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Q: Office Static, help! ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Office Static, help!
Category: Science > Physics
Asked by: 6ra3-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 19 Jul 2004 02:46 PDT
Expires: 18 Aug 2004 02:46 PDT
Question ID: 376037

We're facing a problem with static at the office.  The weather is
super dry and the carpeting is assuming to be the cause.

We need help.  Any suggestions?


Clarification of Question by 6ra3-ga on 19 Jul 2004 03:17 PDT

A bit of clarification.

The carpeting is assumed to be the cause. :-)

We're talking about static shocks when we touch almost anything. 
Doors, each other and water taps... It's getting to be stressful
moving around.

Subject: Re: Office Static, help!
Answered By: raln-ga on 19 Jul 2004 03:51 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello 6ra3.

After doing a few searches, it appears that the most common, and
easiest, suggestion for preventing build up of static electricity in
carpet is to use fabric softener.

In a "Tip of the Day" on the Home and Garden Television website, they
recommend the following:

"Spray carpet lightly with a mixture combining one part liquid fabric
softener and five parts water. This will remove and prevent static

Microsoft also recommends it:

"You can solve the problem for a lot less with a single trip to your
local grocery store. Buy an empty spray bottle and a bottle of
standard laundry fabric softener?pick one with a scent that you like.
Then dilute the fabric softener with water at about a 1:10 ratio and
put it in the spray bottle. Spray the carpet lightly, especially
around computer work areas. This should reduce or eliminate the static
build-up. Reapply as needed, though you should be able to go at least
a week or two between applications."

The Microsoft site also notes that there are anti static sprays,
though they are expensive("$4 US or more for a 16-ounce spray bottle,"
according to Microsoft).

Searching Google's helpful Froogle for this product, I get quite a few results:

There also appears to be anti-static carpet:

And anti-static carpet mats:

Depending on your office size, a humidifier can also be very helpful.
According to this website:

"Static electricity is a direct result of very dry air. Humidifiers
minimize the static electricity which causes havoc with electronic
equipment, especially expensive computer equipment. Proper
humidification can greatly reduce static 'shocks' and reduce the
hazards of 'zapping' yourself and those around you."

More information on that can be found by browsing through the results
of this search:

Hope this has been helpful. If you need more information or are not
satisfied with this answer, please request a clarification and I'll
see what I can do.

Clarification of Answer by raln-ga on 19 Jul 2004 03:58 PDT
As I've just seen your clarification, with the bothersome shocks, you
may be interested in some of the answers provided on The Straight Dope

Really depends on your office setting, but the anti static mats, which
are again suggested in the above article, may be worth looking into.
And anti-static wrist straps, also mentioned on the Straight Dope
page, if everyone at the office is comfortable with wearing those all
day long.
6ra3-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks!  Covered it for me! :-)

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