Stain Removal

How to Remove Unwanted Pet Hair from Laundry

What to do when there’s cat hair and dog hair everywhere

Dogs and cats shed. A lot. That hair gets all over the house, on your rugs, on your sheets and on your clothes. It sticks to fabrics and won’t go away, even after you pull your clothes from the dryer. What’s a person to do?

We have several tips and tricks you can use to remove pet hair from your laundry. And some of the tricks may be surprising.

Prevent pet hair from reaching your washing machine

The best way to keep cat hair or dog hair off your clothes is prevention. You can’t stop a dog or cat from shedding, but you can reduce the pet hair they leave behind. Each day, give your pet a quick one-minute grooming with a brush. And take time each week to vacuum and sweep your home, including furniture.

Remove pet hair from bedding

Where will you often find the greatest concentration of pet hair? Where your dog or cat sleeps, often in its pet bed. Wash any bedding your pet uses once a week. Add an extra rinse cycle to make sure all pet hair is removed from the inside of your washing machine.

You can air-dry your pet’s bed, but if you choose to throw it in the dryer, make sure you clean the lint filter halfway through the cycle. A freshly-cleaned lint trap will be able to catch more pet hair as the drying continues.

Get pet hair off clothes (and out of the washing machine)

Before you throw your laundry in the washing machine, run your clothes through a 10-minuted  dryer cycle on tumble, with no heat. This softens the fabrics and loosens the pet hair, which will be caught by the dryer’s lint trap. Then shake the clothes to get as many pet hairs out as possible, and toss them in the washer. When you’re done, clean your dryer’s lint trap so it’s hair-free when your load comes out of the wash.

When washing, add 1/2 cup white vinegar to the machine’s rinse cycle. This is especially helpful if you have lots of pet hair or lint stuck to your clothes. Like the pre-wash dryer cycle, this also helps relax fabrics and frees trapped hair.

After you’ve run a pet-hair-heavy load, clean your washing machine by running an empty wash cycle. When the cycle is complete, wipe the entire machine down with a wet cloth to prevent leaving stray pet hair behind.

Of course, for a quick fix, run a sticky lint roller over your clothes. A good lint roller can also be used to get pet hair off clothes before they ever reach your laundry room.