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If you’re anything like me, it probably goes without saying that you love your dogs more than anything in the world. You’re likely less than enraptured with the shedding that goes hand in hand with dog ownership, though.
I’m fortunate in that Janice and Leroy are short-haired dogs, but if you think that Boxers don’t shed, think again. I’m not nearly as plagued by shedding as someone who would own, say, a Collie, Golden Retriever, Shih Tzu or other long-haired breed, but just the same, I do have to dust and vacuum regularly to keep things under control.
Just yesterday, I was reading about a woman named Frances Gabe, who invented a self-cleaning house. Essentially, it worked something like a big dishwasher, with slightly sloping floors leading to central drains, high-pressure delivery of soap and water, then a rinse cycle, and then a blast of hot air to dry everything.
Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to this type of technology, the main thing being that everything in your home has to be washable. Speaking for myself, I have papers all over my desk, and I’m not all that great about hanging up clothing, even supposing that I had a water-proof closet to put things in. I also have tons of books on open shelves, as well as a collection of over a hundred rotary dial phones. And what would I do about the electronics?
Probably it’s concerns like mine that led to the failure of Frances Gabe’s idea. To this day, hers is the only self-cleaning house. She’s not around to enjoy it anymore, having died on Boxing Day in 2016, but the house is a popular attraction in Portland, Oregon.
So, it was basically a good idea, but not practical. After all, most of us have clutter that simply can’t be hosed off. Accordingly, we have to rely on tried and true cleaning methods.
Fortunately, there are ways to make cleanup easier when it comes to the deposits our pets leave, so without further ado, let’s talk about the best way to clean dog hair off various surfaces.
This is the first thing you need to know when it comes to the best way to clean up dog hair – you’re never going to get all of it. No matter how vigorously you clean, there will still be hair left. I remember when I was working in the call center, sitting in the lunch room and idly picking a hair or two out of my packed lunch, while my co-workers looked on in horror. Hey, to me it was just business as usual! As far as I know, nobody ever died from ingesting dog hair, so I’d just pick it out and move on.
Prevention Is Better Than a Cure
That said, if you’re troubled by excessive dog hair, one of the best ways is to make sure that as little as possible actually ends up on your floors and furniture. So, check your dog over regularly to make sure he doesn’t have any skin conditions that could lead to excessive shedding. Brush him regularly, and if you have a long-haired breed, ask your groomer to recommend the best cut. Heavy shedders can also benefit from regular baths.
Even when you do all this, though, your dog is still going to shed. So, here are some of the best ways to clean up dog hair.
1. Use a Lint Roller
The humble lint roller can be your best friend when you need to clean up dog hair. You can run it over your upholstery, and use it before you head off to work in order to get hair off your clothes. It’s a great idea, too, to keep a small roller in your purse or briefcase, just so you’re never caught up short.
Many people find that even after they’ve washed and dried their clothes, there’s still dog hair on them. One way of preventing this is to add about half a cup of white vinegar to your rinse cycle. I don’t know why it works, but it does, and that’s all Vinegar that really matters.
A handheld vacuum cleaner is one of the best ways to clean dog hair off just about anything. It’s ideal on upholstered furniture, and you can even use it to suck the hair up off your clothes. It’s a lot easier, and more convenient, too, than lugging around a full-size vacuum every time you see a bit of hair.
You know how those microfiber cloths that you can buy so cheaply seem to attract dust in a huge way? Well, they also attract pet hair, and they’re perfect for use on non-upholstered furniture. They work by means of static electricity, and they’re the best way to clean dog hair off wood, vinyl and other non-cloth surfaces.
This is another great way to get dog hair off fabric. You just run the stone gently over your furniture or carpets, and watch it lift up the hair. Another reason why this can be the best way to clean dog hair off fabric is that the pumice stones will last for a long time (practically forever), and you can use them without electricity.
You’d probably think that a hardwood floor would be pretty much dog-proof, but it’s not. Dog hair can get caught in the cracks of your flooring, so use a microfiber mop to pull up the hair. Vacuuming alone might not always get the job done, because sometimes it just causes the hair to blow around. If the microfiber mop doesn’t get the job done, you might want to consider applying a coat of sealer to your floor. Sure, it’s a bit of a job, but once it’s done, you won’t have to keep bending over and picking up loose hairs.
If you have carpet, you know that you’ve got a huge cleaning problem when it comes to dog hair. Personally, when I bought my house, I pulled up all the carpet and replaced it with tiles and laminates, because I knew that I’d never be able to stay on top of the dog hair otherwise.
If for some reason you can’t be rid of your carpet, or if you simply prefer carpet, a rubber broom can go a long way toward dislodging dog hair.
Robotic vacuums like the Roomba are great for dog owners, since they’ll clean your house while you do other things, like walk your best buddy! To give a robot vacuum a bit of help, you can also sprinkle some baking soda over your carpets. It helps to loosen hair, and also works to get rid of odors.
For a quick cleanup on upholstery or area rugs, wind some masking tape around your hand, sticky side up, and just dab away. The hair will stick to the tape. You might need to replace the tape a few times over the course of your cleanup, but this is indisputably one of the best ways to clean dog hair off of practically anything, and one of the most cost-effective as well.
These are some of the quickest, easiest, best ways to clean up dog hair. If you have a household hack that you’d like to share, leave a comment below. Dog hair is a constant battle, and I’m sure that other readers would love to know how you go about handling it.
You’re never going to get rid of all the dog hair. I know, because I’ve tried. I’ve talked about my disastrous dating life in other posts (see Are You a Dog Person or a People Person? For just one example), and I often find that things go awry when my standards of cleanliness are a bit lower than those of others. A case in point would be one dinner date who came over, surveyed my surroundings, and announced, “You can’t really have a clean house when you have dogs.”
Well, to me, my dogs are the nicest things in my life! So, I handed that person a handful of coupons for McDonalds and told them that they’d find conditions much more sanitary there. Then Janice, Leroy and I shared a very nice beef stew with homemade bread. And I had the whole bottle of wine to myself!
You can go a long way to getting dog hair of just about anything, but keep in mind that there’s no magic bullet. Dogs are going to shed. But with the tips outlined above, you’ll know the best ways to clean dog hair off pretty much anything, and with a reasonable level of effectiveness.