Friday, February 26, 2010

Stumped by static

Who knew laundry was such a compelling topic? Since mentioning my static issues last month, I stumbled across this forum, as well as two magazine articles on the subject!

I received lots of ideas in the comments on my post, and I've tried a few different things:

Monica mentioned that over-drying clothes causes static, so I've been trying to pay more attention to that. Anne Marie brilliantly suggested I line-dry just my fleece items, so I've been pulling the fleece stuff out of the dryer after about 10 minutes. Since our century-old house has these fabulous radiators, it's easy to toss the kids' pajamas on and the radiant heat dries them in about an hour with less static-y results!
When I asked your opinions about dryer balls, Milissa delivered! She had purchased some and didn't care for them*, so she willingly passed them on to me. I'm still not certain they make a big difference where static is concerned, but I like that I'm not using traditional fabric softener, and my kids love playing with them. Thanks again, Milissa!
Adding vinegar was also suggested on my post, but I didn't try that. I never looked it up on-line, and I wasn't sure how much to add or when. One other solution to the static issue is called spring. Some people who live in more moderate climates are apparently already experiencing it, and I am anxiously awaiting our turn. =)

For even more compelling thoughts on laundry: A couple of years ago on my blog, I asked people to comment with their household size and how many loads of laundry they do each week. Twenty-four people responded, and the averages came to 4 people and 8 loads of laundry. (We are below average, as we have 4 people in our family, and I wash 5-6 loads per week.)
*Milissa felt like the dryer balls were destructive to some of her linens. I decided to take the plunge anyway, and I've noticed no wear or tear.


Jillian, Inc said...

Well, I have 5 people in my family and I did 5 loads just last night. I love being an overachiever, but notsomuch where # of loads of laundry are involved. ha! Here's what I do for static: I bought a bundle of thin washcloths at walmart and for every load I wet one in the sink with water, ring it out and spray a few sprays of fabric softener on it. (I keep some in a spray bottle). Throw the washcloth in with the clothes. They come out smelling great, are static free and you don't waste all that money on fabric sheets, which don't work very well. Also, I do realize living in drier, colder conditions makes for more static and we aren't very cold or dry here in Atlanta..but still...this works great.

gail said...

i don't think i've ever dealt with static on a continual basis. one in a blue moon maybe ....

i think my laundry habits would balance out yours. family of 3 and i do at leaast 2 loads a day 6 days a week. we go thru alot of clothes and sheets. you know my son is disabled so we have accidents, he drools still or wipes his mouth with his shirt. he's still in pullups at nite and his pjs stink so much in the morning even if they are dry that i toss them in the wash. good thing that doing laundry is one of my few fav household chores!

Katie said...

Last summer, I attempted to go 'dryer-free' and air-dry all of our clothes. However, I soon found out what the 'crunchy towel syndrome' was and then became discouraged. We do not have clotheslines in our yard, so I looked into a retractable one. However, we don't have any real convenient spot to anchor it...and about the only workable location would require permission from the neighbors to attach it to part of their fence. Drying them inside worked for some items but if there was not ample air flow, mildewy smelling clothes was the result. So, I was discouraged a bit on the drying front, but I have tried to reduce the amt of laundry we do in general.

Now as for static ~ we have plenty of zaps and shocks in this house....haven't really tried to research remedies for this much, but I will love to read what your commenters have to say!

I remember that post about your mathematical analyses of avg. laundry per household...didn't Eric want to do even more in-depth analyses of that? :-) Well, if you ever have any suggestions of how to reduce laundry in general (especially when it comes to the littles' clothing)...I would love some encouraging words in that regard!

Tracy said...

Make sure to drop by to enter my giveaway!

Kelly said...

We don't have a dryer here and when it's raining we dry our clothes inside. Rainy days are the coldest here. When I put the wet clothes next to our portable radiant heater the moisture in the air causes all our windows to fog over. One bonus of drying the clothes on the radiant heat is extra humidity in your static charged home too! :)

Mom said...

Hi, Carrie -- interesting topic that affects all of us to one degree or another! Even in our dry climate, we don't have too much problem with this -- I've heard some people here say they use two fabric softener sheets per dryer load, but I use one plus the dryer ball Monica made. (The dryer ball alone wasn't enough.) I am guilty sometimes of over-drying clothes because I like DRY laundry. In the summer, I line-dry when I can.

Removing the fleecy items from a load was a good suggestion -- they seem to create quite a lot of static in the dryer. Good luck!
Love you, Mom

Amy said...

For the vinegar, I think you just add the same amount you would as fabric softener and put it where you put your softener in your washer in lieu of the softener.

I agree with Jillian too on the washcloth technique- it works like a charm and you can reuse it over and over again!!

The Saunders Family said...

we find static issues with the dryer balls too, so yes pulling out fleece helps as does not running the load all the way to the very end. said...

Just had to say that I, too, have a horrible static problem.

However...the best part of this post? The footie pajamas. I love them!

Footie jammies make me happy. :)