Loving your pet is easy, but cleaning up after his excessive shedding might take a little more patience.
It’s totally normal and healthy for most dogs and cats to shed, especially in the spring as their coats naturally thin in preparation for warmer temps. Some breeds are more prone to shedding than others, so if pet hair is particularly troublesome, you should seek out breeds that naturally shed less. But even if you do have a shedder on your hands, there are some easy remedies you can use to minimize the mess.
There are plenty of anti-shed products and shampoos available on the market – but you don’t need to waste your money. Ahead, check out some pet hair removal tips that you can accomplish with basic household items you might already have.
1. Textured rubber gloves are your new best friend
Pet dander naturally accumulates on soft surfaces like carpets, couches, pet beds, and curtains. Vacuuming is one way to combat this buildup, but when you’re short on time you can just slip on a pair of textured rubber gloves and wipe them across the hairy area. The little grippers naturally loosen up stuck-on hair, and since it’s already in your hand, you can walk it right over to the trash can.
2. Use a squeegee brush on carpets
After you do a few passes with the vacuum, you may think your carpet is clean — but you’d be wrong. Post-vacuum, run a squeegee brush across the entire area to capture all the tiny hairs that got left behind.
3. Rub a pumice stone on carpets
The more you walk on your pet hair covered carpet, the more the tiny hairs become embedded, which makes them harder for the vacuum to suck up. To gently release them without damaging your rug (or your sanity), try rubbing a regular pumice stone in the affected area to loosen up trampled hairs. Then vacuum as usual.
This tip is ideal for car interiors, where the hair tends to grab on and never let go.
4. Try a balloon to attract the hair
You know how your hair stands up when you rub a latex balloon on it? The same principle works for pet hair. Use the natural power of static electricity to quickly collect piles of hair on solid surfaces like wood, where it has a tendency to scatter.
5. Put hair-covered clothes in the dryer
Black pants covered in white pet hair? Try putting them in the dryer for 10 minutes without heat. Then wash as usual, adding ½ cup of white vinegar to help loosen any stubbornly stuck-on hairs. (Just remember to clean your lint trap when you’re done!)
6. Pick it up with Velcro
Velcro picks up all kinds of tiny fibers, including pet hair. You can purchase large swatches of this sticky picker-upper from your local craft store, or you can even use a giant Velcro hair curler for maximum efficiency.
7. Wet your hands
In a hurry? Get your hands wet and simply rub them across the offending areas. Wipe in a downward motion and watch in wonder as the hair clings to your hand and balls up into clumps that you can easily collect and discard.
8. Use a scrubbing sponge
The sponge you have sitting in your sink could help you collect pet hair, too. If your kitchen sponge has a rough scouring side, you can use it to quickly and easily clean pet hair off soft surfaces like carpets and upholstered furniture.
9. Pick it up with a lint roller
Anything sticky will work (including regular old tape), but lint rollers are especially effective at trapping stray pet hairs stuck to your sofa. Keep a few on hand at all times for quick touch ups that don’t require vacuuming.
10. Try a little coconut oil
A healthy pet is less likely to shed. If you notice your pet is losing more hair than normal, try adding a few spoonfuls of high quality coconut oil to his or her food or even applying it topically to limit hair loss.
When used properly, this superfood is great for digestion and can help promote a glossy, shiny coat.
11. Invest in a better vacuum
Sometimes paying a little more is worth it – especially when you’re a pet owner. If you feel like you’re losing the battle against the pet dander buildup, consider purchasing a vacuum cleaner that’s specially made for trapping pet hair. You’ll spend less time on cleaning and won’t need to do it as often, especially if you use all the special attachments.
12. Get some dryer sheets
Quickly run over your hardwood with a dryer sheet attached to a Swiffer or other duster mop. It naturally attracts tumbleweeds of dog and cat hair that accumulate along the baseboards and in corners.
13. Try a rubber broom brush
If pet hair buildup is a constant problem, investing in a rubber broom brush might be your best option. The little nubbies are great at loosening up and collecting dander that’s been ground into the carpet. Stash a small one in your vehicle, too, as this trick is excellent for car interiors.
14. Get Fido groomed regularly
The best way to fight back against pet hair is to keep it from getting out of hand in the first place. Schedule regular grooming appointments for your pet to cut down on shedding and keep their coat looking lustrous and healthy.
15. Cover your furniture
When all else fails, covering your couches and beds with a pet-friendly blanket that you can easily remove to clean might be the best answer. Save yourself the hassle of pet hair removal by keeping it from becoming embedded in the first place.