Feel like you're buried in pet hair? Check out these tips to remove it and prevent it from gathering in your home.
This past weekend my husband and I packed up our RV, loaded our two dogs, strapped in our son, and went away for our 10 year anniversary. We had a great weekend in southern Arizona, roaming the streets of Bisbee, Arizona, during a music festival weekend. It was so much fun, but there was one thing we found ourselves complaining about almost every day: The dog hair floating around the RV.
We have two dogs, an Australian Cattle Dog and a Golden Retriever mix. The Cattle Dog has an undercoat, and the Golden has long, fluffy fur. Between the two of them, they shed a lot. It became very obvious to us that we hadn’t taken our normal steps to control their hair because it was flying everywhere in our motor home. If you too have dog, or another kind of pet that sheds, today’s tips are for you. These are my tried and true methods for controlling pet hair around our home.
Use the Right Brush
The first tip for controlling pet hair is to have the right tools to remove the most hair when you brush the animals. For years my husband and I were using the same brush for our dogs. It was a wooden handled, wire tooth brush, and it was comfortable to use, but it didn’t really seem to pull a lot of dog hair out. We then got one of those fur stripping combs. This fine-toothed come pulled a bunch of hair out with each swipe, but it had to be cleaned out after each pass through the fur. A couple months ago we took the dogs out of town and forgot to grab their brushes, so we stopped at Walmart to grab another. This was when our life changed.
The brush that I purchased has a flat head, with lots of very thin wire bristles going in different directions. The brush also has a button that enables the brush to clean itself. This thing works magic on both our dogs. With just a few swipes, it removes giant clumps of hair from both the Golden’s fluff and the Cattle Dog’s wiry undercoat. The brush makes a world of difference around our home. The more hair I can pull out with the brush, the less that ends up floating around our house, so long as you remember to brush your pets on a regular basis.
Bathe the Pets Regularly
Another thing that can help cut down on pet hair floating around your home is to bathe your pets regularly. Even though we brush our dogs right before bathing them, it always amazes me to see how much hair ends up in the drain after their baths. The massaging action of shampooing, and the flowing water going through the hair pulls even more hair out than brushing alone. Not only does regular bathing cut down on pet hair, but it also helps get rid of the extra dust and dirt that pets carry with them. Bathing your pet every couple weeks will help cut down on floaters and allergens in your home.
Maintain Your Vacuum
Now that you are maintaining your pets to prevent the hair from falling out around your home, you to maintain your vacuum. There are several vacuum companies that market pet specific vacuums, many of which cost several hundred dollars. Here’s a little secret: I’m not convinced that those vacuums are necessary to collect the pet hair around the house. Those vacuum companies do a great job at marketing, but they aren’t the only vacuums that can pick up massive amounts of pet hair from your floors.
Almost any vacuum, if properly maintained, can do a great job of lifting pet hair from your floors. Emptying the canister, changing the bag, changing or cleaning the filter, removing hair from the rollers, and checking the hoses for clogs are all things that help keep your vacuum performing well. Every vacuum needs these things done on a regular basis, but vacuums in homes with pets need to do them more often than others. Keeping your vacuum clean will not only help maintain a higher level of suction, but it will also extend the life of your vacuum.
I’m all about having a cleaning routine, but one of the worst things you can do when vacuuming your carpets is to always do it the same way. If you are always vacuuming your floors in the same direction, the carpet will start to mat down in that direction. You probably won’t notice it when you look at it, but when your carpet fibers are all going the same direction, you aren’t going to get them as clean.
To more effectively vacuum your carpets and rugs, you have a couple options. The first would be to use a carpet rake before vacuuming to quickly make all the carpet strands stand on end. This is the method that professional carpet cleaners use because it quickly and efficiently ruffles all the matted carpet. The other option is to simply vacuum in the opposing direction. When I am vacuuming my carpets, I start at one end of the room and vacuum in rows across the room. Once finished, I turn 90 degrees and repeat the process. By doing this I am removing some of the hair on the first pass, and also getting the carpet to stand on end. The second pass is where most of the hair removal happens. If you try this, look closely at your carpets before you vacuum, after the first pass, and after the second pass. You’ll likely see a world of difference in how much pet hair is removed on each pass.
Remove Pet Hair from Furniture
Now that your carpets are all clean, it’s time to focus some attention to the furniture. For wood and leather furniture, a microfiber cloth is the best bet for collecting pet hair and dust in one swipe. Cloth furniture can be a different story since the hair and fur can be stuck in the fabric. There are a few items you can purchase at a dollar store that will make cleaning pet hair from your cloth furniture much easier.
The first thing to try is a rubber glove. Put the glove on your hand and run it over the fabric. Static electricity will form, which will make the hair start to stick to the glove. Another option that works in a similar manner is a squeegee. Running an inexpensive shower squeegee over the cloth furniture will create a static charge and the hair will stick to the rubber strip of the squeegee. The final option from a dollar store is to get a lint roller or a roll of masking tape. The lint roller can quickly roll over the surface of the fabric and pick up the hair. The roll of tape can be pushed in to the seams and cracks of the cloth furniture to pick up all the hidden hair, crumbs, and dirt.
Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.