If you’ve ever had a static shock from your furniture, you’ll know how annoying it can be. Sure, it’s rarely painful, but it’d be great if it just didn’t happen.
Let’s look at different solutions for how to get rid of static electricity on outdoor furniture. None are particularly difficult or expensive, so see which works best for you.
Why does static electricity happen?
Static electricity typically happens due to friction between different materials. It’s particularly common on outdoor furniture because it’s often made from synthetic, plastic-based materials.
Materials rubbing together generates an electrical charge, which usually flows into the ground. Sometimes it doesn’t, and when you make contact with the furniture, it flows through you instead. The result? A static shock.
How to Get Rid of Static Electricity on Outdoor Furniture
Giving the electrical current a direct path to the earth is called grounding (or earthing). For this, you’ll need something metal, like a tent peg or kebab skewer. Tie it to the furniture and stick it in the ground. Alternatively, ground yourself before sitting down by touching something metal.
Equally, a wet cloth tied to the furniture works well. Bear in mind, though, grounding only works when it makes contact with a conductive material (such as concrete, metal, or soil). Sticking a metal rod into a wood deck won’t do anything.
2. Dryer sheets
Rub fabric furniture down with dryer sheets before you sit on it. They’ll remove the static and make your furniture smell great!
3. Increase humidity
Static gets worse in dry air, so find ways to increase humidity. A humidifier is an obvious solution, but you could try using plants instead. Bear in mind this won’t be super practical in large open spaces but should work in conservatories or enclosed areas.
4. Put a cover over it
Natural fibers prevent static transfer, so try putting a cotton or linen sheet over your furniture. Obviously, this won’t be waterproof, so just make sure you remove it when you’re done.
Rubber insulates against static electricity, so try putting your furniture on rubber feet or a mat. But this can cause more static to build up, so make sure you’re not also wearing rubber-soled shoes.
6. Anti-static spray
One of the most convenient options is to buy anti-static spray. It’s designed for use on tumble-dried clothes but it’ll do the job for outdoor furniture, too. Spray it on your furniture before you sit down and it should prevent all future static shocks.
7. Wear natural fibers
Sure, this isn’t the most practical solution, but it does help. Avoid wearing synthetic fibers, as they’re what generate the most static electricity. Often, it can build up through something as simple as your trouser legs rubbing together. If you can’t do anything to your outdoor furniture, try wearing cotton or lined instead.
8. Homemade anti-static spray
You can make your own anti-static spray using equal parts white vinegar and water. Vinegar works like fabric softener and helps prevent static buildup from fabrics rubbing together. Don’t worry, the vinegar smell dissipates quickly!
9. Carry something metal
Similar to point 1, metal objects discharge static buildup. To prevent it, you can simply carry a coin in your pocket and touch it occasionally. Doing so stops you from being statically charged before you touch the furniture, meaning you should avoid getting shocked.
Final Thoughts on Static Electricity and Outdoor Furniture
While there’s no way to completely stop static buildup on outdoor furniture, you can at least prevent yourself from getting shocked. Your guests might look at you funny if you rub furniture with a dryer sheet, but at least it’s better than them getting shocked by your cushions!