Cleaning up pet hair can be, by far, one of the most frustrating clean up tasks. I feel quite confident asserting this because of experience: I lived with someone for three years who showed dogs professionally.
That meant that, besides my cat, we’d have up to eight dogs sprinting, playing, and shedding all over our little two bedroom house.
That’s nine pets worth of tumbleweeds of hair in every corner. It’s several coats of fur on every pillow and couch cushion.
And that’s not even mentioning what happened to our cars!
Long and short of it, a vacuum was my best friend when it came to the messes these animals generated.
Here’s What I Learned
- pets with short, bristly hair seem like they might be better
- …until you look closely, and realize how annoying those little, translucent hairs are to pick up
- longer-haired pets produce furballs that are easier to see and pick up.
- …except when they wrap around the brushroll of your vacuum and jam it up
- pet hair mess isn’t limited to what collects in corners or entwines in the carpet!
- …cats and agile dogs will find a way to leave hair on exactly the parts of the couch and the pillows you want to lay your head on
The Solution: Choose the Right Vacuum
- A brush-accessory or a vacuum head made expressly for pet hair is an absolute necessity – this works for both the little stubbly hairs and for working pet hair out of carpet and off of upholstery.
- A stiff brush or stiff-bristled brushroll can help with carpets with deep pile
- Many vacuums are designed with the suction tube to one side of the brushroll that’s picking up the hair, which leads directly to hair wrapping tightly around the brushroll…obviously, not an ideal design.
- Look for a vacuum with the suction tube placed at the middle of the brushroll, so the hair is more likely to be sucked up instead of wrapped. Nobody likes trying to cut off that insanely tight weave.
- The same goes for using chopsticks or pipe cleaners to unclog your vacuum’s tubing. You’ll want a vacuum with relatively large tubing so hair doesn’t jam it up.
- Also, avoid a vacuum that has unnecessary kinks and bends in its tubing for the same reason.
It Pays to Look Closely
Take the Dyson Animal. Dyson vacuums are advertised as being well worth their high-end price because of their sleek technology and design, so you’d think one they made expressly for pet hair would be ideal. With a closer look, however…
- the suction tube is on the side of the head, so the pet hair wraps around the brushroll like cotton candy
- the vacuum tubing does have that trademark Dyson sleekness…but that also makes the tubing relatively tiny
- in the same way, the Animal may look cutting-edge, but part of that look is sharp kinks in the tubing within the body, which, like the tiny tubes, are easy to clog
The Best Cordless Vacuums for Pet Hair
A handheld vacuum is often more convenient than a cordless stick vacuum when it comes to pet hair. It can clean furniture, pillows, and the car much more easily and there’s much less worry about long tubing that can be jammed.
Your best handheld option is the Hoover Platinum LiNX Pet Cordless Hand Vacuum. Don’t shy away from its price – remember, you get what you pay for, and if you have a lot of pets, speaking from experience: it is very much worth it.
Besides having the non-negotiables for any quality handheld vacuum – a lithium-ion battery and nicely powerful 18-Volt power – the LiNX is also specifically designed for dealing with pet hair:
- includes a unique Pet Upholstery Tool that has three specially designed rubber blades that grab pet hair
- its vacuum head features a detachable brushroll for easy maintenance, and pivots to reach harder-to-reach places
- a brush attachment with dual rows of bristles for delicate surfaces and shorter hair
If pet hair in your house collects more on the ground, or if you have trouble kneeling or bending, a cordless stick vacuum will be a better choice.
While the Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum is not exactly a stick version of the LiNX handheld, Hoover has still made sure it is very effective at cleaning pet hair nonetheless.
- instead of having a faulty suction tube to one side or even a more effective central tube, this vacuum has three overlapping suction channels that strip hair from the brushroll much more effectively
- also has lithium-ion battery with 18-Volt power
- a very slim vacuum head with bristles at its edges combine to better clean baseboards and under furniture where hair tends to collect