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How to Remove Dog and Cat Hair from Clothes (and How To Prevent It)

How to Remove Dog and Cat Hair from Clothes (and How To Prevent It)

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We all love our pets, but one little thing can be a bit of a nuisance: fur on your clothes. Luckily, there are several methods that you can use to remove your fur baby’s hair from your clothing.

What causes fur to stick to clothing?

Static buildup holds the fur onto the fabric in most cases, making it difficult to remove. 

So, if you’re tired of pulling your freshly washed clothes out of the dryer just to see them covered in fur, the key is to release the static buildup. There are a number of ways to do that.

How to remove dog or cat fur from clothes in a washing machine

Running your washing machine with fur covered clothing can have its consequences. According to Consumer Reports, wet fur can cause clogs and create stress in your drain pumps and home plumbing.

Still, there are ways to boost your washer’s ability to rid your clothing of fur and hair.

Fabric Softener

If your washer runs a discharge hose to a utility sink, I would highly suggest using lint traps on the end of the hose to catch any discharged fur before it goes down the drain.

Secondly, you can utilize fabric softener to release the static from clothing, which will allow the rinse cycle to wash away most of the fur. 

If you don’t have fabric softener or would like to use a more green approach, white vinegar can be used in place of fabric softener in the wash. Use half a cup of white vinegar for a load of laundry to soften up the fabric and loosen the fur that’s stuck to it.

If your washing machine model has a softener dispenser, pour your softener or white vinegar in the dispenser so that it will automatically release it before the final rinse cycle. 

If your washer doesn’t have a softener dispenser, check the manual for directions. There may also be instructions on the inside of the lid of your washer. For example, my washing machine says to use a Downy Ball on top of the load and turn the “Fabric Softener” dial to “Yes”.

Once you have taken the clothes out of the washing machine, wipe down the inside of the cylinder to wipe away any loose hairs that may be clinging to the sides so that they don’t end up in the next load of laundry.

Fur Traps for the Washing Machine

An alternative method to rid your clothing of unwanted fur is to use fur traps in your laundry. This fur trap set catches fur and hair by running it in a spin cycle without water, then removing the traps before starting the water in your washer.

How to remove fur from clothes using a clothes dryer

Your clothes dryer can be a big help in removing fur from your clothing. Utilizing the dryer either before or after washing can help de-cling the fur from your clothing if you follow a few simple instructions.

Dry before you wash

Put your clothes in the dryer before putting them in the wash. The dryer can help loosen up the fur, which will get pulled to the dryer’s lint trap. You should be able to stop the dryer after approximately 10 minutes on low heat. 

Before you toss your clothes in the wash, shake them off a little in case there’s any fur still on the surface. Then make sure to clean out the drum of your dryer, as well as the lint trap before using it for the next load of laundry.

Fur traps for the dryer

If you’re not a fan of the idea of putting dirty clothes in the dryer, there are products available to purchase that you can toss in the dryer with your clothing to collect the fur after washing.


Another option is to wash and dry a microfiber cloth (or two) with your clothes. Drying a wet microfiber cloth along with your clothes will help release most of the fur, but may leave some behind.

Use dryer sheets or wool balls

Both dryer sheets and wool balls will take the static out of the fabric, which will allow the dryer to pull the fur off of the clothing. 

Wool balls are an eco friendly option which can be found on amazon or in the laundry aisle of your favorite store. Use three to six balls in the dryer along with your clothing. 

Three balls will cover a smaller load, while six is best for a large load. The wool balls are reusable for more than 1000 loads of laundry and they give you the same results as dryer sheets.

Didn’t work?

If you are still noticing fur on your clothes after they come out of the dryer, try stopping the dryer half way through the drying cycle to clean the fur and lint off of the lint trap before starting it back up.

If the lint trap becomes covered, it could send some of the fur back to your clothes being tossed around in the dryer.

How to remove dog or cat hair before washing

Of course, it would be best to stop the fur from entering your washer and dryer in the first place. 

Here are some ways to remove fur from your clothes before they go in the wash:

  1. Spray the fabric with anti-static spray (this can also be used in combination with the dry first method above)
  2. Shake off the clothes
  3. Use a lint roller or tape to remove most of the fur
  4. Wet a rubber glove and wipe over the fabric to ball up the fur and easily remove it (this works great on furniture too)

How to prevent fur from getting on clothes

Prevention can go a long way. To stop the fur from ever getting to your clothes in the first place, here are some tips.


Groom your pets regularly. Some pets are as simple as a regular brushing, while others may require regular baths and haircuts as well. Brushing will catch a good amount of fur right on the brush before it gets anywhere else in the house.


Make sure that your pets are getting proper nutrition. If their skin is dry, you may try supplementing with fish oil, coconut oil, or olive oil to help nurture their skin and fur.


Vacuum your house regularly, including any furniture that your pets sit on so that the fur is gone before you sit down.

Excessive Shedding

If your dog or cat sheds excessively, it is possible that he or she needs a visit with their vet. There are several conditions that can cause excess shedding, so don’t be afraid to ask your vet if you are concerned.

Final Thoughts

None of us like having fur covered clothing, but don’t let the thought of fur stop you from adopting a fur baby or spending time with your pets. Try one or more of the tips in this article to get rid of the fur from your clothing and furniture.

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