This post is particularly for Mrs Menagerie, recently located to Melbourne with her menagerie, but still likely to need a dryer. And to Mme Luscious whose advice I finally followed 😉
If you’re a regular reader, you’re already aware my house is also home to two feline overlords. Both of whom bring a variety of different things to the house: snuggles, bossiness, the desire to drink the water I clean paint brushes in and stone cold rat killing to name a few.
What they also bring is an abundance of cat hair: black medium length cat hair and long butterscotch/ginger/white cat hair.
In fact, they don’t just bring an abundance of cat hair, they bring an over-abundance of cat hair. An over-abundance that I have to vacuum off my floors (otherwise I end up with little cat hair tumbleweeds when there’s a draft or a breeze), brush off my clothes, vacuum off my quilt covers and sofas (they seem to pick one place to sleep and build a little mat of hair to sleep on) and generally spend a lot of energy and time removing.
Hard at work adding an extra layer of cat hair insulation to the bed, to keep our owner warm. Because we’re thoughtful.
I sometimes consider the option of getting one of those hairless, evil looking gollum cats as my next cat as another way of dealing with the pet hair. FYI: after picking up the Butterscotch Cavalier yesterday, I found one hair that was 12cm long on my sleeve. 12CM LONG, that’s about a quarter as long as him if he’s not stretching! I wanted to take a photo but I seriously have too many cat photos as it is.
Former owner of the 12cm long cat hair, looking like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth and like he’s not the reason I spent so much time removing lint and cat hair.
What you may not also know – unless you’ve met me personally – is that my wardrobe basics tend towards the darker end of the spectrum: black, grey, red black, blue black, carbon black, mars black…you get the picture. Even when I am wearing colour, it’s likely I will be pairing it with at least one black item, if not more.
Having a mostly black wardrobe is a commitment as is. Having a mostly black wardrobe with cats, is…beyond commitment: lint and cat hair can ruin the effect quite substantially.
I have had to make peace with the fact that my black clothes are never going to be quite as black and immaculate as the next person’s, not because they are not black, but because they are covered in almost irremovable cat hair.
I have given up on buying certain textures of fabric because they are industrial strength magnets to cat hair. I only wear certain clothes when I have ample time to spend on ensuring they are cat hair free. I have washed items of apparel and manchester several times, to hang them out…to find they are still covered in cat hair.
I have tried every single type of lint and pet hair remover on the market to no avail: enjo, the sticky one, the brush one, the one on my steamer (although it’s optional, the steamer head attachment has become the default on my steamer. It never comes off). To.No.Avail.
Yes they remove some cat hair, and I am sure if I lived in a cat free and lint free environment they would work. But I don’t, and the amount of time and energy required to completely remove the cat hair using these methods…can be better spent elsewhere.
Up until now, the best and quickest method I had found to remove cat hair is to damp my hands and wipe it off my clothes/manchester. The dampness picks up the cat hair and you can wash it off your hands quickly and easily, then continue. Not perfect, but quicker and more comprehensive than the other options.
So in case you haven’t got the message yet: cat hair is the bane of my life. I know it’s a first world problem, but it’s still the BANE.OF.MY.LIFE.
For the last couple of years I have been pondering some sage advice Mme Luscious gave me. I noticed that although she was cat-sitting one/two very furry cats, none of her black clothes were covered in cat hair. This wise oracle of cat-hair free clothes said: “Dryers get rid of cat hair. Get a dryer!”
Dear reader, you may wonder why I didn’t immediately follow her instructions (I wish I could have, it would have saved me umpteen hours of my life pursuing other methods to remove cat hair). Unfortunately, my laundry with its limited size and top loading washing machine was not set up for me to purchase one of those mythic cat hair removing items. So I had to pin that idea to pursue later.
The opportunity for later came about 5-6 years down the track, when I returned from my trip to UK and Barcelona. About 3 loads in to post-holiday and post-house-sitter washing, my faithful little washing machine gave up the ghost.
While saying goodbye to my little top-loader was sad, it was also an opportunity: to get a front loading washing machine (because they consume less water and are often more energy efficient) and a dryer (for the cat hair). After 3 weeks of research, I decided not to get a combined washer/dryer: although they present well, the energy efficiency they report on is often only the washing machine component; plus the dryer has significantly less capacity than the washer…if you can’t wash what you dry in the same machine without hassle, it seems a little pointless.
So I decided to buy a separate washer and dryer. Even though the current layout of my laundry and items in it limits placement, that’s something I can address later on. DIY Dad helped me by taking down my amazing drying racks (I have saved these, when I redo my laundry completely you will see them again) and fixing the dryer to the wall.
I am prepared to live with this layout and the temporary loss of my drying racks, for the benefits offered in the form of cat hair removal.
It’s not in the most ideal place, but until I redo my laundry and get some cabinetry in there…it’s in the only place it can really go.
Now to report on the results
I am writing this section for Mrs Menagerie, she owns 2 feline overlords and one canine overlord and suffers some of the same problems that I do in terms of pet hair.
Below is a photo of a dress that is covered in cat hair: I had to pick Sir Pouncealot up and carry him inside (something he took with as much grace as he can muster, that is to say none, but there is always a lot of squirming, growling and general grumpiness):
A very extreme before example…
And a close up so you can see the hair:
Below is the same dress, after having been washed and then shoved in the dryer with other black items also suffering from a surfeit of cat hair. This dress was probably the worst example, so the cat hair is not completely gone (you can still see one or two pieces on it) after only one step through the washing/drying process: See my note below the picture for more findings.
Most cat hair: begone!
Most of my clothing is not as covered in cat hair as this dress, so the dryer completely removes the cat hair in one go.
For this dress, next time I wear it I will not get it as covered in cat hair so the next time it goes through the same washing and drying process…ALL the cat hair will be removed (I have actually tested this on other items).
The cat hair and lint left behind from that load of drying (aka: reasons why you empty the lint trap each time you run the dryer)
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