Cleaning Pet Hair from Your Car’s Interior

Few things will dirty the inside of your car like taking your four-legged friend for a drive. Although you can keep pet hair to a minimum by laying out a pet blanket before you invite Fido inside (or by keeping dogs and cats in a crate inside the car), chances are pet hair will still find its way into the crevasses and cracks of your car upholstery—especially if you’re doing any traveling in the spring and fall, when pet shedding is at its peak.

Pet Hair Removal Tips

  1. Vacuum the full interior. Although a vacuum won’t be able to get all of the hair from your upholstery, it can get the larger pieces and catch any of the dander still in the air. If you make this a regular habit, you can avoid having to de-hair your car every few weeks. Be sure and pay special attention to the seams of the upholstery, as this is where most of the hair gathers.
  1. Create a special hair removal solution and keep it on hand. Plain water in a spray bottle works, or you can make a mixture with a ratio of 3 tsp of liquid fabric softener to 1 cup of water. The fabric softener will help loosen hair that is sticking to the upholstery because of static electricity and allow you to wipe it away with a towel. (This process also has the added bonus of acting as an air freshener. You can choose fabric softener scents you like and keep your car smelling fresh.)
  1. Another static option is to create your own charge and use it to your advantage. Rubber gloves brushed against fabric will cause a small electric charge to fill the rubber. Hair in the air and on the upholstery will move to the glove and allow for easier removal. (You can dip the gloves in a waiting bucket of water to get rid of the charge so you can repeat the process.)
  1. Buy a lint roller or a roll of duct tape and keep it in the trunk. Sticky surfaces will pick up hair quickly and easily. This tends to be the most wasteful option (since the duct tape can’t be reused), and works best for smaller, contained areas.
  1. A pumice stone can also work as a pet hair remover for rough carpet (but don’t do this one for leather or more delicate interiors). Most often found in beauty stores, pumice stones are typically used to remove calluses from the feet and hands. The abrasive surface is also good for brushing pet hair out of carpet. It’s best to have a vacuum on hand to suck up all the hair, debris, and carpet fibers that get loosened in the process.

Like most good car cleaning rituals, getting rid of pet hair is easiest if you do it regularly. Keep these items on hand for a quick brush-down after your pets get out of the car, and you’ll avoid many of the issues associated with driving your pet where he needs to go.