Interior Designer Anne Tuohy shares her handy home hacks for pet owners driven demented by hair.
This will obviously not apply to everyone, but for those of you who are cracking up due to excessive pet hair being shed, you will appreciate every nugget.
Our beloved Elsa, who is a giant breed Leonberger, to put it mildly, is in the middle of losing her copious coat. You cannot even begin to imagine how devastating the consequences are in our home. It is a little akin to living in a sheep shearer’s pen! Masses of dog hair everywhere.
Now, I know that it will only last about a week, but I made it my mission to research this topic, implement the advice, and share what works.
These five tips have restored my sanity:
Invest in a good brush, and keep brushing the coat and undercoat. The more you do this, the less vacuuming you have to do. We have a Furminator, but I also like the sound of the Kong Zoom Groom. You can vacuum your dog, our Cocker Spaniel loves this, however Elsa is terrified of the hoover, so this won’t work for us.
Much as this girl hates housekeeping, if you have a long haired dog, regular vacuuming is essential to maintain your sanity. We have a Miele Cat and Dog vac for downstairs, and I have to say it really works. It has powerful suction and an efficient agitator rotation brush that really lifts that hair. I also use a charcoal filter to eliminate any doggy odours, and I change the bag frequently to achieve the best suction. It fills up fast anyway!
Some of these DIY tips might sound a little crazy, but they really work. If you wipe over the shedded hair with wet rubber gloves, the hair sticks like magic. I am trying to figure out a way that I can use a rubber glove on a mop so I don’t have to bend!
If you put hair covered socks, clothes or blankets into the dryer with a fabric softener sheet for about ten minutes before washing, most of the hair will end up in the lint filter! Using liquid fabric softener in the wash will also help to release those hairs into the waste water.
Lint pick up rollers really work at removing hair from clothes, furniture and curtains. You can also buy replacement rolls.
I have also discovered a gel roller from JML, called the Fast Fix Sticky Roll. The roller is made of gel, which picks up the hair, and you just rinse it under the tap, and reuse. Ingenious!
Furniture and flooring.
Choose flooring which is naturally hair resistant. Hardwood, laminate, natural stone, tiled or vinyl floors are obviously best. These can be easily vacuumed and cleaned. Fitted carpet and shaggy long pile rugs are going to be a much bigger challenge to keep hair free.
Leather, cotton, canvas and suede fabrics are better choices for soft furnishings, as they can be easily vacuumed.
Blinds at your windows are a better choice than full length curtains, which will act as a hair magnet every time your beloved dog brushes against them.
Interior Design hacks.
Get washable throws in the same colour as your sofa, and encourage your pet to lie on them. If they are not allowed up on furniture, invest in a washable floor rug or doggie bed.
One trick that I have successfully used in my own house, is to get sofas and rugs in a colour similar to the dog’s coat. This works really well at camouflaging the hair!
It might sound extreme, but if you are in the market for new sofas anyway, it is something to consider.
Removable, washable slip covers are another worthy investment.
If you do have a pet who sheds, I hope this was useful. If not, share the tips with someone who does. You may well save their marriage!
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