Pets are a great addition to our lives and some of us consider them full-fledged family members. The trouble is they can make a mess of your home’s (or car’s) interior with drool, scratch marks, water, mud, food, treats and f-u-r. Short-haired, or long and silky, there is simply always going to be pet hair and fur to deal with, be it dog, cat, hamster, rabbit or guinea pig, if you keep pets. So let’s focus on ridding your home’s interior of the pesky mess.
When you remove pet hair, your results will depend on a number of factors: how long you can spend going after it, the amount of collected hair, the surfaces you’re trying to clean and the kind of pet hair and the tools you apply to the job.
Keep a regular vacuum cleaning schedule without fail
Regular and thorough vacuuming is the best way, hands down, to remove pet fur from your home. Start high and work low, using the appropriate vacuum attachments for cleaning the walls, into the corners, over drapes and window sills. If your carpet and rugs are darkened at the edges, you have a hefty hair buildup to deal with. Put on a rubber glove, wet the index finger and run it across the area where the carpet meets the baseboard. Be prepared to be horrified! If you can afford it, invest in a robot vacuum. This machine vacuums night and day without complaint, on your command, managing the pet hair so you don’t have to. Many pets are also thoroughly entertained by the robotic dance.
Static electricity (we have an abundance of that in Las Vegas) and low humidity (yep, that, too!) can help pet hair cling to surfaces. Running a humidifier is good for you and makes breathing easier, skin feel more hydrated and it helps keep puffs of shed pet hair from clinging to surfaces. If you have a pet, keep to your regular cleaning and vacuuming schedule to maintain your home free of pet hair.
Use a squeegee
You can repurpose your dry rubber squeegee or rubber broom to lift up any pet hair from carpets. Just “rake” an area with the tool in short, fast strokes and you’ll see the hair coming up off the carpet’s surface.
Hard floor surfaces
Instead of a vacuum, switch to an electrostatic dust mop for hard floors, at least for the first pass. Vacuum exhaust can send hair flying back onto surfaces, defeating the whole purpose of vacuuming. Even a broom can send hair flying. Instead, something electrostatic will actually attract the hair. You can even swap the disposable wipes with a microfiber cloth, which also has that important electrostatic charge. This option allows you to reuse the cloth and launder it instead of throwing it out.
Wood, laminate or glass furniture
Remember that completely dusting hard surfaces such as tables and shelves is also essential! Use a microfiber cloth lightly spritzed with plain water. The electrostatic charge of the microfiber will attract the hair and the water makes it slightly sticky. That’s really all you need to do on these furnishings but remember how full of hair the cloth will get and be prepared to change it often. You don’t want to re-deposit hair all over the place!
For hair on upholstery, you can use a vacuum or a lint roller – both are effective. But you can also try this hack: dampen a clean sponge, rubber glove or rubber squeegee. Rub the item along the upholstery and watch the hair come up. There are also many commercial brushes sold for this purpose.
Blankets and pet beds
f your pet has a favorite spot on your furniture, place a washable blanket right on it. Using blankets or towels for cover, it is easy to remove them when guests arrive and they really do manage to help control the hair. And speaking of pet beds, if you have one, wash it frequently to prevent odors. Just follow the instructions on the care label.
If you see pet hair on your freshly cleaned clothes, here’s a good hack: loosen the pet hair before washing, before the agitation of the machines actually weaves the hair more deeply into fabrics, and you’ll have a better chance of getting rid of it.
Start by putting the clothing in the dryer for 10 minutes on a heat-free, tumble only cycle. This will help loosen the hair. Remember to empty your dryer vent. Now, shake each garment before placing in the washing machine to rid it of any extra hair and wash it as you normally would. You can add in ½ cup of white vinegar, which will help relax the fibers and loosen any extra hair.
When the wash is done, shake each garment out again before placing into the dryer. Dry on a regular tumbling cycle. Dryer sheets can help reduce static cling which helps break the bond between any remaining hair and the clothing.
Don’t forget pet grooming
Embrace your opportunity to keep your dirty dog from being a dirty dog. Giving the dog or cat a quick one-minute brushing outdoors or in the garage every day will save time and effort spent dusting, sweeping and vacuuming each week. (Did you know some carpet experts say you should vacuum every day if you keep pets?) Removing a little hair from the cat or dog at one time and in the place you choose, soon there will be fewer fur bombs for you to find around the house.
Bonus: kitty won’t hack up as many hairballs for you to step on before your morning coffee.
Don’t be afraid to let your pets roam free in your home. When you need deep carpet cleaning or repair, we’ve got you covered. And remember, your carpet manufacturer likely requires deep steam cleaning on a regular basis for your warranty to remain in effect.
Remember, every hair you can remove from your pet is one less hair you have to clean up. We hope these tips are enlightening and give hope for a pet hair-free home (or at least one with reduced pet hair). It takes a few changes to your cleaning regimen, but you will notice a big reduction in the volume of pet hair in your home.