Pet Hair Cleanup Tips (and Tricks)

When the lint roller just can’t get the job done while trying to remove pet hair from upholstery and carpets, here are a few tips to try (most will work well for detailing your vehicle as well):


  • Wrap clear packing tape (or wide masking tape, duct tape) loosely around and across your hand (sticky side out) then wipe/pat down furniture and areas where your critters tend to hang out. Works well on clothes too. It aint pretty but it works.
  • Mist area well with water, then briskly brush hair together into a pile and garbage–vacuum. Use a stiff bristle brush for this, the stiffer the better.
  • Try a thick, dense sponge. Look in stores for special cleanup sponges–they need to be quite dense to work best. They’re about $5 or $6 and can be washed and reused over and over again.
  • Wear rubber gloves and wipe, pulling everything together in a pile. Regular yellow, dishwashing gloves, rubber gardening gloves or surgical rubber gloves work well for this. Wash and dry the gloves, then get at it again. Vacuum up the piles you accumulate with the process.
  • Wipe down upholstery or fabric surfaces with a dryer sheet.
  • Try a good, portable wet vac.
  • Take a spray bottle, give two good squirts of Downy and fill the rest of the bottle with lukewarm water. Shake to mix well, then spray area. Let dry and vacuum. This seems to help with carpets.
  • Spray with Static Guard, dry then sweep, vacuum or sponge the area.


Bucketful of warm water and a splash of Murphy’s Oil Soap

  • Wet a sponge with the water, squeeze to release excess then wipe area in a circular/rotating motion. Don’t use the sponge dripping wet. Rinse dirty sponge in a bucket of water, submerge again in the Murphy’s Oil Soap water and repeat process until everything is picked up.

When all else fails:

Put on your favorite, nicest pair of black slacks or your most expensive, cute black dress and walk through your house. Voila! Hair from miles around will be on them ;).

Here’s a neat trick for cleaning the brush:

  • Instead of throwing out nylon stockings that have a run or two in them, cut them into strips that will cover the head of your dog’s brush. Carefully place the nylon strip over the pins and pull down until the pin heads poke through.
  • Brush your cat or dog and when the grooming job is done, just pull off the strip of nylon and all the collected fur will come off with it.

This will work on bristle brushes or slickers (the kind with the straight steel pins).

Remember: Occasionally dip and whisk the brush around in a dog shampoo/water solution then rinse to wash out dirt and oils collected. This will help keep the brush clean.

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What Readers Are Saying: 11 Comments
  1. infmom says:

    Believe it or not, the same brush you use on your cat gets cat hair off the furniture, and the heavier the coating of fur, the better it works. Turn your wrist a bit as you brush (as if you were using the brush to flick the fur off the upholstery) and most of the fur will come right off. You can then use the sticky-tape trick to get rid of the rest.

  2. Kim says:

    Birds love the lint from your clothes dryer to use as nesting material too.

  3. Liz Read says:

    Fill a spray bottle with water add a few drops of lavender oil (you can keep this and use as an air freshner, polish or hard floor wash) spray upholstered furniture, then wipe with a car chamois. It collects all the hair into a ball, then just vacuum or pick off. Works great with my 6 long haired indoor cats!

  4. Leslie I says:

    to remove pet hair I use a green brillo pad, wipe until both sides are full, and use vacuum cleaner hose attachment to clean. works great cleaning car also. Lasts a very long time.

  5. Joan says:

    I use a clothes brush. It works in a flash. Then I use the pet hair brush to clean the accumulated hair. Found a great brush that has a movable lever. After brushing the cat, push the botton on the handle, the lever pushes the hair to the top of the bristles, and I just pull it out. Easy Peasy.. In five minutes or less, all hair is gone. For a short while of course becasue the two long hair cats and very fluffy dog never stop sheding.

  6. Marjie says:

    Dampen an old washcloth, fold in quarters and rub over areas where your cat or dog lie down. You will be amazed at how much pet hair will accumulate on the wash cloth.

  7. Bobbie says:

    Since I ended up with so much arthritis, (just can’t do all that cleaning anymore), when our furniture needed replaced…we bought leather. So far, no damage from cats or dogs.

  8. Mandi says:

    My dog ( a pug) has gotten tree sap on him. Does anybody know a painless way for me to remove it without shaving him?

    • Joann Drye says:

      Try working peanut butter (yes) into his hair and then working the sap out.. peanut butter works on gum in kids long hair so should work on him… if not use WD40 it will take tar off of anything including dogs…and it won’t hurt his skin… in fact if you ever take the time to read the label on WD40 you will be amazed at what all it will do!

      I have 5 small dogs, so I know about them getting into things and my daughter has pugs… but did you know if you shave a short haired dog, it will stop it from shedding? (I worked at a vets for a while too) I could not understand why this lady brought her pugs in to have them shaved….duh,,,they don’t shed once they are shaved… hope this helps you.

      • Dia says:

        I work at a Groomers and the dogs still shed, the hair is just in smaller pieces. This will NOT work if you have a dog that sheds year round. But weekly baths and blowing out the dogs undercoat will help tremendously! Plus a routine hair brushing 1-2 times a day will make our dog happier and you because there’s less hair.

        (Don’t know anything about cats. We don’t groom them. If you try to shave it yourself watch out because a cat’s skin is as thin as tissue paper and definately will bleed.

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