How to Avoid Getting a Ton of Static Shocks This Winter

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There’s nothing like a random static shock to interrupt your day. Static shocks become even more common in the dry, winter air. But you don’t have to resign yourself to a life of randomly being zapped by your clothes/door knobs/car door.

Lifehacker reports that there are a few ways to prevent static shock. The shock is the result of static electricity, or the build-up of electric charge on the surface of an object. Objects become charged when electrons move from one insulator to another. When a charged object touches a conductor, such as a piece of metal, the charge discharges, causing the shock.

Rubber, for example, is an insulator, and so are wool and nylon. If you walk on a wool or nylon carpet with rubber soles, your body builds an electric charge. Then, when you touch a piece of metal like a doorknob, the charge discharges and you experience a shock.

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These shocks are more common in winter because dry air is also an insulator. Also, you’re more likely to wear wool in the winter, and wool is a common offender!

To avoid these shocks, you simply need to avoid that insulator-on-insulator contact. If you have wool or nylon carpets, avoid wearing rubber-soled shoes or slippers inside. Opt for leather or cotton instead. And if you’re wearing a wool sweater, be aware that sitting on certain types of fabrics will create static in your body. There are antistatic sprays that can help.

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Another way to avoid static in the house is to use a humidifier, which makes the air less dry and therefore lowers the amount of static in the house.

Lastly, to avoid getting shocked by the car door, try holding onto the metal frame until you’re out of the seat completely. Or, touch the car door with your keys.

BAM! Shock-free living.