How to Get Rid of Static Electricity in the Body

By Joseph Nicholson; Updated April 24, 2017
A bolt of lightening is a dramatic example of static electricity.

Static electricity is the build up of an electric charge in a particular place. Some materials on or near the body, notably glass, hair and some fabrics, give up electrons rather easily. A small amount of friction, repeated over time, can result in a significant loss of electrons and a net positive charge. Such a charged material is likely to attract an electrical current, which we feel as the static shock, or electrostatic discharge, when it builds in excess of about 3,000 volts or more.

Touch a grounded object. The simplest way to get rid of static electricity in the body is to let it do what it wants to do, which is to discharge from your body into the ground. You can do this by touching any conductive material that is not isolated from the ground.

Ground yourself. Take off your shoes and socks so your feet touch the earth, or bend over and touch the earth with your hand. Static electricity can only build up in your body if you are not grounded, otherwise it would dissipate immediately.

Give it time. Static electricity will naturally dissipate slowly, even if not discharged by grounding, if you stop the friction that created the build-up in the first place. Thus, if you created static by dragging your feet across carpet, stop moving for several minutes and the charge will dissipate.

Prevent static buildup. You can prevent static electricity from building up in the body by raising the humidity level, applying moisturizer to dry skin or using an ionizer. Cool, dry air is a good conductor for electrons, and allows friction to create static buildup. An ionizer uses a small electric current to re-balance the lost electrons and thus prevent static electricity from forming.

About the Author

Joseph Nicholson is an independent analyst whose publishing achievements include a cover feature for "Futures Magazine" and a recurring column in the monthly newsletter of a private mint. He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Florida and is currently attending law school in San Francisco.