How to remove pet hair from my furniture

Our furry friends are sources of endless joy and companionship, but no one has ever said they make keeping your house clean easier! But, you don’t have to pick between having hair-free upholstery and your favorite fur-kid. We’ve compiled a list of hacks (and plain old good advice) to help pet owners clean up stray hair.

Cats get fur everywhere

What’s the best technique to remove pet hair from my furniture?

There is no one size fits all solution here! The best pet hair remover will vary depending on what sort of surface you’re removing it from.

Floors and Baseboards

Removing hair from hard floors is a job best handled by a slightly dampened microfiber push-broom. Avoid using a regular broom or vacuum as both of these tend to blow the hair around. Depending on how much dog or cat fur there is, you may need to replace the mop head part way through.

For carpets your best bet is to use a vacuum cleaner with powerful suction, generally the big brands like Dyson (not a sponsor!) offer superior performance to no-name Amazon brands. If you’re concerned about allergies in addition to fur, be sure to look for a vacuum which includes a HEPA filter to avoid blowing dander and allergens around.

If you have stubborn hairs stuck in your carpet, or perhaps you have too little carpet to justify buying a dedicated vacuum for, you can use a wet rubber glove or a pumice stone. Whichever you choose, simply run it lightly along the surface of your carpet. Pumice stones do a great job pushing hairs into small clumps which can be easily pinched up. Pet hair will readily cling to the rubber glove. Simply wash or wipe it off once the surface stops picking up more hairs. Don’t have a rubber glove handy? Try using the rubber side of your bathroom squeegee. Just like the glove, cat and dog fur will stick to it like a magnet.

Stubborn Pet hairs get stuck in your carpet
For the tight corners where the carpet meets a wall, or on stairs, you may need to get creative. Make a loop of duct tape, sticky side out, and gently roll it into the corners. Don’t push too hard, your goal is simply to liberate the loose fur and you don’t want to leave a sticky residue behind!

Wood Furniture

Keeping your wood furniture shiny and beautiful is actually quite easy – and the good news is that as a pet owner this chore isn’t much different for you than for your friends without fur kids! Use a soft cloth and a furniture polish spray to gently dust the furniture.

pet fur from sticking to wood furniture
You may be tempted to omit the spray, but there are good reasons not to! Furniture polish usually contains an anti-static agent, preventing the pet fur from sticking as quickly. An added benefit of removing the electric charge from the wood is that household dust and dander will be less likely to stick as well!

Upholstered Furniture

Unless your furniture is covered in leather, dealing with cat and dog hair removal will be an important and regular part of keeping your living room clean. For those of you with leather, your process is as easy as gently wiping the furniture with a microfiber cloth. The bristles will stick to the cloth leaving your sofa and chairs free of fuzz. However, for the rest of us this will not be sufficient.

Couch us the number one collector of pet hair in the living room
One tried and true method is using a lint roller – the same device that keeps your black clothing presentable will work wonderfully on your sofa or chaise lounge. One DIY solution includes using a fabric softener dryer sheet – the hairs will preferentially stick to the sheet, leaving your furniture clean. Another option is running a damp sponge over the surface – just be sure that the sponge is clean and only barely moistened!

Does it matter what type of animal I have when trying to remove pet hair?

Yes and no. Clearly, some pets simply shed less – or not at all! Lizards and fish aren’t known for their shedding issues! But seriously, if the idea of pet hair is too much to handle there are dog and cat breeds you’ll want to avoid and others that you’ll want to consider more strongly.

You don’t need to pick a hairless breed like the Sphynx cats or the Central American Xoloitzcuintli to avoid shedding.
Non-shedding* cat breeds include the aforementioned Sphynx, Cornish Rex, Siamese, Devon Rex, Bengal, Siberian Cat, Korat, Japanese Bobtail, Tonkinese, and the LaPerm. Non-shedding* dog breeds include the Afghan Hound, American Hairless Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Bichon Frise, Chinese Crested, Coton de Tulear, Schnauzer, Shih-Tzu, Poodle, and Xoloitzcuintli.

Outside of these breeds you can expect some level of shedding to be normal. Long haired breeds don’t actually shed more than their shorter haired peers, but the hair may be more noticeable. The breeds which shed the most generally have two coats, one long outer coat, and one shorter inner coat.

*Keep in mind that non-shedding is not the same thing as “will never drop a single hair.” All creatures with fur will lose this fur over time, but non-shedding breeds won’t get dog hair or cat hair everywhere.

removing pet hair from furniture

What can I do so I do not have to remove pet hair from my furniture?

The advice “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is one of truisms that seems to apply across all walks of life, and preventing pet hair from getting everywhere is definitely easier than cleaning it up after the fact!

pet fur in your carpet

For many pets, the best way to prevent them from getting hair everywhere is routine grooming. Certain breeds may require you to take them to a professional groomer, but for the most part you can keep unwanted shedding to a minimum yourself. Your pet’s exact grooming needs will vary depending on their type of fur. Companies like Furminator © make specialty fur remover brushes that are designed to quickly and safely reduce loose hair. Be sure to get the right kind of brush – the wrong sort of brush will be less effective or possibly irritate your pet’s skin.

Try to make this a regular part of your dog or cat’s routine – ideally using a deshedding brush daily. If this is too much for your schedule or if your pet doesn’t want to cooperate, at least try to brush them daily during shedding season and weekly outside of shedding season.

Some people have reported success using the hose attachment of their vacuum, covering the nozzle with a stocking to prevent any unsafe suction. My dog will have nothing to do with a vacuum, stockinged or otherwise, so you may be best sticking to a brush!

If you feel like you’ve noticed a drastic increase in shedding from your dog or cat, you may want to discuss the problem with your vet. Excessive shedding is normal from certain breeds like Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Huskies, but marked changes can indicate health problems. Even some seemingly small changes to diet can make a significant difference – so keep this in mind when you’re pondering your pets’ seemingly endless supply of dog hair or cat hair!

In addition to grooming your pet, you can also take steps to reduce static electricity. If your house is excessively dry, static electricity will build up on wooden furniture, causing hair to stick to it like a magnet! Using a humidifier to keep your house between 30% and 50% relative humidity will prevent static buildup. This won’t eliminate shedding of course – but it will mean you have to spend less time dusting!

The best way to remove pet hair

Ultimately there is no single solution to pet hair, and you’ll have to come up with a routine that works for your furniture and your pet. Don’t overlook grooming as a means of controlling excessive shedding. This is an opportunity to spend some quality time with your pet, but it will also go a long way towards keeping their shedding down to a reasonable level.
Using an anti-static furniture polish and keeping your house properly humidified will also prevent hair from becoming a nuisance. Finally, invest in a high quality vacuum cleaner, some microfiber rags, and perhaps a few extra lint rollers for good measure!

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