Man's Best Friend; Car's Worst Enemy
We all love our furry little friends, but the millions of hairs they deposit in our vehicles can strain this love… Here’s what to do.
It’s hard to beat the excitement caused by loading up our furry friends into the car for a trip to the park, indeed, many of us can’t even speak the work “park” aloud without causing a flurry of wagging tails, zoomies, and exciting panting. Even if your pet isn’t a fan of road trips or going to the park, we still frequently need to transport our dogs in our vehicles.
The joy involved with taking our dogs on a trip can start to wear off upon noticing the abundance of hair on the seats, the carpets, the ceiling, the cupholders, the glove box… Every pet hair knows that a fundamental law of pet ownership is that hair gets absolutely everywhere.
Here are our top tips for moderating pet hair accumulation in your car, and dealing with it when the time comes.
Hair Moderation is Key
Pet owners need to be realistic. There is no way to absolutely prevent pet hair from building up in your vehicle. That being said, slowing the rate of accumulation will help your car stay cleaner for longer and mean less work for you.
One of the best ways to slow the accumulation of pet hair in your vehicle is by brushing your pet before going for a ride. It’s a simple calculation: the more hair you can brush out of your pet before they get in the car, the less hair they will leave behind.
The other strategy to help control the amount of pet hair that gets into your vehicle is by using specially designed seat covers. Seat covers are designed to hold onto pet hairs, preventing them from building up on your vehicle’s seats and carpets. As they can easily be removed and cleaned outside your vehicle, they serve as an effective way to keep your car’s interior clean and make cleaning up easier.
Pet Hair Removal
As we mentioned earlier, no prevention strategy works 100% (well, maybe one of those hairless cats, but that ship has probably sailed for most people reading this article). When the time comes to clean the hair, here are our best tips.
Rubber Pet Hair Brush
These brushes are designed to pick up and remove pet hair from upholstery, and work quite well on car seats. They typically resemble a normal hair brush, but instead of long thin bristles, they are equipped with rubber fingers to dig pet hair out of crevasses and hard-to-reach areas. You can buy these online, or at most dedicated pet stores. Keeping one handy in your glove box or with your car washing kit is a great idea.
Most of us have a pair of rubber gloves around the house somewhere – likely used when washing dishes or cleaning the bathroom. Picking up errant strands of pet hair can be as easy as putting on a pair of these gloves and sweeping them over your seats. Using the same pattern as if you were collecting ground coffee on a countertop, your goal is to pile up as much hair as possible into a small area so you can pick it up or vacuum it away.
Need a quick clean en-route to a birthday party? You can harness the power of static electricity to help remove pet hair from your seats. Simply rub an inflated balloon over any carpeted surface in your vehicle, and then watch as loose hairs are attracted to the balloon’s surface. This method only works for loose hairs, and won’t get rid of stubborn strands, but it’s better than nothing!
We live by the fact that Duct Tape and/or WD-40 can fix any problem: “If it should move but it don’t, use WD-40. If it shouldn’t move but it does, Duct Tape”.
As it turns out, Duct Tape can help you with your pet hair troubles too. Simply wrap a strip of duct tape around your hand (sticky-side out) and press you hand into the upholstery. When you lift up, you’ll be amazed at how much hair is stuck to the tape.
Simply repeat the process throughout your entire vehicle. When the tape loses its adhesive properties, just use a new piece.
This technique relies on similar principles as the rubber glove technique illustrated above. Simply rake the squeegee over your seats, pressing firmly, and collect as much hair as possible into one area.
The hook side of velcro (the rough side, not the soft one) can also be effective at collecting errant hairs. If you happen to have velcro hair curlers, even better. Press the velcro into your seats, or roll the curlers along them, to collect hair.
Although velcro isn’t as effective as other techniques, the pieces of velcro are re-usable and you can easily keep some handy in your glove box.
This one might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning all the same. Vacuums will remove the majority of hair from your vehicle, and are a fast and easy solution. When paired with a rubber pet hair brush (at the top of our list) you have a formidable combination of pet-hair-removal at your disposal.
You may read online that it is a good idea to use fabric softeners on your vehicle’s interior. This is a bad idea. You risk damaging your car’s interior, and the chemicals could leave an annoying residue on everything that touches them.
Sometimes, it’s best to leave tasks like pet hair removal to the pros. We use a powerful industrial vacuum cleaner, compressed air, and a dog hair brush to thoroughly loosen and remove every trace of dog, or cat, hair from your vehicle.