How to Get Dog Hair Out of a Clothes Washing Machine

There's nothing like the companionship of man's best friend. We'd do anything for our canine friends, including a few extra chores around the house, whether that means extra sweeping and vacuuming, cleaning up puppy messes, or scrubbing up mud from your bathtub after a rainy-day walk. It also means that your clothes might end up regularly covered in dog hair, which means, in turn, that your washing machine may end up filled with pet hair, which can actually break the machine.

Dog and Its Fur
Dog hair can seem to get anywhere.
credit: Oskari Porkka/iStock/GettyImages

Keep your washer hair free

The best thing you can do for your washing machine is to try to minimize the amount of hair that goes in the machine because when water is added to hair, the hair turns into soggy clumps that can stick to the inside of the washer drum or even clog the drain. At that point, you may need to take your washer apart to get the hair out or even hire a professional to fix it.

There are many ways to keep hair out of your washer, the first and easiest of which is simply to brush your dog daily. As Consumer Reports points out, this will minimize loose hair, preventing it from getting into your clothes, carpet, and bedding.

You can also use a lint roller or masking tape on your clothes so there's less loose hair entering your laundry bin. Of course, the biggest offenders when it comes to hair in washers is the pet's bedding, whether that means the cover of a pet bed or the sheets and blankets on your bed, so while it may seem weird to use a lint roller on something no one else ever sees, this is one of the most important things you can do to keep your washer in good working order.

Dry before you wash

Taste of Home says one of the best things you can do to prevent hair build-up in your washer is to actually dry your clothes before you wash them. They suggest removing as much hair as you can by either lint rolling or shaking it out, then putting the laundry in the dryer. While there's no such thing as Bounce Pet Hair Dryer Sheets, that's simply because all dryer sheets have anti-static properties, which Bounce says will help repel a lot of that dog hair out of your clothes in your pre-wash dryer session — so be sure to put in a few dryer sheets.

Run the dryer on a no-heat setting for about 10 minutes on the tumble cycle. This should loosen the hair sufficiently, then take out the laundry, give it one more good shake to remove any extra hair and then wash it. Be sure to clean your lint trap before you put your clothes back in the dryer after they are washed.

Wash your clothes like normal

Once you've put your clothes through the dryer, you can proceed to wash them. Surprisingly, no company has yet released a hair-removing laundry detergent, but Speed Queen says you can try adding a half cup of vinegar during the rinse cycle as this will further relax your clothes and free more trapped hair.

If you have a significant pet hair problem, you can also try using a new device called the Floating Pet Fur Catcher. In Simple Most's washing machine hair-catcher review, they say the product will trap any floating hair or lint in a pouch that can just be emptied after the wash cycle.

If you washed a particularly hair-heavy load, be sure to get rid of pet hair in the washing machine itself by running a wash cycle while the machine is empty, and then wiping any extra hair on the wash tub out with a wet wash cloth.