Unfortunately, dealing with dog hair is a part of life for most dog owners. There are some exceptions; some breeds shed very minimally. However, if your dog isn't one of those breeds, you must learn how to deal with dog hair.
Is Your Dog Shedding? Here's How To Remove Dog Hair From Everything
Don't worry, there's a way to remove dog hair from virtually everything and ways to minimize shedding as well.
When do dogs shed?
As you'd probably expect, dogs shed most when the weather transitions in the fall and spring. Significant seasonal temperature changes trigger hair follicles to release more hair.
However, dogs that remain almost exclusively indoors tend to shed more evenly throughout the year, thanks to the climate controlled comfort of their homes. Since dogs spend a lot more time indoors these days than they did in the past, many dogs shed consistently throughout the year.
How to remove dog hair from carpets
If you only have a small carpeted area and want to clean on the cheap, you can get the job done using just rubber gloves and water. Get your rubber gloves slightly damp, and just kind of swipe your hands over your rug or small area of carpet. Check out the video below for a demonstration.
If you have a large area of carpet to cover, you're going to need to bring in the big guns. Namely, vacuums. There are lots of good vacuums specifically designed to pick up pet hair, like the pricey but effective Dyson DC65 Animal Upright Vacuum Cleaner, or the more budget-friendly Bissell Pet Hair Eraser.
How to remove dog hair from furniture
You can use the rubber glove technique mentioned above to remove dog hair from upholstered furniture. Just dampen your rubber gloves and run them lightly over the surface. Rinse the hair off the glove when it piles up, and repeat as needed.
You can also use a mixture of water and fabric softener. Lightly spray a 50/50 mix of liquid fabric softener and water onto your furniture, then wipe it off with a rag or sponge.
Removing dog hair from wooden furniture is easier than upholstered furniture. Spray a soft cloth with furniture polish, and just wipe the hair away.
How to remove dog hair from clothes in the washing machine
If you want to avoid getting dog hair in the washing machine in the first place, toss your clothes into the dryer for a 10-minute cycle before putting them into the washing machine. This will loosen the pet hair, which you can then shake out of the clothing before you load them into the washer.
If you accidentally did a load of laundry in a washing machine that was full of pet hair, don't fret. Just put it into the dryer as usual, ideally with some dryer sheets. The pet hair will come off into the lint trap. (You might have to run the dryer cycle a couple of times to get all of the hair off.)
How to remove dog hair from a washing machine
Just like clothing, washing machines (as well as dryers) collect pet hair. You have to clean your washing machine regularly, or that hair will end up right back on your clothes.
- A vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment
- A sponge
- A bucket of warm water
Here's what to do:
- Make sure your washing machine is totally dry.
- Attach a soft brush to the vacuum hose.
- Vacuum the fur from the washing machine drum, and any other areas.
- Remove the drain pump filter per the washing machine instructions manual.
- Clear out any clumped fur from the filter.
- Add 2 cups of white vinegar to the washing machine.
- Run the empty washing machine on the regular cycle with hot water.
- Mix one quarter-cup white vinegar with a quart of warm water in your bucket.
- Dip the sponge into the solution and scrub the inside of the washing machine. Pay close attention to the dispensers, the inside of the door and the rubber seal if the machine is a front-loader. If dispensers are removable, soak them in vinegar before scrubbing.
- Use a toothbrush to clean the small, hard-to-reach areas of the washing machine.
- Run the empty washing machine one more time with hot water on the regular cycle (no vinegar this time).
How to clean dog hair from beneath the refrigerator
Dog hair tends to collect in giant, terrifying clumps under the refrigerator. To remove it, you'll need:
- A flashlight
- A refrigerator coil brush (available at most hardware stores)
- A vacuum with attachments
- Rubber gloves
- A long-sleeved shirt
- A bucket
- A washcloth
- Water and mild soap
- Cardboard or drop cloth
Follow these steps:
- Use a long refrigerator coil brush to sweep up the big chunks of dog hair and dirt from under the unit.
- Grab your vacuum and suck up the bigger gunk that you just swept out. Then, attach the long, flat hose attachment to your vacuum hose and use it to get the finer gunk from under the fridge and in the coils. The bottom coils are behind a kick plate. Pull the plate off to get to them. The plate may be held in place with some spring mounts, so giving it a good tug should do the trick.
- Clean the coils with warm, soapy water and a washcloth. Make sure you wear rubber gloves and long sleeves, as there may be sharp parts underneath the unit that could cut you.
- Move the entire fridge forward to clean behind the unit. If your refrigerator does not have rollers on the bottom, protect your floor by placing some flattened cardboard or a heavy-duty drop cloth where you're pulling the fridge out. Sweep and vacuum behind there once every three to six months. When you push the unit back in, watch the cord and tubes so you don't run them over.
- Plug the refrigerator back in.
How to remove dog hair from blankets
Lint rollers: lint rollers are your friend for blankets or any fabric surface. Just roll it over your blanket on a regular basis.Rubber gloves: lay your blanket on a table and place the glove on your hand. Wipe the glove across the blanket and it will gather the hair. Dip the glove in water for stubborn spots.Static electricity: Rub an inflated balloon or a dryer sheet over your blanket to quickly remove hair.Washing and drying: regularly washing your blankets is key to keeping them hair-free. Use dryer sheets during the dryer cycle to remove hair via the lint trap.Prevention: keeping "human blankets" and "dog blankets" separate will help prevent your dog's hair from becoming a problem in your life. Use designated blankets for your dog and keep some of the nicer ones for yourself by putting them in a cupboard when not in use, or closing the room they're in.
How to get dog hair out of car upholstery
- Liquid fabric softener
- A rubber glove
- A small vacuum
- Duct tape or packing tape
- Spray upholstery cleaner
- Mist the upholstery lightly with a 50/50 mix of liquid fabric softener and water.
- Put on your rubber glove and rub the upholstery in circular and back-and-forth motions. The rubber pulls the embedded hair out of the fabric weave.
- Vacuum the loose dog hair pulled up by the glove.
- Press your duct tape or packing tape firmly into crevices and other places you can't reach. Repeat until the tape stops picking up hair.
- Use your spray upholstery cleaning following the directions on the label. (Typically, you spray the cleaner on the upholstery or carpeting, then blot and wipe with clean rags.)
How to clean dog hair from baseboards
Baseboards are magnets for dog hair, and they require regular cleaning. But don't replace that gorgeous wood work just yet. We have a method to get your baseboards free of pet hair in no time!
- A rag
- A vacuum (if you're allergic to pet dander, make sure your vacuum has a built-in HEPA filter)
- A telescoping feather duster
- Dryer sheets
- Vacuum the hair from the baseboards using the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner.
- Dampen the rag and use it to wipe away any dog hair that didn't come up with the vacuum. Rinse and repeat as needed.
- Reach into corners and behind furniture with the telescoping feather duster.
- Scrub sticky or dirty baseboards with warm water and liquid dish detergent. Sometimes, dirt and dust can accumulate on baseboards and create a grimy coating that traps dog hair.
- Run a dryer sheet along your baseboards to remove any remaining dog hair and to banish the static that attracts new hair.
How to remove dog hair from fleece
Adhesives: Blot the fleece with lint rollers or strong tape, like duct tape or packing tape.Rubber gloves and water: Wear a rubber glove and lay the fleece on a flat surface. Comb the glove across the surface to remove the hair. For stubborn spots, add a little water and continue combing with the glove.Vacuums: Use the tube extension on a vacuum to remove hair. Comb over the material several times until you can't remove any more. (Vacuums work well on the surface, but they struggle to remove hair that is woven into the fibers.)
How to remove dog hair from Velcro.
Velcro is mostly found on clothing, shoes, and, of course, is commonly used as a fastener on pet gear. Hair frequently clogs velcro, which can affect the durability of the fasteners on leashes and pet apparel. Here's a quick method to clean dog hair from velcro.
- Comb a clean piece of "hook" Velcro through the piece of Velcro that you want to clean.
- Pick or comb out additional pieces of hair with a flea comb and/or tweezers.
- Spray the Velcro with antistatic spray to prevent it from attracting hair in the future.
How to remove dog hair from bed sheets and comforters.
Removing hair from your sheets and comforter is regular maintenance for dog owners. Here's how to get a bothersome task done quickly:
- A damp sponge or cloth
- A tennis racket, large wooden spoon, or other large, clean wooden object (for whacking the comforter)
- Dryer sheets
- Leaving the comforter stretched out on the bed, run a damp sponge or cloth over the entire surface of the comforter in long strokes. You might need to do this several times — rinsing the cloth or sponge in between rounds — to get as much loose hair off the surface as possible.
- Remove the comforter and do the same to the sheet.
- Hang the comforter and sheets over a clothesline and give it a good whacking with your tennis racket or other wooden object. (Do this outdoors to ensure the hair doesn't settle down on your floor or furniture.)
- Throw the comforter and sheets into the dryer (not the washer - getting them wet will worsen the problem, making hair stick to the material even more). Add a couple of dryer sheets and run the dryer for a few minutes. The hair will attach to the dryer sheets, which you can then throw away. You might need to repeat this step a couple of times to get rid of all the hair. If there is still too much hair, run the sheets and the comforter through the dryer separately.
Pet hair removal tools.
Luckily, we have many great tools at our disposal to make pet hair cleanup as easy as possible.
Here are some of our favorites:
Evriholder FURemover Broom with Squeegee ($19.57): This handy broom has rubber bristles that can clean pet hair from almost any surface.
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Upright Bagless Pet Vacuum ($249.99): We already mentioned this vacuum above, but it's worth repeating. Pet hair vacuums can get expensive, but the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is fairly affordable, in addition to being extremely effective at picking up pet hair.
CleanAide Pet Hair Removal & Easy Cleanup Pick It Up Mitt ($9.97): These mitts are made of 80% polyester and 20% polyamide, which makes them both strong and great at attracting pet hair. They also work for lint or any other small things that are sticking to your chairs and slowly driving you mad.
Lint rollers ($1-5): These are a must. You can get them literally anywhere.
Evercare Pet Mega Cleaning Roller ($15.27): This tool is a cross between a duster and a gigantic, strong lint roller. It has a three-foot long handle and a huge, sticky roller that does an amazing job of trapping hair.
Rubber gloves ($1-10): You probably noticed that many of the techniques above involve rubber gloves. You'd be wise to keep a pair on hand at all times. They're cheap, and available at almost any grocery store.
Grooming gloves (price varies, but they shouldn't cost you more than $15): Grooming gloves, rubber gloves with little nubs on them, let you groom your pet while removing loose hair in an efficient way. They are gentle and should be used in a massage-like way. Many pets enjoy them!
Pet brushes (price varies): brushes for your cat or dog are a must. They're key to preventing unwanted shedding.
How to minimize dog shedding.
Mercifully, there are ways to minimize your dog's shedding. The most important thing to do is brush them regularly.
Here are some brushing tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure you choose the right brush for your dog's coat type. Your vet or the attendants at your pet supply store will be happy to help you choose one.
- Brush your dog's coat as deeply as you can without making them uncomfortable. If they indicate discomfort at any time, lighten your touch.
- Brush in both directions of your dog's hair, making sure this doesn't make your dog uncomfortable.
- Use a rubber grooming mitten after brushing to pick up any fine hairs left behind.
- Watch out for static electricity to make sure neither you nor your dog gets shocked.
In addition to brushing, make sure you regularly bathe your dog with mild dog shampoo.
Dog hair is annoying, but a small price to pay for the joy our dogs bring us (or so we keep telling ourselves). Good luck to you during this and every shedding season.