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I had been getting very much of static current to a point where I am afraid of touching things. Even the shock had me overturn my coffee mug on me and my laptop. But now I am afraid of touching a thing like a normal person. Be it blinds, car handle, door handle, or laptop.

How can I fix it?

7

If you have any non-rubber soled shoes, that's going to be an easy place to start. You don't want to be insulating yourself from the ground if you can help it.

As far as clothing, try not to wear as many layers. You'll generate buildup more easily if you have various fabrics rubbing all over each other. I've been told to prefer cotton, but I don't know the science behind it.

If you're fine with buying products or the above options do not help/are not practical (office environment/dress code for example), you could consider an anti-static wristband. They are cheap (usually < $10), but I can't speak for them as I've never used them for casual use - just the wired ones for working on PCs, but I'm assuming you aren't tying yourself down with one of these all day.

Another option is to use a humidifier. Static electricity thrives in dry environments. If you're able to run one, it should help. Applying lotion often may help as well. Moisture is your friend.

There are also carpet/fabric treatments, but I have zero experience with those beyond knowledge of their existence. So I'll just note they are something to be aware of. Hopefully the simpler solutions above should alleviate most of your issues.

Just keep in mind that during winter months, static electricity is going to be much harder to avoid, if not impossible altogether (short of you permanently grounding yourself). None of these will be 100% static-proof and you'll probably end up with a rogue shock every once in a while, even if you're super careful.

4

I have for many years carried a Cross pen in one pocket or another. During dry seasons I've learned to pull it out and carry it in my hand along with mugs, papers and anything else. One zap is all I need each season to remind me it's time to bring out the pen.

I'm just using the metal pen to say "Good Morning" to everything I go to pick up as I go through the day.

  • What pen gotta do with current? – Nofel Mar 1 at 0:35
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    Instead of a spark flying between your hand and a grounded object, the spark will be between the pen and the grounded object. The current flowing through your body will be divided over a larger area instead of being concentrated in a single point. This works even better if you use an object with a reasonably high electrical resistance rather than a low-resistance conductor. Antistatic wrist straps use a resistor on the order of 100 MOhm, IIRC. – Hobbes Mar 1 at 9:42
  • Does a Mont Blanc™ work as well as the cheaper Cross™? Do you use the steel, silver, or gold-plated Cross™ pen? – Stan Mar 29 at 12:48
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    Any metal object will work. Pens, keys, coins etc. – Hobbes May 7 at 8:30
1

There are mainly two sources of static electricity built-up:

  1. your environment: be it bedding or carpets
  2. your own clothes and shoes

Combine the worst options of both to maximise the zap. Or do the opposite to achieve your goal.

To convince you of the principle: take a balloon, blow it up with your breath and rub it across two different fabrics. One session over wool or even worse poly-acrylic fibre, one session across cotton. Now touch a metal surface or try to 'stick' the balloon to another surface. The cotton treated balloon will stick less, much less.

That means avoiding static-building-fibres as much as possible: polyester, poly-acrylic, wool, even silk; worst offenders listed first. Good items are made of cotton, tencel, lyocell, hemp etc. Artificial fibres that avoid static are extremely expensive, just ditch the thought.

Avoid any unnecessary rubbing, like dragging your feet, even more so plastic- or rubber-soles, over a wool or polyester carpet. Do not use hair products. Keep the humidity high. Wet t-shirts do not zap you.

Finally, use @Chenmunka's advice: if you wear woollen socks in dry winter heat, or suspect the chances for a zap are high, then start to touch your target with an extremity that has less neurons to excite. An elbos is much less susceptible than your index finger's tip or your lips.

Some external links for reference:

How Can I Avoid Static Electricity Shocks in Cold, Dry Weather?
How to Avoid (Static) Electric Shock
How To Avoid Static Electricity Shock With 4 Easy Steps
How to avoid getting shocked by static electricity during winter

But note that the wristbands listed in one of those 'tips' are indeed just bogus.

Humidity pertains to the amount of moisture in the fabrics, on your skin, in the air. Within your home, you just might add plants or a humidifier to make the air less 'dry' during the heating season.
For woollen sweaters: they are less problematic than poly-X fibres, but can be brought under control even some more: if they are very slightly moistened. Either by sweating, or: Distilled water mixed with a little alcohol in a pump-spray can work wonders applied sparingly to the cloth before taking off a heavy sweater (when you'd otherwise see the sparks). But don't do that when you're outside and it's really cold. Fabric softener might not be an option but a detergent made with lanolin (essentially wool sheep fat) both reduce the amount of friction that causes the build-up.

  • I do have wool jumpers/sweaters as they are warm. What is humidity ? – Nofel Mar 1 at 0:34
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    @nofel That pertains to the amount of moisture in the fabrics, on your skin, in the air. Within your home, you might add plants or a humidifier to make the air less 'dry'. For woollen sweaters: they are less problematic than poly-X fibres, but can be brought under control some more if they are very slightly moistened. Either by sweating, or: Distilled water mixed with a little alcohol in a pump-spray can work wonders applied sparingly to the cloth before taking off a heavy sweater (when you'd otherwise see the sparks). But don't do that when you're outside and it's really cold. – LаngLаngС Mar 1 at 0:42
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The answer to your question has two parts:

1) How to reduce the build up of static electricity.

Increase room (air) humidity. Low humidity tends to make static charge easier to occur. Indoor air during winter has lower humidity than during summer which is why static zaps tend to occur inside during the winter. You can buy a humidifier, or just use a spray bottle with water to increase humidity (water in the air).

Change any materials that build up static charge when rubbed against each other. The materials to be concerned about are the clothing you wear, your chair seat, the soles of your shoes, and your carpet. Your clothes rub against your other clothes and your chair seat, and your shoes rub against the carpet. Any plastic to plastic rubbing tends to build up static charge. Avoid polyester clothing and plastic chair seat covers. Natural materials such as cotton and leather don't build up static like plastic does.

Coat rubbing materials with anti-static chemicals. Dryer sheets are coated in these chemicals to reduce 'static cling'; use them on clothes and rub them on your chair seat and shoe soles. You can also buy commercial anti-static sprays or mix your own by combining water with liquid fabric softener, and then spray your carpet and chair seat.

You can wear an anti-static strap. These work, but only if you attach their grounding wire from the strap to a good ground point. They work by continuously draining any charge to the ground point, so that you never build up a charge.

2) When you already have a static charge, how to remove it safely.

Even once you have a static charge, there are ways of removing it without pain. The pain of static zaps occur because the voltage buildup 'arcs' through the air during discharge, and discharge arc cause the zap pain you feel. In order to discharge the static buildup without pain, make the discharge occur in a place other than your skin.

Tightly grab a coin, key, metal ring, or any other conducting piece of metal (silver, copper, or aluminum work better than steel), and touch that metal to a (metal) grounding point (You know where these are; they are where you have gotten zapped before). For example, I tightly grip a quarter or house key between my fingers and touch the edge of the coin to a filing cabinet where I work.

You will hear the discharge zap, but not feel the pain because the discharge occurs between the coin or key and the discharge point. You will need to grip the coin tightly or you will still feel a little of the zap as it moves from your body through the coin, and you will need to keep your finger further from the ground point than the edge of the coin. If you wear a metal ring that can work as well.

One thing to beware of is zapping electronics. If the key or grounding point you use has electronics near or as part of them, static discharges may sometime destroy those electronics.

1

I used to assemble black powder explosives. Static electricity was a literal killer. Here’s what we did to prevent static and keep ourselves safe:

  • 40% humidity. Stabilizes black powder and, more importantly for you, keeps static under control. Get a humidifier and a hygrometer.

  • Cotton clothes. Avoid polyester and other synthetics. For blends, a minimum of 50% cotton is advised.

  • Ground yourself. There’s a scale that you stand on that measures your conductivity. I can’t find a link to show you, but if you find yourself being shocked, here’s what you do: take off your shoes and spritz some water onto the inside, especially the heel. Put your shoes back on and see if that fixes the static problem. If not, repeat the application of water inside your shoes until you’re properly grounded. I find that a drop or two of water on the center of my heel does the trick without getting water everywhere. Find what works for you. Also, not all shoes are capable of doing this but most sneakers work great. Having one of those scales would tell you if you’re grounded or not without experimenting. Fortunately, you don’t work with explosives so trial and error, as annoying as it is, is a safe and cheap alternative to an expensive scale.

Good luck!

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Do a google search on "anti-static sprays". You will see dozens which do much to reduce static sparks.

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