Get Rid of Pet Hair for Good!

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Do you have a Dogenstein or a Catzilla?

Even the sweetest of pooches or kindest of kitties can quickly become Dogenstein and Catzilla when you’re dealing with pet hair. So, here are paws down, THE ways to manage pet hair from furniture to floors, laundry and of course, your pet itself.

First up, floors!

It’s no secret that if you have a pet, you make peace with the pet hair and accept how much vacuuming you’ve got to do. But, if you are smart you can actually reduce your own labour and here’s how.

Hard floor surfaces

Rather than using a vacuum, switch to an electrostatic dust mop for pet hair on hard floors, at least for a first pass. Vacuum exhausts can send hair flying around back onto surfaces, which isn’t helping anyone.  Even the sweeping action of a broom can send hair flying.  Something like a Swiffer will actually catch the hair in its place. You can even use a microfiber cloth on the bottom, so long as it’s got that electrostatic charge.  I do like this option since you can re-use the cloth several times and it gets laundered instead of tossed.

Now, just my opinion here, if you are planning a reno, you may want to consider ditching carpets altogether, something I wish we’d do, in favour of hard floors which are notably easier to keep clean than carpets, plus, you don’t’ get the odour and dander issues that come along with carpet.  And I’ve heard horror stories of folks ripping up their carpet and finding, uh, stuff…

Carpeted floors and area rugs

Before vacuuming, dust baking soda over the carpets (no surprise coming from me, right?).  The baking soda loosens the hair from the carpet fibers and also helps deodorize at the same time (double win!).  Also, here’s a great trick which will make a notable difference; vacuum one area of the carpet using three passes, forward, back and forward on an angle, to really cover off the space. You’ll be supposed at how much extra hair you get rid of!

You can also use a dry rubber squeegee or rubber broom to lift up any pet hair from carpets.  It will freak you out slightly and may cause slight rage at your vacuum (why are you missing so much?!), but man, does it ever work.  Just ‘rake’ an area with the tool in short, fast strokes and you’ll start to see hair peeling up off the carpet.

If your carpet corners and edges are darkened, it means you’ve got a hefty hair build up you need to deal with. Take a rubber glove, wet it and with your pointer finger, drag across the area where the carpet meets the baseboard. Insert shame face here.

And finally, if you’ve got the budget for it, get a robot vacuum. This machine doesn’t complain, it just vacuums all day and all night, on your command, managing pet hair so you don’t have to. Plus it totally amuses the pets.

Next up, furniture!

I don’t recommend touching your furniture with a ten foot pole until you’ve vacuumed or Swiffered/swept the floors first, or else hair will just re-settle and you’ll be caught in a never-ending battle of you vs. rogue pet hair (I’ve been there). You can vacuum again once the furniture has been cleaned.  My rule is always sandwich the cleaning between two solid vacuums (annoying I know, but it really works)!

Furniture finishes such as wood, glass, laminate, etc.

Why buy anything with a nice design when your pet hair forms its own?  To deal with the settling of hair on non-upholstered furniture, like wood, laminate or glass, consider using a microfiber cloth lightly spritzed with just water. The cloth has an electrostatic charge to it which will attract the hair and the water helps make it slightly sticky. Now, if you use too much water, it’ll be useless and leave wet trails of hair all over the place, which looks totally wrong.  That’s really all you need to do – and be mindful of how ‘full’ of hair the cloth gets, and be prepared to change it often so that you don’t re-deposit hair all over the place.

Upholstered furniture

For hair on upholstery, you can use a common household cleaning item to get rid of it very easily.  I mean, of course you can use a vacuum or a lint roller, but we like to talk about hacks here at Clean My Space!  You’re looking for something with a bit of friction, so a damp, clean sponge, a dampened rubber glove or a rubber squeegee will do the trick. Just rub the item along the upholstery and watch the hair come up. I prefer this method to lint rollers because it’s less wasteful and cheaper. You can also pick up a specialty product for this, like a Lilly Brush.  I am always amused and impressed by how effective this method is, I especially love the squeegee.

Blankets and pet beds

If your pet has a favorite hot spot to hang out on, place a washable blanket on the furniture to cover it up. We have blankets all over our sofa and ottoman and when guests come over we get rid of them. But they really do help manage the hair.

Speaking of blankets, if you have a pet bed, wash it frequently. They are really prominent sources of doors. Just follow the instructions on the care label, they vary from each manufacturer.

HVAC and ducts

And I guess this is kind of furniture related, get your air ducts cleaned annually if you can swing it. Hair and dander settle there and can get re-circulated, meaning more hair to clean for you.  Same goes for your furnace filter, change it frequently to help rid the house of pet hair and dander.

Laundry time!

So of all the pet hair questions we get asked, this one has to be the biggest area of concern. Despite washing clothes, many of you still see pet hair on freshly cleaned clothes (and yes, happens to me too). So here’s the best fighting chance you have to do away with pet hair on your clean clothes.  I’ve tried it and I LOVE it – it works so well! Like, big difference!

Now just think about clothes for one sec: they are staticky and clingy. Think about pet hair, it’s fine, sharp and gets woven into fabrics. If we can loosen them up before washing and after washing, we have a good chance of getting rid of it.

The hair-free laundry pre-treating secret

Start by pre-treating your load of clothing by placing them in the dryer for 10 minutes on a heat-free, tumble-only cycle. This will help loosen the hair soften the fabric which helps get rid hair in preparation for your wash, and the best part is your lint trap can deal with anything remaining. Remember to empty your dryer vent.  Smart, right?!

Now, shake each garment out before placing in the washing machine to rid it of any extra hair and wash as you normally would. You can even add in ½ cup of white vinegar which will help the fabric fibers relax and of course, loosen any extra hair.

Once the wash is done, shake each garment out, again, again before placing into the dryer.  Dry using a regular cycle and ensure you get tumbling in there.

Now, dryer sheets can help reduce static cling, which helps break the bond between remaining hair and clothing. You can also use dryer balls, I use as many as I can find per load!

Now you should find your laundry comes out significantly more hair-free than before.

And finally, pet grooming!

Remember, every hair you can manage to remove from your pet is one less hair you have to clean up.  That’s a good mantra!  So, brush your pet as often as healthy for them, and bathe them where possible (as in, if you have a cat good luck with that). Now, I don’t think I’m qualified to talk about giving a dog a bath or grooming one since I don’t have one and I am not a cat bath master either, but I researched the heck out of it and have my best ideas below.  So keep reading!

Brushing

We have a Furminator and a few other similar style brushes.  Malee really, truly loves this and asks to be groomed often.  Paislee on the other hand, well, she feels it’s torture!  So, we go easy on her but Malee gets a lot of grooming time.  I love it of course because it’s bonding time and I love seeing her roll around and purr…and boy oh boy does that Furminator get rid of hair. In fact, I first learned about it via my cousin Dory, who is a vet.  She recommended this and I am so glad she did.  It helps brush out the undercoat and gets rid of hair that the cat would otherwise shed.  Malee sheds less whenever I do this treatment, which is about once a week.  The same tool is available for dogs, and the same concept applies.  I highly recommend this.

When brushing, if you have a dog or outdoor cat and the weather permits, do it outside so that the hair can fly around the ether and not inside your house.  If you have to do it indoors, have a towel and lay your pet on the towel when brushing, that way you avoid the hair getting on the floor and the terry fabric will trap more hair.

Bathing

So with my cats, I’m more likely to get struck by lightning and win the lottery on the same day than I would be giving them a bath.  Yes, cats bathe themselves, but every now and then it would be nice to get rid of some of that dander.  Now for dogs, f you can swing it, monthly bathing is best.   Here’s a neat dog groomer’s secret I came across: if you want to get all the shedding undercoat out when you bathe your dog, here’s what to do.  Start by brushing the dog, then shampoo twice and use conditioner. Rinse really well each time to get rid of clumps of hair.  Finish off by drying the dog, being sure to cover his or her ears and not use the dryer on any sensitive parts. Brush well after completely dry and then, repeat the entire process!  Yes, if you do it twice you’ll get rid of so much extra hair and apparently this yields exceptional results. If you can find a professional pet dryer, like what’d you get at a DIY bathing space offered at some car washes, you’ll be able to dry the dog well too. Or, you can take your pet to a professional groomer and have them perform a special shedding treatment on your dog twice a year (which is basically what this is).  This is especially helpful to do during sheeting season (spring and fall).

Pet vacuum

Dyson makes an animal hair attachment called the Groom Tool.  Essentially, you can  vacuum your pet, if they’ll let you. Mine sure won’t. In fact, the vacuum cleaner is probably a key source of their kitty nightmares.  That said, some pets don’t mind the vacuum and if you have one of those, this apparently works well.

So I hope that enlightens you somewhat and gives you hope for a pet hair-free home.  Yes, it takes a few changes to your cleaning routines, but you will notice a big difference in volume of pet hair around the house.  And when in doubt, you can always grab your trusty lint roller.

What do you do to manage pet hair?

Let me know in the comments below!!

get rid of pet hair pin

41 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve had great luck with my Bissell handheld pet hair vacuum for use on my furniture. Works wonderfully, and it’s only $25 on Amazon.

  2. Great tips and here are a few more. Vent filters stop the gunk from getting into and blowing out of vents, especially floor vents. Make your own dryer balls. Wipe your cat or dog with a used fabric softener to help decrease pet static and they smell good too. Adding a bit of oil to their food in the winter, they get dry skin too and it will help with sheading.

    • Great suggestions, except I wouldn’t use dryer sheets on pets or on furniture where they sleep or at all really. They are toxic. It’s easy to find info by googling.

  3. Loved your video!!! I have 4 cats and a German Shorthaired Pointer. I made the mistake of using my one vacuum just for cleaning my “cat room” the other day which I didn’t think was going to be so bad but then I realized that when I went to clean the vacuum out (it’s bag- less) it still smelled “horrible!” I have done everything to get rid of this smell. I don’t want to use it in any other room in the house, but I can’t use it in the cat room because it will make the room smell. Help Me!!!!

    • We sprinkle baking soda on carpets before vacuuming, as suggested in this post. I also mix with essential oil and mix with a fork to break up clumps. Whatever fragrance you like- lemon, tangerine, bergamot, anything. Vacuuming it up freshens the vacuum too.

  4. Great information on the wash. I will definitely try it with my sweaters. Also the swifter is a great idea to use first. I have an upright shark it’s great with the pet hair attachments but what I did to solve some of the problem of flying hair was tape a thin cardboard to the underside at an angle and then to the side so it still vents well but doesn’t blow as much hair around. I also use a Casablanca duster. It’s a great first start for furniture and great for ceiling fans and blinds because the hair clings to it. I went through a few of these that matted with washing. I now clean the pet hair out with the hose of my vaccum. It removes hair, fuffs it back and it maintainseems it’s statc clinging properties.

  5. A raw egg a day in their food reduces pet hair fall out by half. Not an official study, just my observation. Their fur is shiny and healthy too. Just dont watch them eat it or you might not want to eat eggs anymore.

  6. Suuuuuper helpful read! I didn’t think about putting the blankets and clothes in the dryer first before the washer! My boyfriend and I are moving in together and these tips should help so much with managing the cat hair and he won’t notice it so much 😉

  7. I have been living in the dark age! I adopted 2 cats, one with long and beautiful hair, the other with very short blonde hair but they don’t come with cleaning instructions!!!! Thank you so much for this video I will do everything you recommend! I’m desperate for a cleeeeeeeeeaaaaan apartment! Again THANK YOU!

  8. I used to have trouble with my dogs hair (jackrussel whippet cross), he’s a short hair so moults regularly, and it’s stiff and hard so sticks in fabric well. I’m shocked people say in the comments they only vacuum weekly, I manage the hair by doing it daily, it’s only 20 minutes but worth it, I even do the dogs 3 beds (not that he uses any of them much), do mine daily, change sheets twice weekly, and find using a disposable glove is great on the sofa (it’s suede) but even better with a fine spray of fabreeze to dampen and neutralise odour. X

  9. LOVE THIS!! I comb my cat several times a day. I have found that “work gloves” they have rubber on the palms of the hand works great to pick up the hair everywhere. but he still has a ton of fur.

  10. weekly brushing of pets..outside. monthly bathing. daily sweeping (sometimes 2 times daily) light sweeping of entire house with a broom or stick vac. then a weekly thorough sweep/vac.

  11. I love these hair care tips. I found this website by asking Google if putting laundry in the dryer before washing helped remove pet hair, and it does! My tip for protecting a bed from pet hair, this works very well for me. I put my nice heirloom quilts on my bed, then I use a duvet that’s larger than my quilts so I get full coverage. I don’t put a blanket in the duvet, it acts like double sheet protection and I coordinate it with my bedding so my bed looks nice :). It’s lightweight (and works well in the summer when it’s hot), I can wash it in my front load washer as often as needed and my bed is clean and looks nice. I used to just use an old sheet but my bed just didn’t look nice when the rest of the room has a decor. I only use 100% cotton on my bed. Some people have left comments that 500 plus thread count cotton doesn’t release pet hair well (like on Amazon.com) but I haven’t had issues with that. I always shake my bedding before washing, of course. With a duvet cover it’s easy to change your decor, too. Oh, I have a golden retriever mix, a short hair doxie and a spaniel–lots of fur!

  12. very helpful tx..i would like a cover that can let air circulate for summer for my dog to wear. and help protect the car seats..any suggestions??

  13. I have an issue with the pet hair clinging to the head of my vacuum cleaner. How can I prevent that from happening. I seem to get more on the head of the vacuum than in the vacuum. PLEASE HELP!

  14. I love seeing comments about corgis.
    We have two (one of them is a fluffy) and our poor house is just caked with fur at all times! We have a baby arriving soon and all I can think about is her being covered in dog fur just like her parents. I love these two to pieces though. The anti-carpet comments make me laugh, we have hardwood and every single strand of fur shows up. Word of advice: avoid microfiber couches when you have shedders!

  15. I have a Black Lab/German shorthair mix- both breeds known *shedders*! I find a *completely* dry rubber glove gets hair off of EVERYTHING!! It doesn’t pick it up, but it gathers it and makes it able to be picked up. Awesome! And such a economical solution to!
    I also use an off brand of Furminator. I can’t stress how awesome that brush is! I got it from Walmart for $27. Best $27 I ever invested for my pets!!

  16. Great article. I’m so glad you mention the laundry which seems to be my biggest problem. Next big problem now is that I don’t have a clothes dryer.
    Do you have any other suggestions to keep the dog hair away from the washing? I’ll be having some visitors soon with a little baby and they are not used to pets so I’m really worried that a few too many black dog hairs might put them off. It really is awful pulling freshly washed clothes out of the machine to discover dog hair on them. Thank you.

  17. I know the furminator is suppose to work really nice but be careful cause the ends of the prongs can damage the dogs skin. The ShedMonster is nice cause there are no sharp prongs the ends have a curve to them so they don’t scratch the dogs skin.

  18. Under blankets and pet beds – you might want to edit – They are really prominent source of DOORS. Think that should be odors?

  19. I have a Corgi, definitely a Dogenstein when it comes to shedding. Luckily regular bathing, brushing and vacuuming help manage it indoors. My hair problem is in the car. Vacuuming just doesn’t quite do the job. The hairs stick to the seats and seems impossible to remove. Do you have any suggestions for getting rid of hair in the car?

    • The baking soda trick works really well for the car, or you can get that carpet dust (which is basically bakind soda) and/or that ant static spray then vacuum. Then just use the upholstery tips above. I highly recommend a seat cover or a sheet though cause you protect your seats and they are way easier to take out and wash!

  20. We have a german shepherd – and if you know dogs you know how bad they shed…

    (1) Blow dry after giving the dog a bath – I go to a place that lets me wash my dog for $5, and it has a high powered blow dryer, more than brushing/washing/etc. – This is what gets rid of hair. (Probably not helpful for cats). It also means I don’t have to deal with that mess in my own house. Feeding your pet a good diet is also supposed to help reduce shedding (at least the ones caused my nutrient deficiencies) I also use shampoo/conditioner that is supposed to help shedding. I’m not sure how effective that is though.

    (2) Carpet ‘brush’, similar to things mentioned above, but it’s big and it really helps get the hair loose.

    (3) Yes, Furminator and pet vac. They are the best things ever. (particularly the pet vac. I love mine and I swear it makes my life better).

    (4) A portable garment brush. Like a lint roller, but without the waste. It works better with textured items (like wool) that tend to claim hair the worst. A little ineffective on silk and smooth cotton, but still better than nothing. ((Although I am super excited to try the pre-dryer trick… I hope that helps with making sure it at least comes out clean!))

    (5) Embracing the hair. Sometimes it’s there. Whatever.
    —–

    A trick I’d like to use – not having carpet. My mother has this luxury and her house takes minutes to clean of pet hair with a Corgi and two cats. Of course, while renting I don’t have this power.

  21. We have eleven cats (because we used to foster kittens) and one Corgi, a year round shedder. Hair makes me crazy! I’m going to try these examples right away. Thank you Melissa!

  22. This is your greatest post ever.
    I have two sweet inside dogs and one is a white Great Pyrenees. The Pry is a shedder. White hair seems to be everywhere. I use a squeegee, dampened often, to get hair from large area rugs. Works very well but is, and will remain, a daily chore. Will use a squeegee on the furniture today.
    The laundry portion was also quite helpful. I love to wear black and all I have to do is walk through a room and white hair jumps to my clothes. lol
    Thanks again for this episode. I love them all but wish I could get someone else to do the work for me. 😉 You are doing a wonderful service for your many followers.

    • Glad to hear that someone else is dealing with a Great Pyrenees. I love all of Melissa’s suggestions about dog grooming except doing the whole washing the dog twice process. I can only imagine trying to get my Pry in the bathtub twice in one day. Do you agree? lol

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