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  #1  
Old 12-13-2011, 03:19 AM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
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How to get pet hair out of clothes in the washer?

I have three cats. All of them shed white hair that stands out against dark clothes.

Now, I have a front loading washer and I line-dry my laundry. I've found that line-drying outside in a breeze helps somewhat in letting pet hair blow out of my laundry. However, now in winter I hang my laundry to dry in the basement and that does nothing for pet hair.

I am looking for fast and simple solutions; hand picking hair off with lint brushes or tape I only do for special occasions.

So, what alternatives DO work in every day life?

Some that seem promising:
  • We have a no-shoe-indoor-house, so we walk around in socks on our tile and wood floors. The socks pick up lots of hair. I could do one laundry load a week with socks only, and let them rub the hair off on each other.
  • I don't like the idea of a dryer, as I am told they use lots of electricity and wreak havoc on your clothes. But I also read that a dryer blows all the pet hair out of your laundry. Is that true?
  • Does adding fabric softener help in making laundry more pet-hair repellent?
  • Has somebody invented a useful gadget for this somewhere on the internet?
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2011, 07:25 AM
kiz kiz is offline
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No kitties, but we've got two heavily-double coated dogs. There isn't one inch of anything in this house that doesn't have a smidge of fur, no matter how often we dust/vacuum/whatever.

As much as I don't like using the dryer -- I'll hang clothes whenever it's feasible -- I've found it an absolute necessity for getting rid of the hair. The amount of hair that collects in the lint trap is sometimes scary :shudder: I just throw the clothes in there with one of those anti-static fabric softener strips and set it on low. "Low" on my machine is mostly air dry, so it's quite the long cycle. However, things don't shrink. And everything comes out mostly fur free.

I've always ended up having to toss any dark clothing that I've hung dry into the dryer. The dog hair just sticks to it. It's the combination of the tumbling plus the anti-static strip, I think, that removes the hair.

Last edited by kiz; 12-13-2011 at 07:27 AM.. Reason: forgot to add something!
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2011, 08:24 AM
Dogzilla Dogzilla is offline
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I just wear clothes that are the same color as the dog.
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  #4  
Old 12-13-2011, 08:57 AM
Moonlitherial Moonlitherial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogzilla View Post
I just wear clothes that are the same color as the dog.
I tried that, but then the dogs started going grey.

I have to agree with kiz the dryer is really key to getting rid of pet hair. Even if you just toss in the things you want dehaired for a few minutes it makes a huge difference. Maybe line dry until they're almost dry and then a few mins in a cool dryer? Wouldn't use much energy but it would definitely remove a lot of hair.
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  #5  
Old 12-13-2011, 10:22 AM
Tangent Tangent is online now
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Originally Posted by Maastricht View Post
I am looking for fast and simple solutions; hand picking hair off with lint brushes or tape I only do for special occasions.
Not sure if this is what you mean by tape, but have you tried a lint roller? They are faster and easier than a lint brush and they work pretty well, but of course it's a "one garment at a time" solution. The dryer is the best for newly washed laundry.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:53 AM
MikeS MikeS is offline
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I've got a pure white longhaired cat whose favorite pastimes include shedding, being picked up, shedding, sitting on laps, and shedding. As other folks have said above, a dryer really is your best bet, but it's the tumbling that does the trick rather than the heat. (This is why a breeze outside helps the problem.) In your case, you probably wouldn't have to use the heated cycle at all; just dry them on the clothes line and then tumble them without any heat for 20-30 minutes.

You might try an experiment with a neighbour's or friend's dryer before you acquire one yourself. Maybe you could even find one with a broken heating element on eBay or Craigslist for cheap.

Last edited by MikeS; 12-13-2011 at 11:54 AM..
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2011, 01:09 PM
Dogzilla Dogzilla is offline
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Originally Posted by Moonlitherial View Post
I tried that, but then the dogs started going grey.

I have to agree with kiz the dryer is really key to getting rid of pet hair. Even if you just toss in the things you want dehaired for a few minutes it makes a huge difference. Maybe line dry until they're almost dry and then a few mins in a cool dryer? Wouldn't use much energy but it would definitely remove a lot of hair.
It bit me in the ass, too. I had two Boston terriers and a tuxedo cat. So I wore a lot of black and white, but mostly black (all three were mostly black). My furniture and rugs are all mostly black. Then the dogs died. So I got a new dog. Who is mostly white with spots of gray and brindle.

My serious answer to the OP: Dryer sheets. I have these cotton gloves that I use to bathe the dog -- it's like a scrubby glove. I strip those off after I bathe Pupzilla and toss 'em in the washer. They are black, btw, and now covered in white dog fur. The fur is still stuck to 'em after the washer (although they don't smell all doggy now), and it mostly comes off in the dryer. They go in with a load of towels -- I think the friction of the fabrics rubbing together also helps. So do your socks with the towels and I'm afraid you'll have to use a dryer and use dryer sheets.
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  #8  
Old 12-13-2011, 02:50 PM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
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MikeS, good idea. I looked up used dryers on the Dutch version of Craigslist and I could get one for 40 bucks or so. Worth a try. Now all I have to do is find a place where I can do scientific test on half a laundry load of socks and black sweaters.

Dogzilla, you mean that the dryer sheets catch the fur in the dryer cycle? Or do you mean you use them as grooming gloves?
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  #9  
Old 12-13-2011, 03:38 PM
Dogzilla Dogzilla is offline
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I meant to use dryer sheets in the dryer. Somehow, they seem to make fabrics a bit... slippery, I guess and then the fur gets trapped in the lint trap.
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2013, 01:04 PM
MsBhavin76 MsBhavin76 is offline
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Getting cat hair out of clothes

This may seem hilarious to some, but I let my clothes agitate in the washer for a few minutes, stop & open the washer. You will see a good bit of hair on the surface of the water. I use a fish net & scoop it out. I do it again when I add my liquid Fabric Softner, it makes the hair easy to see. If the hair is really bad, I use a lint roller before washing, rinse the clothes 1st, then wash. Bounce makes a fabric softner sheet that helps repell pet hair.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:16 PM
Dogzilla Dogzilla is offline
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Originally Posted by MsBhavin76 View Post
This may seem hilarious to some, but I let my clothes agitate in the washer for a few minutes, stop & open the washer. You will see a good bit of hair on the surface of the water. I use a fish net & scoop it out. I do it again when I add my liquid Fabric Softner, it makes the hair easy to see. If the hair is really bad, I use a lint roller before washing, rinse the clothes 1st, then wash. Bounce makes a fabric softner sheet that helps repell pet hair.
This makes me wonder if pouring a little hair conditioner into the laundry wouldn't also work.

At least it would make the dog fur on the clothes soft and manageable!
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  #12  
Old 01-29-2013, 04:23 PM
Accidental Martyr Accidental Martyr is offline
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Originally Posted by Dogzilla View Post
I just wear clothes that are the same color as the dog.
If I wore all white people might think I was in a cult....or on my way to play tennis at Wimbledon.
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2013, 08:33 AM
Obnoxious Hood Ornament Obnoxious Hood Ornament is offline
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I suppose at this point I'm merely parroting what others have offered.

I have two cats, one black, the other a mottled mix of white, gray, and black. My clothing now trends toward dark gray. It obscures pet hair wonderfully.

You'll also find that a dryer is remarkably good at collecting pet hair. I tend to dry at the lowest temperature, and leave the clothes in longer. By the time they come out, all the hair is in the lint trap.
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  #14  
Old 01-30-2013, 11:19 AM
Lightlystarched Lightlystarched is offline
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I line dry our clothes too. Once they are dry, a good vigorous shaking outside seems to get most everything off. If the stuff is really hairy just stick them in the dryer for a low- or non-heat tumble for 10 minutes.

I try to tumble the dog's blankets, too, once a week or so just to keep the hair down.
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  #15  
Old 01-31-2013, 12:00 PM
Myron Van Horowitzski Myron Van Horowitzski is offline
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Originally Posted by Maastricht View Post
I don't like the idea of a dryer, as I am told they use lots of electricity and wreak havoc on your clothes. But I also read that a dryer blows all the pet hair out of your laundry. Is that true?
You might consider a gas dryer. It'll cost you a bit to get a gas connection for it, but it's much cheaper to run that an electric one, especially with gas prices falling (all that fricking fracking, y'know)

We have two cats (who don't particularly like to be brushed), and you wouldn't believe the mat of cat hair that comes of our lint trap. You could lay it down for carpeting.
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  #16  
Old 01-31-2013, 03:07 PM
Dung Beetle Dung Beetle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myron Van Horowitzski View Post
You could lay it down for carpeting.
I threaten to use it to build new and better-behaved cats.
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  #17  
Old 02-05-2013, 12:04 PM
fahupe fahupe is offline
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Does any manufacturer make a washer thar pumps into a colander atop the agitator?

Some years ago i had a washer that did this. It was great for pet hair removal
The pet hair got pumped into this colander thingy!. I was told that they no longer make them. I'm guessing that it's cheaper to not have this pump as the water can be removed through spinning and gravity. Does anyone know of a manufacturer that still makes one like this?
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  #18  
Old 02-06-2013, 02:54 AM
Dereknocue67 Dereknocue67 is offline
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Add fabric softener to the washer and/or use dryer sheets. This aids in reducing static cling during the dryer cycle and should remove most pet hair.
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  #19  
Old 02-06-2013, 06:33 AM
racer72 racer72 is offline
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I have a long haired cat that use to leave hair everywhere. When I moved in with my now wife, she suggested cat grooming. My cat now gets shaved once a month and the cat hair problem is gone. A bonus to this, no more hairballs.
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  #20  
Old 02-06-2013, 07:07 AM
moriah moriah is offline
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I tried grooming my cats, too, but I didn't like all that hair getting stuck to my tongue.
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  #21  
Old 02-06-2013, 11:43 AM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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Get rid of the pets.
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  #22  
Old 02-06-2013, 12:11 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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Or get rid of the clothes.
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  #23  
Old 02-07-2013, 11:47 AM
Lacunae Matata Lacunae Matata is online now
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I add white vinegar to the wash, which seems to work better than fabric softener. Cheaper and environmentally friendly, too!
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