Aside from stubborn stains, pet hair is the next thing that is a nuisance when it comes to laundry. Not only is it harder to remove, it also clogs your machine, which will be problematic in the long run.
Fortunately, you can use some tried and tested tips and tricks to remove pet hair from laundry. Keep reading how to handle this issue.
How to remove pet hair in laundry
Below are some of the best methods to remove pet hair from laundry;
Using Pet Hair-Specific Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets, especially dryer sheets designed to remove pet hair, are a great tool for catching excess hair. Of course, any dryer sheet will help remove some dog hair, but those specifically designed to remove dog hair cost about the same and tend to have some extra fur-collection features.
Dryer sheets have antistatic properties that can help loosen hair from fabric. This way, you’ll find excess pet hair in your lint trap instead of on your favourite pair of pants.
You can also use their anti-static properties to help you rub off excess hair before putting your clothes in the wash. Then, just wipe down your clothes with a fresh sheet at the beginning of laundry time.
Put 1 to 2 dryer sheets in the dryer as a scented static remover. Dryer sheets eliminate static, which can keep hair stuck to the fabric. Place them in the dryer and the wet clothes before turning on the machine. If you have a light load of laundry, 1 sheet will work. For medium to heavy loads, use 2 sheets.
For fabric with a lot of static, like flannel, use an extra dryer sheet. Additionally, dryer sheets usually have some sort of pleasant smell that can help combat your pet’s set-in scent.
Using fabric softener
Use fabric softener to loosen up hair from the fabric. First, check the back of the bottle to find instructions on how much softener to use per load. Then, before turning on the washing machine, measure the right amount of fabric softener and pour it into the dispenser.
Most fabric softener bottles have to measure caps that you can use to portion the liquid. The dispenser in the machine itself may also have a fill line that you can use as a guide. Never pour fabric softener directly into the drum of the washing machine.
For older washing machines, read the manual to find out if you need to wait and manually add the softener immediately before the last rinse cycle. Newer models do this automatically.
Using Fur catchers
Fur catchers greatly reduce the amount of left-behind fur. Fur catchers are slightly tacky silicone pads designed to collect and hold fur while running laundry through the washer and dryer.
These reusable fur catchers shouldn’t be used with fabric softener or dryer sheets as they’d stick to them. But they can be used with wool dryer balls.
Fur catchers also catch long locks, so it’s a great pick for owners with long hair. Rinse off your fur Zapper after every couple of loads.
Using Wool Dryer Balls
Dryer balls that get rid of wrinkles while eliminating pet hair. Toss 3 to 6 wool dryer balls into the dryer for an eco-friendly alternative. Dryer balls remove static and stray hair like dryer sheets, but the balls are biodegradable and reusable. They’re also free of artificial ingredients, so they don’t have a scent.
Wool dryer balls help soften your clothes, which can help loosen pesky pet hair from fabric. They also promote airflow in your dryer, so it may take less time to finish a laundry load.
Set the balls about the size of tennis balls in the dryer with the wet laundry before drying. Place these wool balls in your dryer and your fur-ridden clothing load. They’re a great alternative to dryer sheets – especially if anyone in your home is sensitive to strong smells.
It’s best to layer the wool balls within your laundry rather than throwing them into the dryer right before or directly after loading all of your clothes into the machine. This will cut down on noise while the cycle is running and make the balls more effective overall.
Using the Dryer
It’s important to get as much hair off of your garments as you can before washing it, so it doesn’t get onto the rest of your clothes or stay in the washing machine. If you have some particularly hairy garments to launder, it may be worth running your clothes through the dryer before they’re washed.
This softens the fabric and loosens the pet hair so it can be collected in the dryer’s lint trap. Next, toss the laundry in the dryer for 10 minutes before washing the clothes. Then, put the hair-covered items in the dryer and turn it on a low-heat cycle, like a permanent press.
After 10 minutes, check the laundry. If there’s still a lot of hair on the pieces, run them in the dryer for another 5 to 10 minutes. Finally, clean the lint trap after tossing the clothes to clear all of the hair from it.
Place your load in the dryer for 10 minutes on a no-heat or low-heat cycle. You can also add a damp cloth to the mix to improve your fur-fighting strategy.
Vinegar is one of the best tools around the house for cleaning almost anything, including pesky pet hair. Vinegar helps to soften fabrics, which will help free clinging dog hairs from the threads of your clothes.
Add white vinegar to the rinse cycle for a natural hair remover. The acetic acid in vinegar softens the fabric and frees up the pet hair stuck in the material. Measure out 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) of vinegar, then pour it into the fabric softener dispenser of your washing machine before turning it on.
You can use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar if you’d like. If you’re worried about the smell of vinegar, you can start with a smaller amount, but the vinegar usually evaporates while the clothes are in the dryer.
If you have an older washing machine, you may need to add vinegar manually before the final rinse cycle. You can put it in on newer models at the beginning, and the machine will automatically dispense it when it’s rinsing.
Note: Check your washing machine’s manual first to ensure it’s okay to use vinegar with your model.
Using a Hand-Held Steamer for Delicate Fabrics
If you have delicate pieces, use a hand-held steamer to help loosen the pet hair on your clothes. The added dampness will ease the fabric, making it easy for you to remove pet hair.
From there, you can use a clothes brush, lint roller, dryer sheets, or manually brush off hairs from the fabric. Use a clothes steamer if the hair is caught on delicate fabric.
The warmth and moisture of the steam also release trapped hair, so it will be easier to remove in the wash. Fill the steamer’s tank with water, then lightly run the steamer over the fabric in downward strokes.
Steamers are safe to use on delicate materials like wool or velvet. Check the care instructions on the item’s label if you aren’t sure.
Pre Laundry Tips to Remove as Much Hair as Possible First
For best results, start by eliminating as much hair as possible before tossing your laundry in the wash. You can start by shaking off as much hair as possible before tossing those clothes into the washer. Once you’ve done that, consider using the following tools to help remove even more hair.
Lint rollers make it super-easy to remove pet hair from your clothes. You can use them before tossing your clothes in the washing machine and for those last-minute once-overs right before you run out the door.
Lift stubborn hair from fabric with a lint roller. Start with a clean adhesive sheet on your roller. Then roll it over the item, using smooth strokes in one direction. Pay special attention to any areas with a lot of hair.
Rip off the sheets as they become covered in hair to expose fresh sheets. Otherwise, the roller won’t be as effective at pulling up the hair.
Fabric brushes are a great alternative to lint rollers and work better with some types of clothing. The best fabric brushes even come with specially built fur removers, which make cleaning the brush a breeze.
Latex gloves can help remove pet hair from your clothing or fabric with a quick rub. In addition, the latex makes it easy to separate hair or other debris from the fabric so that you can collect and toss pet hair efficiently.
Brush a dry sponge over the fabric to remove hair from the surface. Set a sponge aside for de-furring your clothes unless you want to get dog hair stuck to your dishes. Use a kitchen sponge you don’t plan on using to wash dishes anymore.
Run the abrasive scrubbing side against the clothing or blanket to swipe off pet hair. Do this outside, or over a trash bag so you don’t get hair all over your floors. You can use a damp sponge for hair that’s tough to get off. First, wet the sponge, then wring out any excess water before brushing the fabric.
You can also loosen the hair before using the lint roller by spraying a static guard on the fabric. It will help release the hair from some fabrics and make removing it easier. Static remover spray keeps clothes, blankets, curtains, and pet hair static-free all day. It also dries quickly and is safe to spray on all colors of fabrics.
You can also use tape to collect left-behind hound hair from clothing. You can make your lint roller by wrapping a masking or packing tape around your hand with the sticky side facing out.
Run your hand over the fabric to pick up hair. Try not to use heavy-duty tape like duct tape, although this might leave behind an unwanted sticky residue — simple Scotch tape will work well.
Additional Pet Pro Tips to remove pet hair
Below are some extra tips to remove pet hair from laundry;
Upgrade your cleaning routine
You should consider upping your cleaning game. Invest in a powerful vacuum to rid your house of pet hair. Also, vacuum regularly to reduce the amount of pet hair floating around your home and keep fur off your clothes, especially if you have a long-furred doggo or a multi-dog household.
Clean Your Washer and Dryer Often
It’s important to keep your washer and dryer as clean as possible when battling dog hair on your clothes. Wipe down the inside of your washer and dryer regularly. You can even run your washer on a short rinse cycle with nothing in it to make sure that it’s super clean.
Clean the lint trap of your dryer before each load too. If you know you have a particularly hairy load, stopping the dryer cycle midway from cleaning out the lint trap might be a good idea.
Clean the lint trap halfway through drying. If the lint trap gets clogged while your laundry is drying, the hair can get spit back onto your clothes. Stop your dryer when it reaches the midpoint of its drying cycle and pull out the lint trap.
Brush off any hair or lint that has accumulated, then replace the trap and resume the cycle. Vacuum the trap every once in a while to remove any lingering pieces of lint, hair, or debris.
How to get pet hair out of your washing machine
- To get the hair out of your washing machine, try running it through a complete cycle while it’s empty. But before you turn it on, throw about 1/2 cup of vinegar in the machine.
- The best way to get dog hair out of your dryer is to wipe down the interior with a damp, lint-free rag. Don’t forget to clean out the lint trap regularly too.
- Run an empty wash cycle after you remove the laundry. This will rinse out any extra hair that’s still inside the machine. Set the washing machine on a regular cycle and let it run without anything inside.
- Choose the hottest setting and longest cycle on your washing machine for the deepest clean. Settings labeled “white” or “stains” tend to use the highest heat.
- Choose “extra rinse” if you have that option on your machine.
- Wipe the washing machine’s and dryer’s drums if there’s still hair. Otherwise, the next time you go to do laundry, the pet hair will just get tossed in with the clothes. So instead, use a damp cloth or paper towel to pick up any strands left behind in either machine’s drums.
- If you want to sanitize your machine while you wipe it down, squeeze a few drops of laundry detergent onto your cloth or towel first. Ensure you get in all the nooks and crannies, including the door and door seal.
- Vacuum out any excess hair from the washing machine or dryer. Use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to suck up any hair left behind in both machines. Next, sweep the entire drums, including the tops and sides. If vacuuming the washing machine, ensure it’s completely dry first.
- To dry the drum of the washing machine, leave the door open so it can air out or wipe it down with a dry cloth.
Bathe Your Pet Regularly
To tackle this problem at the source, bathe your pet regularly. This will help to reduce the amount of dog hair floating around your home. And you won’t have to put in as much effort getting the hair off your clothes.
Bathing your dog removes hair that would otherwise be shed later. You can also add an anti-shedding shampoo to your dog’s bathing routine and see if that helps.
Brush your dog to remove hair
Regular brushings can also help you remove and dispose of hair so that you don’t find it all over the couch later. There are several different kinds of dog brushes you can choose from, including brushes designed for short-haired dogs, dematting combs, and glove brushes that feel like a mini-massage for your dog.
You’ll want to pay extra attention to your pet’s fur around the spring and fall. During these seasons, he may be more likely to shed heavily, so it might make sense to bolster your brushing routine.
Change your dog’s diet
Omega-3 fatty acid fish oil supplements may help reduce your dog’s shedding, but there aren’t any magic bullets that automatically reduce the amount of hair your pooch sheds.
You may also want to examine your pet’s diet and be sure you’re giving them top-notch food, as poor-quality foods may exacerbate shedding issues.