Remove Pet Hair from Your Car Upholstery in 3 Easy Steps

Nothing clings to car upholstery quite like pet hair. Whether you’re dealing with clumps of hair from a Labrador during shedding season or the short, wiry hair of a terrier who doesn’t like to sit still in transit, your pet’s unique coat and habits can turn even the nicest interior into a fur factory.

Because pet hair tends to work into the nooks and crannies of your car’s upholstery, and because it can be difficult to remove through traditional cleaning methods, it’s a good idea to include a pet hair removal plan to your regular car wash. With these three easy steps, you’ll have a hair-free and great smelling interior in no time!

Step One: Remove Visible Pet Hair

The pet hair that tends to bother us the most is the kind we can see—the stuff that has worked its way into the seats and that is clumped on the carpet. You can start by vacuuming the loose hair up, but chances are that you’ll need to work a little harder to get all of it. Tips and tricks for removing this hair include:

  • Putting on a rubber glove and running your hand over the upholstery. The static electricity you build up will help lift the hair.
  • Using duct tape or other high-strength tape to remove the pet hair.
  • Scrubbing at the interior with a pumice stone, which can help raise hair from the surface. (Note: Don’t press too hard or use a pumice stone on leather, since it can degrade the material.)
  • Using a specialty pet brush, carpet brush, or even a toothbrush to access those hard-to-reach places. The friction from the brush will help loosen and lift the pet hair.

Step Two: Vacuum a Second Time

If you’ve done step one correctly, you should have loosened quite a bit of the worked-in hair. Always vacuum a second time to ensure that you get as much of the pet hair as possible. Don’t forget to vacuum the ceiling and the air vents, as these areas often collect dirt, debris, and pet hair but don’t always look dirty to the naked eye.

Step Three: Shampoo and/or Wash the Interior

You don’t have to shampoo your carpets every time you clean the interior, but it’s a good idea to include this step when you’re dealing with a lot of pet hair. You can use a pet-specific shampoo, your favorite car interior shampoo, or even a liquid fabric softener.

If you opt for the fabric softener, dilute it with water and put it in a spray bottle. Apply it lightly to the problem areas and let it sit for a few minutes. The pet hair should come up more easily once it’s had time to work its magic. (Note: This also has the benefit of making it more difficult for hair to stick in the future.)