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

updated Sep 22, 2022
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(Image credit: Hannah Puechmarin)

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 fabric tighter than a squirrel with a nut in the dead of winter. Luckily there are some easy ways to get rid of hair. One big takeaway: Static electricity and low humidity make already annoying pet hair that much worse. Mitigate these two factors, and fur will remain more friend than foe.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

How to Clean Pet Hair from 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. (A dry rubber glove will remove pet hair, too, so you can stash the glove under your couch cushions for quick touch-ups.)
  • 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.
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

How to Clean Pet Hair Off 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.
  • On hardwood, laminate, or other bare floors, use an electrostatic or microfiber dry mop; vacuums tend to blow the hair around versus corral it in one spot.
  • When vacuuming your carpet, go over areas twice and alternate directions to loosen stubborn hairs. If pet hair is a problem for you, it’s worth investing in a specialty pet vacuum with extra strong suction power and a good HEPA filter. We had a panel in the Apartment Therapy studio test to find the best pet hair vacuum (office dogs for the win!), and they overwhelmingly chose the Dyson Cyclone V10.

How to Remove Pet Hair From 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. Our pick for the best lint brush for pet hair is OXO’s Furlifter.
  • For larger quantities of hair, try throwing your clothes in the dryer, along with a dryer sheet for 10 minutes. Or, use a spikey dryer ball for a chemical-free solution. The movement and softener loosens hair, which winds up in the lint trap. Adding a liquid water softener to the washer helps too.

How to Control Pet Hair on Your 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!

Re-edited from a post originally published 1.30.2014 – TW