The way you approach how to remove pet hair on your carpet in general or dog hair in particular depends on five factors. Let me first tell you how I came up with the five factors. For over nine years, through trial and error I used the cleaning tips for carpets that I try to describe in detail below every single day when I ran my dog daycare and boarding business. I had a client list of slightly over 3000 so learning how to remove dog hair from carpets and how to get rid of dog odors was critical as my clients expected their dog to be in a place just like home but with many friends to play with safely.
The five factors to consider before you begin vacuuming pet hair and removing pet odor in any carpeted room are:
1. Whether your carpet just needs a simple good vacuuming and no visible clusters of matted dog hair are present plus conditioning your carpet against pet odors is desirable but not your top priority.
2. How much fur your pet is shedding on your carpets. Especially dog hair that has been mashed into your carpet because your heavily shedding dog sleeps or lays on your rugs.
3. Whether eliminating pet urine smells or more commonly removing dog urine odors in your carpet is necessary.
4. How humid the room is and as a result how much moisture the carpet has.
5. Strong pet odor emanating from pet dander and animal fur in your carpet.
A Simple Thorough Approach To Vacuuming Pet Hair And Pet Dander
Before you begin vacuuming ensure that your vacuum’s bin or bag is empty. If you have a vacuum cleaner that uses a separate filter, wash it if it is washable and looks clogged with fine debris or replace the filter if it is not washable. Maintaining the filter is critical especially if you have pet allergies and still keep pets. Make sure your vacuum is unplugged then cut out any stringy debris and pet hair that may have wound around the rotating vacuum brush. Check the vacuum intake system for blockages, pay special attention to the intake hole that is normally found right behind the vacuum’s rotating brush. Slightly damp fine debris mixed with pet hair can stick to the wall of the intake hole then accumulate and harden over time creating problems like insufficient suction or motor overheating. Also ensure that the vacuum head is at the appropriate height to suit your carpet if you do not have a vacuum that automatically adjusts to the height of the carpet.
Plug in your vacuum and place it on one corner of your carpet. You will be vacuuming the carpet’s length first. Slowly begin vacuuming, let the vacuum do the work for you. I always think of the speed of vacuuming as something akin to a really lazy walk in the beach. When you reach the end of the carpet, slowly walk backwards retracing the area your vacuum had just passed over when it was going forward. When you reach your original starting point, place a third of the vacuum head on the area you just vacuumed then slowly continue vacuuming as before. When you reach the end of the length of the rug, walk backwards just like you did earlier. Then do the one third vacuum head overlap and continue vacuuming. Repeat this procedure until you have vacuumed the entire carpet.
Check your vacuum bag or bin and empty the bin if you have a bagless vacuum or dispose of the bag if you use a bagged vacuum cleaner and it is two thirds full. Most vacuum cleaners run more efficiently when the bag or bin is less than two thirds full of debris. Next you will vacuum the carpet width wise. Use the exact same method that you used while vacuuming the carpet’s length only this time you will be cleaning its width. Apart from keeping your carpet clean this simple approach to vacuuming pet hair and pet dander has the positive side effect of removing pet odors from your carpet.
A Comprehensive Approach To Vacuuming Pet Hair And Removing Pet Odor In Carpets
If you have heavily matted pet hair stuck in your carpet, streaks of long dog hair on your rug, dog urine odors and or the room that is going to be vacuumed is normally quite humid, then the ‘Simple Thorough Approach To Vacuuming Pet Hair And Pet Dander’ described above will not do.
If you have a carpet heavily populated with shedded mashed in pet hair especially dog hair, you should first sprinkle baking soda all over the carpet. This is also the method I use to keep my carpets smelling fresh and does eliminate dog smells in a room. I sometimes use Arm And Hammer’s Pet Fresh Baking Soda. Sure Pet Fresh is a lot more expensive than regular bulk store baking soda but I like the scent it leaves after I finish vacuuming. After applying baking soda, you need to get a scrub brush with a handle. I use the ‘Rubbermaid Cleaning G243 Scrub Brush With Handle’. Use quick back and forth short strokes on the carpet. You will find that pet hair will become disentangled from the carpet and the brush will roll up the hair in a cigar shape that is easy for you to pick up and discard. Do not try and vacuum the rolls of pet hair as doing so will cause any vacuum to choke and clog up.
Although brushing your carpet manually can be back breaking it has the added benefit of removing deeply embedded dried on dirt or other debris without resorting to a steam cleaner. Some of the better vacuums for pet hair like the Dyson DC28 Animal come with an attachment called the Zorb Groomer that enable you to brush your carpet without baking soda flying all over the place and getting onto your furniture. After you have brushed your carpet, let it rest for an hour then vacuum using the ‘Simple Thorough Approach To Vacuuming Pet Hair And Pet Dander’. The best way to reduce the amount of pet hair that is shed or left on your carpet is to brush your shedding dog at least once a day. A 10 minute daily brushing of your shedding dog’s coat will greatly reduce the amount of time you spend vacuuming your carpet in the long run.
If the room you are planning on vacuuming smells of pet urine you should identify the source of the smell either by using a black light or by visually looking for the urine stain then eliminating the urine before vacuuming. If the urine has not dried, soak up as much of it as possible by using a towel. I have used all types of commercial and homemade agents for removing pet urine from my carpets. Over the years I found two ways of dealing with getting dog urine out of carpets. Note, no matter what cleaning agent you use, if your carpet has an underpadding it (the underpadding) will have a stain though no smell of pet urine should emanate from it after you have treated your carpet
The first and the cheapest way of removing pet urine and its associated urine smell is to use white vinegar. Mix one part vinegar one part water. Apply a very small amount of the mixture to a tiny hidden part of your carpet to ensure that the solution carries no adverse effects to your particular type of carpet. If the carpet does not begin to run or bleed apply the vinegar/water mixture around the outer edges of the urine stain first, then finish at the center of the pet urine stain. If your carpet has an underpadding, apply enough of the vinegar/water mixture on the carpet to soak the underpadding. Agitate the wet carpeted area with a scrub brush.
Wait a minute, then get a towel, fold it in half twice, put it on top of the vinegar/water solution that is soaking in your carpet. Stand and walk on the towel for a minute or so then remove it. Put another folded towel on the area you have been working on and stand on it then remove the towel after a minute. Get yet another folded towel and place it on the now damp problem area on the carpet. Put a weight like a few bricks on the towel. After about 2 hours remove the towel, place another towel and put the weight/s back on top leave it like that for 12 hours. Remove the towel and let the carpet dry completely.
The white vinegar solution only neutralizes pet urine and eliminates the pet urine smell. To get rid of the actual stain use the foam in a dish soap (I use Sunlight Liquid Dish Detergent) cold water solution to brush out the stain. After the carpet has dried apply baking soda. Let it rest for an hour then vacuum your carpet using the ‘Simple Thorough Approach To Vacuuming Pet Hair And Pet Dander’ method. One quick tip, to thoroughly clean the towels, wash them twice if you own an older washing machine. For newer washing machines wash the towels once but use the extended rinse feature if it is available or just rinse the towels twice after washing them once.
The second way of dealing with pet urine is to use a product called Kennel Odor Eliminator. It is pricey but it works. You should try it especially if the white vinegar method negatively affects your type of carpet or if you are not too keen on mixing several different products. One teaspoon of it added to water creates a two gallon solution. So it would pretty much last forever in a normal household. If you are having trouble with the stench of dog urine outside in your yard, Kennel Odor Eliminator is a good outdoor pet odor remover too. Note, Kennel Odor Eliminator does not remove pet urine stains. To remove dog urine stains or any stain use the foam of a liquid dish soap and cold water mix to brush the stains out.
If the room you are thinking of vacuuming is usually quite humid you need to bring down the room’s relative humidity to normal levels. The reason for this is because even a slightly damp carpet makes pet hair and pet dander more difficult to remove as it gets sticky and heavy. Even if you manage to vacuum your carpet, the vacuum itself may become clogged as damp pet hair debris and dirt clumps onto the walls of the vacuum intake system and harden over time. Black mold and other undesirable matter that is hazardous to your family’s and by extension your pet’s health can also begin to thrive. The easiest way to bring down a room’s humidity levels is to invest in an air conditioner or a dehumidifier. Dry your carpet out by running either unit for a day or so. While the carpet is drying, go to your local bulk food store and get a few pounds of baking soda. Sprinkle the baking soda on your carpet and let it rest for a few hours then use the ‘Simple Thorough Approach To Vacuuming Pet Hair And Pet Dander’ method to vacuum you carpet.
If you have tried the ‘Simple Thorough Approach To Vacuuming Pet Hair And Pet Dander’ and the ‘Comprehensive Approach To Vacuuming Pet Hair And Removing Pet Odor In Carpets’ described above a few times and you are still not getting clean odor free carpets, then perhaps you should consider looking into getting a good vacuum for pet hair. Even if you purchase the best vacuum for pet hair you will still need to perform one of the five tasks described above. However, by using a top rated vacuum for pet hair the task of vacuuming pet hair and removing pet odors in your rugs will be faster and more thorough. Check out the page that compares pet hair vacuums for more details.