OWWWW. Leather sole slippers and other ways to deter static electricity?
December 21, 2017 1:46 PM   Subscribe

I recently moved and am getting shocked like crazy in this dry environment. I'm at a point where I'm scared to pet my dog.

I've heard random things about what helps.

For instance, leather soled shoes. Does anyone know where I can get leather soled bedroom/house slippers?

Will it help if I clip a safety pin to my clothing?

Has anyone invented a lotion that reduces electric shocks? (Million dollar idea, anyone?)

What do you do to keep the static electricity in your environment down. (I've also heard a humidifier helps.) Additional tips appreciated!!
posted by neeta to Home & Garden (19 answers total)
 
Humidifiers help a lot.
posted by Fig at 1:47 PM on December 21, 2017 [7 favorites]


I keep keys lying around, or carry one in my pocket. When I get up from the sofa or do something equally static-making, I touch the key to something metal before I do anything else.
posted by JanetLand at 1:48 PM on December 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


Humidifier for sure. When I worked in an office where this happened a lot, i also made a habit of discharging the static on doorknobs with the back of my hand.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:50 PM on December 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


Get a humidifier. That should resolve the issue. If you have wall-hung radiators, you can also heat water off them.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:51 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


humidifiers help. ESD control literature suggests having a relative humidity between 40 and 60% is optimal
posted by Dr. Twist at 1:55 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yes humidifier - we installed one in our new house and it's made our cats so happy not to be constantly electrified.
posted by notorious medium at 1:55 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


I don't know if leather soled slippers actually help, but:

LL Bean slippers
posted by freezer cake at 2:03 PM on December 21, 2017


I wear leather soled LL Bean slippers around the house pretty much every day as I work from home. I don't think they make any difference in static electricity.
posted by COD at 2:07 PM on December 21, 2017


one place I worked had crazy static in the winter, so I always touched a ring I was wearing to the doorknob before opening any door
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:07 PM on December 21, 2017


Also, if you're renting this obviously isn't an option, but this definitely happens a billion times more in rooms with wall-to-wall carpeting, so if you own your place you could consider getting rid of it. And if not - and if a humidifier doesn't completely get rid of the issue - you could consider putting down some rubber mats in the most highly trafficked areas.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:07 PM on December 21, 2017


Increasing humidity is your best bet.

You can buy ESD shoes or silly looking little conductive straps that attach your ankle to the bottom heel of your shoe from a number of lab supply vendors, but if you're walking on carpet or other non-conductive material it won't help much. To avoid a shock, you need somewhere for charge to go, and household flooring isn't usually much better than rubber shoes.

A safety pin on clothing won't help. (Unless it touches your skin and has a chain leading to a ground bar.) Lotions are unlikely to help.

It may be a snarky suggestion, but learning to enjoy static shocks and touching a faucet or window frame before you touch your dog or your computer is the solution I've adopted in very dry places.
posted by eotvos at 2:30 PM on December 21, 2017


It may be a snarky suggestion, but learning to enjoy static shocks and touching a faucet or window frame before you touch your dog or your computer is the solution I've adopted in very dry places.

In my old office, where this only happened once they turned on the heat, I used to pretend every winter that I was beginning to develop electro-superpowers.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:32 PM on December 21, 2017 [5 favorites]


Anywhere you can't control the humidity, I'd second the suggestion to carry keys or something metal around and use that to discharge yourself by touching something grounded occasionally. The painful zapping sensation is primarily caused by the electrical arc, and using a key will keep the arc away from your nerves.
posted by Aleyn at 2:56 PM on December 21, 2017


When we had this problem at work (had computers and some rugs in office) we sprayed a mixture of water and fabric softener (scent free or not) on the floor, as we were leaving. It worked great! I've also used it at home.
posted by donaken at 3:32 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


I touch the key to something metal before I do anything else

Edge of a coin works too, or you could wear a metal thimble.

The sting in a static shock is actually a tiny little burn from the end of the spark. Making your end of the spark terminate on a piece of metal instead of your skin, and choosing exactly when the spark happens by deliberately touching that piece of metal to things you suspect are going to zap you, gets rid of both the sting and the surprise.

Also, wear more cotton and less synthetic fibre.
posted by flabdablet at 2:16 AM on December 22, 2017


I used to pretend every winter that I was beginning to develop electro-superpowers

Need to be a little careful with this approach, since one of those electro-superpowers is the ability to ruin expensive electronics without meaning to.
posted by flabdablet at 2:18 AM on December 22, 2017


Oh, and if you haven't got a piece of metal handy, the least painful discharge point I've found on my own body is the second knuckle on a tightly clenched forefinger.
posted by flabdablet at 2:20 AM on December 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Humidifiers work like magic, really.
posted by cooker girl at 7:27 AM on December 22, 2017


You can discharge most of the electricity by touching the door before the doorknob. Or touching an exterior wall corner (where there’s the little metal trim piece under the paint) with your arm.

Laminate flooring is just as bad as carpet in my experience. Also consider going barefoot.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:05 AM on December 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


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