How To Remove Static Cling From A Silk Dress
Picture this: You’ve pulled together a killer look, and all the accessories have magically fallen into place. Everything is going well until you realize that the silk of your dress has wrapped itself around your legs like a 2-year-old with separation anxiety. You’re forced to untangle yourself by fumbling around with the fabric, but it quickly squashes the effortless vibe you were going for.
Let’s face it… nothing ruins the joy of wearing your silk dress like a bad case of static, but we have good news for anyone ready to kick “the cling” to the curb!
First, a quick science lesson:
Pesky static cling occurs when there is a build up of static electricity, caused by friction between two differing materials in a dry environment. It is especially common in wool, silk, polyester and rayon. You’re more likely to notice it in drier regions, during the winter months because there is less moisture in the air.
Static cling can also affect your silk Pepper Dress if it’s rubbing against other fabrics while it hangs in your wardrobe or if you’ve just taken it out of the tissue paper packaging for the first time.
Thankfully, static cling is preventable and reversible! There are plenty of simple, all-natural ways to deactivate the electric charge that is causing it, so be sure to try these hacks the next time your dress is feeling a little clingy.
1.) Hang Solo to Dry.
It may sound too easy to be effective, but this first suggestion is important: The best way to prevent static cling is to hang your dress to dry in a spot where it doesn’t touch anything else. Since you’d never be putting your Pepper Dress in the dryer after washing (please and thank you!), this step is a no-brainer. By letting it hang-dry, it doesn’t have a chance to create friction by rubbing against anything else. No friction = no static. Our favorite way to make this happen is by securing the dress onto a velvet hanger with strap notches (like this one) and balancing the hook on a door frame in your home.
2.) Mist It With H2O.
Moisture is the key to defeating static cling and simply spritzing some water inside your Pepper Dress could make a world of difference. If you live or work in a dry environment, invest in a spray bottle with a “fine spray” setting (like this one) and make a habit of lightly misting your dress before dashing out the door.
If you’re not at home and don’t have access to a spray bottle, lightly dampen your hands with water and wipe them on your legs and on the inside of your dress where the cling is happening. Don’t use too much water and be prepared for a few temporary spots that will dry quickly. Start small with this one; a little goes a long way!
Pro tip: Another great way to keep the static at bay is to use steam. The humidity will remove any chance of cling while also getting rid of wrinkles! Leave your dress hanging in the bathroom as you shower or use a regular clothing steamer.
3.) Apply Moisturizer To Your whole Body.
Similar to the tips above, try applying lotion to your legs or any other part of your body that experiences static cling. Just be sure to allow the moisturizer to completely soak in before putting on your dress. (If your skin is greasy it may leave a stain!) Keep a small tube of hand cream in your purse so you can apply throughout the day as needed.
4.) Use The Wire Hanger Trick.
An oldie but a goodie, the wire hanger trick is an easy way to neutralize the charged ions that are causing static cling in your dress. Grab a regular wire hanger in one hand (like the kind from the dry cleaner) and hold the straps of your Pepper Dress in the other while you gently glide the wire hanger against the fabric. You may hear a soft crackling noise as you do this and that means it’s working... Yay, Science!
5.) Try A Vinegar Rinse.
If all else fails, consider a distilled white vinegar rinse while hand washing your dress. Vinegar is a great non-toxic alternative to synthetic fabric softeners and static sprays (we never recommend using either of these last two on your Pepper Dress). In addition to removing any soap residue, the white vinegar acts as an all-natural conditioner that restores moisture to the silk fibers. It works as both a fabric softener and static-cling-reducer without any harsh chemicals!
Here’s How: After hand washing, fill your clean basin or sink with cool water and add ½ cup of distilled white vinegar. Swirl the dress in the vinegar rinse and when removing, gently squeeze* out any excess water. Laying your dress flat on top of a towel, begin to roll them up together (like a cinnamon bun? A taquito?) while gently pressing to absorb as much dampness as possible. Hang your Pepper Dress to dry according to the instructions above or across a drying rack to maintain the shape. Oh, and thankfully? There’s no need to worry about the odor. That vinegar-y smell will completely vanish after the garment has completely air-dried!
*A note about the squeeze: This will cause wrinkling, so please do so with care!
Let's recap with the Do's + Don'ts of static cling...
- Use a metal hanger (some say that a safety pin or metal thimble work, too)
- Moisturize your skin with a non-greasy or water based oil well before you get dressed
- Use a steamer to add moisture that neutralizes the static charge
- Use hairspray or other liquid static cling fighter
- Put your dress in the dryer with a dryer sheet
- Use a ball of tinfoil in the washing machine
- Wear tights or leggings unless you have slathered lotion on your legs underneath