As much as we love our furry friends, we could do without the mounds of hair our pets leave on the couch. And on the carpet. And all over our clothes. And everywhere else in our homes. Not only is all that hair a nuisance when it comes to maintaining a clean house, it also harbours dust mites and aggravates allergies. But if you have the right tools, managing that neverending flow of animal hair gets easier, and perhaps saves you from shipping the dog off to the pound or shaving the family cat. Here a few products worth purchasing.
1. Adhesive roller
Every home with pets should have one -- better yet, several -- of these sticky lint brushes. The adhesive sheets easily pick up hair from upholstery, drapery and clothing, and because they roll and have a handle, they're much easier to use than masking tape. From miniature to jumbo, there's a roller for every purpose; keep one in your purse, in the laundry room, in the car, even by the front door to catch any remaining hairs before heading out.
Try: Ten-inch wide Large Surface Pet Hair Pic-Up roller, $18, Evercare. (Available at mass retailers; evercare.com)
2. Sweeper with disposable cloths
A quick run over hardwood and tile with this bristle-broom alternative will clear your floor of loose hairs and dust bunnies. Quilted cloths grab on to hair without stirring up dust, which makes them great for wiping off tabletops and other surfaces as well. The best part: it takes all of three minutes to tackle a room, so it's easy to sweep up a few times a week.
Try: O-Mop, $36, Method. (Available at Safeway, and at Shoppers Drug Mart in August 2007; method.com)
3. Specialty laundry detergent
No matter how many times you throw Fido's favourite blanket into the wash, it still comes out covered in hair. The solution could be as simple as changing your detergent to one formulated especially to remove animal hair. Use it to wash pet beds and blankets, as well as your own belongings, like duvet covers and pillowcases.
Try: Le Chien et Le Chat Detergent, $16 US for 16 oz, The Laundress. (Available at select Canadian retailers; store.thelaundress.com)
For carpets and upholstery, a vacuum is a must. Look for one with heavy-duty suction and a brushroll to get stubborn hairs out.
Try: DC07 Animal Upright Vacuum, $599, Dyson. (dysoncanada.ca)
5. Static spray
Before you pull out that vacuum, spray carpets and upholstery with a static spray. This will break the static charge that binds pet hair to fabrics, making it easier for the vacuum to suck them up.
Try: Fresh 'N Clean Pet Hair Vac-Away, $5 US, Petsmart. (petsmart.com)
6. Rubber gloves
You're likely already equipped with this low-tech solution. To remove hair from upholstery, pull on a pair of dishwashing gloves and wipe your palm across each surface. The hair will start to ball up and you'll be able to easily pick it off.
Try: Fresh Comfort household gloves, approx. $3, Vileda. (vileda.ca)
7. Rubber bristle brush
Particularly useful for the short wiry hair from dogs like Rhodesian ridgebacks and Dalmatians, a rubber bristle brush generates static, drawing hairs to cling to the brush. Use it on everything from carpets to upholstery to clothing.
Try: FURemover Deluxe Pet Hair Remover, $10, Linens N Things. (canada.lnt.com)
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