Is a Good Pet Hair Remover a Necessity in Your Home?
Many millions of us have indoor pets, or pets that are indoors at least part of the time. With all of the love and companionship that a pet brings, comes fur. Large qualntities of fur. It stacks up over time, and in the spring, when shedding is at its height, it can be overwhelming. Getting rid of unwanted pet hair takes diligence!
Getting the right pet hair remover tools is important if you want carpeting and furniture that don’t have an embedded layer of fur. From my own personal experience there are a number that I can recommend that really make a difference.
Removers That Get at the Root of the Problem
Anytime you want to combat a problem, it’s best to start at the source. In this case, your pet and its fur.
A good brush is the most basic and important pet hair remover I can imagine. Regular grooming is essential to keep fur from ever reaching your furniture. I have three cats. They are outdoors at least 50% of the time and indoors the rest of the time. Although their coats are short to medium in length, they are extremely thick because they are exposed to cold winter temperatures. I brush them about once a week in general, but as they start shedding in the spring, it becomes a daily routine.
If you want a cat that’s easy to brush, then starting such a routine when they’re young is wise. Otherwise, if you’re just starting out with an adult cat, keep grooming sessions short, be gentle, and watch for signs of over stimulation. You want to stop before they become too upset. This way they will be more accepting the next time. I also found that if I pet my cat, scratched his head and chin while gently brushing, he was more tolerant until he became more accustomed to brushing.
Vacuums can also be a good pet hair remover in some instances. Using a small hand vacuum or an attachment is common. I haven’t tried this but I’m sure it’s useful if you can train your pet to accept it.
If a pet sheds excessively year round you should probably check with a veterinarian to be sure there are no health or dietary problems.
Pet Hair Removers for Your Furniture
Upholstered furniture loves pet fur. It often hangs on to it despite vacuuming in many instances. Certainly some vacuums are better than others and finding one with enough power and/or the right attachments is a critical step in ridding your chairs and sofa of fur. However, there are other important pet hair removal tools that should be in your arsenal and precede vacuuming. Personally, I prefer a vacuum with a spin brush attachment but in all honesty, I also need a little hand vacuum, otherwise my cleaning isn’t frequent enough as dragging out my full sized vacuum and attachments isn’t that handy.
If you merely want to get pet fur to relinquish it’s hold on the fabric covering of your furniture, you can use a common dryer sheet to perform this task. As you rub them over the surface, the fur will either cling to the dryer sheet or it will, at a minimum, ball up so that it can be easily picked off or vacuumed off after the fact. I personally prefer unscented dryer sheets for such tasks. This does require a bit of effort but is fairly effective. It does seem that dryer sheets tend to leave a residue, so vacuuming as a follow up is important. A newer product that I began using just a few months ago is the Pet Hair Lifter. Thus far it has been very effective on my upholstered furniture at lifting out the fur which merely balls up, allowing me to pick it off by hand. I’ve found that I prefer this tool over the dryer sheets as there is no residue. Both the dryer sheets and the Pet Hair Lifter are very affordable and easy to use.
Another basic tool that works reasonably well for removing pet fur from upholstery, are the lint rollers that use tape. In my experience this work best when you use them daily and when the fabric is smooth enough that pet hair doesn’t tend to get too embedded. In these instances, these tape rollers offer a quick solution that doesn’t require too much labor; just a couple of swipes usually gets the job done and no additional vacuuming is necessary. The drawback is that you’ll use a large amount of tape and it’s hard to get in small crevices.
Some people recommend using a moist rubber glove to rub over your upholstered furniture, but this isn’t a method I’ve used. Certainly it would offer the advantage of not leaving any residue on your upholstery.
A newer product on the market is the Pledge Fabric Sweeper for Pet Hair. It seems to work well as a pet hair removal tool but doesn’t get in the crevices well and has to be replaced somewhat frequently, driving up the cost.
Your Furniture and It’s Role in Pet Hair Removal
I love upholstered furniture. It’s warm and inviting, soft and comfortable. But face it, some finishes are more fur retentive than others. Looser weaves and those with more texture retain pet hair to a far greater extent than many other types of fabric. If you’re shopping for new furniture, you might want to keep this in mind.
Of course selecting leather or vinyl furniture, not to mention wicker or wood when appropriate can also be a good preventative measure. In this way, the right furniture can be the perfect pet hair removal solution!
Pet Hair Remover Tools for Carpeting and Rugs
Pet hair tends to intertwine with carpet fibers as well. Although frequent vacuuming can go a long way in pet hair removal, other steps can help assure it’s success.
One item that I found to be very useful is a carpet rake. Periodically I rake my carpet to help pull up any debris and fur that my regular vacuuming has not pulled up.
In addition, I’ve found that I need to change my filters or vacuum bags more frequently to assure my vacuum can do it’s job as effectively as possible.
Of course getting a vacuum that has enough power is a good idea but I also like to have one with a spin brush attachment as these are good to use on furniture.