How to clean pet hair out of your car

Plenty of us let our fur babies travel in our vehicles and even if you use a seat protector or have a mat in the boot (station wagon) nothing sticks to carpet like pet hair. Here’s how to clean pet hair out of your car.

Source: Isaac Bober · Pratical Motoring

Speaking from experience, the carpet used in vehicles seems to act like a magnet to pet hair, and depending on the carpet in your car, removing said pet hair will either be easy-ish or a real pain in the backside.

This article is based on personal experience and what works best for getting pet hair out of my car’s carpet. As you can see in the photo, the carpet type in my Skoda Octavia, in the boot anyway, is a low and coarse pile type. I’d prefer it to be like the fluffy stuff used for the rest of the car as cleaning pet hair out of fluffy carpet is much easier. Especially if you have a vacuum with good suction and an attachment for cleaning car carpet (see pic below).

Having tried all sort of hacks to clean my dog’s hair out of the boot of my car, from using sticky lint rollers (expensive but effective), wrapping duct tape (sticky side out, of course) which is also effective but it takes ages and is a bit of a pain. And I even tried using a balloon…

…Yep, the idea behind the balloon trick is that the static electricity generated from rubbing the balloon across the carpet will cause the hair to stick. It looks a bit silly but it does work for attracting surface hair. But then, so does vacuuming the carpet.

So, here’s what works best for getting the pet hair out of my car.
  1. Vacuum the carpet to remove any loose hair and grit from the surface of the carpet. If you’ve got a car cleaning attachment then use that. This usually pulls up most of dog hair as it agitates the carpet and separates the pile to release the hair.
  2. There’s always hair left behind that’s been forced deep into the carpet and become stuck and this is where a good stiffish bristled brush comes in handy; I’ve found a hog’s bristle brush works the best. But you’ll periodically need a comb on hand as well to comb out the hair it collects. Don’t brush backwards and forwards with the brush, just go in one direction.

I’ve heard of people using pumice stone on the carpet to collect dog hairs but I’ve never tried it myself; maybe I will and I’ll update this article afterwards.

One thing I do to get dog hair off the seats because even though my dog always travels in the boot of our station wagon his hair floats through the air and attaches to anything and everything, and this is where a variation of the balloon trick comes in. I get a pair of rubber gloves (mainly because it looks a little better than rubbing a balloon across the car seat) and I simply wipe my hand across the surface of the carpet. I’ve heard of some people who advocate taking a spray bottle filled with water and lightly misting the area before using a glove to wipe across the carpet; the idea is that this increasing the static electricity, but I find the glove on its own works okay. Again, just rub in one direction.