As an owner of a border collie, I can tell you quite a bit about pet hair. It is everywhere. On my couch, in the carpet, and even on my clothes. And since I don’t think he’d be too happy being fully shaven, I’ve got to deal with the problem myself. Thankfully over the years I’ve figured out some methods for dealing with it.
This is an annoying one. You show up to work dressed nice and then a co-worker lets you know a patch of fur is stuck to the back shoulder of your outfit. Great impression, right? My solution to this has been lint rollers. And in my research, the Scotch-Brite ones work the best.
Whenever I leave the house I load up a fresh patch on the roller and give my clothes a once over. You’d be amazed at just how much pet hair gets pulled up, even some you can’t see in the mirror. Plus it grabs lint, fuzz, and other stuff making you look nice. Throw one in your car and office drawer too just to be safe.
If you don’t want an expensive bill from the plumber to root out your pipes, it’s best to capture hair from not only yourself, but your pets before it gets down the drain. Now I’ve come across a lot of people who have issues with this in washing machine. You want to toss in a throw blanket, sweatshirt, or the cover to the dog bed that has hair on it. But you also don’t feel like sitting around picking off each individual hair beforehand. You have a couple options here.
The first, and the method I’m currently using is to get a lint trap hooked up to the discharge hose. This will capture all the hair (and other stuff) while letting water drain smoothly. How much junk this thing will save your pipes from enduring is shocking. After a few runs, simply clean it out or replace with a new one (they are cheap).
Your other option is using a tool like the FurZapper. Reviews seem mixed on this but it does seem to help a little. Apparently you toss it into the wash and hair will stick to it. You just have to be careful not to use fabric softener with it.
Carpet and Wood Floors
I have both carpet and hardwood floors in my house. So, I feel like I’ve slowly mastered the art of cleaning here. I’ve really taken a liking to robot vacuums over the years. It might just be my lazy side, but there is something great about setting one loose and going out as it cleans your room for the next hour. While traditional vacuums are fine, I find the robotic ones get the corners better, can go under most coffee tables, and will actually hit patches 20-30 times during a cleaning. I notice my carpet and hardwood floors are just cleaner using one.
Below you can see my old iRobot I bought almost a decade ago. Was convinced to buy back then from an old review from a blog I used to read. It’s held up well and one of the things I love is you can fix almost anything on them without advanced knowledge (try that with an upright). I swapped out a battery a couple years back and replaced the brushes for a few bucks. Cleaned off the sensors from time to time with canned air. Overall, it’s been a workhorse that I couldn’t live without. Although I must admit, those newer models you can find on Reviuu.com sure are tempting. Great features have been added over the years.
This is an area that’s much simpler. When it comes to coffee tables, counters, and any other piece of wood furniture, the Swiffer is where it’s at. It truly is a magical creation meant to extract dust and hair from hard surfaces. Replacements are relatively cheap (especially if you buy in bulk on Amazon) and you can get the work done in half the time.
As for furniture, I’ve had a lot of success with handheld vacuums with a brush. It takes a little elbow grease here but I can usually fill up the container getting the couch and recliner after a month. There are some pet hair specific options available, but they seem unnecessarily expensive.
Now if you’re really on a budget, dryer sheets will also do the job. And in fact, might be a better option if you have multiple dogs that shed like crazy. Similar to Swiffer dusters, they sort of act as a magnet for dust and hair. My Mom used to tape them to a stick and use them to clean off the baseboards when I was younger. Heck, she probably still does to this day.
And yes, I know I can just not allow him up on the couch. But I’ll take some dog hair if it means I can lay with my buddy and watch some Netflix.
Brush Your Dog Regularly
Maybe the most important tip is to brush your dog off to prevent that hair from ending up in places you don’t want in the first place. This does require a dog willing to put up with the brushing. But if you train them early on to get used to it, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Now there are all sorts of options out there. The “FURminator”, fancy lint brushes, and the weird glove. But I tend to go with the old fashioned dog brush you can find at the pet store. Sit your dog down, watch some TV, and brush till you get the excess fur off the best you can. Trust me, doing this every week will cut your dog hair problem in half.
There are a ton of other great resources online like this one from Pure House Cleaning. Not only does it give tips on pet hair, but on masking some of the undesirable odors they can leave behind. I even learned what chemicals can be dangerous for my dog.
Pet hair is something most of us dog owners have to deal with. It can be frustrating at times but with special brushes, lint rollers, robotic vacuums, and other products hitting the market, this task has gotten easier. Or you can just skip all this and go with a breed that doesn’t shed.