Static electricity and your carpet – Tips for less pain
Do winter months leave you feeling zapped with the sting of electric shocks?
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Placing cotton rugs on top of the carpet in heavy traffic areas may help minimise static electricity.
- Are you padding around house or office in socks? Wool, nylon and polyester fibres are static generators. Switch to cotton which creates less static.
- Pick your feet up! Shuffling accentuates the friction.
- 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.