You can still adore your cat or dog and not adore how much fur they leave hanging around your home. And clothes, and furniture, and car … You get the point.
While hiring cleaners or doing a daily deep clean would be an ideal way to get rid of pet fur, that’s sadly not an option for busy homes full of people and pets. Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate this pesky problem.
We reached out to some home-cleaning experts for their tips on getting rid of pet fur, and while we can’t promise you you’ll never see another stray hair again, these are bound to help at least a little.
Tip 1: Prep the Area with a Kitchen Sponge
Before vacuuming or using other cleaning methods, Lauren Haynes, a cleaning expert at Star Domestic Cleaners, suggests prepping the offending area with a sponge.
“Lightly dampen a regular kitchen sponge and rub the surface,” she said. “This will make all the pet hair roll up into clumps, so you can easily remove the remaining fur.”
Tip 2: Don’t Use the Vacuum Alone
As much as you may love your vacuum (what pet owner doesn’t?), sometimes a standard vacuum cleaner just doesn’t pick everything up. Haynes suggests using something rubber, too.
“Rubber generates a lot of static electricity when it’s rubbed again fabric,” she said. “It will definitely help you gather all the remaining pet hair on the carpet or upholstery.”
While rubber gloves are the most obvious item to use here, Haynes says rubber balloons will work in a pinch. As an added bonus, using balloons might be a fun way to get the kids involved in the cleaning process, too.
Tip 3: For Quick Touch Ups, Try a Brush
You have guests arriving in five minutes and you suddenly notice a patch of missed fur in the corner of the living carpet — whatever should you do? Instead of pulling out the heavy vacuum, Meg Roberts, president of Molly Maid, suggests grabbing a dog brush.
“If it’s just a quick touch up that’s needed, try combing the rug or carpet with a bristle brush to collect hair from the fibers.” (Editor’s note: consider purchasing a bristle brush specifically dedicated to this task!)
Tip 4: Place Your Pet Fur Removal Products in Strategic Places
Once you’ve noticed your shedding pup rolling around on the carpet after coming in from a romp outside, it’s probably a little too late to avoid the inevitable clean up afterwards. In these cases, prevention is key.
“If you have dogs [or cats] that spend a lot of time outside, keep doggie towels and brushes near the doors you let them in and out by,” says Jonathan Barnett, CEO and Founder of Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning. You can use the dog towel to wipe paws and remove loosened fur before it even reaches your carpet, clothes and furniture.
Tip 5: Never be Without Pet Fur Removal Spray
If you’re out of your trusty cleaning products, fear not — it’s super easy to make your own. You can easily concoct a safe and effective fur removal spray by using a mix of water and fabric softener, says Denielle Kennett, director of marketing and corporate accounts for Pet Pros Services. “Spray it onto your upholstered furniture, then wipe off,” Kennett said. It’s a simple solution, which makes it all the more better.
Tip 6: Put that Pumice Stone to Good Use
Did you know that pumice stones are more than beauty products? Pick up a cheap one at your local drug store and gently scrape it along the surface of your carpet to help remove fur.
“It may be time consuming for larger areas,” says Kennett, but it’s good in a pinch, or as a way to break up the hair that’s embedded in the carpet before using the vacuum to remove it entirely. Other beauty products that work to remove pet fur: Velcro hair curlers (or anything Velcro).
Tip 7: Dip Into Your Dryer Sheets
For tricky fur that sticks to your baseboards, consider dipping into your laundry supply stash. “Run a dryer sheet over the baseboards of your home,” says Jamie Novak, expert organizer and author of “Keep This Toss That.” “The antistatic properties will repel fur, making it less likely to stick.”
Tip 8: Create a Pet-Grooming Bucket That’s Easy to Move Around
At the end of the day, the easiest way to deal with pet fur is to prevent it from becoming a problem in the first place. One easy way to stay on top of it is by getting organized.
“Group everything you need to keep your pet groomed in one bucket,” suggests Novak. “That way you can tote it around the house or even outside, which is the best place to brush a pet to keep fur out of the house.”