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TEST CASE

Yes, it fights fur -- but so does a lint roller

May 01, 2008|Craig Nakano

COMPARED WITH your standard lint roller, the new Scotch Fur Fighter is an object of beauty. Gone is the clumsy plastic stick with a roll of tape masquerading as a cleaning tool. Instead we have this: a translucent, sculptural arc, its grip molded for the palm, its sunshine-yellow cleaning sheet poised to capture every strand of rogue pet hair.

That disposable sheet is where the magic happens, Scotch says. Each 4-by-8-inch piece contains thousands of tiny rubber fingers that whisk pet hair and dander off upholstery. An angled tip can reach into corners and between cushions in a way that tape rollers of old can't. Think of it as a Swiffer for your sofa.

The idea seems worthy of a MacArthur grant in a household like mine, where two dogs send tufts of hair twirling across the living room like tumbleweed in the Mojave. Sure, those Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams' Dexter chairs look innocuous in their sand-colored soma bisque upholstery. But take a seat, even briefly, and you can walk away looking like a Wookie.

Is the Fur Fighter a quick, convenient alternative to lugging out the vacuum? Absolutely. Dog hair accumulated with Olympian speed, which was the problem. The first cleaning sheet was overwhelmed before I could even try to tackle those chairs.

I switched to an old-school lint roller, and I have to say: It's faster and more fun. You can run it across long stretches of fabric with a whoosh that the Fur Fighter lacks. Plus you can peel off each layer of tape with less guilt. My 60-sheet lint roller was $4.99; the Fur Fighter starter kit with handle and five sheets is $9.99, and eight-sheet refills are $4.99.

Granted, most homes don't have a 65-pound retriever-chow mix that's 35 pounds of hair. And it should be said that Fur Fighter is tops in performance, handling angles and corners like a Porsche. Me? I drive a Honda. I might keep a Fur Fighter in the car, but I'll stick with my masking-tape-on-a-stick at home.

-- Craig Nakano

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