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Oh hai! You can haz pet-hair removal!

Filed Under: household hacks, cleaning, pets

Really adorable happy doggie named Sierra! by Flickr user thetrial.

Recently, Unclutterer posted some useful information for those of us who drown in piles of pet hair. In response to a post about speedy house-cleaning, a reader asked what to do about piles of fur shed by their Chocolate Lab. The question came up because most "Clean your house really quickly!" plans don't take pet ownership into account.

Erin from Unclutterer responded with a number of tips for dog and cat owners. In summary, and with a few parenthetical comments from me, they are:

  • Pick up pet-hair dust-bunnies with damp paper towels daily.
  • Bathe pets as frequently as you can: a lot of excess fur will go down the drain with the water. (Bathing a dog more often than every few weeks can really dry out their skin, so be careful with this one. Also, it can clog your drains.)
  • Brush pets regularly. (A shedding loop/blade may be more helpful for longer-haired or double-coated dogs.)

Find the rest of the tips, more ideas about how you can put them into action, and information about equipment that might help you, all after the break!

  • Change air filters regularly. (This won't help with the shedding, but it will help with allergic reactions.)
  • Let your dog sleep on a frequently-washed fleece blanket. (This could kill your washing machine's drain, but is otherwise a good idea.)
  • Vacuum thoroughly at least once a week.
  • Feed your pet the best food you can. (For so many reasons: good food usually also means fewer vet visits and happier pets.)

I have two cats, as well as a double-coated dog whose fur ranges in length from about half an inch to eight inches (on her tail). There is no possible way to clean all the associated shed fur up quickly, except to keep up with it every day or so. (Ha ha ha ha ha.)

With this in mind, I think the most useful item is the pet hair sponge, which is a foam rubber "brick" that you rub briskly over a surface (such as a sofa cushion or a section of carpet). The label will claim that it "lifts" pet hair, but actually, it pushes loose shed hair along and rolls it into stringy balls that usually come to rest at the edge of the area you're working with.

These stringy balls may or may not stick to the edge of the sponge, but they are easily picked up and thrown away. This sponge lasts practically forever -- in my house, we're still using one we bought four or five years ago -- and can be washed with a little bit of dish soap when it starts to look grungy.

Other suggestions in the comments at Unclutterer: people seem to like the Furminator pet brush, recent Roomba vacuum cleaners that are better at picking up pet hair and getting into tight spaces than the original models, microfiber rags used with regular Swiffer handles, and light electric sweepers.

One last thing: most allergic people aren't particularly allergic to pet hair itself. Pet dander and pet saliva are larger culprits, so this "pet hair removal" may be more of a cosmetic issue than a health issue. Vacuuming with a HEPA filter is probably the least you can do to alleviate pet allergies in your home.


  • Barry Cohen

    More Pet Allergy Information How To Live With Your Cat Or Dog

    Did you know that over 70 percent of households in the United States share their lives and living space with pet dogs and cats? Yes, this is a fact and this report is to help those who love their pets and desire to live with them as comfortably, happily and allergy free as possible!

    First you need to know that it's not your pet's fur, dander or hair that is the real problem. The real culprits are tiny proteins that are secreted by glands in your dog or cat. The allergen protein is found in the fur, saliva, urine, mucous, salivary glands and hair roots. This protein will stick to your pet's fur and dander {Dead Skin} but know that the fur and dander itself is not what you're reacting to.

    For cats the protein is called the Fel D1 Glycoprotein,

    For Dogs it's called Can F1 Protein

    These proteins are very potent and can quickly cause an allergic reaction for those that are sensitive to them. They are also very sticky and quick to stick to your clothing furniture, bedding and carpeting in your home or office environment. Unfortunately these proteins are not sticky enough to prevent them from going airborne into the indoor breathing environment when disturbed. Cat allergen is often stronger then dog allergen and more people react to cats. Dog allergen can also be very strong but reactions from dog dander vary from breed to breed.

    The good news is there are steps that can be taken {important steps} to allow you or your allergic family member{s} to limit and control the pet allergen so you can live in harmony with your beloved dog or cat! If you are diligent and follow these guidelines it can make a huge difference for those that suffer from dog and cat allergies.

    The Steps to follow

    First and foremost, KEEP YOUR HOME CLEAN!

    Be diligent about cleaning hard services, carpeting and furniture of dust and allergens. Use a damp cloth or micro fiber cloth to clean hard surfaces and Vacuum Often! NOTE: It is very important to own and utilize a quality HEPA vacuum cleaner that is totally sealed! Most vacuum cleaners including so-called HEPA and HEPA type vacuum cleaners leak air and allergens from their case even if the HEPA filter is sealed in the machine. If you have a dog or cat many of the allergens that escape from an unsealed vacuum cleaner will be from your pet{s}! If you would like to test your vacuum cleaner for leakage it's easy to do. Just place your vacuum cleaner into the beam of light that shines through your window and turn on your vacuum cleaner. Don't even clean with it. If your vacuum cleaner is not sealed {and most are not} you will see thousands of particles including pet allergen spewing from your vacuum cleaner and back into the air that you breath! We have found that the Air Storm HEPA vacuum cleaner to be the best on the market. It's sealed like a drum and no pet dander will escape from it. NONE! The Air Storm HEPA vacuum cleaner is also made in the USA, it's lightweight and easy to operate. I'm going to say this again because it's very important. Vacuum Often!!!

    The next step is to have quality HEPA room air cleaners or HEPA air purifiers in any room that you spend time in. HEPA room air cleaners are very important in the fight to remove airborne pet allergen, other allergens and dust from your living space. A quality HEPA air cleaner or air purifier should be able to clean pet allergen and other airborne allergens in an open room or area up to approximately 1000 square feet or be able to exchange the air through the HEPA air cleaner or air purifier to clean an average bedroom sized area approximately 12-15 times per hour. It is also important to choose HEPA air cleaners or air purifiers that have low filter replacement costs. Stay away from so-called air cleaners and air purifiers that do not have HEPA filters in them to actually remove the pet allergens and other allergens from the air. Also stay away from ionizers that will drop floating allergens from the air and onto your furniture, carpet and onto your bed while you are sleeping. Ionizers do not filter the air and are not the answer for pet dander problems. We have found these brands of HEPA air cleaners and HEPA air purifiers to do the best job. The Austin Air Healthmate HM-400 HEPA air cleaner, The TRACS HEPA air purifier, The EZ Air HEPA air cleaner and the Bio-Net air purifier.

    If you have ducted central air or heating, it is a good idea to utilize a quality self-charging electrostatic air filter for your system. These air filters are custom made to size, washable, approximately 90 percent efficient and will last for years and years. A proper air duct cleaning company can often remove many pounds of pet allergen, dust and other allergens from your ducted central air or heating system. To find a quality and knowledgeable air duct cleaning company go to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association at to find NADCA Certified members in your area.

    OK this one may be difficult for you to do but it is VERY IMPORTANT TO ALWAYS keep your pet{s} out of your bedroom. This will allow you to keep the most important room in your home more pet allergen free to allow you to sleep better at night. You can call your bedroom "The Allergy Free Zone!"

    Other Important Things To Do

    If you can, replace your carpet with tile, linoleum or hard wood floors and instead of sweeping {it puts the allergens airborne again} use a quality SEALED HEPA vacuum cleaner with a floor nozzle to contain and remove the allergens. Again, check out the Air Storm HEPA vacuum cleaner. It has a great 14-inch wide floor nozzle and no pet allergen escapes from this incredible vacuum cleaner. Replace cloth curtains with washable / vacuum able blinds.

    Wash your dog or cat once a week to reduce the protein allergen sticking to their fur. Once a week can really make a difference and YES Cats will get used to their weekly bath and even enjoy them in time.

    If you are highly allergic, don't wipe your eyes with your hands while playing with your pet{s}. Then wash your hands after playing with your pet{s}, and wash your clothes often. Don't leave your pet allergen covered clothes in your bedroom! Keep a hamper in a hallway bathroom.

    Cover your car seats and porous fabric furniture with sheets that can be washed and when you are able too, switch to wipe able / cleanable leather or faux leather furniture.

    There are companies that offer chemical sprays that claim to reduce, retard or remove pet allergens. We have determined that diligent cleaning using our provided information will do the best job of keeping you and your pet{s} together as one big happy family!

    However if you can't comply with these important steps to keep your home more pet allergen free you can always make that visit to your local allergy doctor for prescription nose sprays, antihistamine pills and immunotherapy {allergy shots} The allergy shots can improve your pet allergy symptoms but they often do not eliminate them entirely.

    Your allergy doctor will most likely tell you to get rid of your pet{s} {Yeah Right!} or when you do keep your pet{s} your allergy doctor will tell you to follow the above information even if you do get the sprays, drugs and allergy shots.

    Here is a list of dogs that are said to be less reactive to people with pet allergies

    Bedlington terrier
    Bichon frise
    Chinese crested
    Irish water spaniel
    Italian greyhound
    Kerry blue terrier
    Maltese Poodle
    Portuguese water dog
    Shih tzu
    Soft-coated Wheaten terrier
    Tibetan terrier
    Tibetan mastiff
    Wire-haired fox terrier
    Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican hairless)
    Bonus Information For Cat Lovers!

    There is an amazing company called Allerca that has scientifically developed a breed of cats that are hypoallergenic! They are very expensive but this company is for real. Ask for Simon and tell him that you found them through Barry Cohen owner of and you will save 5% off of the purchase price of any hypoallergenic cat. See their website at

    It is our hope and desire that you will follow our steps and the above information. We would like you to be able to keep your wonderful pet{s} so you can enjoy their company and love for the many years to come!

    If you require more help or additional information on controlling dog and cat allergies, please see our website at or call Barry Cohen the owner direct for free personal help and guidance. Call Toll Free 1-888-578-7324

    This report is 100% free and you are welcome to reprint it on your website to share with your readers as long as you include the resource information links to the website{s} shown above.

  • Willy

    Vacuum daily.

  • 2 Comments / 1 Pages

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