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Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"   I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".  
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Thursday, February 12, 2015

OOPS! - When disaster strikes
Do-It-Yourself Anti Static Spray (Part 4 of a series)

Hello again!

As I am sure you all know, this is the time of year for snowy evenings, hot-chocolate by the fireplace, warm cookies, soft music, and Static Electricity!

I am also sure that anyone who has been within 500 feet of anything electronic knows that Static Electricity is a Bad Thing, for more reasons than three.

Likewise, there are a number of companies who make special "Anti-Static Sprays", all neatly bottled in colorful packaging, ready for your use.  No to mention that they use about five cents worth of materials and charge you Serious Bucks per bottle/can/whatever.

So, what's a poor sod supposed to do?  Make your own!

It's almost as easy as falling out of bed, and costs just slightly more than that - not counting the hospital bills. . .

You will need:
  1. A spray bottle of some kind.  An old Window Cleaner bottle, a small trigger-pump bottle, or whatever you have laying around.
    I bought a small, 12 oz plant spray bottle awhile back for a couple of bucks, and have been using it over and over and over again for years and years and years.  If you notice your bottle begins to collapse inward on itself as you use it, adding a couple of small pin-holes at the top will help prevent that.
  2. A jug of the absolutely cheapest fabric softener you can buy.
    The no-name, lemon scented, bargain brand is more than sufficient, so don't waste your money on the stuff with the fancy packaging, fluffy towels, and baby-bottoms on it.  You will probably end up with a gallon jug of the stuff, and depending on how much spray you make, it will likely last for a loooong long time.  If your "better half" already uses fabric softener for the laundry, mooch some of that.
  3. Some clean, (demineralized), water.
    If you have nice soft water where you are, tap water is just fine.  If your water has a lot of minerals in it, use cheap drinking water, or get distilled water.  You just don't want a lot of minerals/lime/rust/etc. in the water.
How to make it:
  1. Fill the bottle that you're using about 1/4 full of fabric softener.
  2. Add clean water to fill the rest of the bottle.  Don't forget to leave some "head space" at the top.
  3. Shake gently until well mixed.
  4. Set the bottle to a fine mist and spray to your heart's content!
Two additional things:
  • You will want to cover surfaces, (rugs, plastic chair mats, your chair cushions, etc.) with a fine mist until the surface is slightly damp.  You may have to repeat every few days at the beginning until a sufficient amount of anti-static formula has built up.
  • You will also want to be very careful if you use it on smooth surfaces, like chair mats, as this liquid can be slippery if you apply too much.

There you are!  You are now equipped to handle the Static Electric Demon, and do it on the cheap!

What say ye?

Jim (JR)

p.s.  No animals were used during the testing of this Tech Tip, and it is safe for the Ozone Layer too.