My four-legged friend loves long drives. He loves to feel the wind against his face and nothing makes him happier. But it also means that my car seats, car upholstery and floorboard are perpetually covered in his hair. I couldn’t deny him his fun and neither was it possible to let the hairs spread inside the car. So, I did a thorough research to find out the best ways to remove dog hair (or pet hair in general) from the car.
To begin with, you need to be aware that there isn’t a quick fix for this. Plus, you will have to clean the inside of your car regularly to ensure that dog hair or pet hair doesn’t settle in the seats and fabric. Some of the other preventive measures you can adopt are to lay a blanket or something similar over your car seats and vacuum the interiors regularly. However, these rudimentary methods aren’t going to solve the problem. What they will do is ease up the pressure in the next steps.
Begin by Vacuuming the Seats of the Car
Before I get to specific methods that are ideal for cleaning dog hair or pet hair from the inside of your car, you need to thoroughly vacuum the interiors. A regular handheld vacuum can be used, but I would suggest that you seriously consider investing in a pet vacuum, especially if your dog sheds more hair than usual, or if any damages to the upholstery inside the car can cost a ton of money to repair or replace.
A specialised vacuum cleaner equipped to deal with obstinate hair stuck on fabric and seat covers makes the cleaning process a lot smoother. Pet vacuums have roller brushes that extract hair more efficiently than your regular vacuum cleaners. Yes, they do cost a little more, but in the long run, could actually end up saving you some money by keeping the car seats and upholstery clean.
This is a common step that you need to begin with, after which you can use one of the following methods.
The humble rubber kitchen glove is a great tool for hair removal from the seats or floor carpet inside the car. Ideally, the glove that you use should have a rough palm surface. Also, try out a few gloves to makes sure that you are comfortable with the thickness. A very thin glove might feel uncomfortable while rubbing the floor carpet and could even tear.
I use a regular kitchen glove. As I run the gloved hand over the car seats and carpet, the hair clumps up around the fingers. The movement needs to be done in smooth flows and in a single direction. This is important because if you change directions then it can get messy and will take a lot longer to clean. A number of people suggest that moistening the glove makes the hair stick to the glove better. However, I would suggest that you use water very cautiously and keep a dryer handy to use after the cleaning process is completed.
A rubber squeegee is perhaps the most convenient and effective tool for cleaning pet hair inside a car. It’s comparatively small size means that you can manoeuvre it really well in the tight spaces inside a car. But more importantly, a rubber squeegee does a brilliant job of pulling hair out of the upholstery or the carpet on the floor. What I do is, start from the edges and pull all the hair towards the centre of the car seat or the floor, as the case might be, and then use a handheld vacuum to remove the entire clump.
Similar to the rubber glove, you can sprinkle a little bit of water on the surface for better traction. Unless the hair is proving to be particularly stubborn, a squeegee does an efficient job even on a dry surface.
Velcro Hair Curlers
These hair curlers are quite effective in extracting hair from fabric car seats. All you need to do is run them over the car seat or any other fabric inside the car and the hair will be pulled up. Clear the hair off the curler and continue using it. One disadvantage with curlers is that their small size means that the process of cleaning the hair is long and painstaking. The advantage is that it clears hair minutely.
Using a balloon to clean hair might seem silly initially, but once you understand the science behind it you’ll definitely use it. The short answer is static electricity. The longer explanation is that static electricity and hair have a relation equivalent to a magnet and a piece of iron.
Rub the surface of an inflated balloon and produce static electricity. Then rub the balloon against your car seats and the floor carpet inside the car. The hair on them will stick to the balloon. Wipe off the balloon and repeat the process. Do keep in mind that this method works best for hair that’s relatively loose. If the hair is stuck or embedded in the fabric, then it doesn’t work as well.
This is a fairly efficient yet extremely cost-effective procedure. Balloons are cheap. You can use multiple ones at the same time. In fact, it can be a fun activity that you could involve your children with as well. They have fun and learn the importance of cleaning.
Fabric Softener and Pumice Stone
This is another cost-effective method. Chances are that you already have a bottle of fabric softener and a pumice stone at home. You can buy a pumice stone specifically for pet hair or use a regular one. You will need a bucket of water for this method of cleaning.
Mix a portion of fabric softener with water to dilute it and spray it on the surface. This will loosen the hair to a certain extent. Then use the pumice stone to rub off the hair. Rub in one direction only. The hair will stick to the pumice stone, which you can rinse off in the bucket of water.
I can’t bear to see the sadness in my dog’s eyes when on certain occasions I don’t take him out in the car. So, at every possible opportunity, I make up for it by taking him on long drives, be it to pick up lunch or to the laundrette. This means that pet hair is a serious issue for me. Along with the various cleaning methods mentioned above, I also regular brush him and groom him to reduce shedding as much as possible.