Cutting down the shock factor

Dear Heloise: Do you or your readers have any suggestions for preventing static electricity shock? Getting out of cars is especially painful, and is really bad during the dry winter months. I’d appreciate any help. — Julie W. in Connecticut

Happy to pass along some hints to help prevent that SHOCK! Static electricity can be a pain, and even can be dangerous. Here are a few hints for how to reduce it:

* When getting out of a car, touch the metal part of the door. Once your feet touch the ground, then you can let go of the car door.

* Sliding in and out of a car can create static electricity, depending on what clothes you are wearing. Use a seat cover to reduce this static.

* At home, try to “ground” yourself before touching something metal. Touch a wooden door frame before touching the metal doorknob, for example.

* Try to wear 100 percent cotton clothing, and avoid polyester and synthetic materials, because they cause more static electricity.

* Moisturize your skin to reduce the buildup of static charges.

Hope these hints help reduce your shocking situation! Readers, do you have any other hints to reduce static electricity? — Heloise

Dear Heloise: About two weeks before I leave on a trip, I place a laundry basket in my bedroom. Then, when I think of something I want to take or wear on my trip, I put that item in the basket. (I can always edit later!) When it comes time to get out the luggage, I never fear leaving important items behind. — Joan D. in Virginia

Dear Heloise: I read your advice on putting “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) phone numbers in one’s cellphone. This is very good advice, except if you have a “lock” on your phone that requires a code. (Which, by the way, is a must to keep your information secure. No one else will be able to access your contacts.) To get around this, I put my emergency contact information as part of the picture on my lock screen. I used a program to add the text to a picture of my grandchildren, saved it and selected it as my lock-screen background. — Jo Ann P., via email

Good point! Thank you for the reminder. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: Like many, I’m a faithful reader. I think I have discovered a clever solution for those irritating tiny splinters from cactus that you can barely see, much less remove. I have found that an ordinary emery board rubbed over the area in the direction of the splinter can provide instant comfort. — Nanci in California

Dear Heloise: I discovered this when company was at the door! A dab of hand sanitizer and a quick polish with a clean tissue on a glass shelf (or the mirror — Heloise) polishes off toothpaste and soap splatters! — Charlotte in Bryan, Ohio