Whether you own a heavy shedding Labrador, or a tiny short-coated Italian Greyhound, if you live with a pup, you’ll need to learn how to get dog hair out of carpet. Dog hair sheds so that new hairs can take their place. This maintains the quality of their coat, and also makes seasonal changes possible – such as growing a denser, warmer coat in winter. Carpets, meanwhile, are like magnets for that shed fur. Obviously gravity is what makes dog hair land on carpet, but the structure of carpet is ideal for dragging hairs down and trapping them in its tufts. Regular vacuuming is important for getting dog hair out of carpet, but you might need to invest in some specialist tools to lift out really deeply worked in dog hair.
How to get dog hair out of carpet
Dog hair is easiest to remove from carpet when it hasn’t been allowed to work its way too deeply into the pile. How firmly embedded your dog’s fur can make itself in your rugs and carpets will depend on things like:
- The length of the pile.
- What it’s made from.
- What style it’s made in.
A shag pile carpet with lovely long twists of nylon fiber is like static-charged Velcro for dog hair! Whilst fur and debris are more likely to sit on the surface of a loop pile carpet, until they’re picked up by the vacuum cleaner. Since carpets with high wool content don’t become statically charged so easily, they also release dog hair more readily when you vacuum.
Prevention is better than cure!
Some top tips for getting dog hair out of your carpet before it gets buried too deeply are:
- Keep on top of it. Vacuum every day to pick up shed hairs before the action of people walking on the carpet grinds them in. Cordless vacuum cleaners make it easier to turn cleaning the floors into a daily habit. If you have the budget, robot vacuum cleaners make it even easier still!
- Sweep up hair from hard floors before it can get carried onto carpet. A microfiber mop with a dry cloth (paid link) on it is a game changer for rounding up shed hair on hard floors in the quickest time possible. Do it regularly to prevent people picking up the hairs on their socks and carrying them onto the carpet.
- Up the ante in spring and fall. Most shedding dogs shed more heavily to some extent in spring and fall. This allows them to change the thickness and texture of their coat to suit the seasons.
Dislodging deeply lodged dog hair from carpet
Keeping on top of shed hair makes a big difference, but it usually not the whole picture. Sometimes carpets need deep cleaning to lift out worked-in dog hair too. It could be because you’ve just moved in, and you want a fresh start. Or it might be part of a big spring clean each year.
Get a specialist vacuum cleaner
When my daughter was just a toddler, one of the first jobs I did around looking after her was some house cleaning for my neighbors. And I noticed that all the houses which had a dog, also had the same vacuum cleaner, from the Miele cat and dog range. (paid link) And now I have one too!
So-called cat and dog vacuum cleaners are designed to be more efficient at removing fur from floors. They have a host of specialist features which you don’t generally see all at once in other models, including:
- Extra large capacity, so that your dog’s shed hair doesn’t fill them up in an instant.
- Stiff-bristle brush heads specifically for lifting dog hair out of carpet.
- HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters to trap allergens.
- Extra attachments for cleaning fur from crevices and upholstery.
I’ve been really happy with our Miele dog hair vacuum, but they’re not the only brand who excel in this area. Other popular and well-reviewed cat and dog vacuums include the upright Bissell Pet Hair Eraser (paid link) vacuum:
And the Dyson v10 Cyclone Animal (paid link) cordless stick vacuum:
Finish the job with an edging tool
For some reason, I find that the crevice tool on vacuum cleaners – even fancy vacuum cleaners with super suction and a big long list of pet hair removing promises on the box – never quite cuts it for cleaning the very edge of carpet. And this is where carpet brushes come in. They require a bit of elbow grease, but it’s amazing what they drag out of the edges of your carpet – including deeply lodged dog hair.
They come in two types. The first option is a metal comb like this one from Uproot. (paid link) This is the style I have, and it’s quite possibly one of the most satisfying gadgets I’ve ever bought. There’s even a whole genre of videos online dedicated to showing off the amount of pet hair people have removed from their carpet using them!
There’s also a long handled version with a wider rake. (paid link):
And the second type is a silicon brush like these ones from FURemover. (paid link) These are a safer choice for delicate carpets which might be damaged by metal teeth.
Bringing in the big guns
For carpets which need a really big overhaul and a dramatic fresh start, hiring or buying a carpet cleaner is the most vigorous and ruthlessly efficient way to clean out ingrained dog hair. They’re more effective at eliminating the odor that’s probably worked its way into the fiber as well. Carpet cleaners work by forcing hot water and detergent into the carpet pile, then sucking it back out again. The detergent, combined with the mechanical force of the water, will dislodge even the most deep seated and stubborn shed hair.
You can hire carpet cleaners from home improvement centers and hardware stores, or even buy one of your own if you have the money and the space to store it. Hoover Powerdash cleaners (paid link) are a good value, popular and trusted example.
How to get dog hair out of carpet – summary
How quickly your carpet will fill up with dog hair depends on the type of carpet you have, and the type of dog! Keeping on top of shed hair by brushing your dog twice a week and vacuuming daily is the best way to stop heavily worked-in dog hair spoiling the look of your floors. But there are plenty of ways to restore carpets with a lot of hair in them too.
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The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website