A bored looking orange kitty getting combed

Pet Hair Taking Over Your Home? Try These Strategies

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Our pets are members of the family, and just like everyone in the family they leave stuff everywhere—specifically, their hair. And dealing with pet hair on your furniture or in your bed can be a challenge.

But with a few cleaning and pet hair removal tips, you can keep your home looking tidy even during shedding season.

Cleaning Pet Hair on Furniture

Couches and other upholstered furniture seem to grab onto pet hair and never let it go.

I noticed this one day when I was leaning on one sofa cushion while vacuuming another. Where I pressed down, cat hair poked out of holes on a cushion I’d just cleaned.

So, I’ve made a point to push down on the cushions since, then work slowly and vacuum in overlapping strokes with the upholstery brush.

Then I turn the cushion at a right angle and do it again. It’s amazing how much more hair comes out!

Then switch to the crevice attachment to get in the nooks and crannies, and back to the upholstery attachment to get the arms, sides, and back. Voila, almost like new.

Keeping My Cat’s Hair off the Sofa

The instant I’m done vacuuming, the cat will be climbing up there again. Sure, I could put down aluminum foil to keep him off—cats hate that stuff.

Instead, I bought four twin fitted sheet that fits my sofa seat cushions. So, as soon as I’m done vacuuming, I put them on, one on top of the other.

Then, if I can’t wipe away cat hair easily with one of the methods below, I slide off the top cover and reveal the next one. Which my cat promptly sits on.

Reducing Pet Hair in the Bed

I love snuggling with my dog and cats, especially on a chilly night. But both of them shed, especially around the change of seasons, and that can make for a messy duvet or blanket and sheets.

If a quick trip through the washing machine isn’t getting all the pet fur out of your bedding, here’s help:

Shake your blanket and sheets outdoors before laundering. They’ll get cleaner without clogging your machine’s filter.

Avoid overcrowding the washer. Laundry needs room to swirl to release cat and dog hair.

Select the highest water level and longest wash setting possible. If you have several pets or long-haired ones, consider a second rinse to remove even more fur.

Skip the fabric softener. Liquid softeners coat fabrics to make them feel softer, but this layer also traps fur. If you want to keep your sheets soft and static-free, use vinegar in the rinse cycle instead.

Tumble dry if possible. The dryer’s tumbling action helps blankets and other bedding dislodge pet hair. Swap wool dryer balls for your dryer sheet to collect even more fur.

Vacuuming Pet Hair

Every pet owner knows they’ve got to vacuum often to control pet hair, but most people vacuum too quickly.

Slow it down and go wall to wall, then turn at a right angle and repeat. Proper vacuuming gets up so much more fur.

Then, dust or mop hard floor the same day you vacuum. That gets up more of the fur, and it helps prevent streaky floors.

Shampooing or steam cleaning carpets twice a year also control pet hair and pet odors, too. Doing it more often wears out your carpet faster, though.

No Vacuum Tips

If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, or want to control pet hair between vacuuming sessions, run a damp squeegee or rubber broom across floors and cushions. They get up so much pet hair.

Or slip your hands into rubber gloves, get them wet, and wipe surfaces—the pet hair will slide right off.

An Ounce of Prevention

With my pets, the best way to control pet hair is through regular brushing. My cat loves all the attention, though he’s not a fan of the slicker brush I use.

The dog loves it, though, and I love how it reduces pet hair in the house. Plus, they have fewer hairballs and feel so silky soft.

So, now that you know how to get the pet hair under control, are you ready to tackle pet odors?

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  1. I have two cats who retired with us and one is called Fluffy for a good reason! To get cat hair off easy (especially for people like me who have arthritis) put clothes, blankets or whatever in the dryer (don’t overload) add a new dryer sheet on the top and also on the bottom, run for 20 minutes and you’d be amazed at the hair that ends up in the lint catcher. I keep used dryer sheets in a jar or box and use these to clean the lint trap. Then wash per normal.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Sue,
      Thanks for a great tip!

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