Is A Damp Paper Towel The Key To Getting Rid Of Static Cling?

At some point, we have all experienced that annoying static cling from our clothes — you know, the static that makes your hair stand on end or gives you an unpleasant little shock? It's annoying, but there is an simple way to fix it: with a damp paper towel. To get rid of static cling, this nifty kitchen staple will be the star of the show and help you stop it in its tracks. All you have to do is press the damp paper towel onto the staticky spots, and you should no longer have to deal with the irritating consequences, at least for a short while.

Of course, this is useful in any scenario where you want to banish static cling quickly, especially if you're in a rush and don't have time to change clothes. It can also be handy to pull apart some stubborn laundry that seems to be magnetically attracted to each other. However, while there is some scientific explanation behind how this works, it's unclear how long this trick will be effective, so your mileage may vary.

A damp paper towel is all you need

One reason we experience more electrostatic shocks in the winter is because there's less humidity in the air. This hack adds humidity to your clothing, cutting down on the static. To try this trick for yourself, you'll need just one item: a paper towel. Run it under water until it's damp, squeezing out the excess. Now, simply take your damp paper towel and wipe it over the staticky spots. If you don't have any paper towels, you could also use a damp T- shirt, towel, or clean rag. 

While you can do this while wearing a staticky piece of clothing, it also works on a load of laundry. This is helpful if you don't use fabric softeners (due to negative effects on towels and linens) or dryer sheets. Simply toss your damp paper towel in toward the end of your dryer cycle, which should help to achieve the same end result as rubbing the damp towel over your clothing.

You can use ice cubes, too

Rather than using water in liquid form, you can use ice cubes for this trick, too. Simply place several ice cubes in your dryer at the start of the cycle, and the resulting steam will cut through the static cling. By doing it this way, you may even save yourself some time. If you want to reduce your chances of static cling even further, you can avoid certain materials, such as wool, polyester, and silk, to name a few.

The reason this hack works so well all boils down to science. According to the University College London, this effect happens because the water particles sitting on your clothes essentially act as a barricade between the electrons that cause the static reaction in the first place. However, it's important to keep in mind that when the water dries, the effects of using a damp paper towel may wear off, and the static could return.