There are only a few things in life that my dog Oliver enjoys more than riding in a car, unless we’re heading to the veterinarian’s office of course. Tongue flapping in the wind, delight shines in his eyes as he barks an enthusiastic greeting at every pedestrian he spots. Yep, he loves it.
What’s not so great is the “new” carpet left behind after one of Oliver’s road trips. That gorgeous, luxurious coat looks much better on him than it does all over my car, believe me.
After exiting my car one day, only to find my best black slacks were now wearing a nice, golden coat of their own, I knew it was time to clean my car. But how to effectively remove all of that hair?
After dragging my heavy vacuum outside, I soon discovered it didn’t do that great a job. Not worth it. Out of necessity, I learned how to get rid of that stubborn hair with some rather simple fixes.
10 Ways To Get Dog Hair Out Of A Car
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A rubber pet hair removal brush does exactly what it is created to do – grabs hold of clingy dog hair, clumping it together so that you can easily pick it up.
What’s nice about these rubber brushes is that you don’t need to worry about scratching or damaging the rest of your car’s interior if you accidentally brush up against something other than fabric or carpet. The flexible rubber bristles won’t hurt a thing, so you can clean without needing to be extra careful.
An ordinary pumice stone effectively grabs hairs from fabric or automotive carpet and collects them in a neat little pile which can then just be picked up by hand or vacuumed away.
Specially designed pumice stones are available too. These are created with pet hair removal in mind and are said to work quite well for not only cleaning up vehicles but also around your home on couches, bedspreads, etc.
Regardless of which pumice stone you are using, it is recommended that you test a small, inconspicuous area first to make certain that it won’t damage your particular fabric.
You’ll want to be fairly gentle with your strokes to avoid snagging or tearing the material that you are cleaning. Don’t worry, gentle use is highly effective at gathering up loose hair.
If you’ve already tried using a lint roller designed to remove fuzzies from clothing to pick up dog hair, you’ve probably found that it is not the best tool for the job.
A much better product is a hair removal roller brush specifically made to pick up animal hair and fur. Many of these handy devices also feature a collection bin of some sort to catch and store hair and debris while you continue to clean.
These roller brushes for pet hair also work well on couches, bedding, or fabric-covered items, so save your lint roller for your clothing.
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A squeegee for cleaning windows and bathroom mirrors can perform a double-duty role when you use it to scrape up pet hair from your car’s interior. Just drag it across the hair-covered area and watch as the rubber blade on the end grabs hold of hair with each stroke. Then, just pick up the ball of hair or vacuum it up.
You’ll probably want to wash off the squeegee with some warm, soapy water before using it again inside your home.
Did you know that a shop vacuum features a much more powerful motor and suction rate than regular household vacuums? Many models today come equipped with an assortment of accessories, including nozzles of different sizes and shapes to tackle a host of various cleaning jobs.
If you happen to own one or plan on purchasing one soon, be sure to give it a try when you’re ready to tackle the dog hair in your car. The extra power might be just the thing you’ve been looking for.
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If a shop vac is a bit too much for you to handle, a handheld car vacuum is another effective device to spruce up your car’s interior. One of these little guys is great to have on hand if you are scraping hair into piles with one of our rubber based methods (and if you have kids).
Some models have cords that plug into standard AC outlets or your car’s 12-volt outlet while others are cordless. Both versions have an impressive amount of suction but know that corded models usually are a bit more powerful.
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Rubber gloves are something found in most kitchens and bathrooms and are fairly inexpensive to buy if you don’t happen to have any. They can work wonders for gathering up stray dog hair in your car. Just swipe your gloved hand across the car seats or carpet and watch the hair accumulate.
For even better results, lightly spray the area to be cleaned with water first, or simply wet the outside of the glove before you begin.
Latex or nitrile gloves will produce similar results if you don’t have any rubber ones on hand. In a pinch, try using a damp washcloth.
8 – Duct Tape or Packing Tape
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There are two ways to use this method.
- Wrap a piece or two of tape around your hand, sticky side out, of course, and proceed to pat the fabric with the tape. You may need to replace the tape with a new piece after a while if it becomes totally covered with hair.
- Alternatively, you can simply lay several strips of tape, sticky side down, directly on the dirty area. Press down gently, and then just pull off. Done!
This method shouldn’t be used on leather or vinyl seats as it may leave behind a sticky residue – something you do not want to sit on later.
Those gloves designed to help you remove shed hair from your dog’s coat are also pretty good at extracting pet hair from car upholstery too. The little rubber nubs are just right for pulling embedded hair up and out. Just slip on a pet grooming glove and run your hand over the hairy portions of the fabric. That’s all there is to it.
10 – Self-Service Car Detailing Locations
The vacuums found at self-service car detailing stations are a convenient way to quickly give your car a thorough vacuuming with a high-power vacuum minus the hassle of lugging your home vacuum outside to the car.
These self-service vacuums do a surprisingly good job at removing dog hair, sand, dirt, and all the other nasty accumulations that tend to build up in your vehicle over time. Just pop in a few quarters and vacuum away.
BONUS – Tips from the Pros
- Fill a spray bottle about halfway with some water. Add a couple of teaspoons of fabric softener and shake gently to mix. Lightly mist the area of your car you are about to clean. The fabric softener will help the fabric release the hair to make cleaning easier and faster.
- Try using an air compressor to blow hair out of crevices, nooks and crannies, and other areas you just can’t quite reach. Do this before you begin the cleanup.
- For leather or plastic surfaces like your dashboard, a dry cloth or paper towel is usually all that’s needed to gently wipe off dog hair and dust.
- Remember to always wipe in one direction when using gloves, brushes, or whatever device you choose. Back and forth motions can cause the hair to be worked deeper into the fabric or carpet making removal more difficult.
How To Keep Dog Hair Shedding to a Minimum
Anytime your dog jumps in the car, chances are there is going to be some hair (and dirt, mud, etc.) left behind. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are several things that you can do to minimize the amount of hair you’ll have to deal with. Take a look at our tips and try them out for yourself to discover what works best for you.
Many dog owners use a combination of these tips for optimum results.
Brush Your Dog First
Before giving your four-legged friend the go-ahead to hop into the car, take a few minutes and give him a thorough brushing. Even if your dog has a short, sleek coat you’ll be surprised by how much shed hair you’ll find in the brush.
For dogs with a longer or thicker coat, a deshedding tool may prove to be quite effective at cutting down on the mess. Double-coated dogs especially will benefit from a device like this.
Routine use of a de-shedding tool or even just regular brushing can help to curb the hair sprinkled throughout your home, not just your vehicle.
Nourish the Coat
Another tip is to establish a good bathing routine for your dog. About once a month, give him a thorough shampoo after you’ve completed your brushing ritual. You might find that a deshedding shampoo makes a noticeable difference. Pair that with a nourishing deshedding conditioner to further enhance the results.
- Shampooing too often can strip your dog’s skin of naturally occurring oils and result in dry, flaky skin and even more hair loss. No more than once a month, please.
Put Down a Protective Barrier
We were surprised to discover just how effective and affordable seat covers designed for dogs are. Most simply attach to your car’s headrests for fast installation and removal. Many are non-slip in design and waterproof too, perfect if you frequently take your dog swimming. Whether you have bucket or bench seats, a seat cover can help to keep your car much cleaner.
Are you more of a do-it-yourself kind of person? Skip the purchased seat covers and head to your linen closet. A sheet, blanket, or a couple of large towels spread across your car’s seats can produce the same effect as seat covers would. If you’re handy with a needle and thread, sew on a few elastic loops so you can hang your sheet from the headrests and keep it in place.
Limit Your Dog to One Specific Area of Your Car
An excited dog may jump from one seat to another repeatedly over the course of a short drive, thus evenly distributing shed hair all around your car. Using a crate to transport your dog helps to confine the mess to just one area (unless you’re driving with your windows down of course).
A harness and safety belt can also help to limit the distribution of shed hair and make for a less distracting and safer driving experience for you.
- Several states actually have laws in place that require dogs to be restrained in some way when traveling in a vehicle. Other states may charge you with distracted driving if your dog is hopping around loose in the car. Better safe than sorry – check your state’s laws.
When it comes to ridding your vehicle of annoying, unsightly dog hair, you have a lot of options at your disposal, some of which you might already have at home. From rubber brushes or gloves to duct tape, you’re sure to find a method that works well for you.
Is letting your dog ride in the car with you really worth the time that you’ll eventually spend removing dog hair from your car’s upholstery and carpet?
Well, take one look at that happily wagging tail and eyes glimmering with excitement when your dog hears the magic words, “Do you want to go for a ride?” The answer is pretty obvious, isn’t it?
Yeah, we think so too.
Last update on 2020-08-12 at 12:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API