Spring Cleaning? You’ll Be Surprised Where Pet Hair Lurks
Ah, springtime! It’s the time of year when many people decide to give their homes a thorough “spring cleaning.” Of course, cleaning year-round is necessary to keep pet hair under control, but when you embark on that once-a-year deep clean, you may be surprised where you find fur lurking.
Don't Miss Under the Fridge
A 2009 study conducted by Kelton for Bissell revealed that pet owners find fur in all kinds of unexpected places in their homes, including in their refrigerators and freezers, in their clothes drawers, in CD cases, on their toothbrush, in their contact lens solution and in their underwear! Jennifer Costello, a dog owner who blogs at My Brown Newfies, admits she’s even found dog hair in her ice cream.
“Pet hair definitely shows up in odd places,” says Tiffany Lewis, a Columbus, Ohio, professional who’s been cleaning homes for more than 10 years. The place where homeowners most frequently miss? Under the refrigerator, Lewis says. “We pull out more pet hair from under the fridge than you can believe!” she says.
Vents, Traps and Filters
Vents are also big pet hair traps, Lewis says, “but long flat dusters do wonders to get the pet hair out.” Fur also has a way of wrapping itself around radiator coils, she adds. So be sure to take a close look when cleaning the places that pump out heat or cool air in order to keep them running as efficiently as possible.
Speaking of efficiency, furnace filters can quickly get clogged with pet hair and dander, decreasing their effectiveness. Most experts agree that replacing filters regularly (frequency depends on the size and type of filter you use) is key to furnace efficiency and a home’s air quality. Pet owners should change their furnace filters more frequently than homeowners who don’t have resident pets.
People with pets also need to be diligent about cleaning lint traps in their dryers on a regular schedule. Overloaded lint traps can decrease your dryer’s efficiency, and pet hair adds to the problem.
The Underbelly of Furniture
According to Evercare, the company that invented the lint roller in 1956 to help solve the pet hair issue, upholstery is one of the most common areas to find pet hair.
The parts of your furniture you can see are a no-brainer, but have you ever checked the underside? You may be surprised how much pet hair sticks to the underbelly of your couches, chairs and dressers — areas that you don’t get to when you sweep the floor underneath. You may have to turn your furniture on its side to reach the fur, or squeeze underneath and manually pull it off.
Don’t forget the back of your couch or chairs, Lewis says. Even if the furniture is pushed up against the wall, fur finds its way behind it. And make sure to peek behind paintings and wall hangings. There’s usually more fuzz than you’d imagine stuck to the back of your favorite canvas.
Window Treatments and Lampshades
Lewis also advises pet owners to check in and around the windows. “Windowsills can trap a lot of fur, and curtains, particularly if they are long, are just fur magnets,” she says.
Evercare’s new product, FurErase, is the next generation lint roller. It’s an “agitator” with rubber nubs to dislodge the hair and a sticky roller to pick up the fur. This combo, the company says, is perfect for soft surfaces such as curtains.
Over time, plenty of pet owners simply don’t notice the pet hair anymore. When was the last time you looked at your lampshades? Evercare says they are an often overlooked but very furry spot in the house.
The thing about pet hair is that once you’ve cleaned every corner and crevice of your home, you’ll still come across a new spot full of fur. It’s frustrating, yes, but along with that abundance of free-flying fur comes an equal amount of joy and love. Seems like a fair trade-off! Don’t you agree?