these people in NYC who had a cat that became mentally ill from touching anything or anybody with the tip of his or her nose. As much as I wanted to comfort the beast I knew if it approached and sniffed my fingers there was a chance of ESD so I stayed away-maybe the lesser of two evils. The television receiver blew up in September when the outside Neutral grounded conductor became intermittant and the outside legs produced a major spike to ground. Good luck
January 16 2009
Mr.
It's like the Spanish Inquisition, here. The house has new carpet and being heated with a coal stove. Forget the dish of water on the stove and the sparks can exceed 0.250" and are bright blue. Nevertheless, using the water on the stove trick buys a little, but no elimination. Downey fluid and sheets are next. (Imagine if my hobby was wearing tinfoil helmets?-There would be Hell to pay.) I worry because of all the sensitive electronics all over the house. All the frames are grounded, at least. I remember these people in NYC who had a cat that became mentally ill from touching anything or anybody with the tip of his or her nose. As much as I wanted to comfort the beast I knew if it approached and sniffed my fingers there was a chance of ESD so I stayed away-maybe the lesser of two evils. The television receiver blew itself up litirally in September when the outside Neutral grounded conductor became intermittant and the outside legs produced a major spike. Good luck!
January 16 2009
the dryer sheet idea totally worked for me
October 22 2008
Funny and good article!
I like the part about guys shaving their legs and saying they took up swimming. Funny idea! But on a serious note, I seem to shock everyone around me, so I will put a few of these tricks to use.
August 26 2008
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