I love the four-legged member of my family, an Alsatian. He has been a joy to live with, ever since he came into my life a little over three years back. I have no complaints, except now, all my clothes are covered in his hair. The same goes for the furniture, carpets, upholstery, etc.
Asking a dog to not shed hair is like asking humans to not gossip. Just kidding, but I think you understand what I meant to say. In regards to clothes, I try to avoid materials that retain hair longer or colours that amplify the presence of dog hair. On the other hand, removing dog hair from furnishings, and especially carpets can be tricky. It needs to done with care to ensure that the carpet itself isn’t harmed in any way.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve tried a number of methods and products to help me do this. There are some simple home remedies that do a decent job of extracting canine hair from carpets. There are products available in the market that do the same, with a comparatively lesser effort on your part. I want to share my experiences with you guys and hopefully, some of it will be useful for you too.
Vacuuming The Dog Hair From The Carpet
Regular vacuuming of carpets is a good way of keeping them clean and free of pet hair. However, irrespective of whether you vacuum once or twice a week, some hair will remain stuck on the carpets. You should consider investing in a pet vacuum. These are specifically designed to effectively deal with pet hair. There are high-end pet vacuums and more affordable ones as well. If pet hair is a serious issue at your home then this will prove to be worth the investment. I have bought a handheld pet vacuum, which is on the affordable end of the spectrum and the experience has been satisfying so far. It definitely extracts a lot more hair from the carpet than my regular vacuum. I also use it to remove hair from my jeans.
Friends have suggested that I use simple tricks, along with vacuuming, for better results. These suggestions involve applying/sprinkling a readily available product at home on the carpets before vacuuming them. Sprinkle some baking soda or apply a water diluted fabric softener over the carpet or parts of the carpet with a particularly dense concentration of hair, let it rest for a few minutes and then vacuum it. This is supposed to loosen the hair, thereby making it easier to remove. And at the same time, the baking soda is supposed to leave the carpet smelling comparatively better.
I’ve tried both methods and in my experience, the amount of hair removed wasn’t more or less than what normal vacuuming removes. However, I’ve to mention that one of my friends swears by these methods. So, give it a shot for yourself and see if it works for you.
Rubber Squeegee For Stubborn Pet Hair
Rubber squeegees are deceptively effective in cleaning hair off of carpets. A couple of years back I stumbled upon this video on YouTube and learnt how simple yet effective the squeegee plus vacuum combo can be. You don’t need a fancy squeegee. Just buy a regular one specifically for hair removal. I use a squeegee quite similar to the one seen in the video above, along with my pet vacuum. Note that the two carpets in my apartment are on the smaller side, so a small squeegee works fine. However, if you have a larger carpet(s), then opt for a slightly bigger squeegee with a long handle. Start stroking inwards from the edges, gather the hair around the centre of the carpet and then vacuum it up.
Rubber Broom and Carpet Rake
Now here’s the catch. The squeegee plus vacuum combination works perfectly for shallow pile carpets, but in case of deep pile carpets, it isn’t as effective. Use a rubber broom instead. These are easily available at home improvement stores and online. The rubber bristles are longer and hence can reach inside a deep pile carpet and extract pet hair electrostatically. The bristles are soft so it doesn’t damage your carpet either.
The same holds true for carpet rakes as well. In case of carpet rakes, the bristles are typically made of metal or plastic. If its metal, make sure that the bristles are sufficiently flexible, and in case of plastic bristles, ensure that they aren’t too brittle. Both the rubber broom and carpet rake can be effective on their own, but using them in tandem with a vacuum (even a regular one) leads to better results.
Often Suggested but Questionable Methods
These suggestions often come up while conversing with other pet owners or online. Some of these are decent options for removing dog hair off of small objects or surfaces, but in my opinion, simply don’t work for carpets.
- Moisture and Hand: Rubbing a carpet with a wet hand is apparently a great method to remove hair. In reality, the only thing that happens is your hand is covered in wet hair and possibly rashes.
- Lint Roller: A lint roller can be effective in case of pillows, clothes and other smaller objects like that. But not in case of carpets.
- Sticky Tape: The same goes for sticky tape. Additionally, you’re likely to leave sticky patches on the carpet and make it more susceptible to hair.
I would like to add one obvious and simple tip to the ones I mentioned earlier. Regularly groom and de-shed your friend. This reduces the amount of hair shed on carpets to a certain degree and they feel good too.
I think one thing I can safely say on behalf of all of us humans who share lives with four-legged friends, is that at the end of the day all the trouble in cleaning carpets or clothes is worth the trouble. Try out a few of the suggestions and see which one works best for you. Depending on the size and type of the carpets at your place, the ideal methods will vary.