Thursday, March 12, 2015

Cleaning Up Pet Hair

We love our pets. Cleaning after them -- not so much. Fur sheddings are part and parcel of having pets, and for the large part, dog- and cat-lovers have accepted it as a fact of life.


Still, it's quite pesky when it comes to cleaning it up -- especially when you get fur all over your favorite black jeans just by sitting on the couch.


Look to the following tools to make it easier to clean your home of pet hair:


An electro-static dust mop

Forget the vacuum: the exhaust can send pet hair flying back out onto surfaces. By contrast, fur will stick to an electro-static dust mop, thanks to the electro-static charge. It's much more efficient than the vacuum cleaner when it comes to bare flooring, wooden floors, and tiles.


Baking soda

However, you DO need the vacuum cleaner for carpets. And you also need baking soda, that ultra-handy, all-around cleaning agent. Sprinkle some over your carpets before vacuuming. It will loosen the hair from the carpet, which makes it easier to vacuum up. Baking soda also has deodorizing properties.


A wet glove or sponge

Don on a rubber hand glove, wet it with some water, and run your hand over the edges of your carpet to sweep up pet hair that often build up on these areas. You can also use this technique on upholstery, and you can use a damp, clean sponge instead of a glove. It's much more efficient and less wasteful than a lint roller.


Microfiber cloth

Spray a piece of microfiber cloth with some water (don't use too much -- just dampen the material), and run it over the smooth surfaces of your furniture. Given the friction, the microfibers create an electrostatic charge that traps the hair, and the water makes the cloth a little sticky.


Cover your pet's lounging areas with an old blanket or towel that's easy to wash. You can also do this for your couch. Simply stow them away for the time being if you're having some guests over.


Laundry dryer

Before washing your clothes, place them in the dryer and set it to tumble for 10 minutes, heat-free. This will loosen the hair from the material and soften the fabric to boot. Empty and clean the lint trap afterwards.


White vinegar

Shake out your clothes before you put them in the washer. Then, add a half-cup of white vinegar to the washer. Vinegar will help loosen the hair and soften your clothes as well.


Dryer balls

After washing, tumble-dry your clothes again, making sure to shake them out before putting them in. Use dryer balls to help reduce the static cling between the fur and your clothing, thus removing the last of the pet hair from the fabric.


Pet combs

Deal with the source itself -- brush down your dog or cat with a comb or pet brush once a day or as necessary. This will encourage a healthy coat of fur on your pets as well as make sure they don't shed as much of it all over your furniture.

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