Do Carpet Rakes Really Work?

carpet rakeThis question comes to us from Ilene. She’s clearly a pet owner, and it sounds like she may be up to her eyeballs in shedding fur. Like anyone else in this situation, she’s searching for answers, and on the quest for the perfect tool. Many of the traditional products we use for cleaning our homes, don’t work well if you want to eliminate pet hair from rugs and carpets, so pet lovers often employ specialized tools in order to remain best friends with Fido, and keep a clean house, free of flying fur and pesky allergens. On her search, Ilene stumbled upon a certain device, and then sent us the following question:

Question:

I heard about this carpet cleaning brush (rug rake) that lifts pet hair from the carpet. Do you recommend it? I didn’t see anything listed, but it’s suppose to be “the best” cleaning tool especially for pet hair. It’s called the universal rug rake. Maybe you should post it on this sight. Thank you

Answer:

In a word, yes. Rug rakes do actually work, and pet owners of all kinds seem to get good results when using them to pull hair from carpeting. The one you mention is similar to others, but there are some variations in material and design, and that can affect performance, or limit the types of material you can use them on. As with anything, there will be pluses and minuses to consider, so continue reading to learn more about carpet rakes than you ever cared to. This may be the tool for you, or you may decide that an alternative is a better fit once you know more about them.

What Is a Carpet Rake?

Similar in appearance to a broom, or a large pet brush, these so-called rakes don’t really look like the tool you use in your backyard to collect leaves. They will all have long handles so you can use them standing up, but that is where the similarities end. The specialized heads on these tools are usually made from thin metal needles, or some sort of plastic. Many are not really made for pet hair, so pet owners will want to be careful which one they choose. Some are designed for revitalizing long pile carpeting more than lifting up fur, so it’s important to select the style more suited for cleaning. The Universal Rug Rake that Ilene is curious about is designed for hair, and it looks like an oversize cat brush on a long stick. The tiny “bristles” are positioned closely together, and they are moderately long. When used on a rug or carpet, the metal pins will dig down deep, lift up fur, and collect it right on the head.

How To Use It

The operation of this tool is pretty simple, and obvious based on appearance.

  1. To prepare, ensure the head is clean, and screwed on securely.
  2. Extend handle to desired length, then tighten in place.
  3. Press the head against your rug, and apply light pressure.
  4. To clean, pull back using short strokes.
  5. For best results, use firm pressure, and press down harder for deeper carpet.
  6. Work in one area at a time, and move systematically across the floor.
  7. Fur will collect in the bristles, so use your hands or a comb to remove hair, and empty into  the trash.

Benefits

The following list will include the main benefits of using a carpet rake, and for the benefit of Ilene, we have kept it specific to the model she is interested in. Many of these will be true for other versions as well, but some will be unique to this particular product.

  • Works on carpets and rugs inside, but also on upholstery in your home or vehicle.
  • Pulls out fur that vacuums and other tools leave behind.
  • Tin plated bristles are reinforced and secured in a plastic frame for extra durability.
  • Lightweight and easy to operate.
  • Compacts for storage, and handle telescopes for convenience while cleaning.
  • Fast and effective.
  • Holds onto fur. (This may be a downside for some)
  • Quiet, and non-electric.

Drawbacks

Although this tool does work well, there are some clear downsides to the purchase that you should be aware of in order to make a decision you’ll be comfortable with. Most folks that use them are generally happy, but it can be a costly, and limited tool when compared to others. Take a look at the list of drawbacks to follow, and then continue reading to learn about an alternative that may give you more bang for your buck, while still getting your rugs cleaner than ever.

  • Expensive. This tool can cost as much as 30 or 40 dollars.
  • Limited. Great at the job it was designed for, but useless for anything else. This tool is a one trick pony.
  • Short. It does have an extension pole, but it’s only four feet long. Many people would be annoyed by the hunched over cleaning that will be required.
  • Low Pile. It will produce good results with shorter nap, but for shag and other high pile options it may get stuck or cause damage.
  • Loose. This model in particular seems to have a pretty cheap handle, so many users have trouble keeping it extended. With added force, the head can even come loose to cause further annoyance.

The Alternative

A rubber broom is a low cost alternative to this tool, and it works in much the same way. It will also pull hair from deep down, and remove fur that your vacuum leaves behind. But unlike the rug rake, you can also use it on other flooring to collect fur, and it doubles as a scrub brush and squeegee for even more functionality. Instead of holding onto all of the hair you sweep up, it will form a neat little pile that you can easily move to a dust pan without touching. It’s extremely gentle on any material, and it will work with all lengths of carpeting. The sturdy handle telescopes for optimal sizing, or working in tight spaces, but instead of the short length the rake offers, it has a longer, full-length handle. Because the head is made from rubber, the correct technique will build a static charge to prevent fur from flying, and pull in pieces that the bristles don’t touch.

Why Use One?

  • Commercial grade quality.
  • Multi-job versatility.
  • Long lasting performance.
  • Ability to clean carpets, hardwood, linoleum and any other surface.
  • Sturdy parts that don’t come loose, or wear out.
  • Fast and efficient. Allows you to eliminate shedding fur.

Want to know more? Read more about removing pet hair from carpets using a rubber broom.

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  1. Thanks for this article. I have never heard of a carpet rake and I have been a pet owner for many years now. For the first time in 24 years I live in an apartment instead of a house of some sort, and because we moved so far we don’t have access to a powerful vacuum regularly because we don’t own one. I believe I have encountered a rubber broom before but never really thought to use it to remove pet hair. I will definitely look further into those. Hopefully this info will help make our smaller living space more comfortable. Thanks again!

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    • Glad to hear that you found it useful. Thanks for the feedback. If you have shedding pets at home, you should certainly have one or the other available to deal with the fur.

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