The Weirdest Thing, A “Shocking” Experience & How I Finally Solved It

So I’ve had the weirdest thing going on the past few months. At first, I thought it was a fluke but when it wouldn’t stop I had to seek out a solution. I thought it was worth sharing because 1. It strikes me as kinda funny now looking back and 2. In case you’ve experienced this, maybe this weird little tale and how I solved it will help somehow.

Update: I’m getting a lot comments asking if it’s an electrical problem in my office. It’s def not that. I had an electrician check all my outlets in my office just a few years ago when one stopped working. He checked all three and they are fine. As you read this post, you’ll see what I found was the issue and how I fixed it. So it’s definitely NOT an electrical problem in my home.

So…remember that adorable little, blue refrigerator I bought for the corner of my office back in October? I very much enjoyed using it during October and November. In early December, I headed up to Ohio to spend Christmas with family. Upon returning home in early January, I’ve continued to enjoy having this little fridge in my office except for one big problem: Whenever I reach to open it, the door handle shocks the ever-living bleep out of my hand! No kidding! It’s not a little static shock, oh no! It’s the kind that you can literally hear and see the flash! Let me tell ya, that gets old really quickly!

Blue Retro Refrigerator for Home Office


Figuring the culprit was the office chair I bought last year creating static with my clothing (even though it happened even when I was wearing cotton flannel PJs) I tried spraying a little Static-Guard onto the seat of the chair. That worked for about 2-3 hours or a couple of trips to the fridge, but in no time the door handle was back to its old shocking ways. Argggh. I don’t care for the way anti-static products smell and I can’t spend the entire day respraying my chair every few hours so I knew I needed a better solution.

Home Office, Pottery Barn Bedford Furniture


Next, I searched for a cover for the handle thinking perhaps that would stop the shocking. I had no idea if covers for handles even existed, but they do! Did you know they make really long covers for full-size refrigerator door handles? You can see tons of them here: Covers for Refrigerator Handles. I’m not really sure why those would be needed since it’s so easy to just wipe off refrigerator handles if needed. Maybe it’s just a comfort thing.

Anyway, those were obviously way too long for what I needed but I was able to find shorter ones that were listed as being perfect for microwaves and other small kitchen appliances. I purchased this one below that had great reviews. It’s described as being made of “mink cashmere” whatever that is and “feels soft and comfortable.” It feels like velvet and is available in several colors. I chose blue thinking that would blend in with my blue refrigerator which is much bluer than it appears in the photo below. The first photo in this post is much more accurate of how it looks in person.

Did this ultra-soft cover solve the shocking problem? Nope, not one bit! I continued to be shocked just as badly each time I touched the handle to open the door. 🙁  Not sure how, but the handle was shocking me right through the cover! Again, this only one started happening when the weather got colder, this wasn’t happening during the fall.


Another Weird Thing!

In addition to my “shocking handle” issue, I had another very strange thing going on in the office that was completely unrelated. Or, was it? The Yamaha speakers I’ve had for 20+ years suddenly began cutting out in the middle of watching a video. You can see one of the speakers below next to the Noble Isle, Sea of Green lotion I fell in love with on my flight back from England two summers ago. (They had in the bathroom on the Virgin Atlantic flight I took home–best smelling stuff ever!)

So here’s the weird thing that was happening with the speaker: I would be watching a video and suddenly the sound would stop coming out of the speaker. The first few times that happened, I couldn’t figure out a way to fix it, so I just rebooted my computer which always worked. It was only happening once or twice per week. Eventually, I discovered that I could just turn off the speaker system using the knob on the left speaker below, then when I turned it back on, the sound would be working again. That was much better than having to completely reboot the computer.

Travel Painting, Art for my Home Office


One day as I watching a video on my computer, I reached to turn on the brass lamp that’s 16 inches to the left of the speaker. As my hand touched the lamp, I got a static shock (just like with the refrigerator) and the sound stopped coming out of the speakers. Ummm. Was that just a coincidence?

A few days later it happened again. I reached to pick up something that was near the lamp and my hand brushed against the lamp. Immediately the sound stopped coming out of the speakers. Okay, definitely not a coincidence!

Travel Painting, Art for my Home Office


This static shock thing was really starting to annoy me! lol Spraying the seat with Static Guard had not been a good long-term solution, covering the handle of the refrigerator hadn’t worked and now the static was causing issues with my speakers not working when I touch a lamp 16 inches away!

What could I do to stop this static situation? Then I remembered the woolly seat covers I had on my car seats back in the ’80s. I decided to look for a wool seat cover to see if that would stop this crazy static nightmare.

I purchased this sheepskin, wool cover and I’m happy to say I’ve not been shocked by the lamp or the handle of my office refrigerator a single time since I added it to my chair seat. (Cover/cushion is available here: Seat Cover/Cushion.)

Also, my speakers have gone back to always working normally–no more cutting out in the middle of watching a video.


Is this not the weirdest thing? Have you ever had this kind of problem with static electricity? I run a humidifier the entire day while I work here in the office, but apparently, that doesn’t help at all. I didn’t notice this problem with my chair at all during the summer/early fall, so I think this is only a winter issue. So bizarre! Thankfully, the wool seat cover seems to be the solution because again, I haven’t been shocked a single time since I added it to my chair.

Please share your static story, I would love to know if you’ve run into anything like this in your home or home office. I find I still approach the refrigerator with a bit of fear and trepidation, but hopefully, that will wear off soon. Ha! It takes the brain a while to forget!

Update: If you Google for “Static Electricity from Office Chair” there are soooo many posts about this issue. One guy added a grounding wire from his chair that drags on the carpet in his office and that worked to fix the issue he had with his chair. I like my wool cushion idea better though. lol

Have a wonderful weekend! See you on Monday for Metamorphosis Monday!

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  1. Please call in an electrician. Make sure that your wall outlet for the fridge is grounded. We had an electrical fire that ran from one outlet to another. It was caused by our wall air conditioner. He replaced all of our outlets with grounded ones.

    • My house was built in the early 80s and all the outlets have three holes with the grounding holes, so they should all be grounded. Also, I had an electrician come in a few years ago to replace an outlet in my office that had stopped working and he looked at all of them at that time. So I don’t think that’s the issue but thanks for mentioning it, just in case. Also, since the wool cushion solved the problem, I think it’s just a static electricity issue.

      • I usually enjoy your posts, but this one frightened me. I would still call an electrician! It might “seem” to have fixed the problem, but your new refrigerator is a new factor while figuring why your speakers are cutting out. Electrical wires cause fires. Your conclusion may temporarily be an answer to fixing a shock and speakers going out, but isn’t your life worth more than a possible solution to problems that may or may not cause a fire? I know electricians are expensive, but it may save you in the future. You only think you solved the problem, but you don’t know for sure. Better to be safe than sorry.

        (I am not nor is my husband is an electrician.)

  2. Mary Crozier says

    This is so fascinating. My daughter has the exact same refrigerator in her college apartment. I wonder if she has the same problem? Who even knew there are refrigerator handles? Great resource and thanks for sharing. Makes you wonder what else is in the air that we can’t see but clearly affects our lives? Terrific post!

    • Mary, if you ask her, let me know what she says. Also, wonder what kind of carpet she has in her room–or if the static electricty is coming from her chair like it was with mine.

  3. Cynthia Blaylock says

    To be safe, I would call an electrician. When I first got married (43 years ago!) we had a tiny condo with an even tinier galley kitchen. My aunt had given us a microwave as a wedding present and it sat on our kitchen counter opposite our refrigerator. Whenever I would have my hand on the microwave door handle and go to open the refrigerator (or vice versa) I would get a helluva shock! We finally figured out the refrigerator wasn’t grounded properly. My husband still teases me and says all those shocks is what made me so ditzy!!

    • That is wild! I really don’t that’s the issue though because it didn’t start happening until the weather got really cold in January and I haven’t been shocked a single time since I added the wool cushion to my chair. I’m pretty sure it was just static build-up from the chair discharging on anything metal in the room. It reminds me of those times I’ve stopped to get gas when I was driving a car with cloth seats. The gas pump handle will sometimes give you a static shock, probably from sliding off the car seat, I guess.

      • Lana Sibley says

        That’s why you should ALWAYS touch your car or something before you touch the gas pump handle. That little static shock could cause a fire too close to gas fumes.

  4. My husband gets shocked at our fishing Camp in th winter when he touches the outside door handle.

  5. If you now a reputable electrician, I would call them and ask what they think. Our house was built in the late 70’s and had the 3 prong outlets. But my husband wanted a larger box to separate some of the lines and talked me into upgrading. While here the electrician found several issues that went back to the time of construction, including a problem in the ceiling directed above our bed. Better safe than sorry. I would have never imagined what our electrician found.

  6. I knew with your tenacity you would solve the problem!! My first instinct was a short in the refrigerator. Happy that you are not getting any shocking moments any longer.

  7. Wow! So glad you found a solution! And not to “Mom” you, but I agree you might want to have an electrician take a look – electricity is scary and unpredictable stuff! 😉

    Thanks for sharing this – who knew there were fridge handle covers out there! Hope you have a great weekend!

  8. The three prongs may not help you. Susan, seriously you have to call an electrician. Some large appliances need a 220 line. You could have an electrical fire. Not something to ponder….be safe and call on electrician in & before something happens unplug that refrigerator.

    We all want you to be safe!!

    • If it were an electrical problem, I don’t think buying a wool cushion would have solved it. It hasn’t happened even once since I added the cushion. So I really do think it was just static electricity which can be pretty powerful when it builds up on our clothing.

  9. Good way to stop drinking sodas, lol! No problems here, but I sure do get shocked at the grocery store when opening the refrigerator doors.

  10. Toni Fleischmann says

    There is a lot of good information on this site.
    Sounds like it could be a combination of weather, low humidity, fabric on your chair and perhaps the varnish on the wood chair pad?

  11. Gay McLeod says

    My story isn’t about static but is similar. Soon after our first child was born, we found that our automatic garage doors were not so automatic anymore. Sometimes they worked; most of the time they didn’t. My husband couldn’t find a problem. The manufacturer of the doors sent a repairman – he found no problem. Finally, a representative of the power company came. He checked every electrical outlet and appliance in the house. The culprit: an electric baby wipe warmer! Somehow the wipe warmer was interfering with the remote signal. When we unplugged it, the garage doors worked perfectly once again!

  12. Hate to be an alarmist,but have you totally eliminated the possibility of an electrical problem with the fridge or one of the other appliances in the room.

    • Thanks for asking about that but it’s definitely not that since it didn’t happen until it became wintertime and since I added the wool cushion, it’s no longer happening at all. It has to be the fabric they used to make the chair causing static electricity on my clothing/me.

  13. I had the same problem with my office chair which is in the kitchen, except mine still gives me refrigerator shocks even in the summer. The fabric on the chair is definitely the culprit since if I keep a tea towel on the chair I get no shocks.

    • Really? I didn’t have the problem in October but it was still pretty warm here then, so the heat wasn’t running and I didn’t notice any static electricity. I typically only have that issue in the winter. I hate it when I brush my hair in the winter and clings to my face. I bet any kind of cushion would work if your tea towel works–as long as the cushion is a natural fiber like cotton or wool. I love this one…very comfortable/luxurious.

  14. Yes, please have an electrician check things out. I ran it by my husband who tends not to overreact to things and he felt that you have it looked at to make sure things are safe,

    • It’s not happening now at all since I added the wool cushion to my chair. I had an electrician look at all my outlets in the office just a couple of years ago and they are fine. Thanks though for thinking of that.

  15. Reading all the comments here. I asked someone about this and he says you may not have noticed it in the summer because the air is more humid. His opinion is to get an electrician to check it especially with the kind of shock you describe. If all is okay, you can buy anti-static mat to go under computer. I asked why the wool mat would help. Didn’t quite understand what he said. I think it was other fabrics like polyester are more prone to static buildup. He also said it could be electrical problem with the fridge.

    • It can be the refrigerator because it was happening with the lamp on the other side of the room, too? And it all stopped when I added a wool cushion to the seat of my chair, including the lamp static shocking, too. It’s not the electrical outlets because I just had an electrician check all of them a couple of years ago when one was no longer working. I don’t think it’s the refrigerator since I experienced it with the lamp, too…until I added the wool cushion. Thanks for asking about that though, Sandy…appreciate you doing that!

  16. Brenda s. Lawrence says

    That is so wild Susan! You don’t have carpeting in your office and I would have never suspected the office chair. Spraying Static Guard constantly would have cause a build up and possibly damaged the chair and God only knows what it would have done to your clothing and what particles in the air. Glad you were able figure it out though. Just weird that your body drawls that much static! I live in PA and rarely have any static shock issues. I mean, once in a while you will get a little shock, nothing like you are describing. lol Who knew that a seat cover would solve the problem….oh wait you knew to at least try! Great fix Susan, hope it stays working for you because getting a good shock is never fun! Hugs, Brenda

    • Brenda, I’m like the static Queen! Drives me nuts during the wintertime. I travel with a tiny can of Static Guard in my makeup bag because it’s sooo bad in my hair during the winter even though I use conditioner. I think I’m going to keep the cushion on the chair year round because it’s so comfortable. It def seems to have fixed the issue, thank goodness! That’s awesome that you don’t experience it there so much.

  17. Susan – I had my husband read your post – he is an electrical engineer. In his opinion, what you are experiencing is current leakage. It would be wise to look further into this. Of course he cannot tell you where the problem actually originates but if it happened here he would not let it slide even though you seem to have found a way to mitigate it.

    • Thanks, Chris. I had an electrician replace an outlet in this room a couple of years back when it stopped working. He looked at all the outlets when he was here to find the issue, so I really don’t think it’s that. Plus, I didn’t have this issue at all in the fall when I first added the refrigerator. It only started when I had to start running the heat so much. If it was current leakage, I don’t see how adding a wool cushion to my chair would stop that.

  18. Any chance a mouse or critter of some sort got into the wall and has nibbled through the wire? It happens all the time and causes many house fires. Was it last winter something ate through your screen doors and got into your porch? They are so very destructive ! We had it happen several years ago and they had to pull down the dry wall to find where the wires were damaged. My home was built in the 1980’s too!

    • No, adding a cushion to the chair fixed the issue so I’m sure it’s just static build-up from the chair. I just noticed there are a ton of people complaining about this issue online here: Static Electricity from Office Chair.

      So I’m definitely not alone with this issue. Some of the solutions people have found are pretty hilarious. 🙂

  19. Yes, I have static shock at work all the time. Between the nylon carpets, chairs and the printer I will actually hear a loud snap whenever I touched our ticket printer. I learned to be extra careful to only touch the paper and not the metal parts.

  20. Your sleuth skills may have paid off!
    Sometimes I shock my cat when I pet her. It scares me as much as my sweet cat. So I pour some water on my hands to avoid the shock.

  21. Michele M. says

    Oh my word. That is the doggonedest thing I have heard in a long long while, Susan! Whoa! Well I am SURE happy you figured it out. Seriously, that is truly bizarre!

    I think you’d find less static in your space if you used an essential oil diffuser. Not only do they really help the dry air from forced air heating and the house being all closed up in winter…..but different oils help with different moods. (Lemon/citrus in morning and lavender in the evening is my daily two for sure.) I use the wood and glass globe one from Young Living – but even those cheap ones on ebay from China are good enough to maybe see if you love using them…….I already knew I did so I splurged on the one I got from YL.

  22. Penny Ziegler says

    Good Evening ~

    Would you mind sharing where you purchased your current office chair? I have been looking for one & this looks like it would “fit the bill”:)

    In addition, would you also be willing to share the name of the color your office is painted?

    Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to give.

    Best ~ Penny

  23. Try putting some big rubber bands on the handle of the refrigerator. Touch them instead of the handle.

  24. Looks like you are outnumbered Susan, but you held your ground !
    Want us to take up a collection for the electrician ? LOL

    • Hahaha! Well, I would worry if it didn’t stop the minute I added the sheepskin cushion. I just looked back and I purchased this chair in early October. I’m pretty sure every single chair I’ve had in here was either leather or faux leather before, never fabric. Then I left for Ohio in early December before we really had to run the heat a lot. This issue just started when it got cold and the heat is running so much. I added the sheepskin cushion and it has completely stopped. I can even move around in the chair and turn on the lamp now and there’s no shock at all. So it’s def the chair and static build up. Plus, I searched online last night and there a lot of articles about this topic, apparently I’m not the only one having static shock issues from office chairs. This chair sure is comfortable though, so hate to give it up. Glad the cushion is working…and made it even more comfortable.

  25. This is SO strange…especially if you have a humidifier running in there. Just a thought…could it be something with Bluetooth ? Do you have any Bluetooth devices running in there and could that be creating a “force field” of static? Who knows? Good luck…hope you have it solved!

  26. Debbie Ness says

    Winter here is an experience too. Our couch is a poly blend of some sort and after getting up off it, I get a serious shock from the static on any metal I touch. I’ve tried the humidifier route and it does not work. I may have to get a wool cover to try. Thanks for the tip.

  27. Before we moved to a more humid climate, I was also the “queen of static” in the winter. Sometimes a shock from touching something would split my dry fingertips … ouch! The only way to keep my hair laying down (even though I also used conditioner after shampoo) was to use a leave-in conditioner as well. The one I used was John Frieda Frizz-Ease finishing cream. I pretty much used it every day and it tamed the static perfectly. (No affiliation… I’m sure lots of other brands would work as well.)

  28. Diane Ropp says

    Just for fun, here’s an alternative possibility…lol
    Have you seen the current 6 part series on Netflix, “Surviving Death?” In episode 4, it examines signs from the dead and methods of communication to get your attention. Just sayin’…lol

    BTW, I seem to have misplaced the Benjamin Moore paint color for your
    front door. Could you please tell me again? Thanks!

    • Ha! Well, that definitely never crossed my mind. 🙂
      It’s Benjamin Moore’s Heritage Red which is part of their Aura line…or at least it was the last time I purchased it. Not all BM stores carry the Aura line so before you go to buy it, best to call and check which store carries it. I hope they never stop making it, I love it for front doors!

      • I was about to say the same thing!!!! It’s a ghost/spirit communicating, LOL!

        I’m just kidding. I don’t know a thing about ghosts and probably watch too much TV, LOL!

  29. Cyndi Raines says

    Glad you figured it out Susan (I bet you’re almost sorry you asked, haha). I think it is awesome that the natural wool cover did the trick. I wanted to learn more about the lotion, however, it is currently not available, bummer! I just LOVE the “Oh, the places you will go ” painting! Do you remember where you purchased it? I am so ready for a trip, but the weather has to get better. Currently 8 degrees right now. Praying we all can travel this spring / summer.

    • Amazon seems to get it in and out of stock, so you may want to check back every so often. I see it on the Noble Isle website here but I can’t tell if it’s available: . I saw a comment on Amazon saying Noble Isle was discontinuing it, but I can’t see them doing that because I think it’s one of their most popular scents. Maybe they just retire some scents for a while then bring them back depending on the time of year or something.
      I’ve have ordered from their website before…ordered their Whisky and Water Bath/Shower Gel for my son and the lotion for my dil from the website. Shipping can be kinda high unless you order a good amount, that’s why I prefer to order on Amazon. I wish someone here in the states would carry their products. My son went nuts over the Whisky and Water scent. My favorite is definitely the Sea of Green which was inspired by the Irish countryside if I’m remembering correctly. I hope they don’t stop making it all together. I’ve almost finished one bottle but I have another in reserve. When I washed my hands on that plane, then used that lotion, I could not keep my hands away from my face the rest of the day. lol I loved the scent so much!

      My daughter-in-law gave me the picture/painting as a gift for Christmas one year. I’ll ask her and let you know. Ugh, 8 degrees is toooo cold for this girl. I think we have one night coming that will get down to 24 degrees, but other than that it hasn’t been too, too bad.

    • Cyndi, she just texted back and said she’s not sure now but she thinks it was from a little shop in Dayton.

  30. Static electricity is never that strong.
    Check that refrigerator plug in.

  31. Hi Susan, you can also get an anti-static mat for the desktop. My husband blew up a USB port from static. He now has both a desk mat and floor mat. Hope you have a great week, a static-free week too!

  32. I need to get a fridge that shocks me every time I go to open it. That might help me lose weight if I had to negotiate whether the shock was worth the treat I was about to eat. Maybe its a built in “diet” feature of the new fridge. LOL

  33. I know you said you fixed the issue, but how would it hurt to call in an electrician. Better safe than sorry! Just do it so we can all sleep tonight!!

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