DIY A Static-Cling Laundry Spray With Two Common Household Ingredients

Static cling is a natural part of laundry. When you toss your clothes into the dryer, they tumble around as the drum rotates. As the fabric rubs against each other, an electrostatic charge begins to accumulate. This charge stays on your clothes, which is why sometimes you'll find socks sticking to your shirts or a skirt sticking to your legs when you put it on. Plenty of products on the market can fix this issue, from dryer sheets to static cling sprays, but if you're sick of buying a different spray for each problem, you'll be happy to know you can just make your own. All you need to do is use two staples you probably already have in your house: rubbing alcohol and fabric softener.

This is a great hack to use if you run out of your trusty static cling spray and need to use something then and there, or if you want to make your own products rather than cluttering your cleaning cabinet with various sprays. Either way, this simple DIY solution will help reduce laundry static, especially in the dead of winter when it's the most prevalent. Here is how to pull it off.

How to DIY your own static cling spray

This hack is recommended by professionals like laundry cleaners and carpet cleaners and has had plenty of anecdotal success with lifestyle bloggers, so it's worth a shot. To create your anti-cling spray, you will need four items: a spray bottle, rubbing alcohol, fabric softener, and water. In the spray bottle, mix 1 cup of water with 2 tablespoons of fabric softener and 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol. Shake the spray bottle to combine the ingredients, and lightly mist the static piece of clothing. If you like your sprays to have a scent, you can also include about a dozen drops of your favorite essential oil into the mix. 

While this should work great with all sorts of clothes, there is one caveat to keep in mind: You can't use this on silk clothing. That's because some silks will get water stains when they come into contact with moisture, so this spray can potentially damage them. At that point, it's safer to simply wipe a dryer sheet over the silk garment to reduce its static problem.

Why this works

This hack works primarily because of the fabric softener in the spray. The softener adds a thin layer of conditioner over your clothes, adding a barrier to the fabric. But this isn't the only reason it repels static from your clothing. The softener is also made up of positively charged ions that neutralize the electrons on your clothing. While the softener is the hero ingredient, the water and rubbing alcohol also play an important role. While water helps dilute the softener, it also helps remove static cling. That's because the presence of water molecules helps the electrons move around more easily, reducing the risk of static electricity. Just make sure to use distilled water so you don't accidentally add hard water or minerals to your clothing, which can stain them.

The alcohol in the spray has two purposes. First, it helps the water evaporate more quickly, which ensures that your garment won't be left with annoying wet spots while you're wearing it. It also helps to spread the fabric softener more evenly. Just keep in mind that using fabric softener and rubbing alcohol on your clothes makes them more flammable, so take special care while standing next to open flames.