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7 Hacks For Getting Dog Hair Off of Clothes in the Washer or Dryer!

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Dog Care By Kate Brunotts 13 min read April 20, 2021 2 Comments

Removing dog hair from clothes

As much as we love our furry friends, no one wants to be constantly covered in a canine coat. Many owners struggle to keep their dog’s hair off their clothes, which can obviously be quite frustrating.

Luckily, there are a few ways to help effectively remove dog hair while doing the laundry. We’ll share five ways to get the fur off your clothes while doing your laundry — as well as some general tips for dealing with dog hair — below!

How to Get Dog Hair Off Your Clothes: Key Takeaways

  • There is no “magic” solution to getting dog hair off your clothes. Instead, you’ll likely have to employ a number of simple, common-sense strategies to keep Fido’s fur off your ‘fit.
  • There are a few products on the market that can help remove dog fur from your clothes. This includes things like the Fur Zapper and wool dryer balls. However, there are also things like vinegar, which may help and already be lurking in your cabinets.
  • There are also a few other tips and tricks you can use in your battle against dog hair. This includes things like regularly bathing your dog and color-coordinating your clothing and upholsteries with your pet’s hair.

Products That’ll Get Dog Hair Off Your Clothes in the Washer or Dryer

Let’s jump right into it! Here some ways to keep yourself from getting into a hairy situation. 

1. Pet Hair-Specific Dryer Sheets 

Dryer sheets, especially dryer sheets designed to remove pet hair, are a great tool for catching excess hair.

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Bounce Pet Hair & Lint Guard Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets designed to collect pet hair

Dryer sheets have antistatic properties that can help loosen the hair from fabric. This way, you’ll find excess pet hair in your lint trap instead of on your favorite pair of pants. 

You can also use their anti-static properties to help you rub off excess hair before putting your clothes in the wash. Just wipe down your clothes with a fresh sheet at the beginning of laundry time.

Beyond that, dryer sheets usually have some sort of pleasant smell that can help combat your canine’s set-in scent. 

The Right Product for your Purpose

Note that any old dryer sheet will help remove some dog hair, but those specifically designed to remove dog hair cost about the same and tend to have some extra fur-collection features.

2. Fur Zappers

Fur Zappers are slightly tacky silicone doodads that are designed to collect and hold fur while you’re running laundry through the washer and dryer.

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Fur Zappers

Reusable silicone fur catchers

These reusable fur catchers shouldn’t be used with fabric softener or dryer sheets (they’d stick to the Fur Zappers), though they can be used with wool dryer balls. 

While owners experienced varying degrees of effectiveness, the Fur Zapper seemed to greatly reduce the amount of left-behind fur for most owners. As a bonus, the Fur Zapper appears to catch long locks as well, so it’s a great pick for owners with long hair.

You’ll want to rinse off your fur Zapper after every couple of loads. One 2-pack of Fur Zappers lasted most dog owners at least a year with consistent use due to their durable design. 

3. Wool Dryer Balls

Wool dryer balls — like these from SnugPad — are a reusable solution that’ll help loosen pet hair and prevent wrinkles in your clothing.

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SnugPad Wool Dryer Balls

Dryer balls that get rid of wrinkles while eliminating pet hair

Wool dryer balls help by softening your clothes, which can help loosen pesky pet hair from fabric. They also promote airflow in your dryer, so it may take less time overall to finish a load of laundry. 

Simply place these wool balls in your dryer along with your load of fur-ridden clothing. They’re a great alternative to dryer sheets – especially if anyone in your home is sensitive to strong smells. 

It’s best to layer the wool balls within your laundry rather than throwing them into the dryer right before or directly after loading all of your clothes into the machine. This will cut down on noise while the cycle is running and make the balls more effective overall. 

Additional Pet Pro Tips: Dealing with Dog Hair

While using your washer and dryer to remove dog hair is a great strategy, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Here are some general tips to help you deal with dog hair on an everyday basis. 

Laundry tips to fix dog hair

1. Remove as Much Hair as Possible First 

Washing and drying your clothes will help remove dog hair, but you can enjoy even better results by eliminating as much hair as possible before tossing your laundry in the wash.

You can start by simply shaking off as much hair as you can before you toss those clothes into the washer. Once you’ve done that, consider using any of the following tools to help remove even more hair.

  • Lint Rollers — Lint rollers make it super-easy to remove pet hair from your clothes. You can use them before tossing your clothes in the washing machine and for those last-minute once overs right before you run out the door.
  • Fabric Brushes — Fabric brushes are a great alternative to lint rollers, and they work better with some types of clothing. The best fabric brushes even come with specially built fur removers, which make cleaning the brush a breeze.
  • Latex Gloves — Latex gloves (either the kind you’d use in your kitchen or the more “surgical” variety) can help remove pet hair from your clothing or fabric with a quick rub. The latex makes it easy to separate hair or other debris from the fabric so that you can collect and toss pet hair efficiently.
  • Kitchen Sponge — You can also use a sponge in a pinch to remove pesky hairs from your clothing or furniture. But unless you want to get dog hair stuck to your dishes, set one aside specifically for de-furring your clothes. In fact, you may want to just pick up a sponge designed specifically to remove pet hair.
  • Tape — If nothing else, you can always use tape to collect left-behind hound hair from clothing. Try not to use heavy-duty tape like duct tape although, this might leave behind an unwanted sticky residue — simple Scotch tape will work well. 

Also consider upping your cleaning game – especially if you have a long-furred doggo or a multi-dog household. Our round-up of the best pet hair vacuums is a great place to start.

A more powerful vacuum, along with regular usage, will reduce the amount of pet hair floating around your home, and keep fur off your clothes as a result!

3. Run Clothes Through the Dryer Before the Washing Machine

If you have some particularly hairy garments to launder, it may be worth running your clothes through the dryer before they’re washed. This softens the fabric and loosens the pet hair so that it can be collected in the dryer’s lint trap. 

Just place your load in the dryer for about 10 minutes or so on a no-heat or low-heat cycle. You can also add a slightly damp cloth to the mix to improve your fur-fighting strategy.

4. Rinse Your Clothes With Vinegar 

Vinegar is one of the best tools to have around the house for cleaning almost anything, including pesky pet hair. Vinegar helps to soften fabrics, which will help free clinging dog hairs from the threads of your clothes.

vinegar-prevents-dogs-from-peeing

During the rinse cycle of your wash, add about ½ cup of white vinegar to the machine. If you’re worried about the smell of vinegar, you can start with a smaller amount, but the vinegar usually evaporates while the clothes are in the dryer.

2. Use a Hand-Held Steamer for Delicate Fabrics

If you have delicate pieces, use a hand-held steamer to help loosen the pet hair on your clothes. The added dampness will ease the fabric, making it easy for you to remove pet hair.

From there, you can use a clothes brush, lint roller, dryer sheets, or manually brush off hairs from the fabric. 

6. Buy Furniture That Match Your Pet’s Fur Color

If you can’t beat them, join them!

Since having some of Fluffy’s fur around the house is somewhat inevitable, it may be wise to craft your sense of style around your dog’s fur color, opting for dog-colored couches and carpeting.

You could also put down a specific doggie blanket whenever your dog joins you on the couch to cut down on the number of items you have to wash.

Also, keep in mind that complex patterns can also help conceal dog hair, so don’t be afraid to add some extra flair to your home. Consider checking out our guide to dog-proof furniture for couches and cushions designed to withstand the chaos that is doggo life.

7. Clean Your Washer and Dryer Often

It’s important to keep your washer and dryer as clean as possible when battling dog hair on your clothes.

So, make a habit of wiping down the inside of your washer and dryer regularly. You can even run your washer on a short rinse cycle with nothing in it to make sure that it’s super clean. 

Clean the lint trap of your dryer before each load too. If you know you have a particularly hairy load, it might even be a good idea to stop the dryer cycle midway to thoroughly clean out the lint trap. 

It’s also a good idea to vacuum the trap every once in a while (when not in use) to remove any lingering pieces of lint, hair, or debris. 

getting dog hair off your clothes

8. Use Couch Covers

Couch covers are a great option for dog owners who like to cuddle with their canines but don’t want to deal with the excess pet hair afterward.

Simply wash the cover once it’s getting a bit too hairy and keep your couch fur-free. Make sure that your couch cover can easily be taken on and off, or you might be hesitant to clean it in the future!

Another option is to purchase an oversized blanket that covers the majority of the couch but doesn’t require you to constantly fit the fabric to the furniture. 

It’s also a good idea to make sure your pooch has a firm understanding of the “off” command. That way, you can have your pooch wait to relax on furniture until after you’ve given him a thorough brushing or keep the off-limits area fully fur-free. 

Deal with Dog Hair at the Source: Brush and Bathe Your Pet Regularly

The tips discussed above will all help you get the dog hair off your clothes, but you may also want to tackle this problem at the source! If you can reduce the amount of dog hair floating around your home, you won’t have to put in as much effort getting the hair off your clothes.

One of the best ways to do so is to keep up with Fido’s grooming routine.

Bathing your pooch on a consistent basis removes hair that would otherwise be shed at a later time. You can also add an anti-shedding shampoo to your dog’s bathing routine and see if that helps. 

Brush your dog to remove hair

Regular brushings can also help you remove and dispose of hair so that you don’t find it all over the couch later.

There are several different kinds of dog brushes you can choose from, including brushes designed for short-haired dogs, dematting combs, and glove brushes that feel like a mini-massage for your dog.

You’ll want to pay extra attention to your floof’s fur around the spring and fall. During these seasons, he may be more likely to shed heavily, so it might make sense to bolster up your brushing routine. 

Heaviest Shedding Breeds

All dogs shed, including “hypoallergenic” breeds — they just tend to shed less than other breeds. 

However, there are some dog breeds that shed in notoriously large quantities. And if you live alongside one of these amazing doggos, you’ll simply have to be willing to put in a little more effort to keep your clothing fur-free.

some dog breeds shed heavily

Here are some of the heaviest shedding hounds you can find — most of these, you’ll note, are double-coated dogs. 

  • German Shepherd Dogs — These loyal lads and lassies are known for frequently shedding their beautiful coats. This double-coated breed will shed a particularly large amount during the spring and fall, but you’ll see hair year-round with a GSD. 
  • Siberian Huskies — It’s no surprise that these canines fitted for cold climate have thick double coats that lead to heavy shedding. These playful pups can benefit from regular brushings to help keep the shed hair to a minimum.
  • Labrador Retrievers — These sweet dogs have thick coats to keep them warm and dry while hunting in the winter. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see fur flying in the air as you’re petting one of these canine cuties, so owners will need to deal with plenty of hair.
  • Cardigan Welsh Corgis and Pembroke Welsh Corgis — These mini but mighty dogs are double-coated and shed year-round. The cattle-driving corgi may coat your couch cushion, but he’ll make sure to provide some of the best canine companionship you can find. 
  • Akitas — This beautiful breed from Japan was originally bred to hunt large prey like elk and wild boars. The Akita has a thick, gorgeous coat that’s unfortunately likely to line your couch cushions. 
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs — These lovable tricolor dogs are unfortunately heavy shedders due to their cold climate heritage. You’ll want to make sure you give these big buddies plenty of brushing. 
furry forethought

If you’re reading this article, you probably already have a pooch who’s making it difficult to keep your clothes and upholsteries hair-free.

But, if you don’t yet have a dog and want to limit these types of issues, be sure to pick a low-shedding dog breed!

Dog Hair-Removing FAQs

Dealing with dog hair on your clothes is a super-common problem that almost all dog owners face. And because it is such a common issue, it sparks a number of similar questions among owners. We’ll address a few of the most common ones below. 

How can you get dog hair off of clothes?

There are a number of ways to get dog hair off your clothes, but dryer sheets and Fur Zappers are a few of the best tools for the job. Simple lint rollers and fabric brushes are also effective.

How can you get dog hair out of your washing machine?

To get the hair out of your washing machine, try running it through a complete cycle while it’s empty. But before you turn it on, throw about 1/2 cup of vinegar in the machine.

How can you get dog hair out of your dryer?

The best way to get dog hair out of your dryer is to simply wipe down the interior with a damp, lint-free rag. Don’t forget to clean out the lint trap regularly too.

What dissolves dog hair in a washing machine?

Dog hair is pretty tough stuff, so there’s nothing you can add to your washing machine to “dissolve” Fido’s fur (at least, nothing that wouldn’t also dissolve your clothes).

Instead, try to limit the amount of hair that ends up in the washing machine in the first place, by removing pet hair before you place your clothes in the machine.

What can I give my dog to make him shed less?

Omega-3 fatty acid fish oil supplements may help reduce your dog’s shedding a bit, but there aren’t any magic bullets that’ll automatically reduce the amount of hair your pooch sheds.

You may also want to examine his diet, and be sure you’re giving him a top-notch food, as poor-quality foods may exacerbate shedding issues.

Will brushing my dog make him shed less?

Brushing won’t make your dog shed less, but it will make it easier to keep hair off your clothes and couch. Just take your pup outside and give him a thorough brushing (which he’ll probably like anyway). Collect the hair from the brush and toss it in the trash.

***

Pet hair is one of the many things we have to wrestle with as dog owners. However, it’s clear our furry-family members are so worth the extra effort. Hopefully, these strategies make it a little bit easier for you to keep your clothes and home hair-free. 

Have you tried any of these hair removal strategies? How do you keep your clothes and home free of pet hair? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below! 

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Written by

Kate Brunotts

Kate is a dog-loving content specialist with over a decade of canine-care experience. She is currently a professional dog walker and pet sitter, with previous experience working at the Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital in Manhattan. When not spending time with four-footers, she can usually be found crafting top-notch dog-care articles that pet parents can trust. Kate loves dogs of all shapes and sizes, but Bernese Mountain Dogs hold a special place in her heart.

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Melissa Renèe

I have a Newfoundland Landseer and he’s a beaut but his hair is very….. trying most days. Gets on my nerves soooo badly. Thanks for your tips!!!

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Ben Team

Glad you found the tips helpful, Melissa!

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