I’ll admit it – I’m a sucker for my furry friends. My wife and I are proud owners of two Akita’s (Kodiak and Kashi) and two snowshoe cats (Stoli & Skyy – yes; they’re named after the Vodka brands). While they are all thankfully healthy family members, sometimes we need to take them to the Vet office or the pet spa for some pampering.
This is when my love takes a quick turn to the Dark Side.
Having the pets inside the car allows them to share their furriness with my interior. And quite frankly, it’s a pain in the butt to remove from upholstery, car seats, and even those nooks and crannies of other interior parts.
While it’s nearly impossible to avoid pet hair inside our daily drivers once they hop inside, there are some tips for removal, reducing the spread, and tools you can use to simplify the job.
Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the US, today’s AvalonKing blog will focus on these thankful tips for pet hair removal. I’ll also throw in a few tips for reducing the spread of pet hair, and some of the tools I use to simplify this all-too-common task.
Why is it Hard to Remove Pet Hair from the Car Interior?
Most pets are bred for outdoor living. Over the years, genetics and Mother Nature have helped domesticated animals grow and shed hair that acts as a protective coat for cold weather conditions. The problem is that this hair is different than a human hair. It’s generally thicker, contains more proteins, and absorbs static electricity greater than several other animal furs.
That all being said, pet hair is naturally going to stick to fabrics, leathers, and other materials. Add the fact that interior carpets and fabrics are likewise quite static, the two will naturally gravitate to each other – thus creating the challenge we all face for removing pet hair from car seats, trunk fabric, and other materials of your car.
Additionally, pet hair has a unique way of penetrating those nooks and crannies in seams of seats, interior pieces, and more. This amplifies the removal frustration we all experience but is not an impossible task whatsoever.
For effective removal, car owners will use pet hairbrushes, vacuums, and other hair remover tools. We’ll outline a few of these steps – and introduce some clever DIY solutions in the section below.
Ways to Remove Pet Hair from Your Car
Now we’ll get to the nitty-gritty. If you’re looking for a quick and easy method of removing pet hair from your car’s interior – you’re going to have difficulty finding that information. The truth is – pet hair takes time and patience to remove correctly. However, there are several tools and methods you can use to expedite this tedious task.
The Static Electricity Method
Do you remember having your 5th-grade science teacher shows you how static electricity worked – by blowing up a balloon, rubbing it on your head, and having the hair stand up? Well, the same tactic can be used to remove pet hair from hard to remove car fabrics, seats, and even those hard to reach areas.
For this to be effective, you need to get a few party-sized balloons and blow them up. Once they are fully inflated, rub the balloon on the car’s fabric where the pet hair is stuck. Once you develop some charge, simply slide the balloon over that area and watch the pet hair stick to the balloon.
Now, this isn’t going to fully remove all pet hair, but it will loosen quite a bit – which allows you to use a vacuum to remove the rest.
The Rubber Glove Method
Using a pair of kitchen gloves takes the static balloon method and turns the volume up to 11. In this instance, you’re going to use the electrical properties of water, rubber, and static electricity. Here is how it’s done.
Step 1: Find a pair of kitchen rubber gloves.
Step 2: Put the gloves on and run some tap water over them.
Step 3: Spray the upholstery or fabric with a light mist of water with a spray bottle.
Step 4: Rub the material with the rubber gloves or sweep them vigorously with the gloves – and the pet hair will stick to the fingertips. For easier removal, grab a bucket of water, and rinse the gloves as they become embedded with pet hair.
*Tip – For extra strength pet hair removal, add some fabric softener to the water bucket and the spray bottle. This will help to loosen the pet hair from the surface areas, making it easier to remove.
When you’ve removed most of the pet hair, let the fabric inside the car dry, then use a shop-vac to remove the extra pet hair.
Pet Brush and Vacuum Method
This one is my favorite to use after taking the puppies to the vet or the dog park. If you’ve got a lot of pet hair on your interior fabric, use a pet hair scrub brush (like the one shown above) and use the brush to collect pet hair into a single area.
The brush will significantly loosen the hair and allow you to vacuum up the pile of pet hair. This video is a good one to watch, to show how this is completed.
Forget the Lint Rollers
Any pet owner understands the value of having an ample supply of lint rollers on hand. While they’re great at removing pet hair from clothing, it’s not that good at getting rid of automotive interiors. If you’re looking to accomplish the same task – but spend a lot less money, consider duct tape or packing tape.
Simply wrap the tape back on your hand and press down to collect the pet fibers – then lift it up. When the tape is full of hair, repeat the step until you’re finished.
How to Prevention Pet Hair from Sticking to Interior of Your Car
What if you could reduce the time for removing pet hair from the interior of your car, truck or SUV? Well, if you follow a few of these tips, you’ll significantly save time, reduce frustration, and protect your interior from possible damage.
Tip #1 – Brush Your Pets First
Most of the time, pet hair sticks to your interior because it’s loose-fitting on your cat or dog. To reduce the excessive hair removal time, give your furry friends a good brushing before the car trip. This helps to remove dead hair – which is most of the stuff that finds a new home in your ride.
For dog owners, you might want to consider investing in a high-quality brush system, like the FURminator – which helps to thin out the undercoat of loose fur.
Tip #2 – Purchase a Seat Cover
If you can control where your pet sits in the vehicle; you’re probably Caesar Milan. If you’re not as awesome, you might want to consider a seat cover or Petrider-type of system. This helps keep fur, sand, dirt, and other pet debris from your carpets, seats, and other fabrics.
When pet riding is over, simply remove them carefully, shake them outside, and you’re good to go. You might have some residual – which should be easier to remove.
Tip #3 – A Travel Carrier
For those with smaller dogs or cats, investing in a pet carrier is another good idea. This again – isolates the pet in a specific area and protects your seats and other interior parts at the same time. This type of method is especially helpful for those times when it’s raining outdoors – but you still need to transport your wet dog somewhere.
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