How to Get Rid of Pet Hair Around the House
If you have a dog or cat, you know the struggle of dealing with unwanted pet hair around your home. Both dog hair removal and cat hair removal can seem like a never-ending battle. Here are some simple tips and tricks to help you conquer the fur around the house.
Carpets and Upholstery
To remove dog hair from your upholstery, use a rubber glove, like the kind you wear to wash dishes. Simply dampen the glove and rub your palm over the surface of your furniture to wipe up the pet hair. If you don't have a rubber glove, Apartment Therapy suggests lightly rubbing a damp sponge over your upholstery instead. These tricks work just as well for cat hair removal, too. In fact, you can even use them to remove excess hair from your pet's body. Simply run a rubber glove (or a glove specifically manufactured for pet hair removal) over your dog or cat's body and watch as the hair statically clings to the glove instead of your pet.
On carpets, try a broom with rubber bristles to loosen pet hair from carpet fibres and scrape them into a manageable pile. If you don't have this type of broom, a window squeegee can also work. For deeply embedded pet hair, try going over your pet's favourite lounging spots a couple of times with the vacuum. Many high-end vacuum cleaners feature powerful attachments made specifically for cleaning pet hair out of carpets. If you can afford to invest, look for a vacuum specially designed for homes with pets.
Spray a soft cloth with furniture polish or dusting spray before using it to wipe down furniture. The spray will not only help attract stray hair, but will also help reduce the static that attracts pet hair in the first place.
Another way to reduce static and prevent pet hair from sticking is to wipe down skirting boards and other hard surfaces with dryer sheets. This can also work on upholstery. Just make sure to test a small area first since dryer sheets can leave behind a shiny film. For cleaning floors, use a microfibre mop. They tend to carry a static charge so they're better than standard mops at attracting and holding onto pet hair.
Robot vacuums have also become popular over the past couple of years. They can work on both hard and carpet surfaces. They tend to be more expensive than traditional vacuums, and they will only handle small amounts of shedding. However, they can be programmed to run on their own, cutting down on the time you spend sweeping yourself.
Clothes and Bedding
For a quick fix, you can go over clothes or bedding with a sticky lint roller. If you're environmentally conscious, look for the kind that you can rinse and reuse. A velvet lint brush also works well and tends to handle upholstery better than the typical roller. In a pinch, you can also use the sticky side of masking or packing tape to grab unwanted hairs.
If you have time, or if you're dealing with a lot of pet hair, it might be easier to simply place your clothes in the dryer for ten minutes. Throw in a dryer sheet or a set of reusable dryer balls to reduce static and help loosen hair from the fabric. Pet hair will go to the lint trap and your fabric will come out hair-free.
Shedding and Your Pets
Regularly brush and groom your pets to capture shedding hair before it becomes a problem. For dogs with thick undercoats, look for a brush or comb designed to grab this fur before it has a chance to work itself free from your dog's coat.Your cat might appreciate a grooming comb with deep tines that give her a back scratch while you brush. As a bonus, there'll be far fewer hairballs to deal with!
If your pet hates brushing, try a grooming glove that's specially made for grabbing loose hair.Wear it when you pet your dog or cat and they'll be none the wiser.If you have a large or medium-sized dog, you can even try using the brush attachment on your vacuum hose to brush his coat if he'll tolerate it. For smaller dogs and cats, you can gently use a small, hand-held vacuum. Just don't apply the hose directly to your pet! It's also not a good idea to try this if the vacuum makes your pet scared or anxious. Be sure to reward your good boy or girl with a healthy pet treat and a cuddle when you're done.
Airborne Dog and Cat Hair Removal
Visible pet hair on clothes and surfaces isn't the only problem with shedding pets. Pet hair and dander also float in the air, which can exacerbate allergies and breathing problems. An air purifier can help clean pet hair and dander from the air, which also means less of it will settle on your floors and furniture.Look for one that takes a filter specifically made for pet dander, hair and other pet-related allergens. If you have an air conditioning unit, it's also a good idea to change the filter regularly to make sure it's catching unwanted pet debris efficiently.
It's normal for your dog or cat to shed, but check with your veterinarian if your pet suddenly starts shedding more than normal or develops bare patches. Excess shedding could be a sign of stress or another health problem.
As annoying and unsightly as pet hair can be, it's a small price to pay for the love and joy pets bring.
Jean Marie Bahaus