An unexpected way to remove pet fur from your couch

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I’ve had cats all my life. Actually longer: There were two cats in the house when my parents brought me home from the hospital. When you live with pets—especially cats—the hair is part of the territory…literally. It coats your clothes, furniture, countertops and even food.

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If you’re like me, the amount of effort you put into cleaning pet hair varies. I’ve been pretty easygoing for most of my adult life. But I recently invested in a lovely $1,300 “grown up” sofa from West Elm, upholstered in a gorgeous gray velvet fabric that’s comfortable, stylish, and stain-resistant.

But it attracts fur like crazy.

It doesn’t help that I’ve placed it perpendicular to my patio’s sliding glass door and Oliver and Simon, my 6-year-old house short hair brothers, love using the couch as a tanning bed.

So my curiosity was piqued when a colleague mentioned that you could wipe cat hair off upholstery with a rubber glove—no need to lug out vacuum cleaner attachments or invest in expensive sprays or equipment.

I decided to scientifically test this home hack. And to see if it works across species, I had a colleague try it with dog hair. Here’s what I did and how it turned out. More about this here how to fall asleep with this five minute night routinehow one light a fire with Doritos and how Wash your car without water.

What does it take to remove cat hair from furniture?

All you need for this hack is a pair of dishcloth gloves. I bought a brand new pair of Libman “all purpose” reusable latex gloves in bright yellow.

And since some people are allergic to latex, I also picked up a pair of Best Choice vinyl gloves to see how they fared at work.

How to remove cat fur from sofa and chairs?

The technique is quite simple: put on a glove and then run your hand over the fabric.

A gloved hand wipes cat fur off a sofa

Start stroking the gloves over the area you want to depilate.

Dan Avery/CNET

I thought the glove would pick up the fur like a lint roller, but instead it collected the fur in a heap, more like a broom.

After seven or eight swipes, I had a nice pile of cat hair to pick up, leaving the area fur-free.

This trick doesn’t just work on furniture: I removed the fur from a pillowcase and a lampshade the same way.

Can you remove dog hair from furniture?

So it works for cat fur, but what about dog hair? CNET Money Editor Courtney Johnston tried her Chihuahua BMO to verify that this pet hack is cross-species.

“He has short hair,” she said. “It’s not super stiff, but it soaks into the fabric of the couch and makes it harder to pull out.”

A deer headed chihuahua sitting on a couch

Also works with dog hair.

Courtney Johnston/CNET

But the glove trick worked just as well, gathering all of BMO’s fur on Courtney’s couch into a neat pile that was easy to pick up.

How do rubber gloves remove pet hair?

I’m not sure who first realized they could use their household gloves to wipe away dandruff, but there’s real science behind it. Dog and cat hair hold an electrical charge that allows them to stick to many surfaces.

The idea is that swiping rubber across the fabric of your sofa or chair breaks that connection with its own static charge, causing you to clench the fur.

How about wet gloves to pick up animal fur?

Apartment Therapy recommends wetting the gloves before rubbing them over the upholstery. Unlike using a dry mitt, the fur would detach and cling to the wet mitt, eliminating a step in the process.

Not surprisingly, my couch cushions got damp.

Whether you’re getting them wet or keeping them dry, you should set aside gloves specifically for the task. You don’t want the same couple that scrubbed the toilet seat to gently remove Garfield’s fur from your Chesterfield.

Can you use vinyl gloves to remove animal fur?

If you have a latex allergy, using rubber gloves is out. So I tested this housecleaning tip with a disposable vinyl glove. In fact, unlike the rubber variety, more hair was stuck to the glove and excess fur was left in a neat pile for me to pick up.

A vinyl glove covered in cat hair

This trick also works with vinyl gloves.

Dan Avery/CNET

One downside is the cornstarch used in many vinyl gloves, which creates a bit of a powdery mess.

If you want a powder-free version, you can find latex and powder-free gloves at Clorox.

For easier life hacks, learn how to do it Stop the flow of junk mail, Clean your Air Pods the right way and cutting a cake with dental floss. An unexpected way to remove pet fur from your couch

Chris Barrese

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