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Old 05-22-09, 09:23 PM   #1
WilliamK1974
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Pet hair in the laundry

Not too long ago, we bought what for us is a very nice couch at the IKEA store in Atlanta.

Since we have six indoor cats, we thought it might be a good idea to cover as much of the couch as we could to minimize the amount of cat hair that could be left behind on the couch itself. To that end, we bought several inexpensive blankets to tuck in and drape over the couch.

Well, wasn't too long before it became plain that the blankets were serving their purpose, at least to some degree. The white blanket we spread on the chaise portion of the couch looked dirty pretty fast.

We washed the blankets a little over a week ago. While any stains present came out, it's as if the cat hair multiplied or something. I was hoping the wash would take it away, but no such luck. It's all over the blankets now, and seems unsightly. On top of that, there's no way to keep it from migrating to the couch itself. I know that's not the end of the world as I have a handheld Dirt Devil and one of those Pledge fur remover things. Trouble is those don't work too well on the blankets. Too linty, or something.

I've found a detergent called Le Chien et La Chat that's supposed to dissolve pet hair and certain lint in the wash. Trouble is that it looks to cost 3 times the price of normal detergent.

Someone told me that a cup of white vinegar in the wash will cause the pet hair to release, but I've never heard that before.

Anyone have any experience with this kind of thing?

Thank you,
-Bill
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Old 05-23-09, 12:14 AM   #2
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I'm no big authority on laundry but are you hanging these blankets out to dry or do you use a dryer machine? Maybe try the large public industrial sized machines. Reason I ask is because my dogs shed to no end but after I wash, I dry my laundry for about 10-15 minutes longer. Halfway through the drying cycle, I stop the machine, clean out the lint basket (which is full of dog hair!) and let the dryer continue. I use Bounce dryer sheets too. This seems to get all the dog hair and lint off of my clothes.
I think the secret is in the drying, no the washing.
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Old 05-23-09, 07:12 AM   #3
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Unfortunately, these blankets say to hang to dry only and aren't supposed to go in the dryer. I think they're high in polyester or something like that and would melt from the heat.
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Old 05-23-09, 07:24 AM   #4
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I'm no big authority on laundry but are you hanging these blankets out to dry or do you use a dryer machine? Maybe try the large public industrial sized machines. Reason I ask is because my dogs shed to no end but after I wash, I dry my laundry for about 10-15 minutes longer. Halfway through the drying cycle, I stop the machine, clean out the lint basket (which is full of dog hair!) and let the dryer continue. I use Bounce dryer sheets too. This seems to get all the dog hair and lint off of my clothes.
I think the secret is in the drying, no the washing.
Ernest
+10000

This works for our 2 dogs and 1 cat.

Try a lower dryer heat maybe to finish?
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Old 05-23-09, 08:40 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Big_e View Post
I'm no big authority on laundry but are you hanging these blankets out to dry or do you use a dryer machine? Maybe try the large public industrial sized machines. Reason I ask is because my dogs shed to no end but after I wash, I dry my laundry for about 10-15 minutes longer. Halfway through the drying cycle, I stop the machine, clean out the lint basket (which is full of dog hair!) and let the dryer continue. I use Bounce dryer sheets too. This seems to get all the dog hair and lint off of my clothes.
I think the secret is in the drying, no the washing.
Ernest

+1, we also vacuum every day, everything! including the couch. (3 dogs 4 cats, all indoors! )
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Old 05-23-09, 10:28 AM   #6
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Shave your cats.
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Old 05-23-09, 10:29 AM   #7
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Shake the blanket outside before washing. You may have to beat it to remove most of the hair.
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Old 05-23-09, 01:27 PM   #8
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Pet hair roller

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Old 05-23-09, 02:02 PM   #9
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We've stopped fighting the hair problem. We just comb everything now. All our furniture and blankets have nice parts in them.
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Old 05-23-09, 05:11 PM   #10
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Pet hair roller

More like a case of Pet Hair Rollers!
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Old 05-23-09, 05:32 PM   #11
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I have the same issue with my two white fluffy cats leaving their lovely hair all over my apartment - it drives me crazy (oh, what we do for our pets). Anyway, I too have Ikea furniture - red corduroy and the white fur loves it. I don't bother covering my couches, I just vacuum them with an attachment on my vacuum cleaner similar to the one in the foreground of this pic

If the fabric is taut the fur will vacuum off nicely. I don't have a fancy vacuum cleaner as I only have laminate floors but this little attachment is amazing for removing pet fur.

If you want to keep using blankets to cover the couch, I'd recommend replacing the ones you have with ones that don't attract fur as much and that are easier to wash - ie. can go in the dryer.

I vacuum about every two days and I try to brush the cats (outside, on the balcony) at least once a week too.

Anything that can actually dissolve pet hair in the laundry has to be pretty hardcore... lots of chemicals.... I don't think I'd go there for the health risk of it.
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Old 05-23-09, 09:11 PM   #12
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I have the same issue with my two white fluffy cats leaving their lovely hair all over my apartment - it drives me crazy (oh, what we do for our pets). Anyway, I too have Ikea furniture - red corduroy and the white fur loves it. I don't bother covering my couches, I just vacuum them with an attachment on my vacuum cleaner similar to the one in the foreground of this pic

If the fabric is taut the fur will vacuum off nicely. I don't have a fancy vacuum cleaner as I only have laminate floors but this little attachment is amazing for removing pet fur.
Yeah, I can totally see white fur on red cords... Two of our cats are solid white, one's almost solid black, and the other has mix of white and tabby. Another solid white cat lives in a room by herself. Our couch is the Karlsberg with a chaise. That couch allows the option of a very light blue fabric. We bought another set of covers that's off-white with a leaf design for when the blues wear out. Our vacuum cleaner is also a Dirt Devil Swivel and to say it sucks is well, not inaccurate. But the Handheld works well. I just don't want it to cause premature couch fabric wear.

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If you want to keep using blankets to cover the couch, I'd recommend replacing the ones you have with ones that don't attract fur as much and that are easier to wash - ie. can go in the dryer.
Yeah, just wonder if non-attracting blankets actually exist... These blankets came from IKEA as well and are almost the same color blue as the couch.

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Anything that can actually dissolve pet hair in the laundry has to be pretty hardcore... lots of chemicals.... I don't think I'd go there for the health risk of it.
I know what you mean. Wish I could find out more about how it works. I'm really tempted to try the vinegar in the wash trick as it seems harmless even if it doesn't help.
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Old 05-25-09, 06:04 PM   #13
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I have one cat, she sheds as much as two. I find that a second rinse cycle helps take out much more hair than one. I also found a pet hair sponge, forgot the exact brand name, takes hair off of the furniture very well. Last, I use a lint mitt. It's like a lint brush, red grabby material, but it covers your entire hand. Good luck!
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