Having dog hair all over the home is direct evidence of being a dog owner. Their hair gets all over the furniture, even if they don’t sit on it. It coats our clothes and finds its way into all the nooks and crannies of the house.
Getting dog hair out of your clothes can especially be one of the nightmares of dog ownership. It manages to weave its way into the clothes’ fibers until it seemingly becomes one with them.
As impossible as it may seem to remove the hair effectively, there are actually plenty of ways to do so.
Here are nine effective methods and materials that you can use to clean dog hair out of your clothes, both before and after washing them. Finally, you can go out looking fully human instead of half dog!
1. Use a dish sponge
We begin with the methods that you should try to use before throwing your clothes into the washing machine. Dish sponges have become one of those handy tools for almost any cleaning scenario.
Lay out your clothes that have an unusually thick layer of fur coating them. Take a dry sponge and move it down over the fabric. Continue to rub it in the same direction to gather the fur at the bottom of the clothes item.
It is best to use the abrasive side that you would typically use for scrubbing, since it will be better at removing those stubborn hairs.
When you do this, it is best to do so outside or over trash bags so you aren’t just brushing the hair onto your floor. We often don’t collect hair by being directly near our dogs, but rather by picking up floating hairs or those that rest on furniture’s fabric.
Every hair should be collected and thrown away to make cleaning the most effective in the long run.
If you find that a dry sponge isn’t quite cutting it, dampen the sponge slightly. You don’t want it to be wet enough to get the clothes wet underneath, but enough so it better holds onto the hairs that it moves over.
2. Use a classic lint roller
Another way to remove dog hair from your clothes is using a lint roller. This classic method uses slightly sticky paper to roll over your clothes and pick up loose pieces of fur or fabric. Although it is called a lint roller and used to take the place of the dryer’s lint trap, they are now widely marketed for pet owners.
Some lint rollers are more effective than others. You need just the right amount of stickiness. Your fabric shouldn’t roll with the lint roller, but it should be sticky enough to weave out all of those stubbornly engrained hairs.
Use the lint roller to roll over your clothes again and again until all the hair is gone. If you want, you can use a dry sponge to gently scrub the particularly stubborn areas and then collect the hair with the roller.
One of the best parts about a lint roller is that it keeps all the hairs in one place. You can roll your fabrics anywhere without worrying that the fur is just going to fall to the floor.
3. Use duct tape
Not everyone has a lint roller lying around the home. Duct tape is always an excellent solution if you haven’t been able to find a roller or recently emptied one.
Cut off swaths of duct tape and stick them to your clothes. Press the duct tape onto the fabric so the sticky side can make contact with the fur. Peel it up at a medium pace. Yanking can cause it to loosen its grip on the hairs before they come free from the clothing.
4. Dry, wash, and dry
Once you get to the washing stage of cleaning your clothes, the methods change. Before you throw your clothes into the washing machine, put the furry ones into the dryer. Run the dry clothes on a 10-minute dry cycle without heat, just a tumble setting.
Tumbling the clothes first softens your laundry and loosens all the caught hair. Some of it will start coming out in this cycle and will collect in the lint trap. Shake out the lint trap and then the clothes to get out as much of the dog fur as possible.
From here, wash them as you usually would, and then put them back into the dryer. Make sure that you clean your lint trap each time the clothes come out of the dryer.
5. Use white vinegar
Sometimes, putting your clothes into the washing machine isn’t enough to get them “pet fur clean.” A low-maintenance method that you can use is to wash your clothes with ½ cup of distilled white vinegar.
Vinegar is a kind of “holy grail” of cleaning solutions, and the same applies to ridding your clothes of dog hair. When you put vinegar in the wash with your clothes, it will reduce the static in your fabric, so the fur has less grip.
The vinegar then reacts with the fabric to create a non-sticking environment for any of the loose hair. It works with lint as well.
By the end of the wash cycle, the hair will be loose. By the end of the dry cycle, all of it should be collected in the lint trap.
6. Use dryer sheets
Another good addition to the washing and drying cycle is dryer sheets. Dryer sheets not only make your clothes smell great when they come out of the dryer, but they also reduce static when the heat and tumbling motion work to create it. It makes your laundry softer as well.
In the case of helping remove pet hair, eliminating the static is the most important part. The dog fur can’t stick to the clothes and gets caught in the lint trap instead of sticking to the clothes with greater static electricity.
7. Vacuum carpets, upholstery, and fabric furniture
Fur sticking to your clothes not only happens when your pup is rubbing up against you or cuddling. If they like to sit on the couch or sleep in your bed, then these hairs can easily transfer from these fabrics to your clothes.
Mitigate this, and keep fur out of the air and off the furniture by keeping your house clean. Vacuuming and sweeping everywhere can help, but the essential areas are the carpets and upholstery.
Keep carpets clean, vacuum curtains, and wipe the cracks between the couch cushions to limit the dog hair around the home. Until you clean it up, it is just waiting to make the jump onto your clothes.
8. Use a clothes steamer for delicate fabric
If you have delicate fabrics that you are worried about washing, like nicer blouses made from velvet or wool, there are other methods that you can use. First, gently try to roll over them with a lint roller or duct tape.
Next is where a clothes steamer comes in. The moisture and gentle warmth loosen the fur’s grip and make it easier to blow it out.
Once you run the steamer lightly over the fabric in downward strokes, you can try with a lint roller or tape to remove the rest.
It is easiest to use a steamer when the clothes are hanging up. If you end up steaming a great deal of the fur onto the ground, then be prepared to vacuum afterward. If you’re on a budget, you can buy a cheaper handheld steamer for less than $50, instead of getting the typical standing steamers that are often more than $100.
9. Brush your dog more
Finally, one of the best ways to mitigate the amount of dog hair that gets on your clothes is to collect the hair straight from the source. Use a rubber curry brush for shorthaired dogs or a shedding rake for dogs with longer hair and undercoats.
If your dog sheds quite a bit, then you should brush them at least twice a week. Brushing your dog is an excellent way to bond with them. It allows you to spend close, personal time with them, and any hair that you collect from their bodies is hair that won’t be shed on you or around the home.
Some dogs shed more during the spring and fall as their coats transition with the weather. At these times of the year, you can take them to the groomer to get their coat blown out. This treatment effectively removes most of their shedding underlayer instead of it coming out in chunks around the home.
Maintaining your dog and your home are ultimately the best ways to keep hair off your clothes. But no matter what you do, you are still bound to find fur clinging on. Now, however, you are equipped with the tools to make sure they don’t stay there.
Featured image credit: tajinna, Shutterstock