More often than not, some of our favorite buys are small, how-didn't-I-know-about-this products that solve an everyday problem. That's what we're highlighting in our Little Lifesavers series: cheap, simple purchases that you'll use on the daily. Hit "Add to Cart" and thank us later!
The Problem: Whether you're shopping for someone with a plethora of pets, or just one very shaggy dog or cat, one truth is nearly universal among animal owners: pet hair can get everywhere, especially when a fur-covered shirt finds its way into the laundry.
The Solution: The FurZapper, a simple silicon circle that lures fur away from your laundry and into the lint trap.
How I Met the FurZapper
There are some innovations so unique and cutting-edge that they make you say “How did anyone think of that?” Then there are those you hear about that seem so simple that you can’t help but be skeptical, because “Well then, how come nobody thought of it sooner?”
That specific skepticism is one I certainly had when Michael Sweigart, inventor of the FurZapper, and company cofounder, Harry Levin, appeared on the 12th season of the hit show Shark Tank. Sweigart explained that the origin of his product came when he accidentally discovered that silicone works to remove pet fur from clothes during washing. Upon discovery, he says, Sweigart partnered with Levin, patented their silicone disc with the paw print at the center, and found themselves on track to do $5 million in sales before even setting foot on the ABC reality show set.
Now, I cocked an eyebrow at this. Not that I doubted their sales info, nor Sweigart’s story. “But surely,” I thought “...if this really worked, someone would have thought of it already.”
After all, humans have been dealing with pets, and therefor pet fur, since practically the dawn of time, and have been handling silicone for over a century. If silicone really were so super-effective at removing stray bits of fur from people’s clothes, wouldn’t we all already know it by now? Wouldn’t it have already ascended to that sort of “folk remedy” ubiquitous wisdom we all carry with us, like the many uses of baking soda or duct tape? So, surely, the efficacy of this little disc must be a bit exaggerated, I confidently concluded.
Now, I happen to co-parent a dog and a cat, both of whom have a tendency to snuggle, and leave a hefty amount of hair behind afterwards. And I also happen to own a lot of black and dark blue T-shirts, on which that residual fur stands out the most prominently.
So when FurZapper reached out and offered to have me personally test their product, I figured “any port in a storm.” If it helps even a little with getting those stray strands of pet hair off of my clothes, it’ll be an improvement on my current situation, I figured. But I had my skepticism still. “If it actually delivers as well as it promises,” I remarked to my partner “...I’ll eat my shoe.”
To which I now have to ask: "Hey Delish, got any advice for properly cooking a sneaker?"
How Well It Worked
As you can probably guess from the end of that preamble, the FurZapper worked exactly as well as they promised. Seriously. Those little silicone circles are like some kind of fur-removing sorcery, and super-easy to use, too.
The process couldn’t be simpler. Just toss the FurZappers into the washing machine with your dirty, furry laundry. Put it through the typical spin cycle, and then move the clothes, and the zappers, into the dryer. Once that’s done, the clothes emerge fur-free, as does the FurZapper itself (excluding a few stray strands on the latter). So where did it all go? Right to the lint trap, no extra cleaning, wiping, or de-furring necessary! Between uses, it helps to wash the FurZapper itself with dish soap, both to remove any fur and help it retain its stickiness.
Now, there are a few things to know about how to most effectively use the FurZapper. The FurZapper won't work when combined with fabric softener or drier sheets, so be sure to exclude those from any loads you intend to use the FurZapper in to make sure you get the full effect.
Also, too large a load can limit the FurZapper's ability to do its job properly, as it needs space within the machine to move around and interact with all the clothing items. They also recommend using one FurZapper per medium-sized pet to ensure total coverage. So as long as you keep those things in mind, the FurZapper should do wonders for your fur-covered clothes in the laundry, just like it did for mine.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a shoe to eat. But, at least its one that's not covered in pet fur. Thanks, FurZapper!
The Bottom Line
Even if it half-delivered on its claims, I would have been happy to have a little less lint-rolling to do if I wanted to wear some of my favorite shirts outside the house. But these shirts emerged from the dryer virtually fur-free and ready to go, just as promised by the product. Needless to say, the FurZapper is joining my laundry routine, and it should absolutely join the laundry routine for you or any pet owner on your gift list.
Michael Natale is the news editor for Best Products, covering a wide range of topics like gifting, lifestyle, pop culture, and more. He has covered pop culture and commerce professionally for over a decade. His past journalistic writing can be found on sites such as Yahoo! and Comic Book Resources, his podcast appearances can be found wherever you get your podcasts, and his fiction can’t be found anywhere, because it’s not particularly good.