Best Way to Remove Dog Hair From Car: Travel Companionship Without All the Fur

Emily Young
Written by Emily Young

Bringing your favorite pooch along on every adventure can create memories to last a lifetime. Although you would probably rather go anywhere with your best four-legged friend by your side than go solo, removing fur and dander from your car can be a pain. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, it can be challenging to reach those tight nooks and crannies.

Save yourself some time, energy, and a little bit of sanity by joining us to discover the best way to remove dog hair from car. As with any member of the family, dogs are our travel companions. They sleep, eat, and sometimes even sing in the car with us. Whether you are headed to the dog park, the beach, or grandparents’ house for the weekend, they are usually right there by our sides. Unfortunately, so is their hair.

Removing Dog Hair From Car

Whether it’s between the seats, wedged beneath belt buckles, or clinging to our dashboards, dog hair is a formidable opponent. Shedding is a natural process for all dogs, but the frequency and amount of hair shed depends upon breed and wellness.

Removing pet hair from your car can be a difficult and meticulous process, but we’ve made your job a little easier by collecting some lucrative tips to get rid of the dander in your car and to shield your car’s upholstery from future occurrences.

DIY Car Cleaning: The Pet Edition

Cleaning your car after a long family vacation or a stressful trip to the vet’s office can be painstaking. Luckily, we have compiled some of the infallible ways to approach car detailing when you’re the proud owner of a furry companion.

Removing Dog Hair From Car

When in doubt, you can combine several of these methods to ensure that you’re targeting several surfaces and degrees of debris in your car or truck. Check out some of our top tips for keeping the pet hair at bay and preventing the buildup of dander in the long-run.

Balloon Method

We experimented with balloons as children or in science class as a makeshift study on static electricity, so it should come as no surprise that balloons are foolproof methods for attracting pet hair in relatively open areas. The balloon method would be a great way to enlist your little helpers throughout the car detailing process.

Balloon Cleaning

Static electricity causes various objects with opposite charges to cling to one another. Simply rub the inflated balloon over the furriest surfaces of your car to activate the negative charge carried by electrons. Rubbing the balloon over your seats, headrests, carpet, or dashboard will lift top-level dander and force it to stick, acting as a homemade detailing tool that can be rather fun for the whole family.

Some of the only drawbacks to relying on the balloon method is that they are not always reusable and static electricity cannot force all grit or debris to stick. If your car is deeply plagued by pet fur, you will need a more thorough cleaning method to restore your car to pristine condition. Also, removing dog hair from a balloon can be a bit challenging. We suggest buying a multipack from a party supply store.

Rubber Glove Method

One of the most unbelievable and affordable methods for cleaning pet fur and upholstery gunk is with a common household article we often keep for dishes, polishing, or bleaching tile floors. Using a plain pair of rubber gloves and a spray bottle filled with water, you can literally wipe away the hair with your own two hands.

Simply dab your gloved fingers in water before rubbing your car’s interior in one direction. The pet hair in your car will collect in clumps that you can easy shake off into a receptacle or vacuum for speedy removal. Damp sponges and washcloths are also excellent alternatives to rubber gloves.

For an alternative approach, you can mist your car’s upholstery with the spray bottle filled with water prior to wiping with your gloves. Your car will require a little time to dry, so we wouldn’t suggest trying this method right before you need to hit the road. If you’re in a rush to get somewhere, you can attempt this same method with perfectly dry gloves.

Fabric Softener Method

One of the greatest aspects to cleaning your car to remove pet hair is that you can use household items you may already have in stock. Fabric softener is another tool for removing fur from your car’s carpets and seats. With a little diligence, your car’s upholstery will benefit from smelling clean and feeling soft.

Fabric Softener

Mix just a few teaspoons of fabric softener with water in a cheap spray bottle. Fabric softeners are comprised of electrically charged chemical compounds that coat any fabric surface and cause threads to rise, loosening pet hair as a result. Simply wipe with a paper towel and allow your upholstery to dry before determining the best method to reduce leftover pet hair.

The fabric softener method is especially effective for surfaces with fabric creases. For thorough coverage, consider vacuuming your car after using this method to reduce the amount of uncollected fur and dander. This method also requires some drying time, so you may want to clean your car a day or at least several hours prior to any trip.

Vacuum Method

Experienced pet parents know the true value of a powerful vacuum. Although you typically use them on a daily or weekly basis to keep the carpets in your home clean, vacuums are especially valuable when it comes to your car. Many modern vacuums include varying sizes of bristled brush attachments. If your vacuum model includes a small attachment that can access those hard-to-reach places, use your vacuum to your advantage.

Removing Dog Hair From Car With Vacuum

Not all vacuums are created equal, so it is important that you use an efficient model that’s designed to treat homes with pets. If your vacuum’s regular hose and brush aren’t picking up, you may need the assistance of a rubber attachment. Most rubber bristled brushes work much in the same way as the rubber glove or balloon methods. With the help of static electricity, you can attract pet fur by lightly sweeping in a consistent motion.

Once again, this method will not prove as productive if your car is riddled with dog biscuit crumbs or other kinds of debris. However, several cycles of deep cleaning should have your car looking fresh and clean in no time. If you still need more suction to trap dirt and dander, most professional laundromats offer heavy-duty vacuuming services that should do the trick.

Lint Roller Method

Another affordable car detailing method uses a tool that most pet parents keep in their cars regardless. Whether you are headed to work or running errands around town, dog or cat hair can be an unsightly accessory that most pet owners have come to embrace. Where light pet hair is a challenge, lint rollers are a saving grace. Lint rollers are quite inexpensive and easy to use, making them the perfect candidate for small jobs.

Simply roll your lint roller over the upholstery, seats, and any fabric surfaces of your car to remove pet hair in a flash. Best of all, lint rollers are so compact that you can store them in the back pocket of your car’s passenger seat for on-the-go cleaning regardless of your destination. Lint rollers often come in multi-packs, so you can stock up for future use at a fraction of the cost.

If you are in a hurry and don’t have enough time to stop by the store for lint rollers, you can use either sticky tape or duct tape as a quick fix. Just roll the tape around your hand with the sticky side out and press it against your carpeting to lift pet fur away.

Shedding Tool Method

As we mentioned earlier, shedding volume and cycles depends on the diet and breed of your dog. Unless you have a brand-new puppy, you are likely familiar with your dog’s shedding capability. Long-haired breeds typically require routine shedding to maintain lustrous and healthy coats. Use your deshedding tools as a force of good for your car.

Remove Dog Hair

Shedding tools are highly effective at removing deep-seeded dander and pet fur. These specialty tools are designed to remove some hair from both the top coat and the thicker, plush under layer, so it should come as no surprise that these tools are reliable for raking and coaxing fur out from the fabric of your car’s upholstery.

Distinct types of shedding brushes will collect varying amounts of fur, but it’s best to use the same shedding tool that works reliably for your dog’s coat within the home. Although using your shedding tool is one of the best methods for removing pet hair from your car, it’s never a bad idea to go over your upholstery with a vacuum to collect any extra dander.

Velcro Curler Method

Remember those self-sticking hair curlers our mothers used to wear before going to bed for perfectly curled and coiffed hair the next morning? These old-school hair styling tools are also highly effective at removing stray hairs from your car’s interior. Use your Velcro curlers just as you would an authentic lint brush.

Velcro Curlers

One of the greatest advantages to using curlers is that they don’t have any adhesive materials like lint rollers or brushes do, so they can complete an entire cleaning application without losing efficacy. Just discard any collected pet hair and keep brushing until your car is sparkling clean again.

Compressed Air Method

As a last measure to help you lead a hair-free life, it is important to remember that trunk upholstery often boasts a tougher fiber that may be unwilling to release dog hair or dirt. Most common trunk liner materials include polyester, felt, fleece, foam, and vinyl. Stay on the safe side by reviewing your vehicle’s owner manual to ensure you’re treating your lining or upholstery with the most appropriate solution.

Car Air Compressor

Using compressed air or a similar device, you can lift the top loose layer of pet hair and debris by blowing the carpet out as much as possible. You can follow this step with a vacuum for collecting loosened hair, bits of broken dog nail, and everything in between.

Pet Hair Prevention Methods

Removing pet hair from your car can be tedious, but detailing and removal are only half of the battle. Preventing the buildup of pet hair is just as important as removing it, and we’ve compiled a few reliable prevention methods so you can save time and energy spent cleaning in the long-run.

Brush Before You Drive

Now that we’ve established the way deshedding tools are effective, it may be in your best interest to brush your dog before any trips. This method will reduce overall shedding while traveling and keep your car cleaner for longer.

Brushing Dog

There are endless benefits to shedding your dog routinely, but you will both be happier and healthier while making memories.

Seat Covers or Dog Hammocks

Most pet parents set aside a day or two each week to take their best four-legged friends to the dog park. Any dog park brings its own set of challenges, including sand, gravel, bugs, slobber, and other headaches. Make Fido’s social calls more bearable by investing in a quality seat cover or hammock that fits your car’s interior and provides ample coverage to keep your seats and floors clear from litter.

Car Dog Hammock

Pet seat covers are relatively affordable, easy to remove, and easy to clean. Choose a cover or hammock that is washable in the event you visit the dog park or beach on a rainy day. To avoid mildew and any unpleasant odors, it may be best to routinely wash your seat cover to keep it fresh between uses. Lastly, be sure to remove all clumps of hair prior to washing to avoid any appliance malfunction or clogging.

Crate Training

Anyone who has raised a puppy can tell you that crate training is highly effective. Not only do crates provide safe havens for our pets, but they are also a great solution for limiting the area in which our pets can roam. Utility vehicles with large back storage areas are ideal for crate storage, or you may choose to set up a barrier between the open-design trunk and the last row of seats so your pooch has a large amount of space to nap, sightsee, and relax without shedding too much fur in his wake.

Crate Training in a Car

Pet accessory designers are constantly creating new ways for us to travel safely with our companions. Harnesses are an ideal alternative to crates, and they keep your dog or cat restricted to the seat, thus limiting pet dander to a specific area.

Leave Fido at Home

This prevention method will be unpopular for most animal lovers. Traveling without our pets is like leaving a family member behind. However, people who struggle with allergies or respiratory illnesses caused by uncontrolled dander will benefit by making other accommodations for their pets instead of bringing them along on road trips.

Leave Your Dog at Home

There are hundreds of boarding options that pet owners can use to ensure their furry companions are preoccupied and loved while they are away from home. You can find an online dog sitter with a reputable boarding or daycare service, take advantage of kennel services offered by your local animal hospital, or explore boarding facilities close to home. Most pet parents consider pet hair to be part of the deal.

Deciding on the Best Pet Hair Removal Method

Most people agree that there’s no better way to travel than with your pet by your side. If you take your pooch everywhere you go but you can’t stand the sight of pet hair any longer, regular cleaning and car detailing is easy with the help of a few household products or affordable investments. We’ve compiled some of the most convenient ways to cut down on pet hair. Each of these methods should be useful at alleviating allergies caused by dander, pollen, or other allergens our pets tend to transmit.

Removing Dog Hair From Car

When in doubt, we would suggest doing everything you can to keep up with your pet’s coat by de-shedding and grooming routinely. Keeping your pet groomed will reduce overall hair loss and natural shedding cycles so your car doesn’t suffer the consequences.

Depending on the breed of your dog, his type of coat, and the frequency of his shedding, you may need to try all or combine several of the hair removal methods we have outlined to thoroughly clean your car to like-new condition. Pet parents with limited time may choose to take their cars to professional detailing facilities for costly services, but cleaning the family car can be a rich learning experience about responsibility and patience for children who want to own their own pets someday.

Removing Dog Hair From Car

Regardless of which method you choose, cleaning your car will extend the lifetime of your upholstery and your overall happiness. We love hearing from fellow pet parents about effective DIY tricks for a hair-free life. Do you have a reliable method for cleaning your car’s interior and upholstery? If so, please let us know in the comments below!

About the author
Emily Young
Emily Young

Emily is originally from China where she graduated from The University of Hong Kong with high distinction learning about fashion and design. During university she opened her own magazine about Dog Fashion as dogs were always in her heart. She was surprised, when she moved to a beautiful British Columbia 10 years ago, to see many great Boutiques with dog's designer clothing and desire of pet owners to make their babies look nice.