Best Hacks for Removing Dog and Cat Hair

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Inside: Simple tips and tricks for getting dog and cat hair out of furniture, clothing, upholstery and how to keep dog hair off your clothes! Plus, tricks for getting dog hair out of the car after a road trip. 

Here I am, at it again with the cleaning and organizing – but it’s a fact of life. And anytime I can help you make things easier in life, I feel like I’m winning. No one ever really warned me about the dog hair situation before we adopted Buddy. I was already well-versed in cat hair, with three cats in a 600-square foot apartment at one point, but the dog hair is something else. But we love our dog, as I’m sure you love yours, so the challenge is simply staying on top of the cleaning. Today, I’m sharing the best hacks I’ve learned for removing dog and cat hair!

READ NOW: My ULTIMATE GUIDE – Keeping your House Clean when you have Pets

First up, let’s talk simple every day things you can do to keep the dog hair and cat hair off main surfaces like clothing and furniture, then we can get into the more specific things like how to clean the car after a road trip LOL 

If you’re dealing more with pet odours, rather than pet hair, you might want to check out this post I did about how to get dog smells out of the couch!

Dealing with Pet Hair and Furniture

Avoid buying furniture that attracts pet hair

This seems a bit extreme, but it’s true. Your dog or cat will (hopefully) outlive any piece of furniture you own, so make sure you’re purchasing pet friendly pieces while they are in the house. I made this mistake with the ottoman in my office. I bought it on a whim and realized it’s a loosely woven linen in a dark colour that seems to act like a magnet for cat hair. It also has tufting which traps the cat hair in the tufts and is a pain to keep clean. 

Recommendations for pet friendly furniture traits? Go for pieces that can easily be wiped down, like leather or faux leather. The other option is to purchase upholstered furniture that is highly durable and scrubbable, like micro-fibre or a high-density twill or tweed. These will go a long way to hiding any pet hair that does end up on the couch and it will stand up to cleaning and vacuuming over the long term. This couch we had in the basement for years was SO great. I was able to scoop up the dog hair, no problem. 

The final option when considering the purchase of furniture for a home with pets is to look at getting slipcovers! That is what we did with both our living room couch and the new replacement couch in the playroom. About once a month, I’ll take the slipcovers off and run them through a sanitary wash cycle and they come out mostly pet hair free and certainly smelling fresh. In fact, I’ve got a whole post about why I think most homes with pets and kids should have a slipcovered couch!

Best ways to get pet hair off furniture

Even if you have the most pet friendly furniture in your home, you are bound to have pet hair accumulate at some point. Obviously, the best way to avoid it at all costs is to not allow your pets on the furniture, which, I’d argue, is nearly impossible with cats haha!

Use a great pet blanket

We use this in the playroom and it works quite well. We’ve trained the dog to come on the couch only when his pet blanket is there. Then, when I wash the slipcovers monthly, I also toss his pet blanket in with it and it comes out good as new. I buy a pack of fleece pet blankets (affiliate) that I keep around the house and it makes it much easier. 

Use a pet hair glove

This doesn’t have to be fancy unless you want it to, but rubber is a surefire way to attract and collect pet hair. Pet hair gloves are designed to help you brush your animal so they shed less, but the principle also works to get the hair out of upholstery! In fact, you can use just a regular kitchen cleaning rubber glove if you want. Just put on the glove and rub the upholstery vigorously back and forth and watch the pet hair start to collect in large clumps. You can then pick up the clumps or vacuum them up. 

Use a pet hair remover vacuum attachment

For really tough cleaning situations and if the dog is going through a major shed, the best way to get rid of the pet hair is to use a special vacuum attachment. Right now, we are using the Shark Navigator Lift Away. It is five years old and has been great, but it’s starting to fail and I broke off one of the pieces. We are in the market for a new vacuum for sure. One of the things I like about it is the pet hair vacuum attachment has it’s own moving roller that really helps get the hair off the couches and chairs. BUT the drawback is that the attachment is so big, it doesn’t fit on the vacuum itself and needs to be stored on its own. 

Getting pet hair out of the car

Having said all of that, I have found this pet hair vacuum attachment is one of the best ways to get the really bad dog hair out of the car upholstery. About twice a summer, I’ll put the vacuum on an extension cord and give the entire back seat and trunk a once over with this and the pet hair glove and it keeps it looking half decent. 

But there’s something about car upholstery that makes it so hard to get dog hair out! It gets into the cracks between the seats and it really sticks to the floor boards and the trunk, especially if you have a hatch or an SUV. My trick for getting the hair out of those places? Packing tape. 

If you double wrap a paint stick in packing tape, so the sticky side is facing out, shove it into the cracks in the seats, it will pull up most of the trapped dog hair so you can easily vacuum it up! 

You can also just use large pieces of packing tape to pick up dog hair from the trunk, using it like a large and very sticky lint brush! 

Getting pet hair off your clothes

In this situation, the best defence is a good offence and I have a few ground rules when it comes to clothing and pets. First of all, I do not hang any clothes on the bottom rail of my closet that might attract cat hair. If there are clothes near the floor, cats see that as an invitation to cuddle and hide and borough and then you end up with a blazer covered in cat hair and that’s gross. 

Any clothing that I hang on the lower rack of our cupboards and closets are non-attractive, like parkas and the like. All my nicer clothing is hung well above. 

The Finished Master Closet

The only other real way to combat cat hair on clothing is to use a lint roller often. In super bad situations where a cat or dog rubs against your leg, the packing tape trick also works. As a last effort, I will run the piece through a hot wash and dry cycle if it can handle the heat and finally – I will take it to the dry cleaner and pay for the hair to be removed. Yes! They will do this. It’s not always worth it, but if you have a piece that is borderline ruined due to pet hair, the dry cleaner might be able to help. 

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