How to keep pet hair out of your laundry and remove it from your washing machine

Article in Martha Stewart Living by Caroline Biggs

Let’s face it: No matter how much we brush, groom, and love our furry family members, they have a tendency to shed all over our stuff. To make matters worse, pet hair naturally clings to clothing—making it difficult to remove. “Pet hair often embeds or entangles itself with the fibers of your clothing,” explains Michael Sweigart, founder of FurZapper. “Some pet hair strands are pointed on the ends, which increases penetration of the fabric. It is very tricky to remove since there is usually an abundance of these hair fibers in all nooks and crannies of your clothing.”

And if all the nonstop lint-rolling wasn’t enough, loose pet hair can also accumulate in your washing machine or dryer and cause much bigger problems for your appliances. “When pet hair gets wet it gets soggy and clumpy, clinging to the insides of the machine,” says Kadi Dulude of Wizard of Homes. “It can also get stuck in your water filter and end up clogging your machine or drains.” Looking for ways to keep your clothes, bedding, and appliances free of pesky pet hair? We asked our experts how to remove unwanted pet hair from your laundry, as well as your washing and drying machines, and here’s what they had to say.

Related: Cleaning Tips That Every Pet Owner Needs to Know

Brush your pets regularly.

The best way to keep your laundry free of fuzz is to prevent hair buildup in the first place. “Comb your pet with special combs to remove loose hairs to help your home (and machine!) hair-free,” Dulude says. “If you find your clothes and bedding are still covered in hair, make sure to vacuum or use a lint roller on them before putting them into the washing machine.”

Throw pet-hair removing tools in your laundry.

Looking for a way to remove the pet hair from your garments once they’re in the washing machine? A specialized gizmo, like the FurZapper or lint removing balls, can be thrown in the washer or dryer to help dislodge and collect stray pet hair strands. “The FurZapper is made of soft, tacky material that pet hair naturally clings to,” Sweigart explains. “So it safely dislodges pet hair from your laundry in the washer and dryer.

Deep clean your washing machine.

If you have a pet that sheds a lot, then Dulude says it’s crucial to keep up with your washing machine maintenance. “Once a month, let your washing machine tub air dry, (by keeping the door open for a day) and use the crevice attachment on your vacuum to clean out as much hair as possible,” she says. “Then give it a detailed wipe down—including the area under the rubber lip of the machine—and run a ‘tub clean’ cycle if you have one. Lastly, pour two cups of white vinegar, a cup of baking soda, and three cups of hot water into the tub to give it a thorough clean before running a cycle.”

This article recommends a store-bought deep cleaner that we’d like to try out too.

Deep clean your dryer.

Much like your washing machine, it’s important to regularly deep clean your dryer to remove pet hair buildup from the lint trap and inside of your machine. “Use the crevice attachment of your vacuum to remove excess hair from the lint trap and wipe the inside of your dryer with a cleaning cloth once a month, or as you see the hair starting to build up,” Dulude says. “Your dryer is supposed to be deep cleaned every 6-12 months—check the manufacturer’s instructions if you’re unsure—to keep it working properly and to avoid the risk of fire.”

Cover your pet’s preferred sleeping area.

If you’re dealing with an excess of loose hair in the areas your pet likes to sleep, like your sofa or bed, Dulude suggests protecting the area with designated covers. “If you have a pet that tends to shed a lot or hasthick or heavy fur, then you might want to have their favorite sleeping areas covered with a special blanket or a removable sofa cover,” she says. “Get into thehabit of washing them weekly to keep the pet smells out, remembering to brush the hair off before you put it into washer.”

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We were raised with strict principals and beliefs. Hard work and quality have always been honored,-these are also the main keywords in our business.

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