I love my dog Xena (pictured), of course. But, she is the type of dog that sheds hair an awful lot! Since she came to our family three years ago I have had several household cleaning challenges to overcome, including how to remove dog hair from couch cushions. Another one is cleaning dog sick, but we won’t go there today!
When we first got her we were a bit lax about where we let her sleep. The picture above was taken on the very first day she came to us. Not a good way to start if you want to keep your couch cushions free of hair!
We still let her sleep on that sofa, because a) she is now on a mat, which stops the worst of the hair, and b) the cover is washable. So once a year I wash the whole sofa. We also have another leather sofa, which is out of bounds, but still, I find hair on it.
So I’ve had a lot of practice over the last three years getting dog hair off our couch cushions.
Here is my top tip for removing dog hair from couch cushions:
For quick cleanups, a pet hair roller is the most effective for picking up hair. If your sofa is very hairy, the quickest way to remove it is to use your vacuum cleaner. The best attachment to use is the mini turbo brush (on a Miele Cat and Dog) because it’s great for picking up hair.
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If you are looking for the perfect vacuum for cleaning up pet hair you can’t go wrong with a Miele Cat and Dog vacuum. I’ve owned mine for over twenty years. It worked brilliantly at cleaning up the hair from our three cats and now we have a dog who sheds constantly, it is a life-saver.
How to remove dog hair from couch cushions
If you have stubborn dog hair embedded into your couch, I have the answer for you here:
Use a pet hair roller
Since I got my pet hair roller last summer it has been my first choice for quick cleanups. When there is lots of hair I usually reach for the vacuum.
All you need to do is run the roller back and forth over your couch cushions and it will pick up pet hair and hold it inside. It is very effective. Then simply empty the hair into the bin.
Use rubber gloves
I never thought of using rubber gloves until I read about it. But it makes perfect sense because the rubber is great for catching hair and all you need to do is wash your hands (with the gloves on of course) to remove the hair.
You must dampen the gloves first. Then run your hands over the couch until the gloves are covered in hair. Rinse the gloves and repeat.
Here’s a video showing how to clean hair off your couch cushions with rubber gloves:
Use a lint roller
Lint rollers are a fantastic invention for removing pet hair from lots of different surfaces. I find them best for removing hair from clothing. You can, of course, get a similar result with sticky tape, but lint rollers are far more convenient because all you need to do is peel away a used-up section and you can start again with a fresh sticky piece.
I find that lint rollers are great for quick cleanups, but if you have pet hair stuck into corners or down the back of the sofa, only a good vacuum will do.
Make your own lint roller with masking tape
If you don’t have a lint roller handy you can make your own with some tape. The best type of tape to use is the widest you can find, which will be duct or masking tape. Wind the tape around your hand with the sticky side facing outwards and then wipe over your sofa and cushions.
Machine wash the covers
If your covers are removable and machine washable, I recommend washing them. I do this once a year on the one sofa that our dog is allowed to sleep on. We always lay a mat on the sofa, but even so, I find hair on the rest of the sofa.
She is quite a naughty dog. If she thinks I’m not looking she will go and sleep on the other corner with the soft scatter cushions so I have those to clean up too!
If you are planning to wash your cushions, I recommend removing as much of the dog hair first so your machine doesn’t get clogged up with hair. If you don’t have time to vacuum, put the covers in your tumble dryer without heat for a few minutes. This should loosen the hair and draw it into the filter. All you will need to do is clean out the filter.
Then wash your couch covers according to the washing label.
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Switch to a leather sofa
We have a leather sofa in our family room. Our dog isn’t allowed on it. But still, I find hair on it. She only has to shake herself nearby and hairs arrive on it!
Fortunately, dog hair is very easy to clean up on a leather sofa. All I need to do is wipe over a dry microfiber cloth. The hairs cling to the cloth and the sofa is clean again in a few seconds.
Use a damp cloth
For small cleanups, just a damp sponge or cloth is all you need. A damp microfiber cloth is best for this because the tiny fibers are great for picking up and holding onto hairs. Make sure the cloth isn’t too wet otherwise you will end up with a wet sofa!
Take your damp microfiber cloth and wipe over your couch cushion. The hairs should stick onto the cloth or clump together so you can pick them off.
If you have a lot of hair on your couch cushions, I find that using a pet hair roller or a vacuum is the best option.
For small cleanups, I find my pet hair roller is perfect for the job. But if I have let my sofa get really hairy I find the best and quickest way is to get out the vacuum cleaner.
My Miele Cat and Dog vacuum has a small head attachment designed for this very job. The revolving brushes grab the hair, which means I can have the whole sofa cleaned up in just a few minutes.
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Squeegees can be a great tool for removing pet hair from couch cushions as well as for cleaning windows!
Simply take your squeegee and run it over your couch cushions until you have a clump of hair that you can grab. You can also have your vacuum handy to suck up the hairballs.
Spraying your couch cushions with fabric softener can help thicken the hair and make it easier to remove. Plus, the scent can help to reduce doggy smells if you have that problem too.
- Make up a spray bottle of equal parts fabric softener and water.
- Shake the bottle.
- Spray onto your couch cushions.
- Remove the hair with a damp cloth, pet hair roller, lint roller. or vacuum up.
You can also use dryer sheets for this because the sheets will attract the hair, making it easier to remove.
Use the dryer
If you have a dryer that is big enough to take your couch cushions or the covers, run them through the dryer for a few minutes on the cool setting. You should find that the agitation will loosen the hairs and draw them into the filter. All you need to do at the end is clean out the filter.
You can also use this same trick to remove the hair before you wash your couch cushions.
How to prevent dog hair from getting on your sofa
If you have a medium or large dog (I would say my dog is medium build) I think it is almost impossible to prevent hair from getting on your sofa. We have a leather sofa that Xena is not allowed on but still, I find hair on it. I’m pretty sure it’s not because she is having a sneaky kip on there. I think hair arrives on thereafter she shakes herself, or when she gets a bit playful around us and hairs fly everywhere.
So whilst I don’t think we can eliminate hair from anywhere in our house (unless we keep the dog out completely), what can we do to reduce the problem?
Here’s what can help:
Keep your dog groomed
If your dog has a coat that constantly sheds, a good plan is to keep her regularly groomed. The best place to do this is outside. The more loose hair you can get out, the less will be deposited on your floor and furniture.
I recommend getting a grooming brush like this one. I find I can get out about 80% of the hair and it makes cleaning the house so much easier.
Cover your sofa
If you do allow your dog on the sofa, make sure it lies on a mat. I find that hair still makes it onto the sofa, but the hair problem is much less.
Don’t let your home get too dry
I don’t have this issue here in the UK, but I’m told that low humidity can encourage static electricity, which will make pet hair more prone to sticking to areas like sofas and couch cushions. If you can, raise the humidity in your home.
Train your dog not to go on the furniture
As I said, even if your dog is not allowed on the furniture, fur still arrives there! However, if you don’t let your dog on the furniture, the problem will be much easier to deal with of course.
I have no idea if this is cruel or not, but it worked for us. I have a small spray bottle of water which I spray my dog with if I find her doing something she shouldn’t. My dog hates water (odd I know) so it works for us. It could be worth a try.
Make a dog hair repellent spray
Turn your sofa and soft furnishings into anti-static surfaces that repel pet hair and stop it from sticking. The great news is that you can make your own spray. All you need is some fabric softener.
- In a spray bottle mix 1 cup of water with 2 tablespoons of fabric softener.
- Shake the bottle.
- Lightly spray onto your fabric sofa.
You will need to shake the bottle every time you use it.
Frequently asked questions
How to get short dog hair off a couch?
My dog has medium-long hair but she also has lots of short hairs around her face and legs which constantly shed along with the longer thicker hair on her back. I try to keep her off the couch as much as possible but I still find hair on it.
The shorter hairs should come off with a pet hair roller and any that are left you can remove with a lint roller.
How to get dog hair off a microfiber couch?
The best way to get dog hair off a couch is not to let your dog on the couch! I know from my own experience, that is easier said than done. We let our dog sleep on a mat on the sofa, but still, those pesky hairs get everywhere!
There are several options for getting pet hair off a microfiber couch, but I find that the best method is to use a pet hair roller like this one.
Here’s mine. It’s black but works just the same. Before I got this I always used the vacuum, which is effective but a lot of effort to keep getting it out. This little tool is just as effective as the vacuum at removing hair.
If you don’t have a pet hair roller to hand, you can also use a rubber glove or a squeegee. See above for more details on that.