how do i eliminate static charge caused by new office chair?
February 4, 2007 10:38 PM   Subscribe

static electricity problem: Comfy new office chair (on carpet) gives me strong static charge. My metal computer desk does not like this. Help me stop getting shocked.
posted by donmayo to Science & Nature (9 answers total)
A humidifier could help reduce the charge.

I find that grounding myself by touching with my palm or knuckle instead of my finger tips when I know I'm going to get shocked lessens the pain.
posted by demiurge at 10:51 PM on February 4, 2007

Endust for Electronics. There is a spray version and towelette version. I've found that a few applications over a week or so will prevent static electricity.
posted by Cog at 11:24 PM on February 4, 2007

Endust is toxic, but it works. Just be sure to keep a window open.

You might also want to consider an ionizer of the air purification persuasion. They literally produce negative (or positive) ions, which could neutralize (or greatly enhance) static effects. I'm unsure as to how you would test to find out the polarity of your particular static though.
posted by parallax7d at 12:09 AM on February 5, 2007

I used to get the same thing at an office I worked in. I knew which things would give me a static charge (iron beams in the office, door handles, desks, etc) so I would quickly flick them with my finger. I'd hear the crack, sometimes seeing the spark, but there's no pain as the flick was so fast.

The other solution I found was to wear shoes with natural rubber soles, and trousers that don't contain any synthetic material.
posted by gaby at 12:51 AM on February 5, 2007

You could try spraying the chair with Static Guard--I do this every so often and no longer get static shocks.
posted by Kat Allison at 5:56 AM on February 5, 2007

Touch the desk first with something metallic, keys, coin, pen..
posted by scheptech at 7:28 AM on February 5, 2007

I imagine that you could spray some fabric softener on the carpet around your desk or use dryer sheets to wipe down the fabric on your chair. The waxy buildup from fabric softener helps stop static.
posted by lockle at 7:29 AM on February 5, 2007

I have the same problem, and it drives me crazy. Different shoes will help -- I don't get shocked at all on days I wear my cowboy boots instead of sneakers. Also, I've taken to wearing a ring per this comment (instead of using a coin or a key or whatever). If the charge is really bad, it doesn't completely eliminate the pain (or maybe my ring just isn't big enough), but at least I'm expecting it. Plus, the tiny lightning is always cool.

Though, since it's your desk that's grounding you, you'd have to be tapping it constantly to discharge the electricity, so you might want to try something more environmental (like the fabric softener or humidifier) than behavioral.
posted by natabat at 9:18 AM on February 5, 2007

If the charge is coming from the carpet, maybe a chair mat would help.
posted by puritycontrol at 9:59 AM on February 5, 2007

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