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How to Get Hair Out of Carpet

A collage of different ways to clean carpet.

When I was growing up, we owned a Sheltie – a beautiful, miniature sheepdog with long, flowing, black hair. Although her characteristic coat was soft and shiny, it had a significant downside: It shed constantly, leaving our clothing, bedding, and carpet covered in clumps of long, black hair.

The vacuum did little to lift her ebony locks from our beige carpet, and brushing the dog regularly probably did help – it just didn’t seem like it.

The only solution we could find was to use the dog’s slicker brush on the carpet. Once a week, my mom would crawl around on her hands and knees and brush every inch of our carpet by hand, from the living room to the dining room to the bedrooms.

A large hairball next to a brush on a carpet.

It was exhausting. Surely there has to be a better way to remove hair from carpet!

Pet hair and long human hair, in particular, present a seemingly never-ending challenge to keeping your carpet looking clean and smooth. It’s easy for these longer hairs to become wrapped around individual carpet fibers and just don’t seem to come up whenever you vacuum.

And, if you’re not careful, too much hair can wrap around your vacuum cleaner’s bristles, causing it to jam or lose effectiveness.

And when the hair is a different color from the carpet, as was the case with our Sheltie, there’s no avoiding the issue.

Are there any good hacks to get hair out of carpet?

Whether it’s long hair or short, human or pet, removing hair from your carpet can be a frustrating challenge.

While it will certainly require you to put more work into your carpet than simply run a traditional vacuum cleaner over it once a week, a problem with hair in carpet can generally be resolved using one of the creative solutions discussed below.

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If you’re looking for a good DIY option to get hair out of your carpet without having to place a call to the pros, there are a number of steps you can try to address your hairy dilemma.

Although some carpet types may prove more problematic than others, the following solutions will work well for use on most carpets.

Use fabric softener.

Just as a fabric softener can help to prevent your clothes from sticking together, it can also help to prevent your hair from sticking to the carpet. Making this solution is quick and easy.

Simply drop a few drops of fabric softener into lukewarm water inside a spray bottle and squirt the mixture all across your carpet. This will help the hairs to begin to loosen and prime them for removal using another method.

To collect the hairs, you can use a number of options. One easy choice is to simply vacuum your carpet thoroughly using a regular vacuum cleaner on a high setting. Make sure that you take your time and run the vacuum over each spot multiple times, rather than just rushing through.

Another option to remove the hair is to use a soft bristle brush and hand-brush your carpet. Although this is time consuming and pain-staking, it is also very effective. And since the hair in your carpet will be primed for removal, it should prove to work well.

If you don’t have fabric softener, rubbing dryer sheets along your carpet can have a similar effect. The static they create will help to draw the hair up from your carpet and prime it for removal through brushing or vacuuming.

Try a carpet rake.

Carlisle 4575100 Commercial Grade 18" Carpet Rake/Groomer

Another option to remove stubborn carpet hair is to use a carpet rake. Although this method may sound a bit abusive for your delicate carpet, you’re not exactly going to be using a garden rake.

Instead, you can purchase a product specifically made for use on carpets. This will prove gentle enough, while also being effective.

These products use thin bristles, which are usually metal, nylon, or rubber, to penetrate into your carpet’s fibers and draw out the hair.

You can use them just like you would a rake or a broom, only on your carpet. It’s like running a comb through your carpet’s hair – literally.

The Carlisle Commercial Grade 18″ Carpet Rake/Groomer may work well as a good option if you’re looking to adopt this method. If hair in your carpet is a regular occurrence, it can be a good idea to invest in a rug rake and keep it on hand for frequent use.

Use a rubber dog grooming brush or glove.

KONG - Cat ZoomGroom

Another option that works great on removing hair from carpet, especially pet hair, is a rubber dog grooming brush or glove. These products work well for use on cats or short-haired dogs, as they work to remove loose hair that is resting on top of your dog’s coat.

The rubber bristles are great at collecting and drawing up hair.

Gentle use of such a product may work well for use on carpets, too.

One product that may prove a good fit for you use is the Kong Zoom Groom. It’s rubber bristles and comfort-grip handle make it easy to hold and effective at removing tough hair caught in your carpet.

You can use the KONG – Cat ZoomGroom or the dog version. Either product will suffice.

Other similar options include grooming gloves for pets, which slip on your hand in the form of a glove and use small silicone balls to draw up hair.

Rubber cleaning gloves may also prove effective. Simply rinse with soap and water to remove the hair and continue brushing your hand over your carpet.

A rubber broom will also do.

Evriholder FURemover SW-250I-AMZ-6, Pet Hair Removal Broom with Squeegee & Telescoping Handle That Extends from 3 - 5', Black & Yellow (SW-250i-FR)

A rubber broom is also a good option for sweeping up pesky hair from your precious carpet. These products function similarly to a regular floor broom, but they use rubber bristles to grab and collect hair and dirt from your carpet in a way your vacuum cleaner may not be able to.

These tools can also be used on hardwood and other surfaces where you may face an issue, particularly with pet hair.

One option that may work well for you is the Evriholder FURemover.

Use a squeegee.

A blue squeegee with a wiper blade on the gray carpet.

If you don’t have a rubber broom on hand, a shower squeegee will work just as well, as its rubber edges work great to collect and pull up hair from a carpet.

If you have a long rod attachment for your squeegee, that will be more comfortable, as then you can go over your carpet from a standing position. But a hand-held squeegee will also work.

Simply run the squeegee over your carpet, or over the areas of your carpet where the hair collects, and remove the hair as you go along.

You can use soap and water to clean the hair off of the squeegee.

Change your vacuum cleaner’s attachment.

A couple of vacuum attachments.

If your regular vacuum cleaner just isn’t cutting it when it comes to hair removal, it may not be necessary to replacing it entirely. The problem could be with the attachment you’re using.

Experiment using your vacuum cleaner’s brush tool attachments, which can work quite well to literally brush and massage your carpet, pulling up a significant amount of hair as you go along.

This is a great way to solve your problem without having to go out and purchase a new vacuum cleaner.

If you find that your current vacuum cleaner doesn’t have much in terms of brush attachments, you may want to invest in a high-powered vacuum cleaner with good brush tools, if cleaning hair from your carpet is going to be a regular issue for you.

It’s also possible to purchase brush attachments separately, as needed. Just make sure they are compatible with your product first.

Grab some double-sided tape.

It’s a labor-intensive option, but using double-sided tape on your carpet may work well.

You can wrap some tape around your hand, crawling around the floor and pressing the tape against your carpet.

You will need to replace the tape frequently, as it will collect a lot on the small surface area.

This is one of the more labor-intensive options available, but it can certainly work if you’re in a pinch.

Apply some baking soda.

A wooden spoon filled with baking soda and spills on the side.

Although baking soda is often used on carpets for deodorizing and neutralizing odors, it can also help to loosen hair and dirt in your carpet, as well.

Sprinkle baking soda across your carpet and do your best to rub it in a bit using your foot or a broom.

Allow it to set into your carpet for several minutes.

Then, simply vacuum it up. This may help to remove more hair than vacuuming alone – and you’ll freshen up your carpet, too!

Try a steam clean.

Ivation 1800W Canister Steam Cleaner with 14 Accessories, Multi-Purpose Chemical-Free Household Cleaning and Sanitizing System for Clothes, Floor, Windows, Ovens, Bed Bugs, Curtains and Carpet

Great at removing, dirt, bacteria, and odors from your carpet, steam cleaning can be a great solution to use on your carpet every few months if you have a chronic hair problem.

Although it’s possible to hire a professional to steam clean your carpet, this can get expensive, especially if you’re performing this step more frequently.

Instead, you may want to invest in a good steam cleaner yourself and use as needed.

The Ivation 1800W Canister Steam Cleaner is a comprehensive product if you’re looking for a good home steam cleaner that may work for you.

With a little effort, you’ll be able to tackle your carpet’s hair mess in no time. Just be sure to use these methods consistently to help avoid much accumulation of hair in the first place.