Anybody that has had an accidental spillage of bean bag beans will tell you that it's a considerable challenge to clean it all up. Those little balls of polystyrene can easily get away from us, and when we think we have got them all together, they begin to make their escape like polystyrene prisoners. Hands down, one of the biggest problems in cleaning up bean bag beans is static. As bean bag filling produces quite a significant amount of static electricity, this is what will cause the bean bag filling to blow all over the place and stick to your clothes. But how can you remove static from bean bag filling so you can clean it all up easily and make life so much easier if you suffer a spillage? You may also want to know how to remove beans from a bean bag.
What is static?
Here comes the science! Static (or static cling) is when lighter objects have opposing static charges. Items like polystyrene have static cling, not because they actually have a charge in them, but these objects are good insulators. But if the electrons are free to move they could move back to the original object. Items made out of insulating materials can, therefore, have a charge, such as these pesky polystyrene balls. But once you get an understanding of how static electricity is, but also what is an insulator, you can use the appropriate steps to either reduce the initial static electricity in the space, control how it transfers to the material, or use the right tactics to remove the static from the bean bag filling.
How can you remove static from bean bag filling?
There are numerous tactics that everybody can take advantage of. When a polystyrene ball has this charge it means that it is easily attracted to other polystyrene balls which is why it's not worth trying to brush them together. In fact, using a dustpan and brush to clear up the bean bag filling can end up causing more mess. It ends up pushing the beans in so many different directions that you will spend a lot longer clearing everything up. But there are many approaches that you can use.
Increase the humidity of your home
Increasing the humidity in the home works to add moisture to the air. While this moisture makes your air more conductive, this may sound counterproductive, but because the air becomes more conductive this decreases the static charge. If you know there is a problem with one specific room and it's too dry you can increase the humidity by numerous tactics, depending on the room you are in and taking into account the size of the space.
Use a large room humidifier
The most effective way to increase the humidity in your home is to use a humidifier. If you decide to go down this route you need to make sure that it is powerful enough to cover the area in question. A lot of people purchase smaller models that aren't able to humidify larger rooms.
Add houseplants to your room
Using a process called transpiration, plants help add humidity to your home by absorbing water through their roots and circulating the moisture up to the leaves. As a result, moisture goes into the air. Just as long as you water the plants frequently, you will release moisture.
Leave the bathroom door open when showering
A low-tech solution, if you cannot afford house plants or humidifiers, is to run a hot shower and steam up the place. The moisture from the evaporating water will gradually spread throughout the home. You can also leave the water in the bathtub and let it cool.
Place dishes of water near heat sources
If you have heating sources like HVAC registers, putting a bowl of water near to them will cause the water to heat up and evaporate.
Set vases of water on sunny windowsills
For those people that don't have any HVAC registers but have large windowsills, you can put a glass of water on there, especially during a sunny day and the water will gradually heat up and evaporate. But this can take a lot longer to humidify the space.
Boil water and cook on the stove
If you have been trying to gather the bean bag filling from the kitchen you could kill two birds with one stone using this method. Increasing moisture in the kitchen is pretty straightforward if you cook on the stove.
Removing the ionic charge from the air
The electrical component in the air can help to reduce the static. As there are negative ions in the air, using approaches to remove this charge from the air will remove the static.
Ionic air purifiers
It's easy enough to purchase air purifiers now. Air ionizers are in air purifiers which remove particles from the air. A standard air purifier can do the job. A fan greatly improves ionizer performance, but you must give it time to purify the entire space. If you are trying to remove the ionic charge from a big space like the living room you may have to leave it on for quite some time before you start hunting for stray bean bag filling.
Ionic hair dryers are very similar to hairdryers but remove any static charge you have in your hair. Simply point the hairdryer at the bean bag filling and it will remove the static. Of course, using a hairdryer to blow the bean bag filling everywhere can be counterproductive. If you are struggling to get them all together it's worth doing this in batches, or have a method ready to catch them, like a piece of cardboard.
Ionic pet brush
As with the hairdryer, you can use an ionic pet brush in the same way. It can be very useful if you've got one lying around.
How to remove static from bean bag filling with an anti-static spray
One of the quickest ways to get rid of static is to use an anti-static spray that you can get from any shop. This will greatly decrease the amount of static electricity, especially if you are getting static on a problem area like a carpet. You can also make your own static spray at home. Mix one capful of fabric softener in a spray bottle of water, shake the mixture, and lightly spray over the carpet. Just be sure that you spray the item evenly, holding the pump 30 cm away from you, as those with allergies can suffer due to the chemicals. Wait for the spray to completely dry out the bean bag filling before collecting them with a dustpan and brush. Be sure to use very slow and sweeping movements, and with the window shut, as the slightest breeze can cause the beans to go everywhere.
Using metal to reduce the electrical charge
Metal is a very useful material to reduce the electrical charge. It's something that many people do to reduce the charge on their clothing. By running a metal hanger over the stray bean bag filling, this transfers the electron charges to the metal hanger and will give you enough time to brush up the remaining bits. It’s a good idea to keep some piece of metal on your person when cleaning up, such as a coin, a thimble, or a keychain, in case you find a single bean on your clothing.
How to remove static from bean bag filling with bi-carb soda
This cupboard staple has so many uses around the home. It neutralises odours and, while used in cleaning and baking, and even works wonders as a digestive aid, it also works as a handy static neutraliser. A small sprinkling over the bean bag filling immediately removes the static so you can use a dustpan and brush or a vacuum cleaner on them. The great thing about this diverse powder is that it is incredibly cheap. You can purchase a massive amount in your local supermarket for next to nothing.
How to remove static from bean bag filling with dryer sheets
One of the oldest methods of getting rid of static from clothes is to use dryer sheets, but it also works on picking up stray bean bag filling. A dryer sheet is an “external antistatic agent.” While the chemical makes the surface of the object slightly conductive, it gets rid of static cling. If you are using a vacuum to collect the bean bag filling you can rub a dryer sheet over the vacuum so you can vacuum up the beans quickly.
But it is important to mention that if you have sensitive skin or asthma, you may have a reaction to the chemicals in the scents. If you are looking for a scent-free/chemical-free alternative you could make your own dryer sheets using vinegar, cloth and some essential oils. It’s also feasible to use aluminium foil from the kitchen drawer by rubbing it on the beans. You could also make wool dryer balls or purchase some from your local shop. Even though they are a little difficult to make at home, dryer balls are a very safe alternative to scented or mainstream dryer sheets.
How to remove static from bean bag filling with vinegar
Another simple method is this cupboard staple. Whether you are out of dryer sheets or don't have anything in the kitchen you can use vinegar on a washcloth. All you need to do is dampen a washcloth with vinegar and apply it to the bean bag filling. And yes, you may think that this makes everything smell like vinegar, which is why it's not a hugely popular option, you could mix this up with some water in a little spray bottle. You could also use apple cider vinegar if you have some in the cupboards or are feeling particularly flush. Apple cider vinegar has no strong scent, and if you have some stray beans, just lightly applying some apple cider vinegar will do the trick.
How to remove static from bean bag filling with water
If you don't have any of the above options you can very easily apply water to these beans. Put a small amount of water into a little spray bottle and lightly apply to the beans. Make sure that you don't drench the beans in water. If you put too much water on it this could ensure that the beans run away from you. A tiny bit of water sprayed evenly over the beans will do the job.
Cleaning up bean bag beans is not one of those fun tasks. One of the big problems with cleaning up anything like this is that they are so small. And as soon as you throw into the mix any additional air current, whether it's from an open window or you accidentally causing a draught, this is a very frustrating task to complete. Make sure that, when you have finished getting rid of the static, that you don’t use the normal forward and back vacuuming motion. This will cause a current that will blow the beans further away! When you apply the anti-static agent to the offending beans, make sure you dab at them from above. While this will slow you down, it will help you to clean up a greater amount.
If you get frustrated with cleaning up bean bag fillings, getting rid of the static can make all the difference. When you are trying to remove static from bean bag filling, it is about finding the right method depending on the space. You could either remove the humidity from the room or if it's a small task and you've been struggling to get those last few beans together, spraying the beans with anti-static applications can give you the opportunity to sweep everything up. But it's also important to remember that you can use static to your advantage. You can easily rub a balloon on the offending bean bag filling and collect them in this way. But if you get annoyed with bean bag filling clinging to your clothing, removing the static is what you need.