Pet owners might be blessed with furry friends, but when it comes to staying on top of pet hair, it can be a full time job! It’s no secret that using one of the best vacuums (opens in new tab) is a good way to pick up pet hair, but now the engineering team at Dyson has revealed why pet hair is notoriously hard to keep on top of and what the easiest ways to manage it are.
Why is pet hair so hard to manage? Senior Mechanical Engineer at Dyson, James McCrea said: “Pet hair shares many similarities with human hair...but there are some key differences that make pet hair particularly difficult to clean.”
Unlike human hair, James explains that, “animal hair stops growing as soon as it reaches a certain length and sheds to be replaced by new hair.” Whilst this shedding of hair does depend on the seasons - your dog is more likely to lose some of its coat in the warmer months - the amount of hair shedding also depends on which breed of dog you have.
Once your pet has shed some of its fur, it has a pretty annoying habit of settling into carpets and collecting on hardwood floors too. And that’s just the stuff we can see. Dyson’s engineers add: “Beyond the pet hair, there is a host of microscopic life that pets bring in with them that’s invisible to the naked eye.
“Pet dander is just one of those things. Composed of tiny, microscopic, skin particles shed by pets with fur or feathers.” James added. So, how do you deal with this? Here are Dyson’s top tips for tackling pet hair…
How to clean pet hair properly
1. Groom your pet regularly
Your pet is always going to shed its fur, but what you can do is groom your pet regularly to help control where all the fur goes. Dyson recommends “grooming your pet frequently to avoid hair being deposited in your home. Groom your pet in the same area and spot clean this with slow vacuuming.” To find a vacuum that’s particularly good for pet hair, check out the Bissell CleanView OnePass review (opens in new tab) or for super suction power, head to the Dyson V11 Torque Drive review (opens in new tab).
2. Start at the top and work your way down
As with all cleaning, you’re much better off starting off your dusting and cleaning from higher surfaces - picture frames and mirrors and working your way down to the floor. This is because once you start cleaning, you’re going to knock any dust off higher surfaces and it will land below.
Once you’ve tackled the high up areas and vacuumed, one of the best carpet cleaners (opens in new tab) is great for getting up any stains and also improving pet odors too. For hardwood floors or tiled surfaces, steam mops (opens in new tab) are ideal for tackling tough dirt your pet has walked in or bacteria.
And it’s not just surfaces either, if you let your pooch or cat sleep on your bed, don’t miss our advice on how to clean your mattress (opens in new tab).
3. Get washing
Dyson’s engineers recommend ‘washing pet bedding at 60 degrees Celsius'. Whether you have a top load washing machine (opens in new tab) or a front load washer (opens in new tab), opting for a hot wash will help to kill germs and bacteria. Be sure to clean out your washing machine drum after though as pet hair will gather inside.
For tips on how to disinfect your laundry, head to our feature on what the coronavirus means for your laundry routine (opens in new tab).
4. Go slow on the vacuuming
Dyson’s experts suggest “vacuuming slowly to give the airflow and brush bar more time to agitate the pet hair and remove it from the surface.” The engineers also suggest using the vacuum tools to tackle upholstery and curtains where pet hair can reside. Some of the best handheld vacuums (opens in new tab) are ideal for quick cleaning jobs.
Switch it up when it comes to the direction you vacuum in, as changing direction will help to pick up any hairs that you’ve missed. For really deep cleans, check out our guide to the best deep vacuum cleaners (opens in new tab).
For other tips on deep cleaning, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, head to our handy feature on how to deep clean your home (opens in new tab).