Aside from dust, pollen, mold spores, and dander, there’s another air pollutant you should watch out for: pet hair. While larger than other airborne particles, pet hair is challenging to remove since it clings to surfaces. It’s also light and gets swept by wind easily. Although removing pet hair from air is difficult, there are many workarounds that you can try.
Overall, pet hair can cause problems for people with respiratory issues and allergies. If not removed from the air, these loose fur will cling to furniture and surfaces. It will then provide a harborage for pests like dust mites, bed bugs, and more.
Below, we share a few methods that can help remove pet hair from home, both airborne and clinging to surfaces.
How to remove pet hair from the air
Due to its feathery weight, pet hair can go airborne for long periods. Even as you sweep, there will still be large amounts floating in the air.
In that case, here are some methods on how to remove pet hair from the air:
1. Invest in an air purifier
Air purifiers are your bosom buddies if you have a cat, dog, rabbit, hamster, and basically any furry pet. These devices filter the pollutants by forcing air into a filter where airborne particles will get trapped.
Moreover, air purifiers are very efficient when it comes to collecting pet hair in the air. Aside from hair, this device will also collect dander that your pet produced.
In addition, air purifiers are available in various sizes. Households with multiple pets will benefit from a larger unit with an equally bigger filter.
When choosing an air purifier for pets, always check the type of filter the unit has. As much as possible, look for a HEPA filter. This can trap particles as small as 0.3 microns. If you have the extra budget, you can also purchase an air purifier with an activated carbon filter, which can neutralize pet odors.
Here’s our comprehensive review of the best air purifiers for pets!
2. Use rubber balloons
Another trick that you can use to remove pet hair in the air is rubber balloons. Yes, the balloons you see at kid’s parties. Let me explain how it works.
First, you need to inflate the rubber balloons. Next, rub it briskly on your pet’s body until static electricity forms. You’ll know that static has formed when your dog’s fur is already sticking to the rubber material.
After that, move this balloon around your home by gliding it slowly into the air. Move slowly to allow airborne pet hair to cling to it.
You can use as many balloons as you like. However, make sure that you dispose of it before the static electricity dies and the pet hair becomes airborne again.
3. Improvise with a fan and filter mesh
If you don’t have the budget for an air purifier, you can make an improvised filter. You just need a fan, a filter mesh, and a box.
First, make sure that the box fits the fan well. You can use a portable electric fan for this purpose, but a box-type fan would be the most ideal choice.
Once your box is ready, place the fan on one end and seal the edges with tape. After that, install the filter mesh on the other end using tape or any adhesive that holds well.
When you turn the electric fan on, air will be sucked into the box and forced into the filter mesh. As the air is blown out of the mesh, pet hair will be trapped. The space between the fan and the mesh inside the box will prevent the collected hair from being recirculated in the air.
Make sure that you clean the mesh and box regularly. Also, you should clean your portable fan as some pet hair can also accumulate on its blades.
4. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth
Removing pet hair from surfaces will prevent it from getting into the air. In this case, dusting isn’t enough since it will only disturb pet hair that settled on surfaces. You’ll just send more pet hair into the air with this method.
Instead, we recommend wiping surfaces with a damp cloth. The moisture will make the pet hair stick to the cloth instead of being released into the air.
Always wipe then fold, so the collected dirt on the cloth won’t spread around. Also, wash the cloth after a few wipes, so you won’t spread the pet hair on other areas of your house.
For the best results, we recommend using a microfiber cloth for this purpose.
5. Run a robot vacuum
Lastly, it will be a big help to run a robot vacuum while you’re away. Through this, the vacuum can pick up pet hair all over your home even if you’re not manually cleaning.
Aside from those on the floor, robot vacuums can also collect pet hair that’s airborne close to the ground. This device will also help remove dander and dirt from your floor.
Another good thing about robot vacuums is they can be used on both hardwood floors and carpeted areas. Many are equipped with special brushes that can lift stuck hair on carpets and rugs.
Still, make sure that the robot vacuum you’re buying is designed for pet hair. It’s because models not engineered for this purpose may clog and malfunction as pet hair rolls on its brush.
On the other hand, you should still vacuum your home manually even if you’re using a robot device. Nothing beats the human touch when it comes to cleaning, especially if you have multiple furry pets at home.
How to prevent pet hair from getting in the air
Prevention is always the best solution if you’re dealing with airborne pet hair. Here are some of the preventive measures you can take for your furry friend:
1. Groom your dog outdoors
To prevent pet hair from getting into your indoor air, you should groom your dog outdoors. Brushing your dog in the yard will save your living space from massive amounts of loose fur.
Moreover, you should groom your pet regularly to prevent its shed hair from spreading in your home. During shedding periods, we recommend that you use a de-shedding shampoo. This will help flush out the loose fur of your pet during baths.
Lastly, you should bring your dog to a professional groomer at least every quarter for in-depth grooming.
2. Clean your HVAC system
Another thing that you should do is to get your HVAC system cleaned, specifically the ducts. As the air gets in and out of your HVAC ducts, pet hair clings to its walls. Over time, it will accumulate hefty amounts of dirt, including clumps of pet fur.
If not cleaned, this thick layer of accumulated dirt will recirculate in your indoor air. Unfortunately, this includes nasty pet hair, which probably houses a crazy number of dust mites.
For most homes, air duct cleaning can be done every two to three years. Meanwhile, filter cleaning or replacements is needed every month or so.
3. De-shed your dog properly
For dogs that shed heavily, proper de-shedding is crucial to prevent their fur from dispersing into the air. You can use tools like Furminator to remove loose fur before it falls off.
As mentioned earlier, it’s best to do this outdoors so no pet hair sticks around your home. When in doubt, you can always tap the help of a professional groomer.
4. Use a grooming glove
Grooming gloves for pets aren’t just helpful in removing shed hair; it’s also useful when removing pet hair on furniture before it gets into the air.
Simply wipe your hands on furniture surfaces while wearing the rubber grooming gloves. This is also useful in lifting deep-seated pet hair on carpets and rugs.
5. Restrict your dog’s access around the house
If you have family members that react harshly to pet hair, it will help to reduce your dog or cat’s access around the house. For example, your pet will no longer be allowed on the couch, kitchen, and bedrooms.
By doing this, you’re limiting the areas where pet hair can be found. Still, you should give your pet its own corner, so it won’t feel deprived or isolated.
6. Clean your dog’s belongings
Pet hair will accumulate on a furry animal’s bed, toys, and other belongings. It’s important to wash these items regularly.
Aside from removing pet hair, cleaning your pet’s stuff will also prevent the formation of foul odors. It will also kill any insect parasites that might be hiding on your pet’s bed or plush toys.
7. Switch to pet hair-resistant surfaces
Lastly, consider switching to fur-resistant surfaces. One good example here is leather since it doesn’t generate static. Also, pet hair on leather surfaces is easier to remove with just a single wipe.
Aside from that, you can forego thick carpeting and rugs for hard floors. You can also switch to cotton fabrics instead of wool or velvet textiles.
While these changes won’t necessarily stop pet hair from getting in the air, they will prevent the accumulation of animal fur. And since these surfaces are easier to clean, a simple habit of vacuuming will remove pet hair before it goes airborne.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does dog hair stay in the air?
A: Your dog’s loose fur will easily stay in the air for long periods. Some will settle on surfaces while small strands can remain airborne as the air moves while people walk around. Unlike pet hair that’s accumulated on furniture, those in the air are challenging to remove. It requires a different approach, which we discussed above.
Q: How long does dog dander stay in your house?
A: Pet dander will remain in your home as long as you have pets around. Dander is sticky and can cling to surfaces for long. Once your pet is evacuated, the present dander will take up to six months to completely vanish. This can be sped up by taking steps including deep cleaning of the place.
Q: Is breathing dog hair harmful to one’s health?
A: Inhaling pet dander can cause respiratory irritations. For those with asthma, dog hair inhalation can also trigger attacks. This is why you should always watch out for your dog’s shedding. It’s also important to groom your dog outdoors, so its hair and dander won’t spread all over your house.
Q: What happens if you inhaled a large amount of dog fur?
A: Inhaled dog fur will settle and accumulate inside the lungs. Unfortunately, there’s no way that the lungs can process such a substance. If not addressed early, prolonged inhalation of dog fur can lead to a condition called ‘groomers lung’. It’s called as such because the condition is prevalent among pet groomers. Nevertheless, it can also happen among dog owners who are oblivious of pet hair in the air.
Q: How do you deal with pet hair everywhere?
A: Pet hair can be removed through regular cleaning of your home. It’s also important to groom your pet, so you can control the amount of hair that spreads in your home. Aside from that, cleaning your pet’s bedding and other belongings will help reduce pet hair that gets stuck everywhere.
Q: Can pet hair travel through vents?
A: Yes, pet hair and dander can travel through your ductwork. This is why pet hair can still get into the rooms your dog or cat doesn’t have access to. Nevertheless, you can use filter mesh to prevent pet hair from spreading through this channel.
Removing pet hair from air doesn’t have to be hard. You only need a few household items and the right approach to deal with the furry problem.
Overall, cleaning and prevention are the best solutions to this dilemma. Aside from cleaning your home, you shouldn’t forget to groom your pet as well. That way, you can efficiently reduce the amount of pet hair that spreads in your home.
Home Air Quality is founded by Bernard K to provide information on Indoor Air Quality in Homes and enlighten people about what they need to know about creating and maintaining a comfortable and healthy home environment.
We believe that “Quality air brings a healthy life.”