pet hair and washing machine

How to Dissolve Pet Hair in the Washing Machine

Pet bedding, blankets, other poochy paraphernalia, and your own pet-hair-covered clothes need to be cleaned on a regular basis!

However, the biggest issue you face when cleaning said items is that they’re all covered in your companion’s hair, and this hair will impact the washer.

As you’d expect, when you add the hair-covered items into the appliance, any pet hair on the laundry gets transferred into your washing machine as the load gets agitated during the cycle.

If you don’t remove this pet hair, it will eventually clog up the machine, get trapped under the seal, in the hose, and in the filter. Plus, the hairy mess will transfer onto other items that you load into the washer’s drum. It’s not ideal at all!

But before you start to dwell on your hairy nightmare, you’ll be pleased to hear that pet hair can be dissolved and removed from washers.

Let’s dissolve into this topic a little more and make your washing machine fur-free and hygienic.


How to Dissolve Pet Hair in the Washing Machine

washing machine with pet hair remover and black cat

Got a load of pet hair in your washer? It needs to be removed as quickly as possible. Follow the steps below to clear out your washing appliance.

Note: When it comes to managing pet hair, there’s no ‘one fix’ kind of solution. You have to put a few ‘good practices’ into place to deal with the issue effectively.

For example, you should make sure your laundry is brushed and free from huge clumps of hair pre-washing, then you should add a suitable hair dissolver to your washer, and finally, you should brush your dog frequently to remove loose hair.

This multi-step process is what’s going to keep a lot of hair out of your washer.


Tips on dissolving pet hair in a washing machine:

  • Hot water is essential.
  • You might have to treat your washing machine more than once to remove all the hair.
  • You might need to manually clean the hair from your washing machine using a microfibre cloth.
  • To dissolve pet hair, you’re going to need chemicals. Natural cleaners don’t necessarily dissolve hair, they just soften/loosen it up.
  • Remove as much hair as you can before washing the items in question.
  • Remember that it’s not just pet bedding/towels that get covered in pet hair, human clothes also get hairy! They also need to be taken care of in the same way as your pet paraphernalia!
  • It’s always a good idea to run an extra empty hot cycle through your washing machine after you’ve cleaned pet paraphernalia in your washer. This’ll flush out any unwanted grime before you clean your personal laundry.


Option 1: Specialised products

vamoosh pet hair dissolver

The easiest way to dissolve pet hair in your washing machine is to use a purpose-made product. These products have been formulated to deal with this issue and are usually very straightforward to use. We’d recommend Vamoosh.


If you’ve got a front loading washing machine, Vamoosh Pet Hair Dissolver is going to be your go-to pet hair dissolver! Vamoosh is incredibly easy to use, gets to work after one cycle, and leaves your washer free from pet hair!

Plus, Vamoosh works with several different hair types, including cat, dog, rabbit, and horse. So, whether you’re a doggy-lover or an equine expert, Vamoosh has you covered!

To try Vamoosh out, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your washing machine is empty.
  2. Give your pet’s bedding/towels a good shake and brush before adding them to the washer’s drum.
  3. Put your pet’s stuff in the washing machine.
  4. Don’t overfill the drum – bedding and towels get heavy as the wash takes place, and you need to leave plenty of room for the items to be agitated in the machine.
  5. Pop a single sachet of Vamoosh into the washer’s detergent drawer.
  6. Optional: For extra hairy items, or if this is your first time using Vamoosh, add two sachets to the drawer.
  7. Add a regular dose of detergent to the machine.
  8. Start a long and hot wash. The water temperature must be above 85°C for the product to work effectively.
  9. When the cycle ends, remove the laundry and dry it.

Here are the main benefits of using Vamoosh:

  • Works after one cycle (double up on sachets, if need be).
  • Dissolves pet hair and leaves the washer’s drum and filter clean.
  • Uses active oxygen to remove the hair (no hardened chemicals like chlorine bleach).
  • Cleans pet paraphernalia to a good standard and ensures it’s as hair-free as possible.
  • Removes odours.


Option 2: Home remedies

white vinegar, bleach and baking soda

Pet hair is made from keratin which is a pretty tough kind of protein, and is usually hard to get rid of. You can try the homemade methods below, but do keep in mind that these items may only ‘soften’ or ‘loosen’ the hair in the washer rather than dissolve it.

You typically need chemicals to dissolve pet hair in a washer, which is why buying an off-the-shelf product is normally the better, and an arguably faster option to try out when it comes to removing pet hair from a washer.


Distilled white vinegar

When white vinegar is added to a washing machine, it acts like a fabric softener. It can, therefore, be used to soften up the coarse pet hair.

After adding white vinegar to the washing machine, any pet hair inside the appliance can be wiped up and removed from the machine.

To try this method out follow these steps:

  1. Add a cup of distilled white vinegar to the detergent compartment in your washer’s draw.
  2. Select a very hot cycle.
  3. Select a long cycle.
  4. Start the empty washer.
  5. When the cycle ends, grab a cloth, preferably a microfibre one, and wipe the entire washing machine down.
  6. Make sure you clean under the door’s seal!
  7. It’s also imperative that you remove the filter and clean it thoroughly (usually found at the front of your machine and towards the bottom).


Note: Bleach is an incredibly strong chemical that should be used with caution!

It can be used to soften and dissolve pet hair, but it does have mixed results. And sometimes you don’t end up with the desired outcome! Follow the method below but be careful.

To try this method out follow these steps:

  1. Add a cup of bleach to the detergent compartment in your washing machine’s draw.
  2. Select a very hot cycle.
  3. Select a long cycle.
  4. Start the empty washing machine.
  5. When the cycle ends, grab a cloth, preferably a microfibre one, and wipe the entire washing machine down.
  6. Make sure you clean under the door’s seal!
  7. You must also remove the filter and clean it thoroughly (the filter should be at the front of your machine).


Bicarbonate of soda

Bicarbonate of soda acts in a similar sort of way to vinegar, in the sense that it softens the pet hair up in the washer. In turn, the hair can be wiped away with a microfibre cloth with ease.

However, bicarb can also remove pesky odours from your washer, which is an added bonus considering pet paraphernalia can be a little stinky at times!

To try this method out follow these steps:

  1. Add a cup of bicarb to the washing machine’s drum.
  2. Select a hot cycle/cleaning cycle.
  3. Start the empty washer.
  4. When the cycle ends, use a microfiber cloth to wipe the entire drum.
  5. Don’t forget to clean under the door’s seal.
  6. Clean the filter thoroughly when you’re done.


Option 3: Call a professional out to service and clean your washing machine

washing machine repair

If you feel that your washing machine isn’t quite clean enough, you could call a professional out to carry out the cleaning work for you.

This isn’t normally necessary, but if you signed up to a deal when you bought the machine, you might be entitled to a ‘free clean and maintenance check’. If so, you could make use of this service.

Keep in mind that this kind of service will likely cost you, if you haven’t already paid for this kind of work to be carried out (care and maintenance package).

Prices also vary from one location to another, so do a quick online search to find experts in your area and ask them for a price list!


What Can You Put in the Washing Machine to Collect Dog Hair?

There are some tools you can use to catch pet hair in the washing machine. However, these products get mixed reviews, and they don’t work effectively on their own all the time.

Generally, to make the most out of these tools, you need to use them alongside other tips and methods mentioned throughout this article.

For example, you should make sure your pet’s bedding/your clothes are brushed, and are free-from clumps of hair pre-washing. And you should still use a pet hair dissolver every so often to remove hairy remnants from your washing machine.

Have a look into these products:

Wudong Pet Laundry Bag

This is a pet laundry bag works in the same way a mesh laundry bag does for humans. You just add your dirty goods to the bag, zip it up, and add it to the washer!

Pet laundry bags are great for keeping your pooch’s hairy items in one place as they’re being washed.

So, instead of your pet’s paraphernalia being flung about inside the washer and hair going everywhere, the bag keeps the items and hair all together.

By the end of the wash cycle, the hair will be in the bag and can be emptied out.

Pet laundry bags are normally bigger in size, have secure zips to lock the hair inside, and can be used to clean various pet-related goods.


Werpower Pet Hair Remover

Werpower’s pet hair catchers are made from nylon and polypropylene, and each ball has a microfibres surface that collects hair from laundry as they’re being moved around inside the drum.

You get 12 hair catchers in a pack, and all you need to do is add a few balls to the washing machine’s drum, alongside your hairy washing, and start a wash.

As the clothes are agitated around, the catchers make contact with the laundry and collect the hair. They can be cleaned and reused after each washing cycle.


How Can You Protect Your Washing Machine from Pet Hair?

use vacuum, lint roller and brush for pet hair

The best way to protect your washing machine from pet hair is to limit the amount of hair that goes into the washer to begin with. In addition to this, you should treat your machine on a regular basis with the products listed above.

Prevent pet hair from accumulating in the washing machine by doing the following:

  • Hoover hair-ridden items before you wash them, so you remove as much hair as possible.
  • Use a lint roller to take off as much hair as you can pre-washing.
  • Shake items outside before adding them to the washing machine.
  • Brush your pet, so you remove loose hair on a regular basis.
  • Hoover pet bedding daily to prevent a build of pet hair.
  • Take your pet’s stuff to a launderette and clean it there.
  • Put your hairy items into the dryer with a damp dryer sheet for about ten minutes, and watch how the hair comes off the laundry. You can then wash the items once they’ve been de-haired and clean out the dryer.