pet hair

Stop pet hair ruining your washing machine

We all love our furry pets but, let’s face it, they can be a bit of a chore at times. One of those chores we all have to contend with is when they start shedding their coats – particularly during the winter months. It gets everywhere: clothes, bedding, your bedsheets, their beds… The easy solution is, of course, to hoover and use your washing machine. But while your vacuum cleaner is more suited to the rigours of cleaning pet hair, your washing machine is going to struggle.

This is due to the fact that pet hair and water can combine to make it even harder to remove the hair. This leads to clumps of hair that not only continue to stick to your clothing through a wash, but can end up stuck to the drum and, even worse, ends up clogging up the drain. The latter is particularly bad as it means the dirty water does not drain properly which could possibly lead to a plumber having to be called at some point in the future.

At Repair Aid, we install and repair washing machines every working day and it’s not uncommon for us to be called out to repair washing machines that won’t drain. Pet hair can be a huge contributor to such drainage problems. Thankfully, you needn’t resign yourself to repair in the future if you take action right now.

domestic cat

The solution: a pre-clean

The easiest way to make this change is by pre-cleaning your clothes before placing them in the washing machine. The best way to do that is by using either a lint roller or to even use tape – such as masking tape – to help pull most of the hairs off before sticking your dirty clothes into the drum.

While this may seem like a somewhat easy solution, clothes aren’t the only problem. It’s far more tricky to get the hair off not only your pet’s bedding, but also your own bedding too. This is even more of a pain when we consider that many of us can’t resist the charm of our wee furry pals’ incessant need to be as close to us as possible! This leads to pet hair becoming quite embedded in the sheet cover, pillow sheets, bed sheets and even the mattress protector. This is quite the problem if you’re not amongst the 28% of us who actually change their bed sheets once a week. If you don’t, then take some peace of mind in knowing you’re in the majority!

Cleaning your pet’s bed

pet’s bed

Before we tackle the more pressing problem of bed sheets, let’s deal with the bedding for your pet first. While we don’t tend to prioritise our pet’s bedding, it’s still important to regularly clean it – especially as your pets may be bringing in all sorts of dirt, debris and who-knows-what into your house. Keeping their bedding clean is therefore important to your pet’s hygiene and to ensure that nobody (including pets) suffer from allergic reactions caused by excess dander floating around. And it also destroys any harmful insects, parasites or their eggs that may be living on your pet’s bed.

To clean their bedding, you’ll want to use a hoover or vacuum cleaner to get as much hair out as possible. Make sure to use the appropriate nozzle to get into the corners. Top this off by using the aforementioned brush or tape. Next, if you notice any stains on the bedding, now would be the time to neutralise them with a stain remover.

You’ll then want to machine wash and dry the bed. Simply follow the instructions on the label to do this in a way that is in keeping with the manufacturer’s specifications. Don’t forget to regularly clean your washing machine and/or dryer’s filters to stop a build-up of pet hair which, in turns, ensures the filters can catch more hair. It may even be worth doing this halfway through a cycle if there are a particularly high amount of hairs.

After you’ve put the bed out to dry, wipe any remaining hairs left in the drum. If you’re finding that there are still hairs, just allow the drum to dry before then using the appropriate attachment with your vacuum to hoover up the rest.

Cleaning the human bedding

As with your pet’s bedding, you’ll want to try and remove as much hair as possible before you put it in the washing machine. One clever and surprisingly efficient way of achieving this is by putting on a slightly damp marigold glove and running it along your bedsheets. The smoothness of the surface, combined with the dampness, will help it snatch up those excess hairs.

If you’re finding that the hairs are being particularly stubborn, a quick no-heat cycle through your dryer can help unsettle the excess and allow you to easily shake it out upon removing the sheets from the drum. You also have the option of adding about 100ml of white vinegar as a rinser to act as a softener that will help any stubborn hairs to be dislodged.

Whether it’s your bedding or your pet’s bedding, you can always run an empty wash cycle after washing away pet hair to ensure that virtually all the hair is gone.

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