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If you have a pet, you know how frustrating pet hair can be. My cats leave hair everywhere. I vacuum, dust and clean the house only to see new tumbleweeds of hair rolling across the floor. I go out to dinner and look down to find beautiful cat hairs firmly attached to my suit.
In an attempt to learn tips about the most effective ways to deal with pet hair, we surveyed hundreds of PetPlace.com pet lovers to find out how they deal with pet hair in their homes, cars and on their clothes. Over 72% of our responders said that pet hair or fur was a substantial problem in their homes and lives. There is no magic solution to dealing with pet hair but we did get some great tips on how pet lovers all over the world effectively deal with the problem.
Where is pet hair a problem? In one word, everywhere. Our users told us that pet hair was worst on the carpet or floor of their homes followed by "bad" all over the house, on the furniture and finally on their clothing. Most pet owners did not consider pet hair a big problem in their cars.
When do they shed? More than 85% responded that they thought their pet shed all the time with no seasonality. The other 15% thought shedding was bad seasonally.
How do our users deal with pet hair? The most common methods for dealing with pet hair are vacuuming and brushing pets. Approximately 93% vacuum or sweep regularly to deal with hair and 71% also try to regularly brush or groom their pets. About half of these users do the grooming or brushing themselves and about half use a groomer. Another common recommendation was tape rollers with about 59% of responders using a roller on their furniture or clothes.
Here are some tips from our users on how they effectively deal with pet hair in specific locations:
In the house
The number one method our pet lovers use to deal with pet hair in their homes is to vacuum. Followed by frequent changing of air filters and cleaning of bedding.
Vacuum – The number one type of vacuum recommended was the Dyson. We received many positive comments about this particular vacuum including: "I have tried many types of vacuums (upright) the purple Dyson which is specific for use with pet fur works the best but it is pretty expensive.". Another comment about the Dyson included: "Buy a Dyson "Animal" vacuum. It works better than any other vacuum. Wish I had all the money I wasted on other vacuums." Another vacuum some users also like is a "shop vac" for reaching under furniture and getting those tumbleweeds of hair. The testimonials for the Dyson were so persuasive that I personally ordered one online. It is great. It is amazing the hair it picks up!
Air Cleaners – make sure you change your air filters frequently.
Bedding – wash at least weekly. Buy beds with washable covers or lay a blanket that can be easily laundered over their favorite resting spots.
The preferred type of floor to deal with pet hair is hardwood or tile. Carpet was the biggest problem for our pet owners.
Brooms and vacuums – One user gets great results from a rubber broom: "I use one of those "squeegee-bristle" rubber brooms to scrape the cat hair off the carpet into a "ball." I then follow up with vacuuming." The Swiffer® was also recommended for daily touch ups on hardwood and tile floors, for example: "I never used a Swiffer® until we rescued our Blue Heeler. Now I can't live without the dry Swiffer® especially for those in between times when I can't vacuum." And… "You can use the new Swiffer® Vac to easily pick up those dog hair tumbleweeds and it reaches under furniture."
Have flooring that matches your pet! A few users actually installed flooring to match their pets! "I took the easy way out – I bought carpets that don't show the golden retriever hair so easily because of the color. The hair is still there, just not as obvious." And… "Have carpet and floor that match your dogs fur. My Pergo® floor is light (Like blonde). Doesn't show from a yellow lab until it fur balls from the fine hair during shedding."
Bottom of rubber soled shoe – "When it's on the carpeted stairs; the bottom of my tennis shoes is good at removing it; that goes for car seats; and carpeting………You can even put the shoe on your hand to remove the hair."
Damp mopping – Seems to work on tile floor.
Rubber Gloves – Lots of users like rubber gloves to deal with hair on furniture. "The best way to remove cat hair from furniture/fabric is to wear Playtex® gloves. Rub glove(s) in 1 direction & watch your fur ball grow! You pick-up 98% on the 1st swipe!" And… "For pet hairs on furniture I use a rubber glove, and rub it over the chair or couch and the hair comes off!"
Dry Sponge – A dry sponge can be used on furniture to help ball up hair. For most, it is more effective if slightly dampened.
Slip covers or blankets – A common recommendation is to use different materials to cover furniture and wash them weekly. "Slip covers and blankets are great for covering up furniture because they can just be thrown in the washer."
Cloths – "A micro fiber cloth dry or dampened removes hair easily from furniture."
Velcro-type lint brushes – "I've found that those velcro-type lint brushes work best on the furniture and on my clothes."
Use the same tips as given for clothing and furniture.
Rubber glove – the rubber glove technique was a favorite for dealing with pet hair on furniture but also was recommended for clothing. Just put on the glove and brush hair away.
Dry sponge – can also work on clothing depending on the fabric. However a damp sponge or hair roller tend to work slightly better.
Damp sponge or cloth – "A wet cloth if you have no other option will remove pet hair from clothing and material."
Lint brushes – this can work great.
Hair rollers – keep one in your home and one in your glove box. When you arrive at work or to your location and notice hair, you will be happy to have a roller handy in the glove box!
Tape – our users wrote, "I don't have any tips other then have lots of inexpensive duct tape around for clothing. Take the duct tape and wrap it the wrong way around the roll and start rolling on clothes until it fills up then rip it off and start over again." And… "Packaging tape is a wonder…I rip a few pieces off stick them side by side and rip it off the couch cushions. Then I move to a different spot. This gets it off better than those rollers and the tape isn't as expensive. Works on my lamp she rubs against without damaging the shade. lol…."
Hide your clothes – keep your clothing picked up and put away. Don't leave your clothes out where your pet can lay on them. Also, after you wash, be careful where you fold your clothes. It is tempting to dump the laundry basket on to a surface where your pet might like to lay that gets hair immediately on the clean clothes.
Brushing and grooming – The second favorite way our users deal with pet hair is to " brush, brush, brush." Some hair coats shed more than others no matter what you do, but helping them shed their hair when the season changes reduces the hair in the house. Your pet's individual hair coat should be taken into consideration when buying grooming tools. Here is a great tip: "If you have your pet professionally groomed, ask to meet with the groomer. Ask their advice on the best brush or combs for your pets coat type. For example, some combs and brushes work better on short straight hair and others work better on dogs with thick undercoats. If you don't get your pet professionally groomed, then you may want to take your pet to a pet store and get advice on their grooming products." Many users like to combine regular brushing with grooming. Combining daily brushing (especially recommended outside) with monthly grooming can be very beneficial. Brushing on a regular basis makes a big difference.
Brushes – Use a brush designed for your dog's hair coat. If he has an undercoat, use a "rake" type brush or a shedding blade. If he has long hair, you may want a variety. Many users liked the brushes that were built into a glove so their pets thought they were getting petted rather than brushed. "I use a glove 'brush' so my guys think I'm just petting them and don't fight being groomed. Also, if they'll let you, try vacuuming your pets. My rat terrier absolutely loves it and thinks it's a special treat." Vacuuming should be done with special care, as some pets may be frightened. Also, take special care as some vacuums may be too powerful and can harm the skin.
Shampoos and Rinses – Some users thought a good quality shampoo and cream rinse helped minimize shedding. Most users don't think the individual products makes a huge difference but the physical act of bathing can help remove hair. Bathing is a good part of the overall brushing and grooming program.
Choose your clothes carefully – Several users actually said they actually stopped wearing black clothing so pet hair would not be as obvious!
Good quality food – Some users really thought their pets shed less when fed a better quality food. For example, "Feed a premium brand of dog food, since this will decrease the amount of shedding, by providing the dog with good nutrients."
Vitamins – Some users thought vitamin supplements were helpful. This accounted for less than 0.05% of users.
Professional help – Pet lovers that could afford it found great value in professional services such as housecleaning services. Having their homes professionally cleaned every two weeks can make a big difference.
Ultimately, to effectively deal with pet hair in your home, vacuum like crazy and groom your pets regularly. Daily vacuuming and brushing is best. If you can afford it, the Dyson vacuum is a real favorite! Rubber gloves and the Swiffer® seem like great options for fabrics and flooring.
Do you have suggestions on how you deal with pet hair? Fill out our survey!