Tip for removing dog hair from textiles


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Why conventional methods often fail

Picture this: You're about to do your laundry, hoping to get rid of all that pesky dog ​​hair that's stuck on your clothes and home furnishings. You choose the appropriate washing program, add your favorite detergent and start the wash cycle. But after the machine is finished and you take out the freshly washed textiles, you are disappointed to find that the dog hair is still there, sometimes there even seems to be more than before. Why is that? 

The reason for this lies in the way the washing process interacts with animal hair. Water and detergent alone are often not enough to remove the hair that has embedded itself deep into the textile fibers. During the washing process, the textiles move in the drum, which allows the hair to be pushed further into the fibers. This effect can be particularly pronounced in fabrics with a rough surface or in textiles that are highly attractive to hair (such as some synthetic fibers). 

There is also another problem: matting and knotting in the dryer. After the clothes have been washed, you might think that the dryer is the solution to remove the remaining hair. However, the combination of heat and rotation in the dryer can cause the hair to become more matted with each other and with the fabric. This is particularly the case if the hair is already damp and softened from the washing process. Additionally, the dryer often generates static electricity. This static charge causes the hair to stick to the fabric instead of coming off. This phenomenon is particularly noticeable in dry air in winter or in rooms with low humidity. 


When it comes to removing dog hair from textiles, many people turn to common solutions such as washing, lint rollers, adhesive tape or special animal hair brushes. But often these methods are not as effective as we would like. Here is an overview and why they often do not bring the desired success:


  • Washing and drying: As already explained, washing and then drying can often work the dog hair deeper into the fibers and cause it to stick to the fabric through matting or static electricity. Instead of removing the hair, it actually allows it to adhere more firmly to the fabric.
  • Fluff rolls: Lint rollers are a popular way to remove surface hair. They work well with hair that is attached to the surface, but reach their limits when the hair is embedded deep into the fabric. Additionally, the need to change tape frequently can be time-consuming and costly.
  • Duct tape: Similar to lint rollers, tape can be effective for loose hair. However, it is not very practical for larger areas or deep-set hair. It can also cause damage to sensitive fabrics.
  • Animal hair brushes: There are special brushes designed to remove pet hair. While they can be effective in some cases, they often require a lot of manual effort and are not always effective on tightly woven or very fine fabrics.
  • Vacuum cleaner attachments for pet hair: These can be helpful for certain materials such as carpets or upholstered furniture, but are often too coarse for clothing or delicate textiles. They also require the regular use of a vacuum cleaner, which is not always practical.
  • Washing machine accessories: There are special products that promise to remove pet hair during washing. These can be helpful, but their effectiveness varies and often leaves behind hair that got caught during washing.

Each of these methods has its merits and can be helpful in certain situations. But none is an all-in-one solution, especially when it comes to deeply embedded or mass-distributed dog hair. That's why it's important to use a combination of different methods, paying particular attention to pre-treatment with the dryer, to achieve the best results.

Our tip: The dryer as a secret weapon

The solution is easier than you think: First, put your clothes or home textiles in the dryer at the lowest temperature for about 10 minutes. This step loosens and removes much of the dog's hair before it can become trapped in the washing process. 

Step-by-step instructions:


  1. Preparation: Collect all textiles affected by dog ​​hair. This can be clothing, bedding, dog blankets or even sofa covers.
  2. Dryer setting: Set your dryer to the lowest temperature. This setting is sufficient to loosen the hair without damaging the textiles.
  3. Drying time: Place the textiles in the dryer and let them run for about 10 minutes. The combination of twisting motion and light heat helps to loosen the dog's hair and remove it from the textiles.
  4. Shake out the textiles: After the items have been in the dryer, remove them and move them to a place where you can safely shake them out, such as outside or in a well-ventilated room. Shake each item vigorously, one at a time. By shaking it out, the loosened hair falls off and is removed. This step is particularly effective for reducing the amount of hair that ends up in the washing machine.
  5. Wash as usual:Then wash the textiles as usual. 
  6. Dog textiles: When cleaning dog toys, collars or dog bed covers, you should avoid using scented detergents and fabric softeners. These products can be irritating to dogs and lead to behavioral changes.
Waschmaschine und Trockner übereinander

Pre-treatment in the dryer loosens and partially removes the hair before water and detergent can work it deeper into the fabric fibers. This simple step makes removing dog hair from textiles more effective and protects your washing machine at the same time. In addition to cleaner textiles, your household appliances also benefit. Reducing hair in the washing machine will prevent clogging of filters and drains. 

Why you should wash dog clothes with vinegar instead of strongly scented detergent

Many pet owners are unaware that their dogs can be very sensitive to strong odors, especially strongly scented detergents. Dogs have an extraordinarily keen sense of smell, approximately 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than that of humans. Strong, artificial smells can be overwhelming for them and cause stress or confusion. 

When dogs are confronted with a strong, unfamiliar smell, such as that of heavily scented laundry detergent, it can lead to undesirable behavior. A common problem is that dogs urinate on such textiles. They often do this to mask the strong smell with their own, which is a natural behavior. This can be especially a problem with dog blankets, dog beds, or other items they use frequently. 

Our tip: wash with vinegar

An excellent alternative to heavily scented detergents is to wash dog textiles, such as dog bed covers, collars, etc., with vinegar. Vinegar is a natural, eco-friendly and gentle option that offers several benefits:

  • Removal of odors: Vinegar helps neutralize unpleasant odors without leaving behind a strong smell of its own. After drying, the laundry smells fresh and clean, without artificial scents.

  • Softening properties: Vinegar acts as a natural fabric softener, making textiles pleasantly soft without leaving chemical residues.

  • Antibacterial effect: Vinegar has mild antibacterial properties, which helps keep textiles hygienically clean.

  • Safe for skin: Vinegar is less likely to irritate your dog's sensitive skin than traditional detergents.

How much vinegar should you use?

Replace the detergent with about 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar (4 to 8 ounces), depending on the amount of laundry and the severity of the odors. Add the vinegar directly to the washing machine's detergent compartment or drum before adding the laundry.

Essig zum Putzen in einem Hundehaushalt
Vinegar & baking soda as natural cleaning all-rounders

Vitomalia's conclusion

Getting short, bristly dog ​​hair out of textiles can be a big challenge. Pre-treating the textiles in the dryer before washing is extremely effective. This method not only helps to loosen and partially remove the hair, but also prevents it from working deeper into the fibers during washing. Another important topic was the use of strongly scented detergents. Since dogs have a very sensitive sense of smell, strong artificial scents can be unpleasant or even stressful for them, which can lead to unwanted behavior such as urinating on textiles.

An alternative is washing with vinegar. Vinegar is a gentle, environmentally friendly and effective solution that not only removes unpleasant odors, but also acts as a natural fabric softener and has antibacterial properties. Every small adjustment in our everyday life can make a big difference in the lives of our pets. Try these tips and see how they positively impact not only your laundry routine, but also your pet's well-being

What is the best way to remove dog hair from my textiles?

An effective method is to pre-treat the textiles in the dryer for about 10 minutes at the lowest temperature before washing. This loosens and removes much of the dog's hair. You can then wash the textiles as usual.

Why shouldn't pet textiles be washed with strongly scented detergent?

Dogs have a very sensitive sense of smell. Strong, artificial scents can be overwhelming for them and trigger stress or behavioral changes such as urinating on fabrics.

Can I use vinegar to wash dog clothes?

Yes, vinegar is an excellent, environmentally friendly alternative to traditional laundry detergent. It removes odors, has a softening effect and has slight antibacterial properties. Use about a half to a full cup (120-240 ml) of vinegar depending on the load of laundry.

Is vinegar safe for my dog's skin?

Yes, vinegar is generally safe and less irritating than many detergents. It leaves no harmful residue on your dog's skin.

Can lint rollers help remove dog hair?

Lint rollers are effective for hair that adheres to the surface, but reach their limits when the hair is embedded deep into the fabric. They are useful for quick cleaning, but not always sufficient for thorough removal.

Why are traditional methods such as washing and drying often not effective at removing dog hair?

The washing process can work the hair deeper into the textile fibers. The dryer can then mat the hair or cause static electricity to stick to the fabric.

What do I do if my dog ​​has urinated on textiles?

First, clean the affected area thoroughly to remove urine and odor. Use a mixture of water, vinegar and, if necessary, a gentle detergent. Avoid strong chemicals or scented products.

Can any type of vinegar be used for washing?

White vinegar is best because it has a more neutral odor than other types of vinegar and does not leave stains.