What are the best natural static cling reducers?

Are you looking for a natural way to fight static cling? We'll explore some eco-friendly options so you can ditch the dryer sheets and those startling shocks.

Quick links:

What is static cling?

Wool dryer balls


Baking soda

Aluminum foil balls

Natural fabric softeners

Air drying

Benefits of natural static reducers

Tips for preventing static cling

Smart Sheep offers ecologically-kind laundry products, including wool dryer balls and scenting spray, to fight static and make your clothes soft and luscious. Shop our full collection of natural products.

What is static cling?

Static cling happens when electrical charges build up on fabric surfaces. Clothes stick to each other or to your skin. It’s no picnic, let us tell you. 

How it happens

Static electricity forms when electrons move between objects. In the dryer, fibers rub together. This friction causes electrons to jump from one item to another. Some clothes end up with a positive charge, others with a negative charge. These opposite charges attract each other.  

Static cling and different fibers

Cotton resists static clinging better than synthetic fibers. Electricity flows through natural fibers easier than synthetics, spreading and dissipating charges. Synthetic fabrics block electricity, trapping charges.

Dry air and heat

Dry air makes static cling worse. Water conducts electricity so it helps charges move away from fabrics. Without moisture, charges stay stuck on cloth surfaces. Tumble dryers create perfect conditions for static buildup with their heat and friction.

Humidity and skin moisture

Humidity and skin moisture affect static cling. Since dry conditions lock in static, people with dry skin get shocked more often when they touch clothes. Humid environments naturally conduct electricity away from fabrics.

Now that we have learned about static cling, let’s look at some green ways you can avoid it!

Wool dryer balls

Wool dryer balls combat static cling. These dense spheres of 100% wool move around in the dryer, separating clothes and absorbing moisture. Their natural fibers reduce static buildup as clothes dry.

Our wool dryer balls create space between garments. This space lets hot air circulate more freely. Better airflow shortens drying time, which saves energy and minimizes wear on clothes. As the dryer runs, wool dryer balls soften fabrics without harsh chemicals.

Each set of wool dryer balls lasts for hundreds of loads. They are a great natural alternative to single-use dryer sheets. Wool dryer balls work on all fabric types, from delicates to heavy towels.

Three to six balls per load produce the best results, depending on load size. Larger loads might need more balls for effectiveness. The balls become more compact with use, which improves their performance over time.

Add a few drops of essential oil for a pleasant scent and a natural alternative to artificial fragrances. The scent from essential oils usually lasts several dryer loads.

Set of 6 Handfelted "Playful Pups" 100% New Zealand Wool Dryer Balls



Vinegar contains acetic acid, which neutralizes electrical charges on clothes. A cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle dissolves detergent residue, a major cause of static. Clothes come out soft and static free.

Some people prefer adding a vinegar-soaked washcloth to the dryer. Vinegar evaporates during the cycle, leaving no odor. White vinegar works best for laundry. Its clear color prevents staining, unlike darker varieties.

The acid in vinegar removes soap scum and mineral deposits from fabrics. Vinegar also disinfects and removes tough odors.

Baking soda

Baking soda neutralizes the pH balance of water and fabrics, disrupting the electrical charges that cause static.

For best results, add half a cup of baking soda to your wash cycle along with detergent. Baking soda dissolves easily, permeating fibers. It removes residues from the fabrics and the wash water that often contributes to static buildup.

Baking soda works well on synthetic materials. Mix baking soda with water to make a paste and rub on the synthetic garments before you wash them.

In the dryer, baking soda acts as a natural moisture absorber. A light dusting on damp clothes helps maintain optimal moisture levels, preventing over-drying and static generation.

Aluminum foil balls

Aluminum foil balls offer a simple, cheap way to fight static. Crumple up three or four sheets of aluminum foil into tight, tennis-sized balls. Toss these balls into the dryer with wet clothes.

As the dryer spins, the foil balls bounce among the clothes. They pick up and give off an electrostatic charge, which stops static from building up. Metal conducts electricity, dissipating the charges that would otherwise stick to your clothes.

Natural fabric softeners 

Natural fabric softeners combat static cling without harsh chemicals. These alternatives include common household items and plant-based products. Here's a list of effective natural fabric softeners that fight static cling:

  • Anti-static spray. Mix water, vinegar, and essential oils in a spray bottle. Mist on clothes to stop static.
  • Soap nuts. These berries contain saponin, which cleans and softens. Put some in a cloth bag and add to your laundry.
  • Epsom salts and baking soda. Sprinkle this mix into the wash to soften water and clothes, cutting static.
  • Diluted hair conditioner. Mix with water for a cheap fabric softener. It moisturizes and prevents static.
  • Essential oils. Add to wool dryer balls or a damp cloth for scent and static control.
  • Vegetable glycerin. Put a bit in the rinse cycle to soften fabrics and reduce cling.
  • Liquid castile soap. Use instead of fabric softener to clean, soften, and cut static.
  • Cornstarch solution. Mix with water and add to the rinse. It coats fibers to reduce friction and static.
  • Lemon juice. Add to the rinse cycle for softness and fresh scent.

Air drying

SInce heat and friction cause static cling, air drying avoids the issue entirely. Sunlight and fresh air also soften fabrics and eliminate odors.

While air drying works well for most items, heavier fabrics such as jeans or towels might feel stiff afterward. To combat this, a brief tumble in the dryer with wool balls can soften clothes without reintroducing static—a vigorous shake works as well.

Air drying saves energy, reduces utility costs, and extends the lifespan of clothing by minimizing the wear and tear caused by dryer heat.

Benefits of natural static reducers

Natural static reducers fight static cling and improve laundry routines and household health. Here are some of the main benefits of using natural static charge reducers:

  • Chemical free. Natural static reducers limit exposure to harmful substances.
  • Affordable. Natural options cost less than commercial products and serve multiple household purposes.
  • Eco-friendly. These methods produce less waste and have a smaller environmental impact than disposable products.
  • Fabric friendly. Natural static reducers protect clothes, prolonging fabric quality and color longer.
  • Allergy safe. People with sensitive skin prefer natural alternatives without artificial fragrances or irritants.
  • Customizable. Many natural methods allow for the addition of preferred essential oils for scent.
  • Energy efficiency. Some methods, such as air drying, reduce energy use.
  • Odor eliminating. Natural static reducers remove odors instead of masking them with artificial scents.
  • Softening. Many natural options soften clothes without residue and improve fabric texture.

Smart Sheep wool dryer balls bring all these benefits to your laundry routine. One more benefit? For fresh-smelling clothes, spritz your dryer balls with our Anti-Static Scenting Spray for the ultimate in freshness. 

Set of 6 Original 100% Wool Dryer Balls + Essential Oil Scenting Spray (save 10%!)


Tips for preventing static cling

Several simple strategies can significantly reduce static buildup in your clothes and home. These tips require minimal effort and cost, yet yield noticeable results in keeping your garments static-free and comfortable throughout the day.

Now, let's explore some practical tips for preventing static cling:

  • Separate fabrics. Sort laundry by fabric type. Natural fibers and synthetics dry differently and create static when mixed.
  • Use less heat. High temperatures increase static. Use medium or low heat settings when possible.
  • Remove clothes promptly. Don't leave items in the dryer after the cycle ends. Static builds up as clothes cool.
  • Moisturize the air. Use a humidifier in dry environments. Higher humidity reduces static electricity.
  • Choose natural fibers. Wear more cotton, wool, and silk. These materials resist static better than synthetics.
  • Use metal hangers. Hang clothes on metal hangers to dissipate electrical charges.
  • Apply lotion. Lightly moisturized skin attracts less static. Apply lotion before dressing.
  • Avoid rubber-soled shoes. These insulate you from the ground, allowing static to build up.
  • Use a safety pin. Attach a safety pin to the inside seam of garments to disperse static charges.
  • Dampen your hands. Slightly damp hands can neutralize static when handling clothes.

Static cling FAQ

What is the best homemade anti-static spray?

A simple and effective homemade anti-static spray consists of water and white vinegar. Mix one part vinegar with four parts water in a spray bottle. This solution helps neutralize electric charges on fabric surfaces. While there may initially be a vinegar smell, it dissipates quickly, leaving clothes static-free.

How to prevent static cling in polyester?

To prevent static cling in polyester, use our wool dryer balls. They are amazing natural static cling reducers. Or,  increase humidity levels around the fabric. Use a humidifier in dry environments or hang clothes in a steamy bathroom. During laundry, add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle. This helps neutralize electric charges. Avoid over-drying polyester in tumble dryers, as excessive heat increases static buildup.

What materials reduce static electricity?

Natural materials such as cotton, wool, and silk reduce static electricity effectively. These fibers conduct electricity better than synthetics, dissipating charges. Metal also reduces static because it conducts and grounds electric charges.

How can I decrease static cling in my body?

To decrease static cling in your body, focus on increasing moisture. In dry environments, use a humidifier to increase ambient humidity levels. Wear natural fibers such as cotton, which are less prone to static buildup. Avoid rubber-soled shoes, which insulate you from the ground and allow static to accumulate.

How do you make a homemade static guard?

A homemade static guard can be created using baking soda. Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of warm water in a spray bottle. Shake well to dissolve. This solution helps neutralize electric charges on fabrics. Lightly mist clothes before wear, or add to your load of laundry during the rinse cycle.

Further reading

Wool dryer balls vs dryer sheets

What are the best laundry detergents for sensitive skin?

Why should I put a safety pin on wool dryer balls?

Can you use wool dryer balls and dryer sheets together?

What are the best wool dryer balls?

Detergent sheets or liquid laundry detergents: which is better?