How to Use Rubber Gloves to Remove Pesky Pet Hair Quickly and Inexpensively

Sometimes, static cling isn’t a bad thing

Dawn M. Smith
Written by Dawn M. Smith
Updated May 11, 2022
A man sitting on a sofa with a dog
Photo: Mint Images / Mint Images RF / Getty Images
Difficulty

Easy

Simple project; big impact.

Time to complete

10 minutes

10–30 minutes

Cost

$0–$15

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What you'll need:

TOOLS

  • Disposable or reusable gloves

SUPPLIES

  • Hand or dish soap

It's the plight of pet owners everywhere: stuck-on pet hair on every piece of fabric in the house. Like most pet parents who need tried and true cleaning tips, you've probably tried all the vacuum attachments with minimal results. What if a basic scientific concept like friction could rid your favorite sofa of your golden retriever’s hair in minutes? Read on to learn how to use rubber gloves to remove pet hair in your home.

6 Steps to Removing Pet Hair

  1. Find a Pair of Rubber Gloves

    Cleaning yellow gloves on sofa
    Photo: blanscape / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

    Check your cabinets and storage for rubber gloves. You might even have a box of latex disposables left over from a DIY painting project, or you can don the colorful kitchen pair you use when scrubbing the roasting pan. Some pet owners swear by rubber gloves with tiny nubs or bumps to dislodge the pet hair.

  2. Pick Your Technique

    Some fabrics, like silk or delicate blends, release pet hair easier if you use a dry glove. Sturdier material such as velvet sheds the hair better if the gloves are slightly wet. 

    But keep the moisture in check. You don't want dripping gloves, just a light misting or quick pass through a faucet stream. Also, don’t forget to test an inconspicuous piece of fabric to see if the dampness leaves a mark before you get started.

  3. Rub Down Your Furniture

    Try different gloves for your various fabrics to find out which works best. For example, tight rubber gloves work for smaller surfaces like lampshades, while loose kitchen gloves are great for large areas like sofa cushions and curtains. Success depends on the strength of the static friction between the different fabrics and the rubber gloves. 

    Quickly rub the furniture in patterns of overlapping strokes to avoid missing spots. For example, rub the entire piece of fabric with vertical strokes first, then start over using horizontal strokes over the same area.

  4. Dunk Your Gloves

    Your first few passes will pick up a lot of pet hair, so you’ll need to de-shed into the trash can. Again, some pet owners prefer to keep the gloves dry and pick off the hair, but others like to dunk the gloves in a sink full of water, watch the hair instantly release, and then toss the floating blob of pet hair into the trash. If dry gloves work better on your furniture, dry them after dunking to start again, if needed.

  5. Rinse and Repeat

    A stylish and bright living room
    Photo: Oscar Wong / Moment / Getty Images

    To free your furniture from fur, you might have to repeat the process a couple of times to get the job done right.

  6. Clean Your Gloves

    Of course, you can toss your disposable gloves into the trash, but your reusable gloves will need a thorough scrub with hand or dish soap to clean any lingering hair and residue. Hang them to dry, and you’re finished!

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