Pet lovers can agree on many things: all dogs are the best dogs, personal space is a myth, and getting your dog’s hair out of a carpet is a pain in the butt.
Gosh, do you love your furry friend, but gosh, do they shed.
Thankfully, there are several easy tricks to get dog hair out of carpet! Your chosen method will depend on the carpet material and pile, but these cleaning methods include:
- A lint roller
- Rubber gloves
- Fabric softener
- Carpet rakes
- Dog hairbrush
- Baking soda
- A pet vacuum cleaner
You can also lessen or minimise the amount of loose hair and fur scattered around your home.
However, any good pet owner knows that dog glitter is a gift – just one that gets everywhere, from your jeans to your couch cushions.
What to Know About Dog Hair
Any good dog owner will know that not all dogs shed equally. Some shed more than others (Samoyeds, Pyrenees, Labrador retrievers) while some breeds shed very little (poodles, terriers, schnauzers).
However, not all of us know the difference between dog hair and dog fur. They’re both made up of keratin, but “behave” differently.
Dog fur consists of short, coarse hairs that will grow to a pre-determined length. Many dogs have two layers of fur, called a double coat, which will require de-shedding and not trimming.
Some notable dogs with fur include Golden Retrievers and collies.
Meanwhile, dog hair will keep growing for indefinite periods of time unless trimmed. Think of Poodles and Maltese breeds.
Dogs with fur shed much more, especially during shedding season and for those with double coats. Owners may need to “blow out” the coat to aid the shedding.
In everyday speak, though, we use “hair” and “fur” interchangeably. So for this blog, “dog hair” covers hair and fur – both of which are a pain to get out of carpets!
Does the Rug Pile Matter?
Yes, it does! Both types of carpet trap pet hair, but it’s harder to remove dog hair from high piles.
The long carpet fibres make it difficult to reach the dirt, so high-pile carpets need more effort to clean.
In general, pet owners are advised to choose low-pile carpets for rooms where pets have access.
How to Get Dog Hair Out of Carpet with Low Pile
There are a few tricks for removing dog hair from a low-pile carpet.
You can combine different methods for a more effective clean.
1. Lint roller
This is a classic in pet hair removal, and probably the easiest method to remove dog hair. Lint rollers work on upholstery, clothes, and yes, carpets!
You can even get large lint rollers, such as the Scotch-Brite Pet Large Surface Roller. It’s 23.7cm wide and comes with 60 sheets of extra-sticky adhesive made specifically for pet hair.
Simply run the lint roller back and forth across the carpet. When the sticky sheet is completely covered or is no longer sticky, remove it to expose a new layer.
TIP: If you’ve run out of lint roller sheets, duct tape will work in a pinch.
If you have a hairbrush with stiff metal bristles, you can use it on small sections of carpet. It works best for carpets with thick and/or long fibres.
Use both short and long strokes going in one direction. The bristles will extract dog hair from the fibres and pull it towards a “collection point” where you can pick it off.
However, your dog’s hair will periodically clog the bristles. Pull the dog hair off the bristles, then resume brushing until no more fur remains.
3. Rubber gloves
This is an old but gold trick for removing dog hair from your carpet! Rubber gloves will generate static electricity, which will attract the dog hair and make it stick to the surface.
Wear the rubber glove and rub your hand all over the carpet fibres. The friction will create static, which will lift dog hair off (alongside lint and other debris).
This trick will also work with damp rubber gloves, although make sure to minimise moisture so it doesn’t soak into the fibres.
Rinse off the gloves afterwards in a bucket of hot water, not in the sink. The hair will clog your drain and that’s a whole new problem!
NOTE: This trick also works with thin latex gloves, although they may be more prone to tearing.
4. Rubber squeegee
You may hear about a “dog hair magnet” and think, well dog hair isn’t magnetic. But these hair magnets aren’t actually that – they’re rubber squeegees!
A regular household rubber squeegee will work, but some brands have pet-specific models such as the Mr. Siga Rubber Broom with Built-In Squeegee.
Push or pull the squeegee along the carpet lightly, in one direction. Don’t exert too much pressure or you could pull out the fibres instead.
You’ll end up with clumps of dog hair and other debris. Repeat the process until you’ve gotten all the fur out.
5. Liquid fabric softener
Be careful with this method! If you need to clean a shag rug, for example, the ones made of wool or leather cannot be cleaned with fabric softener.
But if your carpet’s material is washable, you should be fine.
Fabric softener works well to remove dog hair that’s stuck to fibres. Mix 1 part fabric softener with 3 parts water in a spray bottle.
Lightly spray the carpet, taking care not to over-saturate the fibres. You just want a light mist to dampen the surface.
Wait for the solution to dry, then use a vacuum cleaner or brush to remove pet hair.
How to Get Dog Hair Out of Carpet with High Pile
High-pile carpets are a bit trickier since the long fibres trap pet hair so it’s hard to get to.
You’ll also need to be more careful so you don’t accidentally snag or tangle the piles.
1. Carpet rake
These tools are designed especially for carpets, so they can dig into the fibres. Your usual carpet rake will have metal tines, although you can also opt for ones with rubber bristles.
Secure the head and extend the handle to a comfortable position. Then pull the rake across the carpet, applying light pressure. For particularly furry spots, use short and firm strokes.
Remove the fur from the bristles at intervals to prevent clogging.
2. Dog hair brush
If you have a long-bristled dog brush, it’ll also work on a high-pile carpet! These brushes are excellent for reaching deep into fur or fibres to pull out hair from carpets.
Use a mix of short and long strokes, and work in one direction. Pull the hair off the dog brush after you’ve finished one section of carpet, then move to the next part.
3. Baking soda
The baking soda method works best in tandem with a vacuum cleaner. It’ll help loosen pet hair from the fibres while absorbing any odours.
Sprinkle a light layer of baking soda onto the carpet fibres. Let it sit for a few minutes so you can easily vacuum the debris and fur afterwards.
4. Pet hair vacuum cleaners
This model is specifically designed for pet owners, since it picks up even stubborn pet hair and dander. It can even remove odours from surfaces as the filters contain charcoal.
The Miele C3 also comes with a large-capacity dustbag and a Turbobrush that removes hair from your carpet without pulling the threads.
A more affordable cordless alternative is the Samsung Jet™ 60 Pet Vacuum. This vacuum cleaner is lightweight and manoeuvrable, and can pick up pet dander with ease.
If you already have a regular vacuum cleaner, check if you can purchase a carpet attachment.
How to Get Dog Hair Out of a Car Carpet
Car carpets are more hard-wearing than the ones in your home, so they’re easier to clean.
You can use a lint roller or rubber gloves to remove dog hair from car carpet. The same approach also works for cleaning car upholstery.
You can also opt to replace your car carpets with rubber mats.
How to Minimise Pet Hair in Carpets
The best way to minimise pet hair on your carpet is by regularly grooming your dog! Brush your dog’s coat every few days regardless of fur length.
For double-coated dogs, you’ll need to de-shed or blow out your dog’s coat twice a year during shedding season (spring and fall).
You can also protect the whole carpet with an anti-static spray. When the fibres of a carpet rub together, they create a static charge that attracts dog hair and makes it stick. The spray will prevent that from happening.
Additionally, it’s important that you vacuum the carpet and floors around once a day, or at least once every few days. This will lessen the amount of fur floating around, which could accumulate in the carpet piles.
(Of course, a regular house cleaner can help you stay on top of that.)
Pets are an investment, no two ways about it. A lot of effort goes into caring for them, and that includes tidying up their messes.
So yes, that includes knowing how to get dog hair out of carpet… and your clothes, couches, and counters, too. There is no escape!