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Static Electricity And Your Carpet – Tips For Less Pain

Do winter months leave you feeling zapped with the sting of electric shocks?

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While you may be channeling your inner-superhero Static, it’s more likely a reflection of the season’s dryness that’s turning you into your own natural electricity show.

Static electricity often occurs when two dissimilar material rub together. Friction occurs and builds up a static charge. When you have extra electrons on your body and you touch a metal conductor, such as a door handle or tap, the electrons flow into the object and you get a tiny shock.

Summers are more humid. That humidity in the air prevents the electrons from building up a charge on your body. Drier winter air allows large charge to build.

At Elite Carpet Cleaning, we get asked about static electricity in winter a lot. While we’re not scientists — we’ll leave the scientific explanation to those like The Weather Network — we do know about carpet behaviour.

For example, nylon carpet is more prone to electrical charges than polyester or wool. Most carpets today have in-built static inhibitors.

Our observations of human behaviour add to our tips on how to minimise the winter shock of static electricity in your carpet.

  1. Use a portable humidifier in winter when relative humidity drops. Moisture in the air from the humidifier will transfer to carpet fibres and interfere with the electrical charge that creates static.
  2. Spray-on anti-static treatments are available. These act for the short-term: they’ll usually see you through the winter season. They can also act like a magnet for dust and dirt so you may need to invest in a professional deep cleaning carpet treatment for a thorough clean at season’s end.
  3. Placing cotton rugs on top of the carpet in heavy traffic areas may help minimise static electricity.
  4. Are you padding around house or office in socks? Wool, nylon and polyester fibres are static generators. Switch to cotton which creates less static.
  5. Pick your feet up! Shuffling accentuates the friction.
  6. Still on feet, rubber-soled shoes are insulators. Combined with walking on carpet and you may find you become a mini version of the carton superhero Static. Leather-soled shoes – like cotton socks – create less static.
 
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