Wednesday

Dog Hair Clean-up Tips





Have you ever looked through a decorating magazine and seen a room full of priceless antiques, 19th century silk damasks, and five Cavaliers on the sofa? And then did you think to yourself,''Yeah, right,no one can keep that clean with five dogs.''
I have a friend named Karen, who has five large dogs. Her decor, (and I am not kidding)consists of plastic lawn chairs. Her friend Sydney has twelve large dogs, the same breed,plus several cats. Each woman lives in a house approximately the same size. Sydney's house is decorated with art, Persian rugs, and antique furniture. It is not covered with dog hair and she does not have a maid.
My neighbors two doors down have seven house dogs, including a Great Dane and two cats. In their home is close to a million dollars worth of art and antiques. My point is, it can be done.
You don't have to live like Karen and sacrifice things you love because you have dogs.
An inexpensive way to pick up pet hair is with a rubber glove commonly used for dish washing. If the fingers are textured, so much the better. Rubbing your gloved hand over furniture and rugs will pick up an enormous amount of pet hair in a hurry. I find this just as effective as the various pet hair pick ups sold in stores.
With the glove on, it is very easy to get your hand in those hard to reach spaces where fur can accumulate, like way down the seats of chairs, and in my opinion, is more efficient as well. And since you probably already have rubber gloves in your home, it saves money and is just one less thing you have to buy. Those pet hair pick up contraptions at the store can get costly. And you can use the glove on your clothes to remove pet hair too. I also keep one in my car's glove box.
If the hair on the furniture is carrying a little dirt, I like to use a sponge that is ever so slightly damp. But with the sponge, you can only make one or two passes over the furniture or else you will redeposit the dirt. Then I follow the glove or sponge with a vacuming using the upholstery attachment in order to get the last bits of dog dander out of the fabric.
For odors,I use baking soda and cornstarch with crushed dried lavender on the rugs. The cornstarch helps release the pet hair from my rugs, the baking soda
absorbs odor and the lavender is a mild disinfectant leaving behind a wonderful fragrance. Not too much lavender though as it does contain oils. This concoction eliminates the need to buy carpet powder at the store as I always have these ingredients around.
When dusting, use the microfiber cloths, they are outstanding in picking up pet hair. They are washable, eliminating the need for those throw away duster products which again, saves you money and saves the environment. Using a furniture polish spray is like a magnet to pet hair. I don't do it. If you have fine furniture, you will need to wax it at some point,usually once a year, and I do recommend a high quality micro crystalline wax like my favorite,Renaissance. (Remember to use caution with chemicals around your pets.)
What else can you do to help keep the furniture and rugs dog hair free? Try keeping your dog groomed. Every morning, incorporate brushing into your routine,the more hair you brush or comb out, the less on your furniture and rugs, right? I always follow brushing with a comb through. I don't find that you really need all the special fur shedding tools, just the basic brush and comb for your breed is all that you need. Short haired dogs do benefit from using a Zoom Groom or any rubber curry. A fine tooth comb works well on short-haired dogs too. The trick is to groom regularly. Even the most expensive fur eliminator can't pick up shedding coat if you don't use it.
Indoor dogs are more prone to dry skin that can flake onto your furniture so to help cut down on dander, use a dry skin spray. I make one from one ounce vodka, fifteen ounces spring water for silky coats and distilled water for wire coats (like terriers) and add thirty drops of a moisturizing oil,tea tree, jojoba or almond oil, all work well. Put in a spray bottle and shake before use. In the winter, when the air is really dry, I use the spray several times a day to help keep the coat and skin hydrated.


These simple tips should have you on your way to a nearly fur free environment...and if you don't have time to clean,turn down the lights,light a natural fragrance soy candle, and pretend the hair isn't there, at least until your neighbor comes over and doesn't have a clean place to sit...