Unless you have a hairless cat or a non-allergenic breed of dog, there’s no escaping floating pet hair in your home. Fur and hair even works its way into appliances and electronics and can also affect indoor air quality.
Pet hair doesn’t have to take over your life, though. Below are 9 tips on how to stay on top of pet hair and where you’ll find it in your home.
1. Refrigerator and Stove
Pet hair clings to metal behind and beneath your refrigerator and stove. It also clogs refrigerator condenser coils, causing the appliance to not cool properly.
Solution: Brush off the back and sweep beneath the appliance and then wipe the outside surface with a microfiber cloth. Use a vacuum attachment for vent openings. Be sure to unplug your refrigerator to avoid electric shock, and consult your refrigerator’s manual for instructions before cleaning condenser coils every couple of months.
2. Clothes Dryer
Pet hair accumulates on the dryer drum, door well, lint screen, lint trap and inside the vent hose going outside. A clogged vent hose or lint screen is a fire hazard so it’s important to keep them unobstructed.
Solution: Before cleaning, unplug your dryer and also turn off the gas on a gas dryer. For the lint trap, use a long, flexible dryer lint brush, then vacuum loosened debris. Detach the exhaust hose and vacuum dust and pet hair from the hose and dryer and wall ports. Be sure to clean the lint screen after every dryer use.
3. Computers and TVs
Fine pet hair that drifts into computers fans and other electronics parts can cause a computer to overheat and die. It can also wreak havoc on your television.
Solution: Vacuum regularly around your computer and other electronics, dusting devices often. Use a can of compressed air on the keyboard and a paper towel sprayed with cleaning solution. Cleaning the inside of a computer is more delicate so read up on that procedure before you begin. Don’t forget your keyboards, another notorious catcher of pet hair.
4. Furnace and Air Conditioner
When your HVAC system blows air into a room, it’s also sucking up stale air, including dust and pet dander, to recondition for later use. Pet hair and dander can settle in duct work and clog up your furnace’s air filter, causing your system to work harder.
Solution: Change your furnace air filter once a month and hose off dog hair from your outside air conditioner unit regularly. Bathe pets often to cut down on pet hair and dander. Consider buying an air purifier to remove pet hair and other particles.
5. Under the Bed
“Once a year, I’ll take my bed apart because I know there will be a thick layer of hair stuck to the carpet under it,” says Kelly Meister. “I’ll end up emptying the vacuum cleaner three or more times with the stuff under the bed.”
Solution: Sweep or vacuum beneath your bed, and behind the headboard monthly to minimize fur balls and dust bunnies.
6. Upholstered Furniture
Dog hair and cat fur clings to upholstered furniture.
Solution: Vacuum weekly with an upholstery attachment, says cleaning expert Debra Johnson with Merry Maids. Johnson also suggests using a “pet rake” or brush with nylon bristles. Be sure to move the couch away from the wall to sweep up accumulated fur balls and dust bunnies.
Pet hair clings to carpet fiber and can settle beyond a vacuum’s reach.
Solution: Invest in a high-suction vacuum with raving online reviews from pet owners and vacuum frequently. Try using a carpet pet rake to dig down deep in the fibers and pull up trapped hairs.
8. Hardwood Floors and Baseboards
Pet hair on hardwood floors gravitates to corners, where it forms long strands of hair and fur.
Solution: Dust mop often and vacuum regularly, finishing with a damp mop. Dust and clean baseboards weekly.
9. Ceiling Fixtures
Just because light fixtures and ceiling fan blades are above your head doesn’t mean pet hair can’t reach them. Fido’s follicles float on air currents in your home and land where they please.
Solution: Use an extendable duster for hard-to-reach fixtures and corner cobwebs.