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How to Remove Pet Hair from Clothes

Don't Be as Furry as Your Pet

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How to Remove Pet Hair from Clothes

Photo by MML

If you have chosen a mammal for a pet, you're going to have pet hair in your home and on your clothes. (Unless, of course, you have chosen to adopt a naked mole rat. And if you have, you have other issues; but back to the pet hair.) I can usually identify a pet lover and the color of their pet by the hair clinging around the bottom of his or her trousers. When I'm wearing black, I try to only pet my black lab before leaving the house. It makes the red chow jealous, but she gets her turn when I'm wearing autumnal colors.

The first step in removing pet hair from clothes is preventing excessive shedding from your pet. There is plenty of information available for cats and dogs on how to prevent shedding. You can also select dogs that are less prone to shedding.

As you know, no matter how diligent you are about grooming your pet it is still going to shed. And, any clothes that have a texture (corduroy, loopy wools, suedes) or produce static cling (any man-made fibers) are going to attract the hair. But here are some ways to lessen your own fur ball look:

  • Vacuum your home and furniture often. Much of the pet hair on your clothes comes from the furniture.
  • Wash pet bedding often. After laundering, run an extra rinse cycle to be sure that your washer is free from pet hair. If you dry the pet bedding in a dryer, clean the lint filter in mid-cycle so that it can collect additional hair as the bedding finishes drying. If you don't clean a clogged filter, pet hair can redeposit on clothes.
  • For washable garments, add 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the rinse cycle. The vinegar will help the fabric fibers relax and "release" the hair.
  • When washing clothes, do not overcrowd the washer. The clothes need room to move freely in the water so that the hair can be loosened and flushed away down the drain.
  • Tossing the clothes in the dryer - even for a short time - will help remove hair more than air drying clothes. Keep all dryer vents clean and clear of lint so that there is enough strong air flow to pull the hair away from the fabrics.
  • The use of a dryer sheet can coat the fibers of clothes and reduce static cling and hair cling.
  • Keep several clothes brushes handy for a quick clean up before leaving home.
  • If you have woolen clothes that are covered with hair, use a clothes steamer or even hang them in a steamy bathroom before use the clothes brush. The dampness will help the fibers release the pet hair making it easier to brush away.
  • A sticky clothes roller is often best for removing pet hair. If you don't have one (or can't find it), use some sturdy packing tape wrapped around your hand with the sticky side out. It works great!
  • If you don't have a lint roller or clothes brush, look under your kitchen sink for some dishwashing gloves. If you lightly dampen them and rub them over your clothes, the static they create and the texture of the palms will cause the stray hairs to cling to the gloves. Once they become covered with hair, give them a rinse and start again. Using the gloves for hair collection also works great on upholstered furniture.

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