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How to Remove Cat Saliva & Dander From Fabric

Katie Duzan

While most people believe that allergies to cats are because of the fur that cats shed, the true allergens are the saliva and dander they release with the fur. Cat saliva gets on the fur when cats groom themselves, and dander is the dead skin flakes that the cat sheds.

He's cute, but his saliva and dander are everywhere.

The saliva and dander from cats stick to fabric easily and penetrate below the surface. Even after the fur is gone, the residue of saliva and dander remains. To completely remove cat saliva and dander from fabric, you have to do a thorough job.

  1. Use Allergen Wash. To get all the cat saliva and dander off your clothing and bedding, use a special detergent that removes all allergens. Use the warmest water setting possible for the fabrics to get all of the saliva and dander out.

  2. Use a vacuum with a high efficiency air filter. These filters remove more allergens from the carpeting and upholstery than regular vacuums. Vacuum all the floors and furniture thoroughly to get everything out. Wait several hours after the first vacuuming and go over everything again. This allows the dust you stir up the first time to settle, and you get the remnants of that dust on the second vacuuming. Make sure to empty the vacuum or change the bag outside to prevent everything you vacuumed from coming back in.

  3. Steam clean. After vacuuming everything completely, go over the whole area with a steam cleaner. The steam cleaner gets more of the allergens out of the carpet than the vacuum, picking up the cat saliva and dander deeper in the fibers.

  4. Take it to the cleaners. Take things you can't wash, such as heavy curtains, to the cleaners. Dry cleaning chemicals will remove the cat saliva and dander from the fabrics.

  5. Keep the cats off your fabrics. As soon as the cats get close to any of the fabrics, the dander and saliva will return.