Whether it’s a pet shedding profusely or family members losing their hair, once those long strands of hair or short clumps of fur get into the carpet, they are tricky to remove. Like pulling hair out of bathtub drains, sometimes it seems like there is more hair in the carpet than there is left on our heads or on our pets.
Cleaning it out of embedded carpet fibers can be a tedious job but is so necessary. Here’s how to get hair out of carpet without feeling like you want to pull your own hair out trying.
One of the best lines of defense against hair accumulating and becoming embedded deep inside the carpet fibers is to vacuum regularly. Vacuuming carpets twice a week will be effective in keeping them cleared of hair.
Of course, the first line of cleanup will be to grab that vacuum and let it suck up the hair. Vacuuming regularly may do a good job of removing hair that is sitting on top of the carpet, but what about the hair that is embedded deeper inside the carpet fibers?
Also, if you are vacuuming up hair with vacuum attachments not designed to tackle this job, you will end up with a tangled mess of hair stuck in the vacuum. Now, you have two problems. The hair has not been successfully removed entirely from the carpet, and you have a vacuum to clean before it can be used again, that is if the vacuum wasn’t damaged by the tangled mess of hair.
Use a vacuum with a brush roller. Clean the beater bar and roller brush after each use. Vacuum every day to stay on top of the situation.
Also, brush and groom your pets regularly to remove loose hairs in an area away from the carpet. As an added measure of protection, change your air filter in your home regularly.
It may sound strange, but a sponge mop is actually a good method for agitating the carpet just enough to loosen embedded hair, so you can vacuum it up. Lightly dampen the sponge on the mop head, and begin to gently scrub the carpet. Make sure the sponge isn’t overly wet.
The motion will begin to loosen any hair that is trapped in the carpet fibers and bring them to the surface. From here, you can pull up the hair by hand and discard it in the trash, or vacuum it up. It’s always a good idea to run the vacuum after any hair removal method.
Like the sponge mop method, a microfiber cloth will work in much the same manner. Wipe it across the carpet until it draws out trapped hair, and then vacuum up the area.
Run the rubber edge of a window squeegee over the carpet to pull up hairs. This method is going to be more labor-intensive than some other methods, but it works especially great to spot clean hair out of carpets.
Use two squeegees for a more effective approach. Simply drag the squeegees over the carpet, and the stiff hairs will come up and form clumps that you can easily pick up off of the carpet. Finish off with a good and thorough vacuuming.
Just know that if you choose to use the squeegee method, do not use it on rugs. It works well on carpeting but not on rugs since the rug will have a tendency to curl up away from the floorboards as you run the squeegee across it.
If you’ve ever walked across a carpeted floor in socks and touched something to receive a shock, you understand how static electricity works. Use this same science experiment style method to get hairs out of your carpet.
Rub a dryer sheet on the carpet to collect any hair that is there. Once you’ve brought the hair to the surface, vacuum it up.
Alternatively, you could use a balloon to generate static electricity to pull the hairs to the surface. Just like when you were a kid at a birthday party, and you rubbed a balloon to create static electricity and then held it up to your head and the hairs stood on end, the same principle applies when trying to get hairs out of carpets by using a balloon and static electricity.
Sometimes the best methods come in surprising forms. One of the most effective ways to clean hair out of carpets is to use fabric softener. You probably already have some in the laundry room but may never have thought to use it for cleaning.
Fill a spray bottle with liquid fabric softener and water using 1 part fabric softener and 3 parts water. Spray it onto the carpet, and let it dry. When it has dried completely, vacuum the carpet, and the hairs will come up out of the carpet fibers.
An added bonus to using the fabric softener is that it will leave your carpet smelling fresh and feeling softer. Use it regularly to maintain the carpet and keep it free of hairs.
Sprinkle baking soda generously over the carpet. Let it sit for a few minutes. Thoroughly vacuum it all up. The baking soda will also deodorize the carpet to eliminate any lingering odors as it pulls hairs to the surface.
Carpet rakes are very similar to rubber brooms, and they make it very convenient to remove hair from carpets. Rake the carpet using a specially designed carpet rake.
It is designed similar to a yard rake for leaves where the tongs reach down into the carpet fibers to grab hair and debris. Only a carpet rake has shorter prongs that are safe to use on carpeting without pulling up the piling.
Extend the handle to be comfortable for use.
Press the rake against the carpet, and pull it towards you with short, even strokes just as if you are raking leaves in the yard. The rake will agitate the hairs trapped in the fiber.
Once the hair has been raked to the surface, vacuum them up.
Getting Long Hair Out of Carpets
Sometimes the hairball problem in your carpet doesn’t come from your short-haired pet. Sometimes, it’s the humans shedding long hair. This long hair is much trickier to remove from carpets since it can entangle itself into the carpet fibers and get trapped in the vacuum causing it to clog or jam the roller.
Here are some helpful tips for removing long hair from carpeting:
Get a vacuum with a self-cleaning brush roll to tackle long hairs that have landed on and inside fibers of the carpet. This is the only solution when using a vacuum since all other brush rolls will require cutting out, or pulling out hairs from the brush roll by hand after each cleaning.
Use a bristle brush to create friction and pull the long hairs up out of the carpet. Use small, deliberate strokes. This method works well but is quite labor-intensive and requires getting down on your hands and knees. So, If you are not so limber or have bad knees, avoid this method or use a brush with a long handle.
A broom with rubber bristles is called a rubber broom. It works well to gather hair similar to how the bristle brush method or the rubber squeegee method works. Use small, deliberate strokes to pull the broom towards you.
Run the broom along a straight line as if you are vacuuming until you reach the end of each section of carpeting. Collect the gathered hair with a dustbuster or vacuum.
Alternatively, you can gather the hair by hand and dispose of it and then run the vacuum over the entire carpet.
Rubber Sole Shoes
Why not turn carpet hair removal into a fun game for the kids or time to exercise for you? Any rubber sole shoes like gardening clogs, or Crocs, make a great do-it-yourself DIY hack for getting long hair out of your carpet.
Put the Crocs on your feet, and shuffle your feet across the carpet. The static electricity generated from this motion will help you pick up clumps of hair. This works especially well on shag carpeting.
Alternatively, use a rubber glove to do the same. Only, instead of rubbing the Crocs or other rubber-soled shoes across the carpet, you will rub your gloved hand across it.
Whether you use the shoes or the glove, be sure to wash the hair off of them afterwards, so they are ready to use next time. Discard the hair into the trash, and do not let any of the hairs go down the drain to cause a clog.
Floor Lint Brush or Sticky Tape Roller
Use a small lint roller to remove hair. It works much like it works to remove lint from your clothing. The lint roller works fantastically to pick up hairs from the carpet.
Pull the floor lint roller toward you as you are cleaning with deliberate strokes. Make sure you move slowly and not too fast, so you don’t miss any hidden hairs.
The surface of the lint roller is sticky, so it will become completely covered in hair strands or fur. Remove the external strip, and dispose of it when you are done.
You can also easily make your own sticky roller brush. Take a paint roller and wrap it up with thick double-sided duct tape. Use the homemade sticky roller brush, and roll it over the carpet. The hair will easily get stuck to the tape. Keep rolling until the sticky tape is full of hair. As soon as it is full, cut that piece of tape off of the roller, discard it, and start again.
Grooming Gloves or Brush
Use the grooming gloves or brush meant for grooming your furry friend on the carpet instead. Simply slip them on your hands, and begin spot cleaning your floor pulling up hairs.
The spikes on the grooming glove will grab the hairs and loosen them so that they are easier to remove from the carpet.
This method is a hands and knees style of cleaning and labor-intensive, but it works. Be careful, however, not to overdo the grooming gloves or brush method since heavy use could damage or dislocate the fibers of the carpet.
Get hair out of carpets by using any one of several methods. Find the one that works best for you and your carpeting. Be sure to use a high-quality vacuum cleaner that is capable of handling vacuuming up hair. Or, use a specially designed pet hair attachment.
In addition to regular vacuuming alongside these helpful methods for removing hair from carpet, it’s generally recommended by flooring experts to have your carpets professionally cleaned about every six months.