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How to Get Dog Hair Out of Car Seats

The Seven Stages of Deep Cleaning Your Car Seats After a Dog

A dog is man’s best friend—there by your side through thick and thin. A car ride may be on the top of your dog’s list for bonding experiences. Many dogs can begin to recognize the words or the jingle of your keys and jump in the minute the door is opened.

Whether for fun or necessity, taking drives with your dog can leave your car a little worse for the wear. Most dogs are hairy, and during a car ride, that hair can become overwhelming. Often dogs are pacing back and forth during the ride and enjoying the wind in their fur. And often this leads to seats, carpet, and hard surfaces covered in your beloved pet’s leftover coat.

Some simple and effective cleaning methods specifically tackle dog owners' hair and fur issues. While many of these can be applied to any area of your home, this list of stages will take your car from furry to fresh in just seven steps. Then, we will give you steps to keep it that way!

Stage 1: Vacuum


Some pet owners may assume this is the only step needed in keeping their car clean while driving a pet around. However, it is just the first step in a truly deep clean. To start, use a hose and nozzle attachment to vacuum your entire car, top to bottom (yes, even the ceiling). A boar’s head bristle attachment works best on the hard surfaces and an attachment with rubber bristles on the upholstery.

This will not take care of all of the hair, but it is necessary to begin the process. If you don’t have this type of vacuum at home, many gas stations offer a high-powered vacuum hose. This can also be found at many self-service car washing businesses.

Stage 2: Compressed Air

Compressed Air

We told you this was going to be deep! Time to tackle the crevices. Take a can of compressed air and shoot it in the crevices and cracks that the vacuum couldn’t reach. Keep the can be pointed in one direction instead of moving it to different angles while shooting. Keep your vacuum handy to suck up whatever hair and debris is dislodged.

Stage 3: Rubber Gloves or Squeegee

Rubber gloves and a squeegee with a rubber blade will perform the same tasks, but the gloves are able to mold and bend to go around your car. The rubber can dislodge stubborn hair in your upholstery and loosen it. Rubbing with the gloves or squeegee in one direction should result in a large pile of fur that can be vacuumed up.

Stage 4: Fabric Softener

Fabric softener breaks the static bond between hair and fabric, so it is a great tool to use in your car. You can wet a rag or sponge with some fabric softener and water mixed together and wipe the upholstered surfaces to remove even more hair. A rag dipped in a little fabric softener, and water can also be used to wipe hard surfaces and discourage hair from sticking in the future.

Stage 5: Wire brush

A wire brush is the last attack in our arsenal of weapons to fight dog hair. Use this much like the rubber gloves and squeegee—in one direction, loosening the carpet and upholstery fibers to release any stubborn hair.

Stage 6: Vacuum again

Time to break out the vacuum and get all those hairs and bits that have been dislodged during these steps. This should not take long, as you’ll have done most of the hard work already.

Stage 7: Duct tape

Duct tape, or a excellent lint remover brush, can be your last step for random hairs that may have been missed by the vacuum. This is more of a final spot treatment as you look over your beautifully clean car to make sure all hair is picked up.


After cleaning your car this deeply, you may be tempted never to let your dog inside again. However, we know that’s not practical, so here are some ways to keep your car cleaner next time your dog takes a ride.

  • Brush your dog before they get in the car.
  • Invest in a seat cover or car seat for your dog to ride on.
  • Do a quick vacuum of your car after each ride with your dog. (A handheld vacuum cleaner could be a good buy if you ride together often. However, these types may not be powerful enough for a deep clean.)

There you have it—our cleaning stages may be more than you bargained for, but if you follow them you will unearth the cleanest car of your life. Even if you just make it through the first couple of stages, you will find your non-canine passengers thank you. After cleaning, make sure to celebrate with a good car ride with your furry best friend!

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