Electrostatics Projects

How Dryer Sheets Work

Why We Need Dryer Sheets

Nobody likes getting shocked. Imagine if you got shocked every time you tried to put your clothes on. Also, don't you hate it when you take your laundry out of the dryer and you can't find a sock, only to find it stuck to one of your sweaters? Dryer sheets prevent buildup of static electricity in your clothes and make the fibers in them feel smoother.

How They Work

When you put your freshly washed clothes into the dryer the fabrics rub together and exchange electrons. Since they exchange electrons, the clothes become negatively charged. Dryer sheets have a positive charge. The positive charge attracts the negative charge. The electrons from the clothes are transferred to the sheets, which neutralize their charge. Also, the sheets lubricate the clothes, using a chemical they contain, so the clothes will not rub against each other as much. (And there aren't as many electrons being transferred)

Laws of Electric Charges and Dryer Sheets

These are laws that describe how two objects interact electrically when one or both or charged. The law states that like charges repel, unlike charges attract. This is why the dryer sheets are attracted to the clothes in the dryer. The law also states that when two items are rubbed together, the electrons transfer from the object with a weaker hold on the electrons to the object with a stronger hold on electrons. This is why some clothes in the dryer become negatively charged, when they gain electrons they have more electrons than protons.
Dryer Bar Magic (How it works)


Dryer Bar Magic (How it Works). Dir. bounceeverywhere. 27 June 2011. YouTube. Web. 12 Feb. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V-13e7-opQ>.

Morrison, Chris . "How Dryer Sheets Work." HowStuffWorks. Web. 12 Feb. 2013. <http://home.howstuffworks.com/dryer-sheets.htm>.

"Electrostatic devices." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. Ed. K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner. 4th ed. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Gale Science In Context. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.

Document URL

Ahooja, Anjuli, Michael Mazza , and Kristen McCardel. ON Science 9. Montreal, ON: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2009. Print.

"Dryer Sheets ." ScienceNetLinks. AAAS, Web. 13 Feb. 2013. <http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-news/science-updates/dryer-sheets/>.