Knowing how to remove pet hair is a useful skill for any pet owner, whether you have cats, dogs, or both. As much as we love our fur babies, we don't love having to constantly vacuum up their endless fur. Can someone please explain why pet hairs reattach themselves to our clothes no matter how many times we swipe the lint roller? (We could say the same for our fur-covered carpets.) If you don't want to live your life constantly cleaning pet hair, we've rounded up the best tips for removing pet fur from any surface.
How to Remove Pet Hair From a Couch
Removing pet hair from the couch — or any furniture, for that matter — is tricky because you don't want to damage the upholstery. Fortunately, it is possible to clean fur from furniture gently and efficiently without harming any fabric.
We recommend starting first with the rubber glove method, as this is the least likely to accidentally ruin anything. First, don your rubber gloves, and then give the couch a good rubdown. The static generated by rubbing the couch turns the glove into a "conductor" that attracts stray hairs. You'll still have to grab the mounds of fur with your hands and throw them away, but this method is relatively easy and extremely gentle.
Another option is to wet the rubber glove before wiping the couch. The loose fur will stick to the water and clump together on the glove, which makes cleanup easy — all you have to do is run the rubber glove under water. That said, it probably isn't good to wash pet hair down the drain. Instead, we recommend either rinsing the glove outside with a hose or removing the wet hair clumps by hand and tossing them in the trash.
If you don't have a rubber glove handy, try misting the couch with a mixture of water and fabric softener. This produces a similar result as using a moist rubber glove, except you'll have to pick up the pet hair by hand.
How to Remove Pet Hair From a Car
Raise your hand if the inside of your car looks like a giant pile of fur after a trip to the dog park. The good news about removing pet hair from the car is that the upholstery is hardier than indoor furniture, so you can be a bit rougher and faster with your cleaning.
Your best bet for removing all the pet hair from the car starts with vacuuming. Removing any attachments and just going in with the hose should grab all the large fur chunks, but you may need a smaller handheld vacuum for those hard-to-reach places. We like the ThisWorx for TWC-01 Car Vacuum ($29.97, Amazon) because it has several attachments that are perfect not only for pet hair but also food crumbs, sand and dirt, and spilled liquids.
Once you've picked up all the easy-to-see clumps of fur, it's time to go in with more abrasive methods to get any stragglers. Some recommend rubbing upholstery with Velcro rollers (the ones you use for your hair), like you would in the aforementioned rubber glove method. Make sure you test this on a small section before rubbing them all over your car, as they may snag on the fabric or cause it to pill.
Using a balloon is another option, though it might be difficult to use in tight crevices. If you do manage to catch any fur due to static electricity, all you have to do is rinse off the balloon. Again, we recommend doing this outside so you don't clog your drains with pet fur. Plus, birds and other wildlife coud use your pet's fur for nest building.
Instead of using a lint roller on your car's upholstery, try a piece of duct tape. This is a more cost-effective method that's great for picking up leftover hairs after you've vacuumed. Duct tape is stickier than a lint roller, so it can pick up those strands that are embedded in the carpet or seats. One downside to using duct tape, however, is that it can leave behind a tacky residue. Using packing tape may solve this, as it's a bit more delicate.
One last option for getting rid of pet hair in the car is to use a pumice stone. The carpet in your car can take more of a beating than the living room rug, but we still recommend not dragging the stone too hard. If you do, the carpet may begin to pill. If you plan to try this method, we suggest buying the Fur-Zoff Pet Hair Remover ($8.55, Amazon), which is a gentle pumice stone that's made specifically for pet hair.
How to Remove Pet Hair From Clothes
Pet hair on clothes is probably the number one annoyance most devoted pet owners experience. You want to snuggle with your fur kids, or at least give them a few head scratches before you leave for work — only your clothes seem to be coated in fur when you're done. We've all been there! Luckily, there are a few methods you can try to quickly and easily remove pet hair from clothes.
The first step is to go over the fur patches on your clothes with a lint roller. Chances are you already do this, but now's the time to start if you haven't. Think about buying lint rollers in bulk, as they're not only handy pet hair removers, but they're also great for cleaning small nooks and crannies in the home, like the window screens.
Using the rubber glove method is also effective at removing pet hair from clothes if you don't have a lint roller handy. You may want to add water to the gloves or try just wetting your bare hands for maximum fur-catching capabilities.
This next trick probably won't help if you're already covered in cat fur, but it's useful going forward in terms of preventing pet hair from sticking in the future. Add 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar to your washing machine the next time you toss in a load. This will reduce the static electricity in your clothes, which means fewer pet hairs stuck to your pant leg.
How to Remove Pet Hair From Carpets
All the same methods listed above in the "How to Remove Pet Hair From a Couch" section will work for cleaning pet hair from the carpet, but there is a more efficient solution to save you from getting down on your hands and knees. All you need is an old mop and a squeegee.
If you've ditched your old-fashioned mop for a cleaner, more compact option, like a Swiffer WetJet ($22.97, Amazon), chances are your old mop is collecting dust in the closet. Now's the time to repurpose it! First, remove the mop head so you have just the handle. Then, attach a squeegee head where the sponge used to be. Take your modified mop-squeegee hybrid and start "raking" the carpet with it. You'll see clumps of pet hair start to ball together. Once you've picked up all the hair that was embedded in the carpet, grab it with your hands and throw it away.
We suggest buying a bigger squeegee head to make cleaning faster. Or, you can purchase a floor squeegee, like the KOLLIEE Commercial Floor Squeegee ($15.99, Amazon), if you want a more professional-looking tool. For stubborn hairs that the squeegee's flat head can't pick up, we recommend the Evriholder FURemover Broom with Squeegee ($15.99, Amazon). It has soft rubber bristles that can dig deep into your carpet's fibers to pick up loose fur that a regular squeegee can't reach without damaging the rug or causing it to pill.
How to Remove Pet Hair From Laundry
The secret to removing pet hair from the laundry is preventing it from getting there in the first place. Giving your pet a good brushing and taking them for regular trips to the groomer (don't shave them completely, though!) will reduce the amount your pets shed. Plus, this is a great way to bond with your animals.
For those blankets and couch cushions that are simply covered in fur because your pet likes to nap there, a quick tumble in the washing machine should be good enough to remove pet hair. But before you chuck your dog's bedding in the washing machine, try removing as much fur as you can. We recommend tossing everything into the dryer first for a 10-minute tumble without heat. This will loosen up pet hairs. Then, you can toss everything in the wash. Use the white vinegar trick (1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar in the wash) for extra fur-repelling power. You may have to run a second cycle to make sure the washing machine is free of any loose fur.
It's fine to let your pet's bedding air dry, but we totally understand if you want to run it through the dryer. Just make sure you empty the lint filter half way through the cycle so you clean out as much as possible. This will help everything dry faster, plus the newly cleaned lint filter is free to catch more pet hairs.
Now that you've mastered the art of getting rid of pet hair, it's time to bring on the cuddles!