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How to Clean Dog Hair Out of a Washing Machine: 4 Simple Removal Steps

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 28, 2024 by Dogster Team

Smiling golden retriever puppy inside washing machine

How to Clean Dog Hair Out of a Washing Machine: 4 Simple Removal Steps

If you own a shedding dog, you know that their hair can get everywhere. It gets stuck to clothes, furniture, and bedding. Unfortunately, this means the hair can also fall off your clothing and build up in your washing machine.

Taking a freshly laundered load of clothes out of the machine only to find them still covered with dog hair can be frustrating. Once the clothes get wet, the dog hair from them and the washing machine blend to form clumps that stick to fabrics, making your clothes even hairier than when they went in!

A buildup of dog hair in the washing machine is not only bad news for clothing but also for drain pumps. The hair can cause clogs that may eventually lead to the machine breaking.

Fortunately, you can clean the dog hair out of your washing machine by following the easy steps in this article. Once you get as much hair out of the machine as you can, check out the tips for keeping it from building up in the future.


The 4 Steps on How to Clean Dog Hair Out of a Washing Machine

1. Wipe It Out

After a load of laundry, wipe out the washer. Use a towel, mop, or rag to reach every part of the inner tub and grab as much dog hair as possible. This will prevent the hair from entering the machine and causing clogs. Doing this after each load will keep clumps of hair from clogging the machine and causing mechanical problems.

person wiping washing machine
Image By: aleks333, Shutterstock

2. Run an Empty Washer

Once you’ve wiped out the tub, run an empty cycle to clean the machine and loosen any stuck dog hair. You can use a washing machine cleaner designed for this purpose, or you can use your regular detergent. Wipe out the inner tub once more when the cycle is over.

3. Clean the Drain Pump Filter

Wet dog hair clumps stop filters from working properly. The drain pump filter is usually a round dial that is next to the drain hose on the washer. You can rotate this counterclockwise and remove it from the machine. If you can’t find it, refer to your machine’s instruction manual.

Once you’ve removed the filter, wipe away the gunk and grime. Rinse away whatever you can while using your fingers to pull off clumps of hair. You may even find a few stray coins in there! Before you replace the clean filter, wipe out the filter compartment to remove any debris or loose hair.

4. Use a Dog Hair Lint Trap

Floating lint traps can collect hair and lint in the washer before it seeps into the depths of your machine. You can also use dog hair lint traps designed specifically to capture dog hair in a washer or dryer.

person holding lint remover from the washing machine
Image By: Boontoom Sae Kor, Shutterstock


What About the Dryer?

Any hair that ends up on your clothes in the washer can then wind up on the lint trap in the dryer. It’s important to clean the lint trap after every load of clothes. If not, it can take longer for your clothes to dry, wasting energy and running up your electric bill. It can also be a fire hazard.

Your dryer vent should be vacuumed and checked for blockages annually. The vent is on the back of the dryer leading to the outside of the home. The vent should be disconnected, vacuumed out, and reconnected at a minimum of once a year, but it should be more often if your laundry machines regularly see large amounts of pet hair.

Preventing Dog Hair Buildup in the Washing Machine

Image Credit: Fcikle_Shutterstock

The best way to stop dog hair from building up in the washing machine is to prevent it from winding up there in the first place.

Always lint roll your clothing before you throw it in the hamper. This will remove plenty of loose hair that would wind up in your machine otherwise.

Before you wash a load of clothes, put it on a 10-minute no-heat cycle in the dryer with a dryer sheet. This loosens any stuck dog hair, which will get stuck in the dryer’s lint trap, not in your washing machine. Be sure to empty the lint trap when you’re done.

During a washer cycle, add a ½ cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle. The vinegar softens clothing, letting dog hair fall off easily. When you remove the clothes from the washer, wipe out the inner tub to remove any leftover hair.


Your Dog & Beds

Brush your dog every day to reduce the amount of hair that winds up on bedding, furniture, and clothing. If your dog has a bed that you regularly wash, remove as much hair from it as possible before putting it in the washing machine.

Use a vacuum and lint roller to thoroughly remove all the loose hair that you can. The hair can become embedded in the fibers, so you might have to spend a while working to loosen it. If you don’t have a lint roller, sticky packing tape will also work. Pay special attention to corners, zippers, buttons, and tufting, where hair often builds up.

Running the bed through the dryer first, following the same method as the one for clothes, will remove more dog hair before you get it wet. When the bed or bed cover is in the washer, use an extra rinse cycle to help remove even more stubborn hair. If you’re using a dryer to dry the bed, clean the dryer’s lint trap halfway through the cycle. If the lint trap is full, it can’t trap any more hair until it’s cleaned. You’ll be able to get more hair off the bed by doing this.

Afterward, wipe out the inside of the washer to remove leftover hair.

couple removing beddings for laundry
Image By:, Shutterstock

Your Bed

If your dog sleeps in your bed, it will take a bit of work to prevent dog hair buildup in the washer when washing your bedding.

Before you strip your bed, put on rubber gloves and slightly dampen them. Run them over the sheets and blankets to gather loose hair and easily discard it. You can also use a lint roller, though it may not be as thorough as the gloves.

Follow the same methods for washing clothes, using white vinegar during the rinse cycle and a dog hair lint trap in the washer.


In Conclusion

Dog hair can be frustrating, especially when it’s covering your clean laundry. We hope that you’ve found the methods in this article helpful for reducing the amount of hair in your washing machine and preventing it from building up again. Remember to keep the filters clear on both your washer and dryer. Removing as much hair as you can from your laundry before it goes into the machine will greatly help keep your clothes free from dog hair.

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Featured Image Credit: G.Retrieverz, Shutterstock

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