One of your favorite pastimes might be taking your dog out on the weekend. Dogs love a car ride! It’s great watching their ears (and jowls) flap in the wind and seeing their excitement as they prepare for a long walk at your destination with lots of new scents. And then there’s your car after the fact. All dog owners know that dog hair has a way of taking over every surface, and your car seats are no exception. Well, rest assured, we are here to save the day! Or, at least your car seats…
Many of our suggestions are easy (and cheap) methods that can be done just by using items you probably have sitting around your house. But we will also include a few recommendations for products that can be purchased online if you don’t mind spending some money.
So, without further ado, we present 13 ways of cleaning up dog hair from your car.
Yep, this is an obvious one. There are a number of vacuums on the market that are specially designed for sucking up pet hair, so combine one of these with a handheld design, and you got yourself an easy way to clean up your car. If the pet hair is particularly stubborn, you can try out the more powerful vacuums at your local car wash.
2. A Balloon
This is definitely an odd suggestion, but if you happen to have some balloons left over from that birthday party last year, then it’s worth a try. At some point in most of our lives, we’ve done the whole rub-a-balloon-on-your-hair-and-stick-it-to-the-wall trick.
Balloons are great for static electricity and will easily attract the loose dog hairs inside your car. But it definitely won’t work for the dog hair that has embedded itself into the car seats, and actually removing the dog hair from the balloon itself will prove challenging. We also don’t recommend using a balloon for anyone with globophobia (otherwise known as balloon phobia).
3. The Dependable Rubber Glove
Most of us have a pair of rubber gloves meant for the not-fun chore of washing dishes. The rubber acts in a similar way as the balloon – it attracts the hair when you rub them over a hairy surface. While wearing the gloves, rub your hands in the same direction over the car seats, and you should gather up a rather nice hairball. It might also help to either moisten the gloves or the seats slightly as it allows the hair to clump together.
If you already own a pair of grooming gloves and if they are rubbery in nature, the material and nubs designed to remove the excess fur from your dog might just work on your car seats as well.
4. Velcro Hair Rollers
Okay, yes, this is another rather odd suggestion. But if you have Velcro hair rollers lying around the house, it’s better than nothing. Right? These work by just running the curlers over the surfaces with the dog hair, and they have the flexibility to reach into tighter spaces.
You might want to test them on a part of your car seats that aren’t noticeable in case the rollers end up snagging the material. The curlers can be reused over and over and are small, which means you can keep them stored in your glove compartment for quick cleaning jobs. Just don’t put them in your own hair after the fact because, yuck!
5. Duct Tape
Most of us have duct tape somewhere in the house. What else can you use if you need a last-minute knight costume for Halloween?
Loop it somewhat loosely around your fingers with the sticky side facing out, splay your fingers to make it tighter, and then drag it and press it over the hairy areas. Keep rotating the loop of tape as it fills up with hair. This is an effective method to remove the more embedded hairs, but you will need to keep replacing the tape when it fills up with hair and loses its stickiness.
You can also make do with packing tape if that’s all you have, but it isn’t as sturdy, and there’s always the possibility it will tear or might even leave some residue in its wake. There you have it! An inexpensive alternative to the lint roller! Which leads us to…
6. The Lint Roller
While duct tape is cheaper, lint rollers tend to be easier to use. Some people might already have one in the house because as dog owners, you probably have already been using it on your clothing, your furniture, your curtains…
7. Fabric Softener
Fabric softener is made with ingredients that were designed to loosen hair. The best method is to fill up a spray bottle with water and then add a small amount of fabric softener (2-3 teaspoons). Spray your car seats lightly with the mixture, and then wipe off the excess hair with a paper towel.
Surprisingly, if you actually use a pumice stone instead of a paper towel, it could prove very effective at removing the more stubborn hair. Again, like the Velcro rollers, test the pumice stone in a not so obvious spot in case it roughs up the fabric. Just wipe the pumice in one direction and rinse it in water to remove the dog hair from the surface.
8. Dryer Sheets
Clearly, using almost anything to do with static electricity is a common method for removing dog hair, and because most of us have dryer sheets, you have yet another way to clean your car. Just run a dryer sheet (and not a used one) over the surfaces inside your vehicle, and it will lift a lot of the hair. You’ll also have the advantage of a very fresh smelling car!
9. The Squeegee
What a great word! Just say it to yourself a few times – squeegee, squeeeegeeee… This nifty device has a rubber blade. Can you see the pattern here? Rubber and static electricity. You can find a squeegee in a variety of different kinds of stores, but particularly in hardware stores.
They are multipurpose, so you can squeegee your windows and then your car. Just sweep the car seats in one direction and pick up the excess hair that will form into a hairy pile.
10. The Wire Brush
The wire brush can be used as the last step in the cleaning process as it’s quite efficient at removing the stubborn, hard-to-get-rid-of hairs. If the idea of running a wire brush over your car’s upholstery makes you nervous, you could invest in a brush with rubber bristles.
11. Seat Covers
Another option is to just bury your seats under a seat cover. You may want to look for one that is water-resistant (good for those drooly breeds), machine washable, and will easily protect your car seats – even from dog claws. They are easy to remove and can be washed and stored after every car ride.
12. Travel Crate
Another option is to confine your pup in a safety belt or a carrier – there are even areas in North America where it’s the law.
You can find safety belts that are specifically designed for dogs as well as dog carriers that can be strapped into the car. While you’ll still get dog hair in your vehicle, it will be confined to a smaller area, and your dog will have the additional advantage of being kept safe while in the car.
13. Brush That Dog
Preparing yourself in advance should help reduce the amount of hair embedding itself into your car seats. Brushing your dog before you put him in the car will make the car ride less of a hairy experience. Many dog owners swear by the Furminator as a method of eliminating a lot of loose and excess hair.
While this approach doesn’t guarantee that you won’t have dog hair floating around your car, it should at least lessen the amount.
Now you have some weird and cheap as well as more complicated solutions to the dog hair problem in your car. Of course, you can use most of these ideas inside your house as well. Most fabrics aren’t able to withstand the snowstorm of dog hair.
Having a relaxed and confident dog and a clean vehicle is not mutually exclusive and is most definitely attainable. Taking your beloved pup on outings and finding ways to clean up the dog hair inside your car will keep you both happy – even if it is for different reasons.
Featured Image Credit: Eric Sonstroem, Flickr