How To Remove Pet Hair Everywhere: From Furniture, Floors and More

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If you have cats or dogs (or both!), I hope for your sake you’ve got a leather sofa, because we all know that pet hair clings to stuff tighter than a squirrel with a nut in the dead of winter. Alas, leather furniture is expensive, so most of us are left on our hands and knees, with a roll of tape, going over every inch of each surface, and praying that — JUST THIS ONCE — we get it all. Here are a few tips and alternatives to preserve your sanity.

Static electricity and low humidity (hello January and February!) make already annoying pet hair that much worse. Mitigate these two factors, and fur will remain more friend than foe.

Furniture
  • Remove pet hair from upholstery and fabric with dampened rubber gloves by running your hand over the surface to attract hair. Simply rinse off the glove when it’s covered with hair and repeat as needed. If you don't have rubber gloves handy, try a slightly wet sponge instead. I like this method because it doesn’t use up lots of tape needlessly.
  • Or, lightly spray a mix of water and fabric softener onto your upholstered furniture, then wipe off.
  • To remove pet hair from wooden furniture, use a soft cloth and furniture polish or anti-static dusting spray. The spray will eliminate the electric charge, making removal easier and lessening the likelihood that the hair will re-stick.

Floors
  • For carpet, scrape a pumice stone gently along the surface. Any hair will gather right up (plus your carpet won’t suffer from rough, dry skin this winter). I’ve also used a FURminator on my rugs, which, when used lightly, scrapes up the hair, but doesn’t damage the carpet.
  • When vacuuming your carpet, go over areas twice and alternate directions to loosen stubborn hairs.
  • On hardwood, laminate or other bare floors, use an electrostatic or microfiber dry mop; vacuums tend to blow hair around versus corral it in one spot.

Clothes
  • Keep one of those lint rollers right beside your door, for a quick hair removal session before you leave to meet friends or go to work.
  • For larger quantities of hair, try throwing your clothes in the dryer, along with a dryer sheet for 10 minutes. Or, use a dryer ball for a chemical free solution. The movement and softener loosens hair, which winds up in the lint trap. Adding liquid water softener to the washer helps too.

Pets Themselves
  • Brushing (or better yet, FURminating) about two days a week dramatically cuts down on the amount of fur tumbleweeds rolling through your living room.
  • And then, I’ve never tried this, but I’ve heard that putting a stocking or thin sock over the vacuum hose, and then vacuuming your dog or cat does wonders. My dog would be traumatized for life and never look at me again, but I’m curious as to whether or not others have tried it. Let us know in the comments.

And then, as always, let us know what else works for you!

(Image credits: Greer Freshwater Burton)

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