How to get rid of problem pet hair and paw prints
Using a mix of old school tricks and tech it’s possible to keep your home pet friendly and almost pristine…
It’s a fact of life that where there are pets, there is hair. And if your pet is particularly boisterous you may notice unsightly marks around your home. You could spend hours of your life cleaning up after your kitty or pooch, but who has time to do that?
So if you’re fed up of waking up to paw prints on your beige carpet after Dino has had another nocturnal adventure in the muddy garden, then it’s time to read our guide to blitzing those pesky prints and stinky smells.
By using a mix of clever tech and old-school tricks you can keep your home as pristine and pet-friendly as possible.
Banish paw prints
Rule number 1 with muddy paw prints is to let them dry first. Cordon off the area if necessary to avoid the family trampling in them and making them worse.
Once dry, it’s time to get the vacuum out and slowly and thoroughly go over the dried mud – which should loosen much easier from the pile. If there are still marks after that, then use 1 part white wine vinegar to 2 parts warm water and follow the steps for treating cat urine.
You can also buy pet carpet cleaning solution to use with powerful carpet cleaners which penetrate deep into the carpet pile to get rid of marks, as well as break down pet smells.
The Vax Dual Power Max W86-DD-B upright carpet cleaner for instance, has strong dual rotating brushbars which will drill right down into your carpet where the dirt hides. It also comes with a wash tool to clean marks off your sofa or bed and a hose to blast spot stains.
How to tackle pet hair
- Rub a pumice stone: Take a clean pumice stone and gently rub it along your carpet to gather up pet hairs as you go.
- Vacuum twice: Whenever you vacuum, make sure you go over areas twice in alternate directions – that should suck up the stubborn hairs that don’t budge the first time.
- Use a lint roller: No one wants to be identified as ‘that cat lady’ by the proliferation of pet hairs on their coat. Best to keep 1 or 2 lint rollers near your door so you can spend a couple of minutes running them over your clothes before you leave the house.
- Use sellotape: an oldie but a goodie, if you have the time. Useful in an emergency for hard-to-reach bits.
- Use a powerful vacuum cleaner: the beauty of vacuums specifically targeted at pets is that they have cleverly-designed accessories to get into those pet hair haven crevices. A powerful cordless model such as the Dyson V6 Animal has a power booster mode which will attack a particularly bad pet hair mountain even in the most awkward of places.
- Dampen a cloth, sponge or rubber glove: If you literally don’t have enough time to get the vacuum out of the cupboard before a friend arrives then whizz a damp cloth, sponge or even a damp rubber glove over your shamefully pet-hairy sofa so the hairs ball up and can be swiftly collected.
- Prevent with a blanket: The old saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ partly holds true in pet-hair scenarios. Planning ahead every night by putting a blanket on that cosy pet-magnet part of your sofa you know Bella like to snuggle up in, means you’ll have fewer hairs on the sofa when you remove it each morning.
Getting rid of cat urine
The whiff of cat urine isn’t pleasant for anyone. The trick is to treat it as soon as you spot it.
- Mix 1 part white wine vinegar to 2 parts warm water
- Rub the stain with either a clean cloth dipped in the solution or use paper towels
- Allow the vinegar solution to dry before rubbing away again, this time with warm water only. You can also buy urine remover sprays from pet shops
If your pet has urinated on the carpet, don’t rub at the stain as it will push the urine even further into the carpet. If the area is still wet then:
- Blot as much as you can with paper towels
- Dab on the vinegar solution
- Allow to dry before dabbing with warm water to finish
If you’d prefer not to be down on your hands and knees, then you could try using a carpet cleaner spray.
Bissell’s Cleanview Proheat upright carpet cleaner for instance comes with a concentrated carpet cleaning shampoo.
It uses Microban technology so your carpets smell good because odour-causing bacteria are unable to grow. And by keeping the clean water separate from the dirty you can use the powered water jets on a bigger area without having to empty the tank.