You may love your four-legged companion, but chances are you’re not a fan of all that shedding of fur in your home. With the right products and a few handy tips, you can stay on top of the pet hair in your home, leaving you more time to enjoy the company of your pet.
The best pet hair remover tool for almost all spaces is rubber. “Rubber is electrostatic, so rubber gloves or a squeegee work perfectly to pick up pet hair from all surfaces around the home, including your car mats and clothes,” says cleaning and organising expert Chantel Mila Ibbotson (@mama_mila_au). “Just wipe the gloves or squeegee across the surface you’d like pet hair removed from.”
Use a squeegee like a little rake, dragging it across flat surfaces like carpets, car mats and couches to gather animal hair into a clump that’s easy to pick up or vacuum. This is a particularly good (and cost-effective) fur remover technique for small spaces, such as a favourite spot your pet likes to sit in. Rubber gloves can be used the same way and are particularly useful in tight spots such as the crevices of car seats.
Tip: Dampening the rubber gloves can make them even more attractive to hair, so dip them in a bucket of water and rinse off the pet hair in between wipes.
For hard surfaces like timber floors and tiles, use an electrostatic broom. Unlike a normal broom, which sends hair spinning away, an electrostatic broom has rubber bristles that draw in pet hair, as well as dust and dirt. You can use it on carpets, too!
To remove pet hair from furniture, you’ll need a miniature version of the electrostatic broom – an electrostatic rubber-bristle brush. These can be brushed or scraped across upholstery, gathering the hair into a clump you can easily pick up and pop in the bin. Other versions of pet hair remover brushes have micro bristles instead of rubber, but are used the same way.
A lint roller is the best option for removing pet hair from clothes. These will work on any fabric surface, but are better with lower volumes – the odd stray strand on your winter jacket, rather than a thick coating on the sofa. Lint rollers simply use a roll of sticky paper; once it’s covered in fluff, you peel off and discard the used layer.
If you’re caught without a lint roller, another (even stickier) option is duct tape. Wrap it around your hand, sticky side out, and pat it over your clothes or couch.
To remove dog hair and cat hair from floors, use a vacuum rather than a broom. “Don’t sweep – get an affordable, quality vacuum and use it regularly. There is no need to spend a fortune,” says Beth McGee, author of Get Your House Clean Now: The Home Cleaning Method Anyone Can Master (getyourhousecleannow.com).
If pet hair is a major issue, however, it helps to get a vacuum that’s specifically equipped to deal with it. Look for inclusions like rubber brushes instead of bristles (which lift hair from carpet and are less likely to tangle), covered bristles to prevent tangles, and HEPA filters to trap pet dander and reduce allergens.
Look for vacuums with handy accessories, too. Extension wands are essential for getting into small spaces and especially good for cleaning dog hair from between car seats. Upholstery tools are also useful, including mini vacuum heads with a microfibre strip that captures hair.
Hoovering up animal hair is a quick and easy fur remover method, but long hairs can soon get tangled around the vacuum brush head. To clean it, simply use a pair of scissors to snip along the line of the bristles, gently tugging the hair free.
If the pet hair is making your vacuum a bit whiffy, regularly empty the barrel or replace the bag and check if the filters need cleaning. Try vacuuming up a little bicarbonate of soda to neutralise odours; if your vacuum uses a bag, pop in a couple of drops of fragrant essential oils.
Static electricity is what keeps pet hair clinging to every surface, but you can neutralise this with moisture. Follow up a sweep or vacuum by mopping with a damp flat or string mop, which will draw in any flyaway hairs (or dust) you missed.
The same principle applies to fabrics – a damp cloth (or damp rubber gloves) dragged over clothes or upholstery will scrape up hairs. Even a damp hand will do in a pinch, if you’re caught outside the house with a ‘fur coat’ on.
Air humidifiers also help prevent hair sticking persistently to surfaces. Plus, they can help reduce the static halo on your long-haired dog.
Giving your dog or cat their own bed or blanket to sleep on helps keep animal hair off your couch; if you can train them to sleep on there (and not on your bed), even better. To clean pet blankets, put it in the tumble dryer for 10 minutes at a low heat before washing. If you have them, add dryer sheets, which help reduce static cling and loosen the hair. Much of the hair will then be deposited in the lint filter. Give the blanket a good shake outside, then wash as normal. (Don't forget to empty the lint filter.)
Regularly groom your dog or cat, especially during shedding season. This keeps their coat in good nick, helps prevent matting and will hopefully minimise the pet hair in your home.
Photo Credit: Daniel Mahon, Getty Images