Whether your new puppy enjoys rolling around on the floor, or your nine-year-old Cocker Spaniel is shedding his winter coat, knowing how to get dog hair out of carpet is a handy skill for every pet owner to have.

But it’s not always easy—especially if your vacuum struggles to pick up all the hair. To help with the age-old “dog hair won’t come out of carpet” problem, we’ve pulled together this step by step guide on different methods you can use to get dog hair out of your house and car carpet, once and for all.

Method 1: Fabric softener

Equipment needed:

  • Fabric softener
  • Spray bottle
  • Vacuum cleaner

If you’re finding that dog hair is properly stuck to the fibres of your carpet, applying fabric softener is a great way to loosen the hair. Fabric softener works by imparting anti-static properties to the carpet, which help to untangle carpet fibres, reducing matting and helping to ‘unstick’ the dog hairs from the carpet fibres. Doing so makes it easier to lift the hair with a vacuum.

To use this method, simply dilute the fabric softener with water according to the manufacturers’ instructions. Place this solution into a spray bottle, and spray the carpet lightly. Leave the carpet to dry, and then vacuum the carpet as normal.

While most fabric softeners do not alter the colour of the carpet, it may be a good idea to patch test this method on a small section of carpet before applying it more broadly, particularly if your carpet is a light colour.

Method 2: Baking soda

Equipment needed:

  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum cleaner

Like the fabric softener method, applying baking soda to the carpet before vacuuming is a quick, and inexpensive way to help lift dog hair from the carpet. To use this method, simply sprinkle a small amount of baking soda (we recommend 2-3 tablespoons per square metre) over the carpet and leave to sit for a few minutes before vacuuming the carpet. Baking soda is a natural deodoriser so will help to remove pet odour from your carpet at the same time, without the need for added fragrances. It’s also a great method to use if you don’t want to wet your carpet.

Method 3: Lint roller

Equipment needed:

  • Lint roller

Lint rollers are an excellent choice for removing pet hair from small sections of carpet, as well as furniture and car upholstery. Two types of lint rollers are ideal for this:

  1. Adhesive sheet lint rollers, which use adhesive paper to collect the hair. Once the sheet is full and no longer sticky, you simply remove that layer to reveal a new sheet underneath.
  2. Specially designed pet lint rollers, that pick up the hair as you roll the device back and forth over the hair. These look similar to the end of a vacuum cleaner.

Method 4: Hairbrush or carpet rake

Equipment needed:

  • Hairbrush and/or carpet rake
  • Container/bag to collect hair and/or vacuum

A stiff-bristled brush is an inexpensive way to remove dog hair from small sections of the carpet. It is particularly good for thick carpet, with long fibres, where dog hair can easily get entangled. To brush hair out of the carpet, use both short and long strokes, ensuring you’re brushing towards a common point. You can then vacuum the hair, or place it into a container or bag. Remove dog hair from the brush as it clogs up to make brushing easier.

If you’d like to use this method over a larger portion of the carpet, or you don’t want to bend down onto your hands and knees, a carpet rake will work the same way. The rake will help to dislodge hair from the carpet’s fibres, making it easier to vacuum.

Method 5: Rubber brushing

Equipment needed:

  • Rubber gloves (like the kind you’d use to wash up) and/or rubber squeegee
  • Container/bag to collect hair and/or vacuum

It might seem like an odd solution, but brushing the carpet with rubber gloves, or a rubber squeegee, is a great way to pull dog hair out of the carpet. Rubber creates a static charge, and is also naturally sticky, making it an effective tool to extract dog hair. To use this method with rubber gloves, simply put the glove on and run your hand over the carpet in a sweeping motion. The hair will gather into piles which you can then vacuum or sweep up. Using this method with gloves is particularly good for collecting hair from small, hard to reach areas of the carpet, like under your car seat.

The method is the same if using a squeegee—simply scrape the squeegee over the carpet in the one direction, until you gather enough hair to remove. The squeegee will be particularly helpful for getting into corners and edges, such as those on staircases, or your car’s footwell. For an extra clean finish, vacuum the carpet immediately afterwards to catch any remaining loose fibres before they have a chance to settle back into the carpet.

Use multiple methods if your dog’s hair won’t come out of the carpet

If it’s been a while since you cleaned the carpet, and the dog hair won’t come out of the carpet, you might need to try a combination of techniques. Start with a method that will dislodge the hair first, like the brush/rake, or gloves/squeegee method. Once you’ve removed as much hair as you can with this method, try softening the remaining hair with the fabric softener method before vacuuming the carpet. You can then finish the job by spot cleaning with the lint roller to pick up any remaining fibres.

Other handy hints for how to get dog hair out of carpet

If you’ve tried all the methods above, and you’re still having trouble getting dog hair out of the carpet—or you simply want to make cleaning as easy as possible—try some of the tips we’ve pulled together below.

  1. Clean the carpet regularly. Vacuuming on a regular basis will help to remove dog hair before it has a chance to become deeply embedded in the carpet. Removing dog hair will also be easier if there is less dirt in the carpet for the hair to stick to. You can find more tips on how to clean your carpet here.
  2. Clean dog hair from other areas of the house. Dog hair has a way of making its way around the house! Regularly sweeping or vacuuming areas of the house that dog hair comes off more easily—like tiles, or lino—will help to prevent the hair being traipsed onto the carpet, where it’s harder to remove.
  3. Use rubber floor mats or an old sheet to minimise the amount of hair that gets into the car carpet. Rubber car mats are a simple way to keep your car carpet clean. Even if your dog doesn’t sit on the floor, they can catch dog hair before it makes its way to the carpet. Covering the back seat with an old sheet is also a great way to keep dog hair off the seats and carpet.
  4. Groom your dog regularly. Regularly brushing your dog can help dislodge loose hair, preventing it from reaching the carpet in the first place.