If you own a pet or a bunch of dogs like we do, then you know that travelling with them often can leave your seats looking….well let’s just say…..not at all showroom shiny.
I do carpool often and need to make sure that my car looks a bit better than it does over the weekends. Having had this issue for a while, I decided to sit down and try a bunch of tips, tricks and hacks on how to keep the inside of my car free from dog hair.
Or should I say, find tips that would actually help me clean up the dog hair super quickly.
For some reason I became over obsessed with this, and to the annoyance of my family and equally important our dogs, I kept trying newer and newer ideas until I finally settled on some of my favorite ways of getting the car free from dog hair.
I even documented some of my least favorite ways in my post How NOT to Clean Your Car of Pet Hair.
If you also happen to own pets, and travel with them as often as we do, then read on, and feel free to ping me a thank you email later.
The Truth About Dog Hairs & Car Carpets
Before I dive in to the 3 ways you really need to clean up the car after your dogs have been in there, I have to tell you that I did discover some geeky things along the way. And they are:
1) You can’t vacuum up dog or pet hairs from the car carpets. It’s just not that simple. Whilst vacuuming does partially remove hairs, I honestly think it must take away 15% of the hairs AT MOST. Pet hairs really do get into the fibres of the carpet and need more than a once over to make a difference.
2) Invest in some inexpensive products that make your life easier. Save time and spend it with either your family or your dogs – whichever is driving you crazy the least.
Ok, so below are the 3 best ways to actually make a difference to your car.
Clean A Car Of Dog & Pet Hair
Now these are cool looking gloves. And if you’ve never seen them in real life at your doctor’s surgery or even your dentist, then you would have probably seen these on TV.
They’re often used by medics, chefs, mechanics and of course, let’s not forget the odd episode of The Sopranos.
These gloves are excellent for using when cleaning up the inside of a car because they’re strong and tougher than latex gloves. Doctors use because latex gloves have a tendency to rip when punctured, whereas the Nitrile Gloves are a lot tougher. And let’s not forget, these are the perfect type of gloves for those with latex allergies to wear.
How Do Nitrile Gloves Help Clean Pet Hair?
Here’s how they work:
Slip them on. They’ll be snug to say the least but that’s the point. Use your hand almost like you would a broom, and start sliding your hand towards you along the area of carpet you’re trying to clean. The pet hairs will be attracted to the glove.
As your hand moves, the pet hairs are gathered up. Simple as. Collect them together in one place and then vacuum them right up.
They’re inexpensive and a very clever way of actually getting the job done, without taking forever. I’d say this picks up a good 50-60% of the pet hairs. Which may not sound like it’s a good option, but when you see how much it picks up, you’ll go for it without a doubt.
The Furz-off Pet Hair Removal
Well, I’m not even sure where to start with this product. Let’s go with the name. Brilliant. Just brilliant. It sounds like it’s the type of thing someone would say to you after too many drinks, when what they’re really trying to do is curse at you
May try that at the bar next time..
Ok, just imagine – unlike me now if you don’t want to spend the entire night thinking about the name Furzoff. Stop saying it to yourself – Furz-off, Furz-off, Furz-off. Well just imagine that you can get past the name. Then what? Well, then you’ve got to deal with the packaging.
It reads and I quote (hence the use of the ” below)
”The Ugly Duckling in your cleaning cabinet”
”It’s Not Pretty But It Works”
Genius – I thought…
But what is the Furz-off. After having watched a few videos on youtube, I was getting annoyed that no one was explaining what it was. In fact, because it’s so dark, I kept thinking it was a roller. I got so frustrated I just ordered one.
And boy was I happy I did.
The Furz-off is a STONE. It’s a dark stone that feels, looks and acts exactly like a pumice stone. In fact, I may not be wrong in saying it could just be a longer version of one.
How Do You Use It?
Well think of your carpets as you would your skin. And think of your Furz-off as the pumice stone that’s going to clean your skin. That’s the approach to take.
Before using the Furzoff get some fabric softener and dilute it (7 parts to 1). This will relax your seats, softening the fibres and making life infinitely easier for the Furz-off to work it’s magic.
You need to gently glide the stone over the carpet and towards you. Within the first stroke, you’ll immediately see a huge difference in color between the bit you worked on and the bit you didn’t. Repeat, making sure to do it in straight lines.
As with the gloves, you’ll collect the dog hairs in one place and simply vacuum them right up (guide to the best car vacs here). It’s as simple as that.
What I do like about this product is that it actually does a fantastic job. It’s actually the most effective product I’ve seen out there. To do a thorough job is time consuming, but what’s important is that IT WORKS.
However working comes with a price. This is a VERY expensive pumice stone. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the latest price here…..
And, if you accidentally go over plastic, you’re likely to scratch it….
All that said, if you use it wisely, if you apply it carefully, if you know you’re going to be ferrying your dogs around everywhere and frequently cleaning up after them, then YES, it is most definitely worth the investment.
The Rubber Pet Hair Brush
First off, any half decent car wash or valeter will have one of these and so the chances are that you would have probably already seen them a few dozen times already.
These are exactly what they say on the tin; Rubber Pet Hair Brushes. And they do a fine job.
These somehow create electro static (don’t ask me on the science), which helps in picking up the dog hairs. That combined with the fact that the bristles do a damn good job with actually picking up the hairs and gathering them up in one place ready to be vacuumed.
All in all I feel comfortable in recommending this brush because again IT ACTUALLY WORKS!. The handle is comfortable, it’s easy to use and it washes away like magic in the water. And let’s not forget, it’s super inexpensive. See for yourself..
I think my hairbrush costs more. Maybe even my toothbrush.
The only downside I had with the brush is that if you use it often, as I do, if you have dogs that moult, as I do, then the bristles will wear down very quickly.
I say that because I’d rather you know now. But I don’t want that to dissuade you at all, as this is an excellent product. What I would say, is if you’re going to go for it, then you may as well buy 2.
How to Clean a Dog Car Seat Cover
If you have dog car seat covers, then you’ll appreciate that not only do they get dirty, they can start to really smell after a while.
Wash these regularly. Take my word for it. Also remember to clean your car seat belts as pet hairs can get stuck in them too. Otherwise your car will really stink and no one’s going to want to carpool with you.
Wash the dog car seat covers in the washing machine and use either Borax or vinegar to get rid of that odor. It may need another go in the washing machine if the smell hasn’t vanished completely with perhaps a dash more vinegar (added in where the softener goes).
After I’ve got it smelling like roses (not literally), let’s say, smelling normal again, I like to dry my pet car seat covers outside. They dry better, retain their shape for longer and just feel and smell way different than if I use the dryer.
That said, if you’re not in a position to hang things outside, then by all means chuck it in the dryer on low heat.
When it comes to cleaning your seats (if you don’t have seat covers), the truth is you can clean them as you would normally. If they’re cloth, the gloves will help and if they’re leather you can wipe down as normal.
The main issue with pet hairs is always going to be the carpets.
My Final Thoughts
Do I have a favorite? Well if you’ve got to this point, it must mean you really need to clean the dog hair out of your car and I don’t think I’ve hidden the fact that that darned Furz-off as a single product is my baby.
But the truth, is I use all 3 products and in the exact order I’ve written them in. Plus, I vacuum like there’s no tomorrow before I even start with the Nitrile Gloves.
There are a lot of products on the market that claim to remove pet hairs. I mean, I was amazed at how many. And I have no doubt many of them work, but I’ve yet to find one product that lifts 100% off the pet hair. So that’s why until someone shows me a better product, I’m firmly sticking with what works – and that’s the above 3.
Washing a car generally takes effort, time and there’s no doubt you burn a few calories doing it, if you’re doing it the right way. But to add to that job when you have pet hairs to remove too, takes even more patience.
I wish you all the best in cleaning up after your dogs or other pets and hope that you can put some of the information in this post to use immediately.