The Dangers of Static on Your Body
Static is produced due to friction. As surfaces rub against each other, it causes a transfer of electrons which can result in the accumulation of charges on objects, at times even on your own body!
From your hair down to your socks, you have the potential to be covered in static charges that can discharge at any time in the form of a small electric current. This discharge can give you a surprising little static shock.
At its best, electrostatic discharge is an annoying and surprising nuisance. Who wants to be shocked every time they touch the TV remote or comb their hair?
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At its worst, electrostatic discharge can be extremely dangerous. It can alight flammable substances and permanently damage sensitive electronics. Therefore, I recommend that you take the steps necessary to “anti static yourself” as much as possible in your home and work routine.
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How to Anti Static Your Hair?
Have you ever noticed your hair standing on its edges during winter time? Or experienced a sticky buzz when you are combing it? These things happen because of static electricity. It can be quite annoying, especially if you already have hair that is difficult to manage on its own. So here are some ways you can anti static your hair:
- Make it a habit to use a moisturising shampoo when showering.
- Use an anti static leave-in conditioner after washing your hair.
- Use anti static hair spray after styling your hair.
- If you do not have either of those things available, you can take some moisturiser on your fingers and run it through your hair.
- Take a dryer sheet and rub it gently over your hair.
- Avoid using combs made from plastic.
- If you use a straightener to style your hair, invest in an anti static straightening iron.
How to Anti Static Your Hands?
Since you will be performing all of your tasks using your hands, it is very important to ensure your hands are free of static. Following are a few tips to do so:
- Keep your hands moisturised!
- Wash and then air dry your hands.
- Touch a grounded metallic object in your house like a metallic window frame or handrail.
- Use an anti static wrist band.
How to Anti Static Your Clothes?
As you move around, your clothes rub against each other and generate static electricity. This can be quite large in magnitude considering your entire surface area. So at the very least, I definitely recommend looking into making your clothes anti static. A lot of the static is generated when clothes are being washed and dried. Treating the issue then and there can save you a lot of trouble. Here are some ways for you to do that:
- Use a fabric conditioner or softener to rescue dryness and friction.
- White vinegar can be used as an alternative for fabric conditioner too.
- If possible, air dry your clothes instead of using a dryer.
- If using a dryer, use anti static dryer sheets.
- Dry synthetic and organic fibres separately.
- Once you have put your clothes on already, you can rub a dryer sheet over yourself to remove static.
- Use an anti static solution to remove static. There are many ready made anti static sprays available in the market for you to use for an immediate effect.
- Use an air humidifier in your house to keep things from getting too dry and static-prone.
How to Anti Static Your Shoes?
Lastly, your feet moving against the floor or carpeting can also produce a significant amount of static which often goes overlooked. Here are a few ways you can address and eliminate it:
- Walk barefoot instead of wearing socks or shoes while working on electronics in your house.
- Wear shoes with conductive soles, like ones made from leather.
- Avoid wearing rubber soled shoes.
- Get mats or carpeting that is made from a conductive fibre.
- Clean the soles of your shoes using a dryer sheet.
- If you want to make your shoes anti static, wrap them with aluminium foil.
- Use an anti static spray on your shoes.
How to Quickly De-Static or Ground Yourself?
There are ways that you can quickly ground your body. This is especially useful if you are entering an area or going to perform a task with sensitive objects or electronics that can be damaged due to static discharge. You can quickly de-static yourself by touching any conductor that is in contact with the ground. For example, touching the exposed metallic part of an electrical outlet or the metallic water faucet in your kitchen sink will effectively ground you.
How to Prevent Static Build Up?
The best thing you can probably do to save yourself and your surroundings from static discharge is to prevent its build-up in the first place. The goal is to minimize friction and create an environment that discourages static production. So taking steps like keeping your skin moisturized, limiting the use of polyester and nylon materials in your clothing, and using humidifiers in your house definitely helps a lot.
Just the addition of a few simple steps in your daily routine can save you from the nuisance that unceremonious static discharge can prove to be. Whether you are preventing the build-up of static charge or facilitating quick and safe ESD, it goes a long way in making your daily life much safer.