How to Clean Pet Hair from Carpet

If you have a pet with fur, the fur is going to get into the carpet. While regular vacuuming is a must, pet hair can get embedded into the carpet fibers and can be tricky to get out. Here are a few methods and tricks to help take the pain out of cleaning up pet hair.

Pet Hair Removal with a Sponge Mop

This method works best on low-pile carpeting.

You Will Need:

  • Clean Kitchen Sponge Mop (use only for pet hair to keep from transferring soil to the carpet)
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Vacuum

Removal Process:

  1. Begin by thoroughly vacuuming the carpet.
  2. Lightly spray the sponge mop with water.
  3. Gently move the mop across the carpet to remove the hair from the carpet fibers. (If you don’t have a mop, you can attach a damp cloth to a regular broom and brush it along the floor.)
  4. Pet hair will clump and can either be picked up by hand or vacuumed away.

Cleaning Pet Hair With Fabric Softener

You Will Need:

  • Liquid fabric softener
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Vacuum

Removal Process:

  1. Begin by mixing one part fabric softener with three parts water in a spray bottle.
  2. Lightly mist the floor with the solution. Be careful not to saturate the carpet, you just want a light spray.
  3. Let it dry. This won’t take long if you just mist the carpet.
  4. Vacuum the floor regularly. The fabric softener loosens up the pet hair making it easier to remove.

Cleaning Pet Hair With Baking Soda

You Will Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum

Removal Process:

  1. Begin by sprinkling the carpet with a light coating of baking soda.
  2. Let this sit a few minutes.
  3. Vacuum the floor as you normally would.
  4. This method also deodorizes the room!

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Use a squeegee that is long enough to push along the floor. The rubber will pull up the pet hair and make it easier to vacuum away.
  • To remove pet hair from Berber carpeting, you may need to use a carpet rake along with a strong suctioning vacuum.
  • You may want to consider purchasing a new vacuum. The Dyson Animal is designed specifically to remove pet hair from carpets and has received wonderful reviews about its capabilities.
  • If you have the time and energy, you can move your hands along the floor while wearing rubber gloves to remove the pet hair.
  • Rub a balloon along the carpet. The static will pull the hair out of the carpet.
  • Sometimes the fibers of you carpet are what makes it so difficult to remove the pet hair. If none of these methods work, you may want to have a professional clean your carpets.


  1. A much cheaper and better pet vacuum is available, it is the pet hair eraser made by Bissel. I used the Dyson first and almost filled the canister, I then immediately used the Bissel and had to stop twice and empty the Bissel. BTW, the containers are of equal capacity. Also has pet hair attachments.

  2. We run a rescue out of our home and usually went through a vacuum every 3 months (we’re hard on our sweepers). Our favorite right now which has lasted us over a year is the Hoover Legacy Pet Vac Rewind.

    Filters are washable, cord sucks back up into the sweeper (puppy chewing..) and easy to unclog…

    Love it..

  3. We have two Australian shepherds inside the house. They shed all year round. Our vac plugged constantly until I started using a stainless tang slicker brush. I get on hands and knees and pull toward me and can remove pretty much all of the dog hair. When the slicker gets full, it is easy to remove. Our upright cheapie vac will remove any remaining hair and does not clog. Just get the large size slicker brush. You will be amazed at how easy it is, plus the arm exercise is an extra benefit.

  4. Well, the fabric softener; a joke. Damp mop; even my cat laughed. I have a Bisell and it does a so-so job. At the moment, I am on my hands and knees with tape… Help?

  5. What about cleaning aircraft carpet? Would any of this be safe for use in a small private aircraft?

  6. Linda,
    I recently discovered an awesome and simple way to remove pet hair from carpet. This is basically the same concept as the damp mop method, but much less awkward.
    I too have tried the duct tape and lint rollers on the carpet, having it cleaned professionally, etc. I usually vacuum with the hose (no attachment) – arduous, yes, but scraping the carpet with the hose lifts the hair and particles better; plus, my vacuum isn’t very good – and then I go over the carpet with the regular upright vacuum to remove the streaks that I made with the hose. My carpet always looked much improved, but like many cat owners, I often have to disinfect recent upchucks that I discovered while vacuuming. So after vacuuming, I would go to the upchuck spot with a paper towel and cleaner, and it always amazed me: the dreadlocks of cat hair that would appear on the paper towel.
    That gave me an idea.
    I soaked a washcloth, wrung it out slightly and rubbed it over the carpet in long strokes. My carpet, freshly vacuumed (twice!) and looking great, shortly became covered with tiny balls of fur! I repeatedly brought the washcloth to the sink to rinse off the hair and get it soaked again – several dozen times as I went across the entire house. When I thought I was done, I decided to do it again in high-traffic areas and I’m glad I did because dozens more little dreadlocks of fur gathered on the top of the carpet. (Using the opposite direction sometimes would yield more mats of fur also.) I picked up handfuls of the larger ones, then vacuumed again (my way; twice) and my carpet looked amazing: fluffier, cleaner, and it’s actually a different color now (dark cats, light carpet).
    Note: fold the washcloth in half and half again (quarters), place your palm flat on top of the cloth and grab around one side with your thumb.
    When I first did this, it had been six months since I had the carpets cleaned professionally, I have two cats, and I vacuum (always twice) at least once per week. So the actual effect will vary for everyone a bit, depending on the conditions. Also, you’re only getting the top of the carpet fibers moist, not soaking the carpet. It’s the water and friction that will produce the dreadlocks. (This doesn’t work with a dry cloth.)
    I’d bet that I get better friction and control using my hand than someone would with a mop, although you’re still using hands and knees elbow grease. After the initial cleaning though, it just becomes upkeep. Also, plan on using a sink that has a drain catcher or you’ll likely have to unclog the pipe shortly afterwards. Lastly, I brush and lint-roll my cats shortly after vacuuming; they think the lint roller is a back massager. :) Also, my boy cat thinks that scrubbing the carpet is great fun.

    Did you try the balloon trick? “Rub a balloon along the carpet. The static will pull the hair out of the carpet.” I don’t have a balloon on hand, but that sounds like a good idea too. The squeegee might be easier than the balloon, but I don’t have one of those either. I occasionally use baking soda just to disinfect the carpet in general; I didn’t know it helped with fur removal until I read this article. Other options: latex gloves or Velcro hair curlers. You could also use a sponge instead of a washcloth.

    Source: wikiHow – How to Remove Pet Hair

  7. Z-Racer says:

    A girl taught me this: you take some rolls of that sticky-backed stuff you can cover schoolbooks or line drawers with – clear stuff is cheapest – and lay it down over the rug or carpet and let it stay there for a while, let it get walked on and really stuck down and then later, come back and rip it up – like you’re ‘waxing’ the carpet! You’ll be surprised how much fur this can pull up. Then, just chuck the stuff away.

  8. I have a german shepherd dog, also a guy that sheds constantly, but I’ve always used baking soda to freshen a room. One day, I was waiting for the baking soda to “soak in” (I let it sit for 15-20 minutes) and I started scraping my tennis shoes over the carpet (you know, shuffling your feet) and saw how much hair was scraped up. That gave me an idea; I bought a cheap squeegee broom, vacuumed, then put the baking soda on and scraped the squeegee broom over the carpet, and I saw these long ropes of hair being pulled up. I went over the carpet in another direction and got the same thing! After vacuuming all this stuff up, my carpet looks refreshed!

    I tried the fabric softener thing, and though it didn’t work as well as the squeegee broom, it did make my living room and sun room smell fabulous!

  9. Rubber sole shoes also work really well. But only if you happen to have them, and ones that won’t leave any scuff marks. I would advise against using “sticky backed” anything (tape, etc. – although a lint roller might work), as much as the glue from the tape may pick up the dirt, some of the glue inevitably ends up stuck to the fibers of your carpet, meaning they will pick up a hell of a lot more dirt, quicker! Water and sponges/rubber all the way!

  10. There is a new type of washable lint rolling brush that has a gummy texture to it. It works because this lint brush has a scraper comb attached, so I scrape the hairs up. It works well.

  11. Why don’t you use a paint roller. Maybe the foam type, who knows; may work.

  12. I accidentally found that using the side of cheap rubber flip-flops scrapes the hair up better than anything I’ve ever used.

  13. I have a retriever mix and chihuahua mix, and for some reason, the hair just won’t come up. I’m going to give all these techniques a try and hope that one of them will work!!

  14. I tried the fabric softener method and it did not seem to work the first time. However, I tried again because I now have two ragdoll cats! I can’t seem to keep up with the very soft fur that they shed. Here’s how I did this method: 2 parts water to 1 part fabric softener (instead of 3 parts water). I mist-sprayed the carpet and let it completely dry, meaning that I did not vacuum until the next day. I’ve done this twice and I think I have finally found the solution to getting the pet hair out of my carpet! P.S. I used Suavetel fabric softener and my house now smells wonderful!

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