I recently bought a new dressing gown and I am experiencing a lot of static electricity build up when wearing it.
It got me thinking, where are those electrons coming from? I would have thought that if the robe is rubbing electrons off my body, then as a unit of (me + robe), we still have the same number of electrons (they just moved from me to the robe). So then why do I receive a shock every time I touch the metal taps in the bathroom?
Also any tips on preventing it appreciated! A friend mentioned something about surfactants in washing powder and suggested I wash it. Why would that help?
Note: There is a related question How To Avoid Getting Shocked By Static Electricity, but it only answers the 2nd part of the question, I've highlighted in bold the bit I'd like a physics explanation for.